By Diverse Tastes

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I am a music lover. I don’t stick with one genre – I love Cubanismo, Bjork, Couperin, U-2. I was never formally trained to play an instrument but I picked up a child’s accordion about three years ago. In other words…I know what it’s like to sound bad from lack of practice and not care because I love the sound I make! If you can identify, you’ll enjoy the poems in Tatiana Pietrzak’s book “The Music is Written”. As a bonus, you’ll also get to ponder which came first, music or nature? And are they really two separate things?
For instance, in “The Bird of Paradise”, Pietrzak tells the story of birds paying careful attention to her as she practices the violin:

“So is my violin a bird
To be recognized?
Has he reached notes,
Rhythms and cords,
That soar to heights
And sing of immortality?
Where in the bird’s mind
Do the notes of fiddles sing,
Is it a bird’s dream to one day be
a violin?”

In a more mystical piece, “Sea Song”, the poet starts out with a profound, paradoxical thought:
“There is a sound that circles the entire world,
Under the waters,
Near the deepest bed of the sea.
We do not hear it.”

The immensity of this statement moves me. I enjoy imagining a sound that is big enough to “circle the entire world”, a sound I cannot hear. The part of me that loves music as sound understands immediately what Pietrzak is referring to. Later in the poem, she prompts me to consider what the gifts of the sea really mean to me:

“The mind is said to be ten times as great in strength
Than anything on earth
When applied with curiosity
And sadly fear or greed.

If the mind remains unbridled
It will even restrain
The wild and free rhythms of the oceans’ aged songs,
Into a few temporal measures.

We listen to the songs of the dolphins and the whales for
Recording their songs as if they were the new music
Of this generation,

…and this may be the case.”

Regardless of which generation we belong to, these days we are all somehow affected by information overload-it is. Want to rest and unplug? “The Music Is Written” is like a little island devoted to loafing. If you take just one poem a week and loaf with it, line by line, you might find yourself sleeping better and maybe searching through Craig’s list for a great deal on something that’s used and has strings or keys…


About tatiana333

Tatiana Pietrzak graduated with a Master’s in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College in Santa Fe, New Mexico. After studying in London, Paris, Siena and Florence, she lived and worked for four years in Beijing in film and television. She has published articles in The Beijing University Newsletter, The Eagle and The Santa Fe New Mexican. In addition, she has won two Editor’s Choice awards from the National Library of Congress and was granted a Distinguished Membership from the Board of Directors and Advisory Committee of The International Society of Poets. Presently Tatiana is working on her first novel and a second compilation of poetry.
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