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
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…