Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Song Not All His Own

   Thoughts While Listening to Music
                           by Jim Rapp

All creatures squeal in time of fear,
or make their call when their mate is near,
or roar to make their prowess clear,
or sing a song to fill the sea or air.

But what creature commands the glut
of sounds that man has mastered;
strings a gourd with cords of gut
to make of it a living bard;

hollows out and shapes a pithy reed,
inspiring it to sweetly play
a tune to meet the human need
for sad or joyous melody;

mines and smelts earth’s heart,
shaping tubes and valves and bells
to take his human voice apart
and send it out, recast, to weave a spell;

puts a bridle on the unseen waves
that circle all the world around,
forcing them to serve as slaves
to carry electronic sounds?

Singing, in thousand given human tongues,
with instruments of earth and bone,
and borrowed breath that fills his lungs,
he makes a song not all his own.

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