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The Cello

Yo Yo Ma - Miriam Schulman



The cello

etches its molten music

into the psyche


steals the soul

an aural apparition

passing through locked doors


string breezes

sing, burgeoning from chaos

resonance beckons



conjures vision timeless as

future memory


subsumed joy

Theia with shadows dancing

the light fantastic


cello truth

is baritone, the plumbed stave

sounds close melody


© 2013  http://www.pilgrimrose.com 

Poem not included in The Twain, Poems of Earth and Ether

10 Comment count
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This is so gorgeous, Rosy:

This is so gorgeous, Rosy: "cello truth is baritone..." as gorgeous as the instrument itself. Thank you for this glorious music.

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Delighted you enjoyed it, Barbara

It's been brewing for a while, then arrived quite suddenly.

Thanks for your kind comments!

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Such a  beautiful poem Rosy

Such a  beautiful poem Rosy and so true.

My brother has been playing the cello since he was a child . He is a journalist but playing chamber music is his passion. Before deciding on an instrument a wise musician told him that the sound of the cello was the closest to a man's voice. My younger daughter also plays the cello (she started as a very young child); today she is a physician but makes time to play chamber music. 

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The cello...

does seem to be a very popular instrument, both to play and to listen to, a fact which, perhaps surprisingly, has only dawned on me in later years. People have a particular affection for it.

My voice is the only instrument I can use, though perhaps not at its best at the moment. I do play the piano a little and used to have a German zither and a Spanish guitar for amusement. If I learned the cello it would have to be one of the three-quarter ones I think, as I'm only 5 feet.

I'm so glad your brother and daughter have managed to keep playing because both journalism and medicine are high pressure occupations which demand 'hard play' after the hard work. Music pursuits do help to keep life in perspective and assort us with sympathetic friends. In singing, there's something about the actual breathing together that is binding and magical. I'm sure it's a similar thing with ensembles and orchestras.

Thanks for your lovely comments, Orna.




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I would be a cello

I think that if I could become an instrument I would be a cello.

Brilliant writing, Rosy. I danced along to your glorious flow of  musical words. mx

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It's true...

the cello seems to be associated with the body and its resonances. With singing technique, you learn where to place notes on the palate and how to resonate them within the skull and the chest. You should even be able to recognise a note by where it sounds truest.

It's lovely that you danced along because, irrespective of the actual music, the cello has a vibrant energy of its own.

Thanks for your sparkling appreciation, Mary. It means such a lot. Rx

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..."an aural apparition"...how beautiful, Rosy, to use what is associated with the visual for a sound.

I cannot claim much acquaintance with the cello, although I have heard it often enough. Your poem took me to those pieces and how elevating have these past few minutes been.

Regarding the cello being closest to the human voice, the 'sarangi', used sometimes in Indian classical music sounds like a plaintive cry. Though the two are quite different, I can feel the heart-wrenching quality in both.

Your minimalistic style echoes the subtlety of the instrument.


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I feel it's the privilege of poetry...

to blur the lines between the senses which are probably artificial in any case. They just point up the limitations of human vocabulary and understanding.

Your comment about the 'sarangi' is interesting. Many of the musical instruments of the East (in which I include the Eastern Mediterranean) are especially expressive of emotion in mimicking the timbre and cadences of speech, with fine subtleties in the use of quartertones. Some might say music is the quickest way to touch the soul of another culture.

There is a passage in The Sheep and The Goats (forthcoming) which describes the sensations aroused within a protagonist at an evening of Turkish music at Brighton Pavilion. Research into the instruments and the music of the times has been fascinating and enriching.

As to the cello, I hear its music when no one's playing :)

Thank you so much for your  appreciation, Farzana. I'm glad you enjoyed the poem.





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What a beautiful poem, Rosy.

What a beautiful poem, Rosy.  I love the cello, and  my favourite cello pieces are Bach's Suites.  Your words capture and translate the movement of sound.

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Where would we be without Bach, Katia?

Guaranteed to calm a ruffled spirit and restore sanity. How in tune he was with a balanced universe.

They even say that the milk yield of cows is increased when they're played baroque music. Certainly dogs seem to respond peacefully to chamber music. My Springador, being half-Spanish, loves strings. He loves the guitar and Spanish rhythms and has fun trying to follow my footwork. I only need to stick a rose in his jaws and we're away!

Thanks kindly for commenting.