Friday, September 12, 2014

Poetry Friday: To an Old Square Piano

Our very old, well worn, beloved piano. 

Just yesterday, I remarked to Ramona how lovely it was to hear her playing the piano again. She loves to play, but we all get either busy or lazy in the summer, and her regular practice time goes out the window. But we are resettling into autumn rhythms and Ramona's music is winding its way through the dining room again, into the kitchen, where I'm working, and thinking, and giving thanks.

To an Old Square Piano
by Robinson Jeffers

Whose fingers wore your ivory keys
So thin—as tempest and tide-flow
Some pearly shell, the castaway
Of indefatigable seas
On a low shingle far away—
You will not tell, we cannot know.

Only, we know that you are come,
Full of strange ghosts melodious
The old years forget the echoes of,
From the ancient house into our home;
And you will sing of old-world love,
And of ours too, and live with us.

Sweet sounds will feed you here: our woods
Are vocal with the seawind’s breath;
Nor want they wing-borne choristers,
Nor the ocean’s organ-interludes.
—Be true beneath her hands, even hers
Who is more to me than life or death.

(This poem is in the public domain.)


The round up today is at No Water River


laurasalas said...

I love:

vocal with the seawind’s breath

Thanks for sharing!

jama said...

Lovely piano and poem. I need to get back to playing our piano, too. :)

Tabatha said...


LInda Baie said...

Oh this does bring memories from grandparents, Karen. Love the picture, & the poem, "Full of strange ghosts melodious". Nice to hear you have those sounds wafting through...

tanita✿davis said...

Be true beneath her hands, even hers
Who is more to me than life or death.

That is LOVELY.

(Is yours a Wurlitzer? It looks so much like mine. And, I, too, need to get back to playing... how is it that it only happens in the winter months!?)

Karen Edmisten said...

You all picked some of my favorite lines, too, and especially those last two lines, Tanita.

The piano is just an old W.P. Haines that we got free (I love free!) from a school. :)

Becky Shillington said...

I love this poem, Karen! I especially like the line, "You will not tell, we cannot know." Pianos hold the secrets of all who have ever played them. Happy National Piano Month!

Mary Lee said...

Another piano poem in (just learned about it) Piano Month! Fun!!

Susan Taylor Brown said...

The very first piano I had was an old one with sweet and sour wood. My mother hated it and soon bought a brand-new one but I always loved that old one best. Thanks for taking me back in time.

Karen Edmisten said...

Becky, I love that line, too -- the secrets that the piano holds...

Mary Lee, love the serendipity. Again! Happens a lot on Poetry Friday.

Happy to share the trip back in time with you, Susan!