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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Poem: Timbre

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Timbre

It was at the pinprick
of dawn when I removed the pot to pour my cup —

an overflow of coffee sizzled in vibrato
on the heated element of the coffee maker,
the high-partialed wind chime
on the porch tinkled brightly,
the fore-eye of the firebrand sun singed
the tips of low-lying needles on pines behind the meadow,
rising up at just the same exact slow heave
as yesterday

that I thought

This is constraint without limitation,
the sound of the sunrise
that prolongs my life
even one more day.



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48 comments:

ds said...

Came, read, came back again.
Love the simple clean new look.
Love this poem: the "pinprick/of dawn"; "sizzled" perfect for vibrato..."the slow heaving up" of the sun? or us? The granting of one more day.

Thank you, Ruth, for your perfect timbre.

Maureen said...

Lovely images: "pinprick/ of dawn", the very strong "fore-eye of the firebrand sun", "the meadow, / rising up at just the same exact heave". And also the sound of "coffee sizzled in vibrato", and the sense of "the sound of sunrise" as "constraint without limitation".

Friko said...

The poet's soul observing the rise of a beautiful morning and so bringing music to mine.

I too am glad that the sound of each new sunrise prolongs my life, giving me space and time to ponder
"constraint without limitation".

Miss Jane said...

Timbre, indeed, this sizzles like a cymbal.

Gwei Mui said...

WOW this had the hair on the back of my neck on end

steven said...

ruth i admire that these words hover on tiny points of experience connected in their supporting of the emergence of a day. steven

Ruth said...

ds, I'm glad you like the new header. Me too. It feels like a relief.

Thank you for kind words, always. Happy Sunday!

Ruth said...

Maureen, thank you so much. I love morning.

Ruth said...

Friko, thank you for sharing this love of morning, of a new day. We, too, are having glorious spring today. Well, it's almost like summer.

Ruth said...

Miss Jane, you honor me, thank you.

Ruth said...

Gwei Mui, oh thank you, what a great thing to hear from you!

Ruth said...

Steven, thank you. You lead us all in looking at the small.

I love Terresa's spotlight on you and the golden fish today. Congratulations.

Lorenzo — Alchemist's Pillow said...

I can just smell the sizzling coffee and hear its matinal vibrato. I love the image of the pinprick of dawn and the glories you find and share in your meadow sunrises.

freefalling said...

Constraint without limitation.
Hmmm - what's that mean?

Louise Gallagher said...

I love the sparse and elegant new header.

I started reading this poem and was breathless, and then I read the last two lines and i felt myself fall, in love, with morning rising.

Beautiful.

Ruth said...

Lorenzo, you have the best words up that blue trunk of yours. Thank you for dusting the meadow with them this evening. Matinal vibrato . . . makes me want you to keep writing . . .

Ruth said...

Letty, for me constraint without limitation means that there are some dependable, never-ending, certainties, like the sun coming up every morning, just so. The sun has constraints, it can't just track off any which way. But the possibilities and potentialities are so vast under that sun, to us, they seem limitless, boundless.

I don't know if that makes sense. I know it sounds like an oxymoron.

Ruth said...

Oh Louise, I can't get enough of morning. I am thankful I'm an early riser, though I'm not sure how it happened.

I'm glad you like the header too. The place needed some spring tidying and simplifying.

Thank you so much for your enthusiasm.

erin said...

somehow, ruth, there is both tension and release here. i have to watch it like i do the birds. lovely. questions i don't even realize. and answers too.

xo
erin

Barb said...

Your poem reads like breathing, Ruth. It is a sentiment I often share.

Arti said...

I've always loved descriptions like this: "the sound of the sunrise", the seeming incompatibility. Like... the sound of silence, the sound of the mountain (Kawabata's novel). And I'm still mulling over this one: "This is constraint without limitation..." intriguing indeed. And... love the photo and your whole poem. Thanks again, Ruth.

Pat said...

Ah, like a breath of fresh air. Calming and sweet. Thanks for this.

Ruth said...

Erin, the way you put that, questions i don't even realize . . . helps me see that this is why we need one another. Thank you.

Ruth said...

Barb, it is good to share this with you. Thank you for how you put that, like breathing, that's a gift.

Ruth said...

Arti, as you said in your subsequent comment at my previous post, about poetic forms as constraint, this is much of what is on my mind. I heard this phrase constraint without limitation last week, and it stunned me. I know I had to write it into something, mull it over like you. Thank you.

Ruth said...

Thanks, Pat, I'm so glad you felt that here. Have a good week!

Stratoz said...

you pointed out what was happening in my life, I am listening to the sunrise here in PA. Have a great Day.

Susan said...

The sound of the "overflow of coffee sizzl(ing) in vibrato on the heated element" has always annoyed me. Not anymore. It will now always bring to mind the "slow heave" of the sunrise, and therefore, you, dear friend.

Grandmother said...

My favorite line in this sumptuous sound poem is: "rising up at just the same slow heave as yesterday". It describes what I've felt exactly.

Brendan said...

You nailed my moment, that first-light wilderness which is so pure and fresh, like a mind about to write a poem. Where would we be, without first light, without a blank page? - Brendan

neighbor said...

I love what comes with description :-) ... and sorry for the delay, I finally replied to your comment on TR...

Vagabonde said...

This sounds good but it would be pretty hard to translate into French. First I got stomped with the title – “Timbre” it means a stamp in French, but it also means the sound, usually of a bell or a drum (comes from the old French drum and the medieval Greek timbanon.) So, I think reading it only in English is OK for me.

Ruth said...

Cool, Stratoz, I love it.

Ruth said...

Ah, Susie, you're a doll.

Ruth said...

Mary, so we are in synch. I'm glad, thanks.

Ruth said...

Brendan, you and I would be bereft without the early morning dark-to-light, blank white-to-words. Life is pretty good, don't you think?

Ruth said...

Hi, Neighbor, thanks, I'll come check out your response.

Ruth said...

Vagabonde, in musical terms here in the U.S., as I understand it (quite minimally, I might add), timbre is the tonal quality of sound. I felt and heard these morning points all at once, and they were all tonally different, and it reminded me of a presentation I had just heard about timbre by a cellist on Friday.

Oliag said...

"The pinprick of dawn.." Love it...

Ruth said...

Thanks, Oliag. Good to see you, hope you have a good day!

Meri said...

An aubade............. that touches me.

Margaret said...

Lovely seeing the variety here. Your poetry has such depth. The Oulipo is silly fun and I will have to give it a whirl. Today was "recovering" day after all our recent activity... a quiet beautiful morning sunrise with a fabulous cup of coffee seems like heaven.

who said...

Ruth, as a poet you amaze me. I love the line "the porch tinkled brightly"
I love it because it happens, and it's as if you understand. So I feel like I wouldn't be being a friend if I did not warn you. If it is angels that are making a porch tinkle or twinkle obviously brighter than can be rationally explain, those are angels.

So be careful, because once one starts making a regular appearance in your life and then you notice a second one starts to sporadically show up, you are pretty much stuck with them.

And then more show up, and then you realize those types have been eyeing you for quite some time. They are cunning, smart, overwhelming-sometimes-see-through-winged bullies at times. At it IS OK to tell them no sometimes.

Good luck with them Ruthi :)

Montag said...

Nice... a limitless constraint...
The concept of limitless destroys the concept of constraint and something new is formed.

Loring Wirbel said...

"fore-eye of the firebrand sun" = favorite line. You have been saving up some good stuff for NPM! Have you followed any of the poet-tweeters-for-a-day that Poets.org is sponsoring. Some of them are very funny, profound, etc. One of them (J. Michael Martinez, on April 7) was our Poetry Trifecta main reader on April 2, though I liked his two openers, Julia Cohen and Mathias Svalina, equally well. I have videos of all three at the usual source.....

Jeanie said...

The sound of sunrise. Lovely. I feel as though I am there with you, hearing and seeing all this and so much more.

OceanoAzul.Sonhos said...

ruth, i loved your poems.
I'll stay if you do not mind :)
oa.s

Terresa said...

"It was at the pinprick
of dawn when I removed the pot to pour my cup —"

These first 2 lines take my breath away, they sing.