Sonnet 10 – Ode to the bamboo flute

Listen to the way of the reed
In the shakuhachi’s quivering tone
I braid fingers to hold my heart within.
Music’s fire stoked through a bamboo bone
While memories glide on a rusting fin.

He plays dulcet tunes of his village streams
And the many nubiles he loved from far.
He strains, trembles on tunes of splintered dreams
And in wanton tweets, drapes many a scar.

I meet a song’s eye, and lo! mine are wet
It’s the wind, the dust, the singing reed’s play
That shakes the tree above, and sands upset,
Lest why’d I cry, Oh! stop your grave essay.

In breath you rise and in others, breath pause
In lack and surfeit you breeze Divine laws.


2 thoughts on “Sonnet 10 – Ode to the bamboo flute

  1. The visual images you weave are only less vivid than the sound images that you describe here so beautifully!

    I actually see the sounds and the objects and scenes in this poem.

    Once more a classic from the highest, most superior realms of creative genius.

    I cannot quote which word or which line is a favourite from this; but I adore the overall antique halo that pervades it… ‘ Oh, stop your grave essay!’

    The first stanza is a beautiful set of lines and words set to perfection like a jewel compact and just so. And the last couplet is a fitting close.

    I love this poem.

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