Monday, July 25, 2011

Singing Along

Singing Along

Recognition begets sound,
some closed-mouthed noise
mmmm, as if in agreement.
A person we re-encounter,
and we speak their name
to them or those around us,
I know her, that’s so-and-so,
An object we know and see
again, we name it, Do you
know what this is, we ask
others, not because we want
to know but because we
do know already, and must
repeat the truth to make it
seem useful. Yesterday,
in the movie theater, a man
sang along to the Cole Porter
song filling one scene:
And that’s why birds do it.
bees do it, even educated
fleas do it. He greeted
the song there in the dark,
singing quietly from behind
all our heads, s’s reaching
toward the screen, the music
a rope he was pulling in, with
some big memory on the other
end rolling out to be looked at.


  1. Beautiful. I find myself as I get older remembering to sing along like I did as a child. Re: the painting, I love how the blank face of the woman still manages to convey so much emotion!

  2. I knew you'd like Saterstrom's artwork. I love the piece you selected for inspiration.

    A standout line: "the music/ a rope he was pulling in, / with some big memory on the other / end".

    The insert of the Porter lyrics is a lovely touch.

  3. That painting is gorgeous.

    I love this poem, love singing along. But not in movies!

  4. First, that painting is plain old gorgeous.

    Second, this is such a wonderful way to depict the link between recognition and sound.

  5. Lithuanians and Letts do it!

    I love the scene at the end and the way you put those last two lines.

  6. Yes we SHALL! I thonk I'm going to go around saying shall now instead of must let's etc. It is so much more, graceful and gentle as you say :) I shall...



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