Dear Dana and Dave

In a world muddied by fake vibrato the real thing
becomes mythical. So rare for the ears
to glimpse the vibrant voice that springs
from the stretch of a diaphragm sinking low
to touch the gutrock of emotion. And yet
when you hear that voice coming up from
the depths of the soul, trembling with the
force of its intimate journey, you know
why there are so many imitations of this
pulsing heart-sound. The endless shabby
imitation doesn’t flatter – it clutters,
makes it harder to find the real gold –
yet cannot debase the real coinage
for those whose teeth know how to bite it.
Still sad to see the thousand wild goose chases
of shaky singers, who, like celebrity chefs,
pretentious poets or arrogant artists
seek to show that they are great cooks
by pouring salt and spices over
tasteless battery meat when flavour
comes from the deep bone marrow of a life
lived as free-range as a skein
of geese winging their heart songs
across the face of the coming dawn.


I’ve just butted into a poetry conversation between Dana and Dave, who have been exchanging poems, each one responding to the previous poem. They’ve kindly extended the invitation for other poet-bloggers to join them. If you’d like to reply to my poem, or any of theirs, all you have to do is link back to the poem you’re responding to, and leave a comment with the original poem so that people can follow the conversation in both directions. Have fun…


6 responses to “Vibrancy

  1. Pingback: what can i say now that’s not as indistinguishable as two instruments hitting the same note at the same time with the same vibrato? :

  2. This is lovely, Lirone. So glad you joined the conversation. I added a note at the end of my post inviting others to join in. You could do so as well, if you are so inclined.

    Never be in a flute quartet. I am just saying. It’s usually nothing more than four celebrity chefs getting heavy with the salt and spices.

    As my flute professor used to say, vibrato is not the note. You can’t use vibrato to cover up a weak tone. Oh, but as musicians, so many of us are inclined to indulge in vibrato, no?

  3. Dana – this is definitely the sort of collaboration I enjoy. It sounds a lot more fun than a flute quartet, I must say!

    The interesting thing for me is that, as a singer with a classical technique, vibrato is not something I add to the note but a direct consequence of using the full resonance of my voice and connecting it to my support. I can only stop it by singing with a lot less resonance – and a lot less heart. So for me, a natural vibrato is very different from a forced vibrato.

    As with poetical language, vibrato is something that arises spontaneously from good, powerful work. But there’s no short-cut – you have to do it the real way rather than pretending!

  4. Rage on! That is a fantastic thought poem. Resonance, cool.

  5. Hi Lirone – Thanks for joining the conversation!
    A lot of good thinking here, and the poem sings. Nicely done.

  6. Pingback: Scattered notes « Via Negativa

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