Friday, March 6, 2009

I Am In Need of Music : A Poetry Friday Post

I Am In Need of Music

by Elizabeth Bishop

I am in need of music that would flow
Over my fretful, feeling fingertips,
Over my bitter-tainted, trembling lips,
With melody, deep, clear, and liquid-slow.
Oh, for the healing swaying, old and low,
Of some song sung to rest the tired dead,
A song to fall like water on my head,
And over quivering limbs, dream flushed to glow!

There is a magic made by melody:
A spell of rest, and quiet breath, and cool
Heart, that sinks through fading colors deep
To the subaqueous stillness of the sea,
And floats forever in a moon-green pool,
Held in the arms of rhythm and of sleep.

I discovered Elizabeth Bishop while reading Undercover by Beth Kephart .  If you haven't already read Undercover, I highly recommend it.  It's a fabulous book about a girl named Elisa who ghost writes love notes for guys, yet she never has the courage to write one to a guy.  Instead, she composes them in her head.  Elisa is lucky enough to have an English teacher who assigns her students poems by Elizabeth Bishop and who encourages Elisa to find her voice.  We all have a hidden voice just waiting to break free and, for me, Undercover opened up so many voices and worlds.  So, Beth, I offer up this poem to you as a thanks for sharing your voice and in the hopes that your spring is full of the magic of music.

To learn more about Poetry Friday, visit Big A little a . This week's Poetry Friday round-up is at Picture Book of the Day.


  1. Ooooh I love her!!! GREAT poem--thanks for posting it!

  2. My word. Thank you. Miss Em, I didn't know this poem. But boy I needed its music. Thank you, you dear thing.

  3. Lovely poem. Music melodies are indeed magical. I'm a big fan of music, I definitely need my music every day!

  4. I first came across this poem in another Poetry Friday Roundup and love it! Thanks for sharing it.

  5. I have experienced reads the way you've described. What an incredible feeling. Thank you.

  6. Undercover is on my list to read this year for the YA Book Challenge. What a great poem. Thanks for sharing.

  7. I love Beth Kephart. She's so sweet.


  8. Back again.

    This time to let you know that you have been given an award over on my blog:

    Come and check it out! :)

  9. I remember one poetry friday posting an Elizabeth Bishop poem too--just after re-reading Undercover!

    This is a lovely one.


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