Poem of the Month

April 2017

April is for fools. 

We begin the month by celebrating 1 April as April Fool’s Day, sharing the sentiment with numerous cultures around the world.  When and where did it start?  Nobody knows for sure, and it would be foolish to spend much serious time puzzling out the origin.  It is here for us to enjoy with a light heart.

April, like Virginia, is for lovers and, as we all know, amantes amentes: lovers are lunatics, foolishly rushing in where wise men fear to go.  Yet we celebrate lovers and their foolishness in April.

And what April would be complete without foolishly engaging in some age-inappropriate activity the first warm Saturday afternoon?

Occasional foolishness should be celebrated and sometimes admired.  This month I’m tipping my hat to those whose love of music leads them to make the wonderful and foolish decision to pursue a career as classical musicians:  Wonderful because their music enriches the lives of so many; foolish because there’s little prospect of personal financial or employment security.  For every classical superstar, there are a thousand like my great aunt who played violin in the Philadelphia Symphony for decades while clerking at Wanamaker’s to pay the bills.

My own flirtation with classical music was as an oboist in a woodwind quintet.  “The ill wind that nobody blows good” is a wonderful instrument, but I fear the backpressure from the double reed has deleterious effects on the brain, as I’ve never met an oboe player who exists in the center of the bell curve.  We’re all one or two standard deviations off center.  This month’s Poem of the Month, Oboe Rap, was inspired by a chance meeting with a fellow oboist who was breeding scorpions in her basement.  Everybody needs a hobby.  And a poem.  Rap on!


Where Old Fliers Come to Roost

Ancient Eagle Press

                                   

                                                  Oboe Rap
 She's a lovely oboe player and she's sitting in the row,
 With the chubby clarinetists who are honking when they blow,
 The orchestra gets funky when she puffs her double reed,
 She's a lovely oboe player and she's all I'll ever need.
       So play (honk, honk...honk...honk)
      Just play (honk, honk...honk...honk)
      Say play (honk, honk...honk). Everybody now:
      (Honk, honk, honk, honk, honk, honk, honk)
 Well it’s early in the morning when she limbers her Larée,
 And its late into the evening when she puts her horn away,
 With Hindemith for breath control, Vivaldi just for fun,
 Her neighborhood is grateful when her practicing is done.
      So play (honk, honk...honk...honk)
      Just play (honk, honk...honk...honk)
      Say play (honk, honk...honk). Everybody now:
      (Honk, honk, honk, honk, honk, honk, honk)
 Well I saw her on the cover of the Mensa magazine,
 She was hybridizing scorpions and genotyping beans,
 She was married to the preacher but she didn't buy his shtick,
 Cause she heard the higher calling of the Watson and the Crick.
      So play (honk, honk...honk...honk)
      Just play (honk, honk...honk...honk)
      Say play (honk, honk...honk). Everybody now:
      (Honk, honk, honk, honk, honk, honk, honk)
 She's a lovely oboe player and she's sitting in the row,
 With the chubby clarinetists who are honking when they blow,
 The orchestra gets funky when she puffs her double reed,
 She's a lovely oboe player and she's all I'll ever need.
      So play (honk, honk...honk...honk)
      Just play (honk, honk...honk...honk)
      Say play (honk, honk...honk). Everybody now:
      (Honk, honk, honk, honk, honk, honk, honk, honk)

      (Honk, honk, honk, honk, honk, honk, honk, honk)

      (Honk, honk, honk, honk, honk, honk, honk)

                                      Now Stop!


  L. Alloway

  from Thirty Years in Flight (2011)

 

Each month Ancient Eagle Press offers a poem appropriate to the season or the mood of our editorial staff.   Poems may be new or drawn from existing AEP editions.

                            Archives

  March 2017 - March Madness

  February 2017 -- The Cost of Doing Business

  January 2017 -- Reflection at a Winter Window

  December 2016 -- The Creation

  November 2016 -- Hemolymph Moon

  October 2016 -- Vortex

  September 2016 -- Do You?

  August 2016 -- Sailing
  July 2016 --  Mulberries
  June 2016 -- Off Tucker Point
  May 2016 -- Unforgettable
  April 2016 -- At Night She Cries