Saturday, June 05, 2010

Behind the Piano

She knew she had simply
poked the piano.

Then the annual school concert -
all the girls fear
her heart, trembling limbs
and burning eyes -

Feeling her whole hand faint,
notes fumbled and slurred
into each other.

At the musical evenings,
she had played and sung,
hoping each time afresh
to be able to reproduce
the effects which came so easily
when she was alone.

But she could not discover
the secret of getting
rid of her nervousness.

Only twice had she succeeded -
at the last school concert
when she had been too miserable
to be nervous, and once
she had sung "Chanson de Florian"
in a way that had astonished
her own listening ear -

the notes had laughed
and thrilled out into the air
and come back to her
from the wall behind
the piano.

* * * * *

This is a found poem in response to the Erasures prompt at We Write Poems. I did use Pointed Roofs by Dorothy Miller Richardson as my source text.


  1. Excellent work, Mr. Walker. Similar to my take...but I won't post until Wednesday. I'm so happy it's finally summer time!!!
    I look forward to reading more of your work.

    Mrs. Warren

  2. Mrs. Warren,

    Thank you for your kind words. I wasn't expecting any comments so soon, so finding yours was such a pleasant surprise. I'm so happy it's summer too. I had to find a poetry prompt and start writing again; I couldn't wait until Wednesday to post.

  3. hello, Mr. Walker!
    it's nice to be out of school -- after a week I've forgotten what day it is.

    I like your poem and how you retained the essence of the original story. dear Dorothy should have been a poet, then maybe she wouldn't be lurking in poet-playgrounds.

    thanks for playing along.

  4. Your version flows very well, and I like the more economical narrative much better than the original text.

  5. I'm with Francis...well done. You've taken the story and created a wonderful read (as opposed to that awful thing we had to work with). Thank you. Phew. =)

  6. They've already said it, but your erasure condenses the original text beautifully and makes it a pleasure to read.

  7. Agreed with distilled the original text down with a nice economy of words to the original story, simple and yet not jejune. I like how you pulled the words out of the erasure text and gave them some structure and form, too. I am endlessly amazed at how different all of our results were, yet each a sparkling gem of its own.


  8. Wow! Thank you to Angie, Francis, Linda, Derrick, and Nicole for commenting and saying such nice things. It was a fun poem to write - and I loved the creativity I saw from others, who took their poems somewhere else. My poem seemed safe to me, but I'm glad you liked it.