Greetings and welcome to a new Flute Friday.
There seems to be a lot of ugliness in the world this week. I think this is the perfect time for some self-care! Grab a cup of tea (iced or hot – depending on your climate), kick up your heels, and join me as we dive into the rabbit hole that is poetry. There are some beautiful words written about the flute and flute playing. In today’s blog, I am featuring a handful of poems that discuss the flute, including one at the end written by yours truly. Enjoy!
No Conflict by Hafiz (Daniel Ladinsky) Original Language English
When the flute is playing
For then I see every movement emanates
Invisible Caravans by Muhammad Shirin Maghribi, English version by David & Sabrineh Fideler, Original Language Persian/Farsi
Love’s concert is calling,
but the flute can’t be seen.
The drunks are in sight,
but the wine can’t be seen.
Hundreds of caravans
this very way —
Don’t be surprised
if their trace can’t be seen.
Song at Dawn by Meshullam da Piera, English version by T. Carmi, Original Language Hebrew
When they sang together,
when my morning stars sang
as the night was ending
and light came up from all sides;
when the night was ending,
the darkness expelled,
and my sun rose in the East;
when my thoughts shook off slumber
and my limbs woke from their sleep of night —
then I sought to greet the dawn with music
and to worship the morning with song.
In my hands I held the lyre and the pipe,
and my left hand moved skillfully over the strings.
I tied the timbrel and the flute to my side
and adjusted their loops,
now tightening, now loosening them.
Then I began to sing and improvise,
to see if my instruments would answer my words,
to see if they would comfort me in my wandering,
in this land of exile which is my home.
But though I sang, my flute did not answer,
and even the birds did not raise their voices in mirth.
O masters of mysteries,
have you ever known a musical instrument
that would not strike up when I sing —
and the birds voiceless among the branches, the swallows songless in my house?
Yet I wish them well,
for with their silence
they counsel me to hide my works,
to hide my words from men,
to conceal my secrets from all men
with even greater care.
Say I Am You BY JELALUDDIN RUMI, TRANSLATION BY C. BARKS
I am dust particles in sunlight.
I am the round sun.
To the bits of dust I say, Stay.
To the sun, Keep moving.
I am morning mist,
and the breathing of evening.
I am wind in the top of a grove,
and surf on the cliff.
Mast, rudder, helmsman, and keel,
I am also the coral reef they founder on.
I am a tree with a trained parrot in its branches.
Silence, thought, and voice.
The musical air coming through a flute,
a spark off a stone, a flickering in metal.
Both candle and the moth crazy around it.
Rose and nightingale lost in the fragrance.
I am all orders of being, the circling galaxy,
the evolutionary intelligence, the lift and the falling away.
What is and what is not.
You who know Jelaluddin,
You are the one in all, say who I am.
Say I am you.
Flute By Maruetta Shaginian, Translated by Yulia Berry
The springs are still sweet
And autumn is quiet and empty …
And the sad dewy damp is poured into the soul, like it fills in flowers.
The corn is turning red in the fields,
Grapes has turned in amber.
The yellowing garden bent over under the sweer ripe cargo.
On the tower of the old chime
Dawn makes a detour.
Musicians are watching from the balcony
When the steam boat arrives.
They will be silent, then someone’s complaint,
Like a sad dove, again
The gloomy flute coos
About autumn, about pain, about love …
The Old Prison, Written by Judith Wright
The rows of cells are unroofed,
a flute for the wind’s mouth,
who comes with a breath of ice
from the blue caves of the south.
O dark and fierce day:
the wind like an angry bee
hunts for the black honey
in the pits of the hollow sea.
Waves of shadow wash
the empty shell bone-bare,
and like a bone it sings
a bitter song of air.
Who built and laboured here?
The wind and the sea say
-Their cold nest is broken
and they are blown away-
They did not breed nor love,
each in his cell alone
cried as the wind now cries
through this flute of stone.
Flute By Dr. Ram Sharma
I want to become your flute,
place it on your lips,
please fulfil my last wish,
fill the life in it,
move the slightest particle of the universe,
produce symphony of such melody,
hynotine every listener,
silence the inner evils,
drive away the darkness
led us to light
The Amateur Flute By Anonymous
Hear the fluter with his flute,
Oh, what a world of wailing is awakened by its toot!
How it demi-semi quavers
On the maddened air of night!
And defieth all endeavors
To escape the sound or sight
Of the flute, flute, flute,
With its tootle, tootle, toot;
With reiterated tooteling of exasperating toots,
The long protracted tootelings of agonizing toots
Of the flute, flute, flute, flute,
Flute, flute, flute,
And the wheezings and the spittings of its toots.
Should he get that other flute,
Oh, what a deeper anguish will his presence institoot!
How his eyes to heaven he’ll raise,
As he plays,
All the days!
How he’ll stop us on our ways
With its praise!
And the people–oh, the people,
That don’t live up in the steeple,
But inhabit Christian parlors
Where he visiteth and plays,
Where he plays, plays, plays,
In the cruellest of ways,
And thinks we ought to listen,
And expects us to be mute,
Who would rather have the earache
Than the music of his flute,
Of his flute, flute, flute,
And the tootings of his toot,
Of the toots wherewith he tooteleth its agonizing toot,
Of the flute, flewt, fluit, floot,
Phlute, phlewt, phlewght,
And the tootle, tootle, tooting of its toot.
The Golden Flute by Sri Chinmoy
A sea of Peace and Joy and Light
Beyond my reach I know.
In me the storm-tossed weeping night
Finds room to rage and flow.
I cry aloud, but all in vain;
I helpless, the earth unkind
What soul of might can share my pain?
Death-dart alone I find.
A raft am I on the sea of Time,
My oars are washed away.
How can I hope to reach the clime
Of God’s eternal Day?
But hark! I hear Thy golden Flute,
Its notes bring the Summit down.
Now safe am I, O Absolute!
Gone death, gone night’s stark frown!
Performance Anxiety By Rachel Taylor Geier
My confidence hands me a celebratory beer,
But my fear reminds me that it may still go wrong.
My brain tells me it doesn’t matter,
But my heart does not want to let me down.
I watch the seconds slowly tick by,
And feel the pit in my stomach grow larger as time draws near.
I care too much.
My lioness pride holds me captive.
The perfectionist in my soul aches for a flawless performance,
While the rebel awaits impending disaster to declare anarchy.
I’ve rehearsed what can be rehearsed,
Planned what can be planned,
But understand the unpredictable nature of fate.
The greenroom is shrouded in an invisible sheet of ice,
That only I can feel.
I hear the applause of an audience that is not yet there,
And see the stone-faced gaze of the critics waiting to pounce.
The stage manager is waving me on stage.
The show must go on,
Whether I am ready or not.
Breathe. Just breathe.
Now it’s your turn! Do you have a poem that you’ve written about the flute or flute playing? Share it below! Do you have a favorite flute poem written by somebody else? Also share it below! Today is all about beautiful words and warm fuzzies.