As I (literally) sang its praises in my last post, I thought I’d follow up, in this one with a sonnet about my guitar. I wrote this for our Girton Poetry Group when we had set one another the task of writing about ‘Hollows’ and I began to reflect on the way it is the lightness, space, and emptiness in a musical instrument that gives it its singing voice. Gibson guitars are made in Montana and I had read and enjoyed an article about luthier Ren Ferguson and the team who make guitars there, so some of that awareness entered into the poem too, together with the sense of an acoustic guitar as like a living breathing companion, feminine in its form, a feeling that a good guitar, like a good muse is always teaching you something new about your self and your craft. So here’s the poem. As always, you can here me read it either by clicking on the ‘play’ button (if it appears in your browser), or by clicking on the hi-lighted title of the poem.
No box of rain made for the grateful dead,
But breath instead and beauty for the living.
A certain shaping of the mountain air
Censes its secret wood-scent in your hollows.
The high, dry, hallows of Montana
First saw you braced and fretted, resonant
And ready to be sounded into song,
The smallest tremor trembles through your form
And turns the air to music. My full heart
Is poured into your forming emptiness
And given back as passion for another,
Your hollows hold a weight that sets me free
I lift you lightly, you were made for me.