Friday, November 7, 2008

Metal Strings

Metal Strings

rosin dusts the wood beneath the bridge
bookended by F holes and crowned with
a quartet of strings

pegs burrow beneath the scroll
stretching taut the catgut core,
the winding sheath of nickel, aluminum, or silver

chin rest clamps to rib, sprouting tailpiece
tuner and beneath the shoulder rest
crossroad of musician-and-instrument

the sweet swell of sound, discharged
by horsehair bow, strung from tip to
frog, held tight by tension screw

fingers lashed by metal strings
calloused while extracting staccato
bariolage legato jete

harmonic notes coaxed out and
cajoled by tips of hands, trilling
sweetly to an undertone of slur

the buzzing whir of rattling fine
tuners, one prolonged largo played
arco than shattered into plunks of

pizzicato pianissimo. The allegro
has ended, ritard—the—decrescendo—until

the E string splits

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