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January, 2008

The Shy Writer

Dissonance (Excerpt)
By  Lisa Lenard-Cook

A movement, in music, is but one section of a much larger, and longer, work.
omeone once suggested that music sounds the way emotions feel, that music reveals the hidden patterns of our inner lives in the same way that mathematics reveals the outer, physical world.


It is oddly comforting to our late twentieth century sensibilities that even music, and its effects, may have a scientific explanation. Both music and mathematics build what have been called ever grander and more coherent unities out of abstract details, and aim at formal beauty. But there is a danger in deconstructing a thing of beauty: the sum, after all, is greater than its parts. We are tempted to take the clock apart, to see how it ticks (or glows), but can we then reassemble the pieces back into the clock they once were?


In the sixth century B.C., Pythagoras asserted that music was “number made audible,” while T.S. Eliot, much more our contemporary, wrote, “The detail of the pattern is movement,” and, “Desire itself is movement.” A movement, in the language of music, however, is but one section of a much larger work, sections that are in fact much longer than entire compositions in the twentieth century.


Pattern is not a musical term. Its primary definition is “a person or thing considered worthy of imitation.” But pattern has more than ten other definitions as well, one of which is “an arrangement of form; [a] disposition of parts or elements.” If these are the hidden patterns that music brings to light, the implication of “arrangement” is that there is an “arranger,” someone, or something, who “hid” these patterns in the first place.


Music implies a God. Or, at the very least, music implies a communion which transcends our physical bounds. Unlike mathematics, music is a very frightening thing to deconstruct.


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Dissonance (University of New Mexico Press) © 2003 Lisa Lenard-Cook. Used by permission of the author.

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IN This Issue
Easy Readers
Write Angle
Writing Piffle
Remember The Reader
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Out Of Order
Reality Suspension
Devilish Details

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Writer’s Block
The path to inspiration starts
Upon the trails we’ve known;
Each writer’s block is not a rock,
But just a stepping stone.

Poetry Is Not
Penned to the page
Waiting for us to admire.
It is only a lonely thought
Caught by tears on fire.

Silent Echoes
A quiet rhyme upon a page
Is what a poet gives;
Some gentle words whispered in trust
To see if memory lives.

Bard From Deadlines
What makes a poem finally work
Is not the time it takes;
It’s how the poet used the muse
To prophet from mistakes.

Be Mused
The art and craft of poetry
Are not so far apart;
The craft comes from the cunning,
The rest comes from the heart.

Fine Vintage
Don’t plant your poem on the page
As though you’re hanging drapes;
It’s shape and flow should come and grow
Like wild summer grapes.

Getting It Write
Writers write what they know best,
Their passions, fears, and dreams;
Writers rarely write about
What other call their “themes.”

Double Vision
A writer’s life is paradox,
It’s more than what it seems;
We write of our reality,
The one inside our dreams.

The echo of a promise,
The thunder of a sigh,
The music of a memory,
A child asking why.

Letter Perfect
Twenty six symbols arranged on a page
Can send a soul to heaven or torment it with rage,
Can free a fragile world or hold it in its net--
The power and the magic of the mighty alphabet.

The Write of Passage
The jump from writing just for fun
To getting paid for it
Begins when you first realize
You know you’ll never quit.

It is not the magic of his wings
That sets us free from our bond.
It is the muse within ourselves
That lets our words lift us beyond.

Photo Poet
Consider your mind the darkroom,
Consider your life the lens,
Consider your eye the camera
On whose focus the poem depends.

Rising Moon
A poem is a rising moon
Shining on the sea,
An afterglow of all we know,
Of all we hope to be.

Star Light
Writing a poem,
Reaching a star,
In making good art
We find who we are.

Spider Web
A poem is a spider web
Spun with words of wonder,
Woven lace held in place
By whispers made of thunder.

The final draft upon the screen,
At last my poem’s through;
A verse of only four short lines--
I rewrote twenty-two!

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