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Poem Inspired by a Musical Selection

Updated on February 6, 2018
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A lifelong reader & writer, Liz writes poetry; articles on this, & other sites; & playing with words. She also enjoys movies & reviewing.


Pacifica Poetry Forum 1989

Airy the wind and far

sweeps through me

shrill, chill,



Close by the gale

I stand unbent.

Time without time

we are one,

the wind and I.


is the source.

How This Poem Came To Be

I used to attend the monthly meetings of the Pacifica Poetry Forum. It was an informal group of local poets who would take turns reading and sharing their works.

Now and then, the hostess (owner of the bookstore where the meetings were held) would invite a guest poet, or other artist to join us. Many times, we were inspired by these visits, and the muse would strike and set a new poem forth from our pens. This is one such poem.

The guest on this day was a man named Preston Houser, who played a Japanese flute called a Shakuhachi.

The name of the tune was "Jimbo Sanya," and this is the poem it inspired. The video below is played by a different artist, but it is the same piece, despite a minor spelling variation.

I was able to find an interview with Mr. Houser, sadly, though no performances.

Listen to the Tune

Author's Thoughts on Music and Poetry

In this writer's mind, the two are one; the one is two. Yes, that sounds a bit like Orwellian doublespeak. But in analyzing my reason for making that statement, I realized there is both contradiction and agreement in most things.

The sand is soft; the sand is harsh and gritty. The water is cold; the water is cleansing. Time flies; time drags. It all depends upon your perspective, and that, too, is subject to change with the seasons of your life.

Music, to me, is very poetic by nature; it's inspiring of the muse. This has nothing to do with traditional lyrics being written in rhyme, but of the instrumental sounds alone.

This is what struck me with this piece of music at that time. Listening to it again, nearly 30 years later, I find indeed it does not ring with the same vibration; rather, I find the piece has a bit of dissonant melancholy, and I don't care for it nearly as much.

A different season in my life.

© 2010 Liz Elias


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