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Thursday, September 27, 2018

Poetry, Music, Visual Art in My Personal Distant Past

Saved by my mother

The much-folded sheet of lined, looseleaf paper holds faint lines written in pencil. In what year? Sometime in the early 1960s, but there is no date. Here is a poem I’d forgotten I wrote:


Behold the tragic hero.
I have wronged him, so he thinks.
And yet his head is held up high
While troubled spirit sinks.

He wants no pity, no not ye,
Nor any sympathy.
It is a point of honor
That he act courageously.

His tears are locked within his heart.
He mustn’t let them show.
That I should great him thusly!
Oh, such a cruel blow!

I too have known this feeling
Of despair my little man,
And others have been knowing it
Since first the world began.

Sitting in the corner,
His back is ramrod-stiff.
Come here, my silly little lad,
And give your mom a kiss!

The twist at the end was undoubtedly influenced by short stories of the mid-twentieth century.

And then there is this --

When the sheet of paper is folded up again or turned over, a division problem appears: 675 divided by 12, yielding a solution of 56.25. I think I know the reference to the problem, and that would date to 1963 or 1964, the year my violin teacher persuaded my mother that I needed a better instrument if I were to continue to make progress. Payments of $56.25 a month for a year purchased a very nice old French violin, made by Claudot in 1899. I had the violin until the late 1980s, when I sold it to finance my first trip to Paris.

Visual art was not my strong suit. We non-artistic types had a few art classes in junior high school, but I certainly never signed up for drawing or painting or anything like that in high school, so this piece my mother held onto must have been something I did in junior high. I seem to remember that we chose pieces of colored construction paper from a box and arranged them, then painted the resulting arrangement. 

Such were my limited girlhood talents, precious in the eyes of my mother, I guess.


Bookins said...

I love this painting. I don’t remember ever seeing it.

Gerry said...

Dear PJ - I am so sorry to hear of your mother's death. I came to visit you on the blog and read backwards for awhile until I came to the one that told me you're grieving. So many things to say to you. I believe it calls for snail mail - and a visit when you're up for it. Much love - Gerry and Miss Sadie