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For Poetry Month 2014, I'm searching for metaphors and similes. Join me! Here's a bit more on this month's project.

April 20

VIOLIN/BIRD metaphor


TAKING VIOLIN AT SCHOOL
by April Halprin Wayland

I open my case
tighten my bow
pluck a string to tune.
I love to listen to it chirp across the echoing room.

My friends are in class
reading about
a famous English king.
But I am training this wooden bird upon my arm to sing.

First published in Cricket Magazine;
also included in GIRL COMING IN FOR A LANDING—A Novel in Poems (Knopf)

This is the first time I understood the power of metaphor.

My teacher, Myra Cohn Livingston, gave us an assignment to write poems about music.

First, I wrote down as quick memories of music that I could. A list of maybe 24 ideas. From those, I chose the topic “taking violin at school.”

Then, I wrote, wrote, wrote, wrote, wrote: about leaving class, walking down into the dark basement with the violin case banging my leg, listening to my teacher, Sherman Plepler teach us, and my favorite session–when he played his violin for us and let us hear all of the animals and instruments he could make the violin sound like.

After that, I cut, cut, cut, cut, cut until I came up with this poem.

from morguefile.com

from morguefile.com

poem © 2014 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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