Winter 2007 • Vol. XXIX No. 1 PoetryJanuary 1, 2007 |

Rubato

1. For the action: hammers of walnut—nussbaum, "nut tree"; the pinblock, hard-grained beech; the keyframe, oak; the keybed, pine; the knuckles, rosewood. In the belly, to ripen the tone, maple, mahogany, and ironwood, also called "hornbeam." The soundboard spruce, best ratio of strength to weight, once split not sawed, strip after narrow strip, one-ply like the back of a cello, pressed together, over which the struck strings quiver. 2. Two years after her only brother died, Papa, prosperous, took her to Berlin to the factory, pianos fresh from the forest. Inside: sound of the burr and chisel. In her sailor dress and straight blunt-cut black hair, she tried the one too bright, the one too dark, choosing this one, head bent over the keyboard, lost inside her Kinderszenen as the clerks, gathered to listen, drew up the papers, and Papa, patting his weskit, smiling again, shipped it home by train to Wagenfeld. Lodged inside: first love, first power. Then shipped it back

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Ellen Bryant Voigt’s eighth volume of poetry, Headwaters, was published in 2013. “Rubato” appeared in Messenger: New and Selected Poems 1976-2006, which was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. She has also published The Flexible Lyric, a collection of essays on craft, and The Art of Syntax: Rhythm of Thought, Rhythm of Song, and teaches in the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers.

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Harvesting the Cows

By Ellen Bryant Voigt

1. For the action: hammers of walnut—nussbaum, "nut tree"; the pinblock, hard-grained beech; the keyframe, oak; the keybed, pine; the knuckles, rosewood. In the belly, to ripen the tone, maple, […]

Apple Tree

By Ellen Bryant Voigt

1. For the action: hammers of walnut—nussbaum, "nut tree"; the pinblock, hard-grained beech; the keyframe, oak; the keybed, pine; the knuckles, rosewood. In the belly, to ripen the tone, maple, […]

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