‘One Summer Day’ and Other Poetry by Martin Elster The Society March 29, 2015 Beauty, Culture, Falun Dafa, Poetry 1 Comment One Summer Day An allusion to Beethoven While walking through the woods one summer day, he glanced along a river, clear and bright, saw bubbling notes like dappled fish at play, and dashed them off that night by candlelight. Meandering down coniferous-scented trails where chickadees and tree frogs made such noise, he didn’t hear a thing except the scales and chords and cadences that were his toys. He couldn’t hear the leaves in the aspen thickets, the deer flies buzzing round his graying hair, the sound of countless madly rasping crickets, nor the peals of far-off thunder in the air. Yet who can miss those leaves, that summer breeze, that river rushing through his symphonies? Vernal Musings A hundred thousand million galaxies in motley clusters rapidly receding from one another — like a bunch of bees repelled by tainted nectar they’d been eating — is a sure sign the cosmos is inflating, as is the vocal structure of the frog now calling out across the water, waiting, as patient as the shadows in this bog. With every croak, his throat must grow then shrink. But will that happen to the universe? Well, you can speculate and muse and think and theorize and wonder and immerse your thoughts in such abstract considerations while I sit listening to frog vibrations. In Harmony with the Universe As happy as a frog on a lily pad, I stretched and meditated. Soon they came and locked me up and told me it’s a shame they’ll be abusing me, for I was bad. They took me when I was an undergrad at Peking University, their aim: extinguishing my wish to play this game of noncompliance. “Be a docile lad.” Before they put my eyes out with a prong, I said, “You boys should practice Falun Gong to palliate your tetchiness and fury. Moreover, I demand to have a jury!” Before they slit my throat (they said, “for sinning”) I whispered, “This is merely the beginning …” Martin Elster, author of There’s a Dog in the Heavens!, is also a composer and serves as percussionist for the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. His poems have appeared in such journals as Astropoetica, The Flea, The Martian Wave, The Rotary Dial, and in the anthologies Taking Turns: Sonnets from Eratosphere, The 2012 Rhysling Anthology, and New Sun Rising: Stories for Japan. Martin’s poem, “Walking With the Birds and the Bones Through Fairview Cemetery” received first place in the Thomas Gray Anniversary Poetry Competition 2014, and “Talcott Mountain” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by The Chimaera. Featured Image: Ludwig van Beethoven portrait by Joseph Karl Stieler, 1820. Views expressed by individual poets and writers on this website and by commenters do not represent the views of the entire Society. The comments section on regular posts is meant to be a place for civil and fruitful discussion. Pseudonyms are discouraged. The individual poet or writer featured in a post has the ability to remove any or all comments by emailing submissions@ classicalpoets.org with the details and under the subject title “Remove Comment.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) One Response Lew Icarus Bede April 10, 2015 One Summer Day by Martin Elster by Lew Icarus Bede One Summer Day, a recent sonnet come before my eyes, by Hartford poet Martin Elster, is a nice surprise. I wonder if he saw those images while listening, as I have done on hearing Ludwig Van Beethoven’s strings. I like his casual beginning…”through the woods…one day,” as Elster starts his poem with a lyrical chiché. But then moves through his first quatrain with animated boon, with Hopkins-esque technique, converting nature into tune, as he suggests Beethoven did. And then proceeds, so moved, throughout the octave and the sestet—glad at what he’s proved. One note: If I may suggest, in a presumptuous manner, though certainly not as thick-headedly as Wordsworth did in Coleridge’s Rime, I would alter a few lines; though dare one micro-manage artistic creation? In line five, I would remove coniferous’ four syllables to two, pine-cone-scented, fir-cone-scented, or… something else. In line nine, I would remove the second the. In line twelve, I would remove the first the. Finally, the couplet is Gray-like in its finesse, and I like Elster’s sonnet better than most of our era. It reminds me of the more structured, but less fluid, bilding by Germanmusicloving critic Ewald E. Eisbruc, who also likened Beethoven’s music to a river, albeit more specifically. On Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Second Movement by Ewald E. Eisbruc I am inspired by music from Beethoven’s Ninth, and in particular, the Second Movement, which is filled with energy, exciting as the Rhein, and taken to an extraordinary pitch. The scherzo is dynamic, from the opening announcement, brazen and spectacular. Unhitched D minor triads split. The beat, like Dopamine, increases heart rate and blood pressure. It goes wild. The patterns make me spin, so much is happening, but they’re so wonderful, that I am reconciled to them, though scattering; they scurry to the nth degree, like hounds that chase a fox across a field. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.