Music Is Time

By Jill Bialosky Jill Bialosky
Music is time, said the violin master.
You can’t miss the stop or you’ll miss the train.
One, two, three, four, one, two, three, four,
one, two, three, four.
 
She clapped her hands together
as the boy moved the bow across the strings.
One, two, three, four, one, two, three, four,
one, two, three, four, the violin master shouted,
 
louder and more shrill so that her voice
traveled through the house like a metronome,
guiding him, commanding him to translate the beat,
to trust his own internal rhythm.
 
Good boy, she said.
See how hard you have to be on yourself?
How will your violin know who you are
unless you make it speak?

Poem copyright ©2008 by Jill Bialosky, from her most recent book of poems, Intruder, Alfred A. Knopf, 2008, by permission of Jill Bialosky and the publisher.


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Poet Jill Bialosky

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Youth, Activities, School & Learning, Arts & Sciences, Music

Poetic Terms Free Verse

Biography

Editor, poet, and novelist Jill Bialosky was born and raised in Cleveland. She earned a BA at Ohio University, an MA at Johns Hopkins University, and an MFA at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.
 
Bialosky’s free verse poems explore themes of desire, domesticity, and myth. In an  interview with the journal Identity Theory, Bialosky spoke to the role of personal experience in her work: “It's the point at which you leap from the personal . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Youth, Activities, School & Learning, Arts & Sciences, Music

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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