It all began with music, with that much desire to be in motion, waves of longing with Nothing to pass through, the pulsing you feel before you hear it. The darkness couldn’t keep still, it began to sway, then there were little flashes of light, glints of brass over the rumbling percussion, the reeds began to weep and sing, and suddenly the horns tore bigger holes in the darkness— we could finally see where the music was coming from: ordinary men in bowties and black jackets. But by then we had already danced most of the night away.
by Sharon Bryan
Due to some technical problems, you may receive this week's
poem more than once. I do apologise if this is the case. Normal service
will be resumed next week.
Copyright © 2009 by BOA Editions. Reprinted by permission of BOA Editions.
This poem is taken from Sharp Stars by Sharon Bryan (2009).
Notes from BOA Editions:
Winner of the Isabella Gardner Poetry Award for 2009
As she's shown throughout her career, Sharon Bryan
is a rare breed of contemporary poet. A practitioner of acrobatic
language that probes matters philosophical and psychological, Bryan is
also playful and humorous, and this mixture of attributes reveals itself
in each of these tightly-knit, succulent poems. Concerned with the
interplay of matter and spirit, Bryan's poems in this collection also
address, and sometimes blend, issues of biology, astronomy, and music.
The poems in Sharp Stars, from which “Big Band Theory” is taken, represent more than ten years of work. Of her last book, Flying Blind, published in 1996, Small Press
wrote: “In Sharon Bryan's most effective poems, word play is a matter
of life and death... Bryan won't let any ordinary phrase off the hook as
she dangles it, circling in brilliant focus.” Indeed, in Sharp Stars
we find her unraveling common phrases or sayings in the all-too-human
desire for transcendence, a transcendence Sharon Bryan accomplishes with
her own blend of levity and gravitas, always mindful of the
complicated, vexing dynamic of body and soul. You can learn more about
Sharon Bryan by listening to an interview here.
BOA Editions, Ltd., a not-for-profit publisher of
poetry and other literary works, fosters readership and appreciation of
contemporary literature. By identifying, cultivating, and publishing
both new and established poets and selecting authors of unique literary
talent, BOA brings high quality literature to the public. Support for
this effort comes from the sale of its publications, grant funding,
and private donations. Visit the BOA Editions website to find out more.