AJ Logo an ARTSJOURNAL weblog | ArtsJournal Home | AJ Blog Central

« TT: So you want to get reviewed (special strike edition) | Main | TT: Almanac »

November 13, 2007

TT: Onomatopoeist

Last week I mentioned that Samuel Menashe had read me a poem over breakfast whose subject was the close resemblance between the sound of a plucked bass string and the croaking of a bullfrog. This poem, alas, turned out not to have been included in the collection of his verse published by the Library of America.

Imagine my surprise and delight, then, when I opened my mailbox on Friday and found a letter from Menashe containing a handwritten copy of the poem, which is called "Night Music (pizzicato)." I hope you like it as much as I do!

Why am I so fond
of the double bass
of bull frogs
(Or do I hear the prongs
Of a tuning fork,
Not a bull fiddle)
Responding
In perfect accord
To one another
Across the pond--
How does each frog know
He is not his brother
Which frog to follow
Who was his mother
(Or is it a jew's harp
I hear in the dark?)

Speaking as a bass player who on more than one occasion has sat on a screened-in porch and listened to the sound of bullfrogs in chorus on a summer night, I can assure you that Menashe got it exactly right.

Posted November 13, 2007 12:00 AM

Tell A Friend

Email this entry to:


Your email address:


Message (optional):