Summer 2010

Table of Contents - Vol. VI, No. 2


Poetry    Fiction    Reviews   

David W. Landrum


Celtic Music

There are the tones, the droning, even modes;
smallpipe and bodrhan, always the return,
the repetition—like waves on the lodes
of stone or cycle of sunset and dawn,

the sureness of the seasons, month by month,
the fog that rolls down from the granite forms
of mountains to the valleys, to the fronts
of stone cliffs; of the summer wind that warms

the soil, and all this under endless sky,
beside the ocean-basin, the whale’s path;
cadence of rainfall, tern and seagull’s cry,
the summer’s kindness and the winter’s wrath.

The music echoes this. Its rhythms are
the rhythms of the seasons, of the deep,
of wind and wave—of earth heard from afar,
the thaw of land, the sure and even sweep

of melt and freeze descending from the dome
of sky that arches over all who dwell
and move on earth—who hear its music hum,
who live under the magic of its spell.


Theme from “A Summer Place”

Smooth violins, an easy, pleasant sound,
like summer but like more, the music of
a country horrified by World War II
and by the holocaust, by images
of bodies, by the depictions they saw
of Hiroshima and of mushroom clouds,
of missiles piled in Soviet silos
aimed at the USA, the constant threat
of mutual destruction. People fled
to order, to suburbia, to where
neatness and cleanliness, conformity
promised to undo all the horror they
had witnessed and were witnessing. The “Theme”
sounded its strings, its even harmonies,
its bright tones and its orchestrated ease,
in 1960. Percy Faith would get
a Grammy for his hit. It sang the time:
the measures saw the tensions all resolved
whenever they emerged; high-pitched violins,
but bass and French horns stable underneath;
the steady keyboards and the intricate
mixing of tones, the pizzicato, lilt
and flow assured the listeners what they hoped
would be—all would resolve, the minor notes
return into the stable major key
and beauty drift across the air once more,
order and hope carried in harmony.


© David W. Landrum



Poetry    Fiction    Reviews   

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