from The Luthier

The Front: The Back


Swiss pine! – you saw it under the plane –
Like white silk, brilliant, and straight of grain –
Vibrated, its tone is low and cool;
This Back is Maple, and beautiful –
The fabled water an angel stirred
(Wood by all luthiers loved, preferred).
Silvery-cream, with a note that’s near
To Bird-song, echoing pure and clear:
Two singing woods; you shall hear them yet
One moonlit night in a gay duet.

from The Luthier: poems (Reed, 1966), © Ruth Gilbert 1966, used by permission of the author. Recording from the Waiata New Zealand Poetry Sound Archive 1974

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