Friday, June 18, 2010

Why Chopin with Cherries?


In 2010 the world of music celebrates the birthday of Fryderyk Chopin (1810-1849), a pianist, composer, and "poet of tones" who inspired generations with the beauty of his music. I decided to add my little bit to this celebration and published an anthology, Chopin with Cherries: A Tribute in Verse which grew from a small chapbook into a volume of 123 poems by 92 poets in no time at all!


There are all sorts of poets and poems in the book and they share one important thing: love for Chopin's music which is heard, literally, everywhere, from the concert halls, to airplanes, and shopping malls (even without "gone Chopin, Bach soon"). Here, we'll trace the apparitions of Chopin's music in the strangest places around the world, like Japanese music boxes and computer games, as well as on concert stages of the world.


Chopin with Cherries brings together a variety of approaches and poetic forms, such as free verse, letter-poems, villanelle, sonnet, rhymed poems in couplets, prose poetry, and tanka. Some poets write about details from Chopin's life, women he loved, Wodzinska and Sand, as well as the circumstances of his illnesses and death. Others focus on his music - on its meaning as a symbol of fragile beauty in the modern world, or on the emotional impact of individual pieces.

The poets in Chopin with Cherries include: Millicent Borges Accardi, Austin Alexis, Lucy Anderton, Sheila Black, George Bodmer, Lia Brooks, Kerri Buckley, Allison Campbell, Peggy Castro, Sharon Chmielarz, Victor Contoski, Clark Crouch, Beata Pozniak Daniels, Jessica Day, Diane Shipley DeCillis, Lori Desrosiers, Charlie Durrant, T. S. Eliot, David Ellis, Donna L. Emerson, Charles Ades Fishman, Jennifer S. Flescher, Gretchen Fletcher, Linda Nemec Foster, Emily Fragos, Jarek Gajewski, Helen Graziano, John Z. Guzlowski, Lola Haskins, Shayla Hawkins, Elizabyth A. Hiscox, Marlene Hitt, Roxanne Hoffman, Laura L. Mays Hoopes, Ben Humphrey, Carol J. Jennings, Charlotte Jones, Lois P. Jones, Georgia Jones-Davis, Christine Klocek-Lim, Jean L. Kreiling, Leonard Kress, Emma Lazarus, Marie Lecrivain, Jeffrey Levine, Amy Lowell, R. Romea Luminarias, Rick Lupert, Radomir V. Luza, Mira N. Mataric, Ryan McLellan, Anna Maria Mickiewicz, Elisabeth Murawski, Ruth Nolan, Cyprian Kamil Norwid, Rosemary O'Hara, Dean Pasch, Nils Peterson, Richard Pflum, William Pillin, Kenneth Pobo, Carrie A. Purcell, Marilyn N. Robertson, Susan Rogers, Alison Ross, Mary Rudge, Russell Salamon, Gabriel Shanks, Marian Kaplun Shapiro, Joseph Somoza, Lusia Slomkowska, Kathi Stafford, Maxine R. Syjuco, Fiona Sze-Lorrain, Margaret C. Szumowski, Katrin Talbot, Taoli-Ambika Talwar, Thom Tammaro, Mark Tardi, Cheryl M. Thatt, Tammy L. Tillotson, Maja Trochimczyk, Helen Vandepeer, Devi Walders, Erika Wilk, Martin Willitts, Jr., Kath Abela Wilson, Leonore Wilson, Meg Withers, Anne Harding Woodworth, and Marianne Worthington.


Why Chopin with Cherries, then? Instead of an answer, let me cite one of my own poems in the book:

A Study with Cherries


After Etude in C Major, Op. 10, No. 1 and the cherry orchard
of my grandparents, Stanisław and Marianna Wajszczuk



I want a cherry,
a rich, sweet cherry
to sprinkle its dark notes
on my skin, like rainy preludes
drizzling through the air.

Followed by the echoes
of the piano, I climb
a cherry tree to find rest
between fragile branches
and relish the red perfection –
morning cherry music.

Satiated, sleepy,
I hide in the dusty attic.
I crack open the shell
of a walnut to peel
the bitter skin off,
revealing white flesh –
a study in C Major.

Tasted in reverie,
the harmonies seep
through light-filled cracks
between weathered beams
in Grandma’s daily ritual
of Chopin at noon.

(c) 2010 by Maja Trochimczyk

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful project! I really love your poem. The images are so sensual. Fantastic!

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