Tympanum, a cinquain sonnet

Sharp sounds 
impact only 
the thin skin of this drum, 
this timpanum, and then bounce like 

music of this 
cave, plucking the threads of 
this skein.  They will have no other 

In this chamber, their soft timbres,
their reverberations 
and distortions  
are breath.

13 thoughts on “Tympanum, a cinquain sonnet

  1. I’ve read this over a number of times and although I enjoy the mysterious ethereal quality, my literal self wants to place it….is it a memory?
    My grandson was born yesterday, Gravity….I hold him and look at him touching his cheek…you’re real little man!!! And now coming back to read your poem, I can feel the world he just came from… inside my daughter who once lived inside of me and I’m still in awe we are all real…alive, flesh, moving…breathing
    So I’m not sure what originally inspired this poem… but see where it has flown


    • Big Congratulations J–a new little spark of Light in the world–Wonderful!

      That is totally not where this piece came from originally but
      that is totally AWESOME that it has flown to such heights!

      My original thought with this was of “sharp sounds” being the “sticks and stones” of verbal/social life, combined with their physiological impact on the ear (the “tympanum”) and what can happen when they are internalized both physically and psychologically. I was thinking how important it is in life (but especially as a poet) to be receptive to things even if they seem very negative and “sharp” at the time of contact.

      It’s funny, but I originally had “…are mine.” as the last line but decided that was too personal–too controlling–and changed it at the last minute.

      Ultimately, I think that regardless of where I came from with this, where I was going is exactly where you found this (and me in it…). I am sure that this process of internalization/personalization/actuation begins in the womb and that first light, those first unsoftened sounds, are the first of many harsh but necessary adjustments to life.
      Thank you for this reading–
      Always a pleasure–


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