Saturday, April 11, 2009

Avis Harley - Perfect Pitch

Perfect Pitch
Avis Harley

When you
Ache to make some music
Though you’re feeling all forlorn; you don’t
Even own a piano or
Recorder or a horn…why not

Measure out some water to eight glasses in a row
Until you hear a Do-Re-Mi, and a Fa-
So-La-Ti-Do. Then you take a tiny teaspoon—
It’s to tap a tinkly tune—and you practise for a
Concert you’ll perform at

Sunday noon. When your
Upbeat music’s over, don’t discard
It down the sink. Look around for
Thirsty flowers and then pitch
Each one a drink.

©2009 Avis Harley. All rights reserved.

Avis Harley plays with words... places them in all sorts of forms and styles... and makes them sing. Perfect Pitch is an acrostic, yes, but it's also so much more than just that - the rhythms, the rhymes, the imagery, the story, the title, and the acrostic itself work together to create something much different than any part alone. Also, I sense the fun she has writing whenever I read or hear her work... and I know kids do, too.

If you haven't read Tricia's Poetry Makers profile of Avis Harley, you really should go read it now. Not only will you get to know more about Avis, but you'll see other wonderful samples of her work (including LATER, a poem that truly hits me dead on). I'm truly looking forward to her new book, African Acrostics (with photographs by Deborah Noyes), and I'm incredibly happy to have a new poem (and an acrostic, to boot!) from Avis Harley here as part of 30 Poets/30 Days.

Yesterday Bruce Lansky gave us Rules for Spot. Tomorrow... All Eyes by Nikki Grimes.


BookChook said...

Each day I think I've found my favourite of your offerings, Greg, but now today, I truly have. This is just a delight. It works so well and on so many levels.

Love it.

joyce said...

What a great poem! I can't believe how well she does the acrostic AND the playful rhythm/rhyme. Wow. Love it.

Mark said...

I think I'll be making a musical instrument with my two daughters, today.

Anonymous said...

Loved the incorporation of rhythm and rhyme into the acrostic. Avis is quickly becoming one of my favorite poets!

Von said...

What an engaging poem! Love this, especially the end. My daughters will eat it up.

Anonymous said...

Oh, that's wonderful. Too often I find acrostics that only exist as a "puzzle" and aren't really a poem. I still like them, but wow! This is like a whole new form to me....

James said...


kenn said...

A rhyming, metrical acrostic. Now that's a perfect pitch. Thanks for throwing that one out for us to read, Avis!

Elaine Magliaro said...

Love Avis Harley's acrostic. So few are written with rhythm and rhyme.

I really liked her book THE MONARCH'S PROGRESS.

Julie said...

Well, that's gorgeous - metrical, ryhmed acrostic. I have to go give that a try! Thanks to Avis - and to Greg, again, for the series.

Julie said...

I misspelled "rhymed." Someone send me to bed.