Poetry Friday is hosted this week at AUTHOR AMOK!
For the high school, or even advanced middle grade poet,
today’s PF post here at Bookseedstudio suggests that
lines from some of Diane Ackerman’s poems, which speak
to doubts about creative ability, can rock their world.
Part of ORIGAMI BRIDGES,
a Diane Ackerman poetry collection,
new to me, that was a surprise find this summer,
are about what happened after Sergei
Rachmaninoff heard his first symphony played.
The poet tells us he rushed from the concert hall in shame.
He deeply felt he had created an awful,
From Diane Ackerman’s ORIGAMI BRIDGES
“We cannot know all the sounds
Dahl and he exchanged,
but rubbing one word against another,
Dahl gradually restored
Sergei’s confidence. History tells
that Dahl used affirmations
“You will compose again.”
“You will write a piano concerto.”
“You will write with great facility.”
Repeated until the words saturated
his gift from head to fingers.”
copyright, all rights reserved 2002
Diane Ackerman, ORIGAMI BRIDGES
These lines are from Diane A’s, “Rachmaninoff’s Psychiastrist,”
which lifts me up . Two more lines:
“In truth, nothing can kill a gift,
but it may become anemic…”
I love the way the poet kindles “…rubbing one word against the other..”
& I have to say that every verse of this poem is layered with her signature
devotion to what words can say.
Here are more of Diane Ackerman’s poems at
Here is Sergei Rachmaninoff in a 1929 recording of
just a segment of Piano Concerto No. 2, written after his
help from Dr. Dahl.
And here is Rachmaninoff’s playing of the entire concerto:
And, it was my mother’s favorite so I was fortunate to hear it
as much as I heard, “Old MacDonald Had a Farm.”