Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

harping romance April 15, 2013

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:41 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

The strings and the fingers

are smiling tentatively at each other,

recalling long ago acquaintance

but feeling shy with each other.

Once, fingers danced with strings

for hours, without a glance to

the books of lines and staffs that

were their matchmaker.

Then they were separated

and the comfortable rhythm

they once shared

slowly dissolved

into awkward tentativeness

on the rare occasions

when they came across one another.

Relationships take commitment,

after all.

Now they’ve been reintroduced.

The matchmaker pushes them together

and fingers hesitantly

caress the strings,

leave them vibrating,

longing for more.


harps 2002

It’s been far too long, but I’m finally back playing the harp.  So far I’m working on a great book, Rose in Winter, by harpist Sharon Thormahlen of Corvallis, Oregon.  Her original pieces are so pretty and fall easily on the fingers.  In this photo (circa 2002) is my Bresch Jubal harp (33 strings) behind and my double strung Brittany from Stoney End in front. (The Brittany is cherry, and has the most beautiful, shimmering grain and a tremendously loud voice for a wee harp!)


18 Responses to “harping romance”

  1. Rich Devlin Says:

    Got your book. Waiting patiently for your cd.

  2. edgarone2 Says:

    fingers quicken
    heart vibrating strings
    dawn breaking

  3. You are inspiring me to get back to my harp. It’s a clarsach, a small 33 stringed portable scottish harp, and I love playing it….so why did I stop? Your photo is beautiful incase you didn’t know 🙂

    • Shawn Bird Says:

      What a kind compliment! My Brittany is a low head clarsach type harp- 3 octave size with concert spacing, but in two parallel courses, so there are 44 strings. No levers on that one and it’s tuned in C. The strings are G to G though, so if I was smart I’d probably tune it to G for maximum flexibility!

      I know how easy it is to stop: life gets so busy and there are only so many hours in a day! We can inspire each other. What are you working on? 🙂

  4. pearlz Says:

    I love the harp – how great that you know how to play it, I also love photographing harpists and have taken some recent photographs of one.

    • Shawn Bird Says:

      When I was actively harping, I knew hundreds of harpists and harpers all over North America. These days, not so much. Who have you been photographing?

      • pearlz Says:

        Just a harpist at a music workshop in Australia, I don’t see too many harpists in our small country town so I enjoyed it, and want to travel more.

  5. wbdeejay Says:

    This strikes a chord [ahem] with my piano playing. Scared to go back to the keys. Fearful of my inability to realise my musical dreams. Yet I will go nowhere without just sitting down and playing. Starting with the familiar. Learning something new. Then when the unconscious brain/finger connection takes over, slipping into some improvisation and losing myself in the music for a time.

    And I love harp music. Love hearing it on the classical radio station here in Australia. Collecting the works of the Swiss musician Andreas Vollenweider (my second favourite artist ever).

    I would like to listen to more harp music, would you have some recommendations?

  6. […] This is a response to harping romance. […]

  7. will you send us links so we can listen to your music? 🙂 beautiful blog by the way.

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