Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Word and Question 7/8

A month late and a rhyme scheme short... but here we go.

Word: capo

Question: How much is too much?

I need a new guitar.
That's what folks say, anyway.
My old one has pieces missing
And it won't stay in tune.

But then I don't play that much
Anymore. My finger calluses are gone.
The kids disassembled my capo,
Which is OK, because I never use it.

When you can transpose everything
Into D or G, mostly you do,
Even when it makes it harder to sing,
And my voice is half-shot anyway.

Still, I'd like a new guitar.
I've been looking at prices.
The old one was $100 -- a fortune back then --
But worth it, when I played a lot.

But now? What can I afford?
I could come up with the money, I guess....
But I'd "need" to put in more time...
Would the investment be worth it?


dylan said...

hello Ellen -- I think this is an effective poem: the plain, lean lines -- close to the spoken language! It's lucid and humorous and fun! It reminds me of poets as different as William Carlos Williams and Charles Simic. (Or maybe Simic's on my mind merely because I just bought one of his books.)

Your word-&-question pairing was a little odd, but I think you rose to the challenge quite well!

Enbrethiliel said...


This poem makes me guilty that I've been neglecting my guitar for weeks. =P My own callouses are gone, too. And only God and St. Anthony know where my capo is!

For some reason, I like the sad, wistful beginning better than the hopeful end. But I'm sure that says more about me than about your poem!

PS--Ellen, would you link this up to the W&Q 8 poetry post as well? That's the one players usually go back to so that they can check for new poems, and I don't want anyone to miss this! Thanks. =)

Tracy said...

and what is a capo? something to do with a guitar, obviously. but I don't feel like looking it up.

My eldest has been picking at my old guitar, which was my dad's old guitar. I was going to buy one if I learned how to play, but then I never really got into it. I told him if he learned how to play, I'd buy him a guitar. Then I priced them. oops.

I like the poem, but now I must ask, do you have a guitar? or did you write about one because of the word?

Salome Ellen said...

Thanks, Dylan. I find it kind of hilarious to be compared to poets whose names I actually know!

Enbretheliel, the link is up. And I didn't feel the ending as hopeful, exactly; just wistful as to what would actually happen.

Tracy, a capo is a small bar of plastic-coated metal which attaches to the neck of a guitar with elastic or a clamp. It presses down on all six strings to raise the pitch by a half-step for each fret from the top. So if you put it on the first fret and play a D chord, what you actually get is E-flat, and so forth.

As you guessed, the poem is autobiographical, except that Roger actually got me a new guitar several birthdays ago. But the "effort" never came up to snuff, so now Miriel has that one and I still plunk on the old one. My daydream is that I will practice enough to justify asking for it back.

Lindsay said...

I agree that you got a tough word and question pairing, but you really did do a lovely job with it. I... am musically challenged, or perhaps I should say that I'm musically ignorant. I may not be musically challenged, I don't know, so I read some of this and decided I'd just nod in ignorance, but I really like it. It makes me think of a country song or some old jazz man just talking about his career. Weird imagery, perhaps, but I really enjoyed it. :o)