Five Years of String Poet

This year marks the five-year anniversary of the founding of String Poet, the online journal of poetry and music. I founded it in 2010 as both an online journal and a New York Times-reviewed performance series. String Poet is a journal of excellent poetry that includes sound files of music by the Featured Musician in every issue. Our performance series brings fine musicians together with prominent poets at the Long Island Violin Shop, where the wooden bodies of cellos and violins surround us and a kind of magic is born. The best music can be called poetic and the best poetry is musical. Both provide desert bread.

In String Poet Volume IV, Issue 2, Meredith Bergman has created a visual prayer. Look at how this image poignantly captures the stigmata of pain experienced by so many on that September day in 2001. Listen to the sumptuously haunting music of Featured Musician Shem Guibbory in Volume II, Issue 2. And then, in that spirit, read the beautiful poetry of Gladys Henderson in Volume IV, Issue 1. The same ache captured in Bergmann’s sculpture is echoed in Guibbory’s resonance, and braided into the longing within Henderson’s words.

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Harawi di Chambi – Shem Guibbory (violin), Sonia Rubinsky (piano)

Meredith Bergmann’s September 11th: A Memorial for the Cathedral of St. John the Divine (detail), 2012, 78” x 22” x 30” (bronze: 39” height), bronze, steel, glass and fragments from the rubble of the World Trade Towers, photo credit: Michael Bergmann

In the Quiet

Fishermen load their skiffs, take off into the early rise
of morning, engines breaking the silence, bows separating
the mist, only to have it close again in their wakes, the warm
lake and cold autumn air in concert.

September and the lake has begun its slow turn towards winter,
months having fallen away, its shoulders now rich with yellows
and reds, swamp maple and birch leading the march of time’s
uncontested patterns. The first leaves have started to give way,

even in the windless air, they twist and glide, some cascading,
others throwing themselves to the ground, as if in a rush to finish.
This morning I try to decipher the sound as they scuffle across
the porch floor or land on the ground near my feet. Perhaps

it’s a grandmother’s kiss, a quiet press of lips on a child’s soft cheek
or a mouse who has found his way to our forbidden treats and crackled
his way to pleasure or perhaps it is the memory of summer’s desires,
fallen from the trees where feet might find them again and remember.

—Gladys Henderson