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The Shostakovitch 5th: a poem

Leonard Bernstein NYPO 1979

The Shostakovich 5th

by Carolyn Donnell

Long winded


blasts of brass


to a climax

of thundering


continued swells

while frantic strings

scramble to ride

the waves



gathering force

full blown typhoon

a Russian heart

forced to comply

to dictator’s wish

on the surface

but undertow

secret flow

rises to wash

away the pain

telling tales

to the ear

one that knows

how to hear

I rise to cheer

and beg to heal

my broken arm

so I can sit again

and play viola

in the Shostakovich 5th.

Дмитрий Дмитриевич Шостакович

6 Responses

  1. Rousing piece of music, and a “long winded” (winding) poem ot go with it ~ great way to start the day.

    Have you tried creative visualization on your arm ~ just sitting and picturing it healed?

    If it worded for the Miracle Man . . . it might work for you:


    Our minds are capable of so much more than we ask them to accomplish.

    • If it were just a matter of frozen shoulder, it might help, but it is mangled bones all grown back together in the wrong ways and places. Determination is what I am doing now. Determinied to find a way to play again. I ran across a violist while blogging that has referred me to his therapist – one who at least knows what a viola is and the logistics of the problems with the instrument. So I keep on keeping on.
      I have that Enya CD. My g-kids used to listen to it. 🙂

  2. A retired college professor friend of mine with a weakened arm used a metal rod contraption that she affixes to her chair that has a fairly strong spring with a sling attached. She puts he upper bow-arm through the sling and plays away! Best wishes for a solid recovery! Physical therapy is the best! Keep at it! Great poem! Keep listening and writing!

    • It the viola holding up arm that is mangled. I wish it were the bow arm – I think that would be more useful. But maybe not, you have to keep that up all the time. I ran across a lady in Australia that had a brace thing made for her but it is not feasible for my needs.I Thanks for sharing. I will put the idea in the think tank and see if anyone can use it as inspiration.

  3. Wonderful audio clip. Fabulous poem.

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