“Lament of the Violin” by Deborah H. Doolittle

Deborah H. Doolittle


You draw out long notes across my strings—
what matters most could make me weep—
ignoring almost everything,
the long hours and the lack of sleep.

What matters most could make me weep.
The way you fret me will upset me
for hours on end. The lack of sleep
has kept me crying fitfully.

The way you fret me still upsets me.
No amount of tender fingering
has stopped my crying fitfully
or my thoughts from wandering.

No amount of tender fingering
can draw those long notes from my strings.
You have set my thoughts to wandering,
ignoring almost everything.

from Rattle #63, Spring 2019
Tribute to Persona Poems


Deborah H. Doolittle: “I try hard to look at the world from other perspectives. Putting myself inside objects and considering what counts as important from that perspective helps to expand my own very self-limited view. All through grade school and high school, I played the violin. ‘Lament of the Violin’ takes all that time I spent practicing, but never perfecting, my skills from the violin’s (which hangs out under my bed these days) point of view.”

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