Friday, December 18, 2009

The Yearnings

You know the drill by now -- for our final day of the Twelve Days of NovelMatters Christmas Giveaway: Find a title and/or author in Twelve Lords a-Leaping!

The winner will receive my book, The Shout of the Bridegroom (what? you didn't know I wrote a book by that title? Well, not all by myself--) and will be announced on Monday.
As we begin to think about a new year, and new beginnings, I want to share with you the poem that won me a scholarship to college. Now, years later, it seems, so, youthful. It was written when I was 16 years old, and although I normally don't publicly explain any poems (they should stand on their own, I believe), I will this one.

My mother was a professional musician, and at the time of the writing of the poem, I was dating a young man who played over a dozen musical instruments. Though I love music (and even took clarinet lessons and singing lessons for a while), I am tuneless, toneless, and incompetent in every sense of the word as it pertains to music. Yet as I sat watching my mother and my boyfriend playing one song after another on our piano, I knew that was a world I would never share.

I would never and can never produce music. But my soul yearns for it. In my mind, I can produce melody. It just never comes out. I hear it echoed and perfected in the music of others, and I deeply love it.

I have the feeling that a lot of readers feel this way. They yearn to express some of the deepest and purest emotions within them, but simply cannot --no more than I can reproduce any of the music I feel within me.

What an honor and blessing it is for me -- and I'm sure I speak for Patti, Bonnie, Sharon, Debbie, and Katy -- to be given words to do that for others. What resonates with you is because you've felt something similar. What gives you insight is because you have a God-shaped hole in your heart that He longs to fill, and we get to be the carriers of words to salve that yearning.

Oh blessed, blessed privilege we have! Oh, thank you, readers, for letting us do that!


I watch his fingers

Teasing the piano

As he caresses the ivory teeth

It purrrrrrrs

Harder now – he strikes

A glancing blow off the black fang

An answering roar

ah Rachmaninoff

just because my soul is not in

my fingertips does not

mean I do not have



Nicole said...

I love that poem! Yes, youthful, but oh so passionate and with such yearning. Love it.

Patti Hill said...

Oh, oh, oh! I love it! And I share your yearning to produce music. A song. A melody. Something in a consistent key. Your poem catches this perfectly.

Kathleen Popa said...

Latayne m'dear, youthful, yes, but at the same time... not. You've always produced your own sort of music.

Latayne C Scott said...

Yes, some of you have seen me walk or otherwise move through space and would agree that I have a unique form of arrythmia as well.

Kristen Torres-Toro said...


Latayne, thank you for that incredible perspective. I do know that feeling with other areas of art, so I can relate. Thank you for connecting that to readers. It's something I've never thought about before. What an honor it is to express through writing, not only for ourselves but for those who long to put their emotions into words.