Frances Darwin Cornford

(30 March 1886 - 19 August 1960 / Cambridge, England)

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The Guitarist Tunes Up


With what attentive courtesy he bent
Over his instrument;
Not as a lordly conquerer who could
Command both wire and wood,
But as a man with a loved woman might,
Inquiring with delight
What slight essential things she had to say
Before they started, he and she, to play.

Submitted: Friday, May 06, 2005
Edited: Monday, November 14, 2011

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  • Veteran Poet - 4,495 Points * Sunprincess * (5/31/2014 3:34:00 PM)

    ........fascinating...to have a guitarist for a love...would be a dream come true....loved this beautiful poem (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 4,495 Points Besa Dede (6/11/2012 2:02:00 PM)

    I can already imagine the image in my mind, as the guitarist gently tunes up his guitar chords. Truly beautiful poem.
    ~Besa (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 4,495 Points Allison Helman (6/9/2012 10:07:00 AM)

    As if there aren't enough holidays, I do still wish for a National Art Day where without attempting to create anything, (What ever they tried probably wouldn't come out very well if they did and they'd feel dejected.) I'd want people to just hold a guitar or, a paintbrush or, put on ballet slippers and just live with it not really moving for a few minutes Just long enough to feel their essence in conference with these wish granters that have remained essentially the same through the ages-and for good reason. They are not tools. They are send and receive tuning amplifiers with The Great. Da Vinci would immediately recognize a paintbrush today. Just as holding a paintbrush would eventually help one recognize his/her beautiful self. Done enough times, let the lessons begin!
    I think this would help us to better educate our children too. (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 1,707 Points Pranab K Chakraborty (6/9/2012 1:02:00 AM)

    Beautiful. Comparison with the man and God...their ability, passion and limitation depicted well by the intelligent metaphor. Moreover, the perfect tune of focusing the artistic passion is unique....Beautiful in the single word of choice..... (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 1,707 Points Abid Khokhar (11/14/2011 4:34:00 AM)

    The Guitarist Tunes Up is a lovely poem. It is simple, clear, suggestive and effective poem. “The Guitarist Tunes Up” is the poem that tells us about the difference between creative instinct and possessive instinct. (Ghreeza) Frances Cornford says that the guitarist is an artist who is well aware of the behaviour of the guitar¬¬ – an instrument made of wire and wood. He knows where and how should he strike on the strings of the guitar to bring about certain musical sounds. He bears creative instinct. He is not like a ‘lordly conqueror’ who possesses all wire and wood of the lands but cannot bring about any musical tone out of them.

    The poet compares the guitarist (an artist) with a man who is in love with a loved woman. The lover knows how and what should he do to bring about desired reactions of his beloved before they play the sport of love. So, the guitarist is like the man who is in love with a woman and is not like the ‘lordly conqueror’.

    The poem comprises 8 lines. The lines bear perfect rhymes. They are like couplets. Every succeeding line is two third of the first line except the last one. There is beautiful image of ‘wire and wood’ which suggests much much more meaning. The beauty of the poem lies in its suggestiveness, imagery and rhythm. Repetition, alliteration, assonance, consonance create lasting rhythmical effect on our ears. (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 1,707 Points Poetry Hound (5/6/2005 1:34:00 PM)

    Very clever and well done. There was someone here a couple of months ago who posted a poem about his musical instrument as his lover. It's a somewhat common association. But you did a nice job of it. (Report) Reply

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