The sound of gratitude

playing with a variation of pantoum, on gratitude found in favorite sounds

When I listen, I can hear
the sound of gratitude

in the rattle of summer’s last cicada, clinging
and crystal tones of children, singing

The sound of gratitude—
in the distance, church bells ringing
and crystal tones of children, singing
then at your voice, my heartstrings quiver

In the distance, church bells ringing
Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring
then at your voice, my heartstrings quiver
one last “I love you” before retiring

Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring
—when I listen, I can hear
one last “I love you” before retiring
in the rattle of summer’s last cicada, clinging.

*******

Cicadas are ancient symbols of renewal, rebirth, transformation, change, resurrection, immortality, spiritual realization. Socrates linked the cicada song with divine inspiration in religion, poetry, art, and love.

Thanks to Ruth at SOS: Magic in a Blog for the sounds of gratitude inspiration & to Susan Bruck for hosting Poetry Friday Roundup at Soul Blossom Living.

Photo: Listen. Artists Rick & Brenda Beerhorst. CC BY

20 thoughts on “The sound of gratitude

  1. Oh, wow! How beautiful! What a great idea, the sounds of gratitude–and then such a varied description in all the different lines. The repetition serves this poem well. I love those church bells and children’s crystal voices. Lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I struggled terribly with the form but it seemed to be the singular one called for in expressing gratitude in sounds, these sounds, that make my spirit sing with gladness for being alive. Thanks so much, Linda.

      Like

  2. Thank you for teaching me about cicadas! I have always been drawn to their raspy songs, but now I love them even more for all they represent!

    Your poem is filled with such joy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That cicada rattle goes back to childhood summers spent at my grandparents’ country home – my heart swells with the sound, and my spirit soars … so glad to share that love, Mary Lee. Thank you!

      Like

  3. A lovely prayer of gratitude. Pantoum is a tough form to do well. You’ve woven in the sounds of one of my favorite hymns and favorite sounds, children singing. Year ago I taught in an Episcopal school. My favorite time of day was chapel, hearing the voices of children. The communication between poet and reader here was profound. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was terribly hard to write, for its simplicity – but that echoing seemed to be the form for capturing and conveying gratitude on sound. Standing back from it (also hard for a writer to do), I recognize holiness as a sound – how the heart desires it.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is like a hug today, Fran. I’m glad you wrote & then told about cicadas. I didn’t know their meaning & love how you included them in your poem, a needed message for this time. Thank you!

    Like

  5. This is a wonderful poem. I love how you included Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring! It is one of my favorite pieces of music! I was a flutist (eons ago) and actually got to play the piece in church one Sunday. It was also played at my wedding! Thanks for a trip down memory lane. I still need to try this type of poetry! Thanks for the reminder!

    Like

    • Thanks so much, Julie – many poets might say a true pantoum would have the first line as the last line, but I saw many examples where lines were switched up. I really wanted this last line, so… poetic license.

      Like

  6. This is gorgeous, Fran. The cicadas always indicate an ending for me not only of summer but of having my husband (a teacher) home for the summer. I love their constant song in late summer but sort of dread it, too. 🙂 Beautiful poem!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. There are sounds of gratitude I will be listening for based on your poem of thanksgiving. There is so much poetic goodness here, Fran. You wove a beautiful pantoum that blends nature with religion and love. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh, Fran this is beautiful and so deeply moving. I’m always amazed by how profound repetition and a cycling refrain can be when wielded masterfully, as you’ve done here. The focus on the sounds of gratitude was a wonderful starting point. The use of gerunds at the ends of lines–that singing, clinging–was brilliant. Thank you for sharing this lovely, rich and beautifully crafted poem.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s