Debussy’s Music

by Guy Kettelhack
Wild Poetry Forum
Third Place, October 2013
Judged by Kelly Cherry


Full of un-deciphered crimes,
Debussy’s music makes you sad sometimes,
with all its poignant dreams of chimes

and body scents, chromatic climbs
and schemes and indigent emotion.
We don’t know how anyone can stand

his notion
of polyphony
all nakedly

exposed
and played.
He should have stayed

to tell us how to parse its mist,
or how to clear it.
In his absence, all that we can do is hear it.


I am not a fan of Debussy, but I enjoyed this poem, which, itself, "chimes" a la Debussy's music. There is a quickness, a lithe lightness to the line's rhythms and rhymes, and "to parse its mist" is an accurate--I mean dead-on--assessment of what needs to be done when listening to Debussy. "Mist" is a splendid word here, capturing in a single stroke both what is good and what is bad about Debussy's music. --Kelly Cherry

  • March 2019 Winners

    • First Place

      Noisy Mornings
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Waters

      Second Place

      Daunted
      by Ieuan ap Hywel
      The Writer's Block

      Third Place

      To the Woman with the Likely Smile
      by Midnight Moon
      Wild Poetry Forum

  • February 2019 Winners

    • First Place

      Not a Poem of Crows
      by Ken Ashworth
      The Waters

      Second Place

      Resolution to Laugh More
      by F.H. Lee
      The Write Idea

      Third Place

      The Nowhere
      by Erwin Fernandez
      Wild Poetry Forum