Calando


Alone

Calando

Life lived in a minor key
incomplete
(not empty)
waiting for the final chord.

You walked alone
and yet the song you sang
(gentle, haunting)
lingers.

Dolce, my sweet friend
dolente, largo,
until alone, as you lived,
calando.

Using musical notation, this brief poem is about a loved one who suffered from agoraphobia. She died recently from cancer. Many have commented on her life as wasted. I chose to believe she had her own symphony to compose, and it was full of a gentle, generous beauty.

Dolce-gently
Dolente-sad
Largo-slow
Calando-dying away

Agoraphobia is literally translated as fear of crowds. It is a type of social anxiety disorder.

I wrote this in response to the prompt from Sashi at The Gooseberry Garden where today’s prompt is friends, relationships and everyone around. Stop by and read some more at: http://gooseberrygoespoetic.blogspot.com/2011/10/poetry-picnic-week-8-friends.html

Also submitting to dVerse Poets’ Pub: http://dversepoets.com Open Link Night.  Stop by and enjoy an adult beverage and some fantastic poetry.
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46 thoughts on “Calando

  1. A beautiful poem, Victoria. Your words are so tender for someone
    with an overwhelming illness.
    Blessings,
    Izzy

    Like

  2. Bodhirose says:

    I can relate to those who have this disease too–I much prefer staying home or quietly enjoying nature. But living in fear is another issue and is no fun.

    I love the poem, Victoria, and the homage to your friend.

    Like

  3. What a kind tribute to a troubled friend! Thank you for shifting the angle to improve the view!

    Like

  4. Jamie Dedes says:

    A little chocked up here. And I agree with your explaination. There are so many lives we could look at and say they were wasted, but really who are we to make such a judgement. How do we know what someone else’s music is or their vision or soul.

    A lovely, sweet, sensitive poem.

    Like

  5. dandylion28 says:

    very beautiful. I enjoyed the image you portrayed and the use of the italian(?) words!

    Like

  6. love the beauty in your poetry, keep it up.

    Like

  7. neelthemuse says:

    Sensitive and fine…..

    Like

  8. There are outer lives and inner lives. Dickinson was probably agoraphobic. I have a touch of it; or perhaps I’m simply happy inside. When I cross the threshold, I don’t fear it, I simply transform from poet to actor. Those who choose to live inside have full lives not wasted ones, they’re in the world they made and music is the perfect accompaniment. A wonderful take on her life. Lovely, Victoria.
    Gay

    Like

    • I wouldn’t be surprised if many of us who live on the “inside” don’t have some agoraphobia, Gay. Like you, I choose to make myself go out but it would be very easy for me not to. Sometimes I think up excuses to decline invitations or even to cancel appts like my manicure today. I’m happiest at home…or in nature.

      Like

  9. Myrna says:

    Victoria, so nice that you chose to see the positive in someone’s sadness.

    Like

  10. This is very beautiful. I too have agoraphobia although I chip away at it. I especially love in this poem the italian musical terms– or more properly the musical terms ever Italian. You might like my memoir, posted here: http://nightfallinverona.blogspot.com . I frame a trip I took to Italy years ago in opera. In any case, latest effort for dverse and beyond is here: http://parolavivace.blogspot.com — best, Victoria. xxj

    Like

  11. What a precious tribute to your friend, from a true and generous friend who saw beyond isolation and witnessed music. Beautiful.

    Like

  12. rmp says:

    definitely not empty…and really, what does complete mean when speaking about a life really mean?

    a beautiful and delicate piece.

    Like

  13. Truly, truly thoughtful Victoria…… You walked alone, and yet the song you sing, lingers…… it’s also beautiful…. I don’t know anyone more in tune (pardon the pun) with the notion that we don’t choose our own afflictions, and I didn’t know her but it is hard for me to imagine the subject of this beautiful tribute could have wasted her life away. You are indeed a thoughtful friend.

    Like

  14. hedgewitch says:

    A truly haunting, simple and sad piece, Victoria. I have a lot of sympathy for that particular phobia–I hate crowds, though I’m not afraid of them–(unless they’re at a political rally or are carrying guns.) And each life paints its own canvas, I agree.

    Like

  15. claudia says:

    what a beautiful tribute to your friend victoria – love the italian you wove into this..such a tender and personal poem…i always prefer minor to major when it comes to music..it’s these silent tunes that linger long

    Like

  16. such a wonderful poem and tribute to your friend it really was so well done thanks for sharing
    http://gatelesspassage.com/2011/10/10/the-bird-of-love/

    Like

  17. The minor key detail greatly moved me (I prefer composing in minor keys) and the gentle haunting song brought tears to my eyes. Marvelous poem that reminds me how much I learn from reading your work; thank you.

    Like

  18. hussyainy says:

    wonderful verses with a beautiful chord.

    Like

  19. Steve King says:

    A beautiful and distilled memory. The metaphor of the minor chord was a very nice touch. Fine poem.

    Like

  20. manicddaily says:

    The use of the musical terms themselves musical.

    Like

  21. Shawna says:

    I love this in your explanation: “she had her own symphony to compose”

    Like

  22. leah says:

    You are correct, no ones life is wasted. the music they leave behind is for us to listen to,but not in vain. beautiful write.

    Like

  23. oceangirl says:

    Beautiful and touching. I really love it. Thank you.

    Like

  24. oceangirl says:

    Beautiful and touching. Thank you.

    Like

  25. We are all born alone and will die alone. If she was your friend her life could not have been a waste – so sad that people would say that. There can be many reasons for avoiding the marketplace; as far as I’m concerned, the marketplace is highly overrated.

    Like

  26. Sad and so touching.I hope she didn’t suffer so much.I guess we all have our own fears to deal with.Beautiful write.Love the pic,too.

    Like

  27. Pat Hatt says:

    Looks like we both played on a phobia today, at least I can see how yours can take shape, truly is a freezing disease, sad most times too.

    Like

  28. ayala says:

    sad …so sorry about your friend.

    Like

  29. laurie kolp says:

    Aww… so sad, but beautiful and flowing. I love the first stanza and the use of music throughout.

    Like

  30. brian miller says:

    i have known a few…and what a sad song it can be…i am glad she still had you and others to call friend…i am sure you meant much to her…

    Like

  31. colleen says:

    Fitting that the poem has a haunting note.

    Like

  32. hobgoblin2011 says:

    Tender write. Very nicely done. Agoraphobia is pretty scary. When i used to deliver papers, oh so many years ago, I met a man that hadn’t left his home in twenty years. Although it was just me there, I could still sense an anxiety forming. Wonderfully penned, I’m sure your friend would certainly be touched. Thanks for the read.

    Like

  33. Very gentle, emotional and compassionate from you.
    My mother suffered from agoraphobia. Years ago if I was sandwiched in a checkout queue and felt a panic coming on I would leave the shopping and have to go. Many times on a bus to work if the bus became crowded I would have to get off at the next stop and walk the rest of the way. It’s a real fear and thank goodness I’m not like it anywhere near as bad now. But, I feel for your friend Victoria, her life wasn’t wasted at all she needed to be understood and to be helped.
    A lovely piece from you in tribute to her.

    Like

  34. Adura Ojo says:

    Beautiful and deeply moving. People can be quite cruel when they lack understanding. You say it well.

    Like

  35. Phil says:

    Your words are deeply moving, as beautiful as a phrase of music conveying an emotional mood so elegantly simple. Nicely done. So sorry about your loved one, but I appreciate your viewpoint on her life.

    Like

  36. Jamie says:

    That is beautifully written, it feels very soft and gentle.
    Your friend’s life was probably far fuller than many others.

    Like

  37. lovely,

    I was out of town yesterday, will fix your link now.

    thanks for sharing, your words are always inspiring.

    Like

  38. vivinfrance says:

    Lovely and loving tribute. Agora=Greek for marketplace.

    Like

  39. S Basu says:

    beautiful and loving poem victoria, may her soul rest in peace. cant blame a person much if he/she is scared of human beings 🙂

    Like

  40. zongrik says:

    living in a minor key is also kind of like marching to a different drummer, since most music is in major keys. was it melodic or harmonic minor? maybe natural…because that is used even less?

    i liked how you used the musical terms in the last stanza, till it all died out.

    Like

  41. siggiofmaine says:

    This is elegant…beyond words.

    ☮ Siggi in Downeast Maine

    Like

  42. Reflections says:

    It can be a debilitating disease… yet for others, they can live full lives within their own little world, visited by one person, maybe two who fill their lives with joy.

    Like

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