[Poetry Friday] Flowers of Youth

poetry friday

This is the final Poetry Friday when we would be sharing poems connected to our bimonthly theme which ends this week: Loss, Heartbreak, and Coming of Age.

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I must admit that finding poems for this theme was a challenge, not because of the lack of poetry that deals with the subject – but the sheer abundance! And as we conclude our bimonthly theme, I thought of sharing something quite special with my favourite people in the kidlitosphere community this week, our lovely host being Author Amok (do drop by her site to see more Poetry Friday offerings).

Music Conference in Finland

A year ago (September 2012), my research collaborator and good friend Professor Tuting Hernandez and I traveled to Finland to do a 90-minute symposium presentation for the Narrative Inquiry in Music Education held at the Sibelius Academy.

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Our entire presentation focused on an incisive analysis of Cynthia Alexander’s music. Cynthia is one of the Philippines’ highly-respected and treasured singer-songwriters. She is now based in Seattle USA, and one of her songs “Comfort in your Strangeness has just been nominated in the ‘folk/americana’ catagory of the 2013 NWME (Northwest Music Experience) Awards!

This research study is part of our Semantics and Soul in Filipino Music project.

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The original plan was to have Cynthia Alexander join us for the presentation. Tuting and I would discuss the academic aspect while Cynthia would do a musical performance.

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However, we did not have sufficient funds and institutional support to make this possible. Cynthia was kind enough to create and send us video clips of certain songs that we wanted to highlight during our presentation. And so, I am excited to share a never-before-seen video clip of Cynthia Alexander singing Flowers of Youth, which is originally a poem written by her mother Tita Lacambra-Ayala. Cynthia created the musical score for this beautifully-crafted poem. She filmed this video clip in their home in Seattle. I hope that you enjoy the music, dear friends. (**My apologies as video orientation shows a mirror image erroneously depicting Cynthia as left-handed.**)

Thank you, again, Madam Cynthia for allowing us to share this for GatheringBooks today.

Flowers of Youth

(Poetry by Tita Lacambra Ayala, Music by Cynthia Alexander)

The Flowers of Youth
are growing brown
around your garden
the leaves fall and the buds
grow tight, no longer unfold
Bridges lose their
bearings and rivers
catch them falling
the splintered wood float
like so many boats drifting

Things decay, strength is
forgotten in the face of weakness
loneliness conquers even the
memory of
brighter hours
Soon your face will be a small
photograph almost like a stamp
on a very important letter

that I mailed to someone very far away

17 Comments on [Poetry Friday] Flowers of Youth

  1. Mournful and beautiful, Myra. As always, I am always astonished at breadth and scope of your travels and presentations.

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    • You captured it perfectly Tara: yes it is both mournful and beautiful. :) It’s fun to travel, especially when traveling with a good friend one has known for more than ten years! :)

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  2. Lovely, Myra! And I second what Tara said – you are astonishing. :)

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  3. I agree with Tara — you are a whirlwind, Myra! Poignant song.

    “Soon your face will be a small
    photograph almost like a stamp
    on a very important letter
    that I mailed to someone very far away”
    Sigh.

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    • I echo your sigh. It is heartbreaking too, isn’t it? To be reduced to a tiny stamp in a very important (yet forgotten) letter to someone a thousand embraces away.

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  4. A beautiful collaboration. Thank you, Myra, for posting the words and video.

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  5. Quite a lot of talent here! An amazing poem (I second Tabatha’s “sigh”) accompanied by the perfect musical accompaniment. Cynthia Alexander actually reminds me quite a bit of a contemporary Joni Mitchell. Thank you for sharing this special post today, Myra.

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    • Hi Michelle! Yes, she has been likened to Joni Mitchell by people who are familiar with her music – Cynthia is one of the most brilliant and highly-respected and formidable singer-songwriters of her generation. She is also quite known for her uncompromising artistic integrity and unparalleled guitar skills plus her poetry in music.

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  6. And again, “what Tara said.” That must have been an AMAZING presentation!

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  7. I’m also struck (again!) by your endless array of talents and areas of expertise, Myra! Thanks for sharing.

    What a gorgeous, haunting work here – the music is beautiful as are the words, such as these:
    “Bridges lose their
    bearings and rivers
    catch them falling”

    –Sigh…–

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    • That is because I take after you, Robyn of many talents and breathtaking beauty. We are all kindreds! I am glad you enjoyed both the poem and music. Does remind us of the ‘flowers’ of our youth. :)

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  8. This is very beautiful, Myra. I loved the poem/song. So often in song-writing, the lyrics are not true poetry, I feel, with their slant rhyme. There are really so few true poet song-writers. Joni Mitchell was one; Tita Ayala, another.

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  9. Thank you for the feature Myra,

    So apt for the fall..

    Here is the link to the video with the right guitar orientation,

    http://cynthiaalexander.bandcamp.com/track/the-flowers-of-youth

    and here is the link to the song’s studio version..

    http://cynthiaalexander.bandcamp.com/track/the-flowers-of-youth

    Like

  10. ooops!

    here is the video link :)

    Padayon Myra! You are so tirelessly championing the work of others!

    Like

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