Three poems by Arlene Corwin

September 21st, 2021

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photo by William Gottlieb/Library of Congress

photo by William Gottlieb/Library of Congress

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Don’t Give Up

Dear Miss Ella, song supreme,
Improvisations sovereign –
I, swayed and moved by.
She, both modest, shy
Yet spoke of love (and what’s above),
Deserving place in poetry
Centered around her artistry –
The art of spontaneity;
A musicality called jazz!

Epitomizing and embodying art’s highest form:
Scat, where voice becomes a horn;
Freedom to take word and chord
Out of their customary corner.
Who in jazz could ask for more?

Convention flaunted, freedom vaunted.
Melodic and original, lyrical and beautiful.
All these Ella did fulfil,
Breaking ground
With personal, impassioned sound.

“Don’t give up. You can’t go wrong”
A song that should belong to all.

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What Do We Want?

It’s simple, really.
Life, of course.
Accompanied by
Productivity, health and meaning:
Lack of fear – all that’s demeaning.

As for music, as for jazz,
Which is nucleus,
We make mistakes.
They’re built into the give and take,
The smooth and shake,
The beat and bar.
They come and go, so
‘Stead of scolding self,
Play loudly, definitely.
Then and ever, rectify!
By and by the right will stay,
The old mistake will go away.
And there you are: a jazzy star.
Filled with spontaneity, creativity:
Maturity.

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Hi There God #2

Hi there, God!
You’re always there.
No need to ask or beg or pray
That you come down, help night and day
You’re there!
Somewhere in air, placed, staying where you are;
So I come up to you instead
Inside my head,
Yours ever there and stable,
Mine approachable and able;
Capable but inconsistent.

That’s the good thing about being God,
Always there with properties, each pure,
Each having equal & opposing power.
Trick: to catch the good, then train and stick.
To make it work
T’aint’ easy, but one tries –
To catch the ‘I’
Link it to You,
Learn what to do,
And do it!

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Editors Note…”What Do We Want” and “Hi There God #2” were written while Ms. Corwin recuperates from a September 14, 2021 heart attack.  

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Arlene Corwin…Brooklyn born. Age 85. Harpist, pianist, singer. High School of Music & Art. Hofstra Univ. BA. 2 films (lead in one, composer in the other — see IMDb) original lead in “The Nervous Set, introducing “Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most”. 19 published poetry books, yogin since the age of 20-something. Lives in Sweden. Jazz musician forever. Mother owned jazz club, The Turf with Slim Gaillard in the 50’s, Hempstead, Long Island. (See.Arlene Corwin. Poetry.com .for longer version.). See Youtube for Arlene and some good tunes.

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Listen to the 1958 Verve recording of Ella Fitzgerald singing “As Long As I Live”

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Click here to learn how to submit your poetry

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