These two poems were an assignment for my creative writing class, in which we had to write phonemic poetry-or poems focusing on the sound of words. The idea behind this assignment is that each vowel sound can be placed on a musical scale. For example, the "oo" of moon is the lowest vowel sound, and the "ee" of "tree" is the highest. The first version of the poem uses words with higher vowel sounds, while the second version of the poem uses words with lower vowel sounds. Copyright 2001 by Elisabeth Price (Jellyfish), as usual.

The Master Violinist

Poem 1:

He cradles a violin in his hand,
fingers fluttering on her throat.
Her sighs scatter beneath
the bow; tripping, skipping
across the strings.
With a flick of his wrist,
he entices haunting melody,
throaty low notes,
then silence.

Poem 2:

He holds the violin in one palm,
thumb soft on her throat.
Her breath unfolds below
the bow; bounding, jogging
across the strands.
Through strokes of his arm,
he coaxes haunting melody,
throaty low notes,
then naught.