Image by NZ Herald

Poem introduction

from The Luthier

The Front: The Back

The Front: The Back

Swiss pine! - you saw it under the plane -
Like white silk, brilliant, and straight of grain -
Vibrated, its tone is low and cool;
This Back is Maple, and beautiful -
The fabled water an angel stirred
(Wood by all luthiers loved, preferred).
Silvery-cream, with a note that's near
To Bird-song, echoing pure and clear:
Two singing woods; you shall hear them yet
One moonlit night in a gay duet.


from The Luthier: poems (Reed, 1966), © Ruth Gilbert 1966, used by permission of the author. Recording from the Waiata New Zealand Poetry Sound Archive 1974.

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