About the Poem
About the poet
In the 1950s and 60s Ruth Gilbert received more than her fair share of male condescension and...
In the White
"In the White"
And so it hangs there in the warmth and light
Unvarnished (luthier call it "in the white")
Silent, aware, responsive, listening -
For Wood, you tell us, is a living thing
Receiving by some sense acute and true
The fall of dusk, the sound of forming dew.
Footsteps and laughter, cry of bird and child,
Rain, thunder, wind - all gentle notes or wild
Absorbed, transmuted and at last set free
By string and bow in limpid melody.
And so we leave it latent until Spring
In warmth and silence, waiting, listening.
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.