Home > New Classics > The World is a Sound: A New Creation Myth

The World is a Sound: A New Creation Myth

August 2, 2010

by Robbi Nester

From the sinuous caverns of trombones
and from the bulbous innards of the bass.
From the lithe length of the flute and the
apologetic slant of the harp, treading
on everyone’s toes, the orchestra
plays the world. Who could doubt
that the ocean first flowed
from the French horn’s golden bell
as from the golden spigots of a tub,
or the sun, rudely cracking the shell
of primordial blackness as blank as slate,
as it has done every day since,
from the cymbal’s first blow?
No doubt at all that this
is the sound of the first day:
the conductor scraping his baton
on the podium, the guys in percussion
drumming their fingers on the pages,
whispering, impatient for the day to begin.


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Robbi Nester teaches composition classes to mostly unwilling freshmen at Irvine Valley College in Irvine, California, and blogs at Shadow Knows.

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  1. Michele Walot
    August 2, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    What glorious imagery!! Bravo, my friend!

  2. August 2, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    Thanks Michele!

  3. August 2, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    very nicely done.

  4. August 3, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    So not “in the beginning was the Word” but “the Note”… Confetti, Robinka.

  5. August 4, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    Thanks for the poem. Yes, I subscribe to this creation myth everyday as a writer.
    I loved the harp

    “treading
    on everyone’s toes, the orchestra
    plays the world.”

    and the double meaning I found there makes my day. :-)

  6. August 4, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    It’s nice to know my poem could make someone’s day!
    Marly,
    I was thinking at the time about my favorite book when I was very young, The Phantom Tollbooth, where at some point, the orchestra does indeed play the world. But that’s only a moment in the book, the whole thing in my imagining.

  7. August 12, 2010 at 12:04 am

    I love the Phantom Tollbooth. There is a book that can be enjoyed equally by kids and adults. The word plays and the world plays are delicious.:-)

  8. August 12, 2010 at 10:01 am

    I love it too.

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