Clarinet, network of clear notes,
most erotic of instruments
delineating the spectrum of love:
ardent, difficult, exultant.
A slender, single “beating” reed
delivers a smooth, creamy sound
where crescendo and diminuendo
outdo other wind instruments.
Look how modestly the clarinet hides
in an orchestral throng!
Its notes come from down below
to arrive, amid stops, to the ear
with sensory bursts like flowers
exploding in air, its petals landing
in your surprised lap, as if to say:
“That’s a high or low you didn’t expect.”
Those who loved you most:
Mozart, Beethoven, Rimsky-Korsakov,
Brahms, Strauss, Prokofiev, Debussy,
Wagner, Weber, Poulenc, Stravinsky.
Never middling you are either
sensually low or spiritually high.
While you might be manic-depressive,
you deliver emphatic mood clothed in blue.