Fingers flex, shaping the notes on taut strings
curving them nimbly across their silken lengths
bending into the rounded shape of the lute’s body
leaning, plucking faster in anticipation of celebration
sounds vibrating gently through the air, floating upwards.
From her ethereal home in the clouds, the Moon Goddess listens
sweet, round mooncakes and bejeweled pastries lay upon an altar
awaiting her to bless the people gathered below.
Gracefully, she flies down to earth
bestowing eternal beauty upon her worshippers
as the lute musicians fingers nimbly play a skillful tune
announcing her like the light of colourful, glowing lanterns
floating in the sky amongst the clouds
under the dazzling light of the Autumn Moon.
Copyright September 1, 2016 Stacie Eirich
The Mid-Autumn Moon Festival (or Harvest Festival) is an ancient festival that is still celebrated in China today, paying homage to Chang’e, mythological Goddess of the Moon. Read more about the festival and Chang’e’s tale here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mid-Autumn_Festival
Below is a video mix of both technically & stylistically beautiful Ruan music — particularly “Sleeping Lily” and “Folk Song.” The Ruan is a Chinese string instrument, a modern form of the Lute/Moon Guitar. Soloist Gao Huiru plays a medium sized Ruan here — a tenor Zhongruan with string tuning: G2-D3-G3-D4.
Today’s poem is written in response to a wonderful article and writing prompt @Toads: Artistic Interpretations with Margaret – The Mets Musical Instruments Exhibit I hope you’ll have time to enjoy her article and listen to some of the beautiful instruments & read their fascinating histories. Thank you Margaret for musical inspiration! 🙂