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Crafted by a grandmaster, 
hidden in a velvet-
lined case, 
with Aoide’s 
voice, and 
Aphrodite’s shape.

The varnish is scratched 
and the dark timber chipped.
A bridge no longer a bridge, 
but a prisoner.
The bow makes the strings 
sing, and calloused hands make

the music dance.
And the crowd is on 
the edge of their chairs,
controlled
until the very last 
note.






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This poem was highly commended for Poetry Object 2019

'There are many poems about instruments I have read but this one was so beautifully crafted and shone with originality. There’s curiosity and style and an underlying darkness that intrigues me. ‘A bridge no longer a bridge, / but a prisoner’: the way the poet gives the instrument a special power beyond its use, making it something extraordinary.'
~ Emilie Zoey Baker, Judge, Poetry Object 2019