Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry: Musician

Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine Poet Laureate

Louise Bogan was born in Livermore Falls and returned often to Maine in her later life. Though her output was small, her brief lyrics are some of the most beautiful in American literature.

Musician by Louise Bogan

Where have these hands been,
By what delayed,
That so long stayed
Apart from the thin
Strings which they now grace
With their lonely skill?
Music and their cool will
At last interlace.
Now with great ease, and slow, 
The thumb, the finger, the strong
Delicate hand plucks the long
String it was born to know.
And, under the palm, the string
Sings as it wished to sing.

Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 1968 by Louise Bogan. Reprinted from The Blue Estuaries: Poems: 1923-1968, Farrar Straus and Giroux, New York, 1968, by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to David Turner, Special Assistant to the Maine Poet Laureate, at poetlaureate@mainewriters.org or 207-228-8263.