The Maynard
October 2013

Jenni B. Baker

The New Old Voice

Found poem from the New York Times article "So Many Snapshots, So Few Voices Saved." by Verlyn Klinkenborg (12/29/12)

In a silent house, I walk around
playing myself like a new bassoon:

vibrating at first a few graveled
sounds from an earlier self—

I remember strangers and regret,
my voice lost in their thicket—

a missing timbre grows thin
into something more sonorous

(I am at once a Lincoln tenor
and resounding Wordsworth)

and then I don't quite know
what comes out of my mouth

but a deafening, extraordinary roar
of nothing to damp or obstruct.

Capture, record this while you can;
you will want to hear me again.

(Say, what would we know now
if we could hear Cleopatra?)

When I am voiceless and vanished,
the sound alone will say everything.