Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A little bit about Lillian Longstreth

I'm Lillian Longstreth. I live in Delaware Ohio, and am originally from Columbus Ohio. I graduated from Ruthherford B. Hayes HS in 2012 and of course, am now attending OSU Marion. For my fun fact this week I shared that when I was a Junior in HS my choir traveled to NYC to sing with Eric Whiticre, a famous composer and conductor. If you haven't ever heard of him, you should really go to his website and check out some of his music, it's traditional, but also modern.

My process for writing a poem is kind of unusual, at least I think so. I have to wait for inspiration to come to me, and usually when I am told what to write about the process takes even longer. To begin, I walk, I walk all over town, until an idea comes to me. Sometimes, I walk for hours and pass the same places several times; in order for inspiration to hit me I have to be outside and I usually listen to music. Once I have my idea I sit down at my desk, or outside, or even in the local coffee shop and just start writing everything that comes to my mind. I end up with lines and lines of incomplete stanza on pages after page of useless notes, but I copy and paste my favorite lines and put them together to form a poem. One that usually gets tossed out. I don't know how I ever finish a complete poem, but it happens. For this particular poem I faced the extra challenge of trying to paint a picture of a person that none of you know, picking and choosing the right words and qualities to describe my subject were difficult. I even switched who my poem was about, about half way through  my work. I just couldn't figure pick one memory or quality about my original person to write about. But, my second choice worked out well, at least I think so, and I hope you agree. Here is what I came up with:

The Music Never Ends

Fuzzy images flit past my vision,
a memory slowly rising from the archives of my mind.
Giving in, I let the memory wash over me…

She sits in the dimly lit band room,
surrounded by scattered chairs and instrument cases.
Warm light dances off her ring,
as brittle, dry hands hold a clarinet.
Nimble fingers healing from being overworked
glide over the silver keys.
With each movement of her fingers,
the sound of a Canon in D flows through the bell,
like a summer wind blowing through the leaves of a tree.
Pausing briefly, she looks up at me,
smiling she offers me a chair and continues playing.

As the memory ends,
I can still hear the warm tone of legato notes,
and I send a quiet “thank you” to the woman who taught me what music is.


So far, I have enjoyed reading Holding On, I love to read about the stories of others. My favorite profile has been Robert Shields, by far. I think his ideology about mortality and the idea of leaving a legacy are wonderful. They mesh a lot with my own. I also personally think that Robert Shields suffered from a form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, which I can personally relate to because I myself have lived with OCD all my life. Mine isn't to the degree that I believe his was, and it doesn't present itself in the same way, but regardless, I find his habits interesting and genuinely enjoyed reading his profile. My favorite passage from his profile is, " Sometimes I wonder why I impose it on myself, and then I say: 'Well I'd rather do this than do nothing.' I want to be busy every minute of the day or night that I can be busy. If you're idle, that's a bad sign. It's not good to be idle. It's my makeup. It's my nature. I'm not boastful about it. It's just something that I do. Like an artist would do something, like an author would do something, like an architect would do something. So I do this. That's all."


  1. Lillian,
    I really like your poem it was very well written. It seems like you took a lot of time and thought to do it.

  2. As a fellow musician I really enjoyed your poem. It really shows not only your appreciation for the person that taught you about music but how important music is to you.

  3. I have to agree! the poem was beautiful, I could literally picture what you were describing and it reminded me of my own school, and a particular teacher that taught me music like never before. I also understand what you mean by inspiration. Sometimes music is the key that unlocks my mind as well.

  4. Fantastic description in your poem. Just wow. I very much like the details that went into it. 'Nimble,' and 'dances,' give it a very fluid feel in imagery.

  5. Your poem was very visual. Reading it, you're just swept into the band room.

    Also, agree with your view on Shields.