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On Resonance

11.01.12 Posted in today's words by

Originally from the Philippines, Gemma Manuel Ybarra grew up largely in West Africa. The greatest boon of having to travel at an early age was the lack of time for television; there were far too many places to explore, too many books to read, languages and cultures to learn. She got into the habit of writing as a means of collecting details and marking time. Her work has previously appeared in The Smoking Poet. Visit her blog.

On Resonance
By Gemma Manuel Ybarra

Resonance: psychological, emotional, metaphorical, aural, and imagistic resonance.

–ZZ Packer, on being asked what makes a piece of fiction work, The New Yorker, Summer Fiction Issue, June 2010

What matters most is resonance.
The same physics of pendulums
and musical strings that
captivated Galileo in 1602.
As a plucked guitar string
stores energy and releases
it over and over again,
so a word holds us;
so a string of words holds us.

Is there a difference between
the series of small earthquakes
Tesla started by accident
in his New York lab
and the pangs set off
by a latent memory recalled?
Often, the dream remembered
on waking is the same one
dreamt while awake.

The child at a swing
is a demonstration of resonance.
There may be a formula
for the force required to sustain
each backward and forward leaning,
but simply watching a child
swinging merrily is resonant.
Time is a force that proceeds forward
even as it leaves echoes in its wake.

What matters most is resonance.
The sound of metal on glass,
a voice through the telephone,
a song on the radio late at night.
It is a finger dipped in water
and run along the rim of crystal.
What matters most is that you find,
over and over again, that crucial
pitch at which glass must shatter.

One Response to “On Resonance”

  1. bobbietroy says:

    Very thought-provoking. Love how resonance is so many things.

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