Regret is a blue note, B♭
held – vibrato – on the clarinet,
sustained endlessly over many bars.
It is the plaintive chromatic
from bottom to top,
chalumeau, dark liquorice tone,
rising to the sweet clarion
and upward, upward
like an angel taking wing
to the peaks of the altissimo.
The darker woodwinds
and through their mouthpiece
through the musician’s embouchure
every poignant motif
is a musical curlicue winding unendingly
from tone to melancholy semitone.
Regret is unpolished
a bow strike to the heart
where it lasts indefinitely,
sostenuto on the deeper strings
the cello takes the melody,
and passes it to the double bass.
This poem was inspired by a piece that I wrote a while ago, trying to explore how music conveys emotions.