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Chrissy Banks: a poem

Ten Thousand Hours

for Anna

I was wise

to the would-be wizard in me;

she wanted to conjure music – pouff! –

but was ignorant of what I needed;

that other learning.

Art, after love,

is the hardest work.

Real love I mean:

each step so small

it seems you're stuck

there at the start.

I see myself,

strangling the wood,

sawing the strings,

making a noise nothing like music,

thinking: Never; I’ll never...

Putting the instrument down;

picking it up;

starting again.

Chrissy Banks was born in the Isle of Man and now lives in Exeter, where she writes and runs poetry reading groups. She previously worked as a psychodynamic counsellor and trainer. She has been published widely in journals and anthologies and is an experienced performer. Her latest collection, The Uninvited, came out in 2019 from Indigo Dreams and a pamphlet, Frank, is forthcoming from the Poetry Business’ Smith/Doorstop press in May 2021.

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