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Friday, October 07, 2016

Poetry Friday--Happy Birthday Yo-Yo Ma!

Cellist, Yo-Yo Ma was born on this day in 1955. He has recorded about 100 albums and has won 18 Grammy Awards over the course of his career. The United Nations made him a Messenger of Peace in 2006, and he has performed for U.N. events with his Silk Road Ensemble.

I found a lovely poem about the effect that music can have on peace, if only at a very basic level:
Black Boys Play the Classics
by Toi Derricotte

The most popular "act" in
Penn Station
is the three black kids in ratty
sneakers & T-shirts playing
two violins and a cello—Brahms.
White men in business suits
have already dug into their pockets
as they pass and they toss in
a dollar or two without stopping.
Brown men in work-soiled khakis
stand with their mouths open,
arms crossed on their bellies
as if they themselves have always
wanted to attempt those bars.

Read the rest here.

Listen to Ma's music on one of the dozen plus CDs we have in our musical collection.

Violet Nesdoly / poems is the place to visit for today's Poetry Round-Up.


  1. Oh wow! I love this poem and the video had me dancing along. So full of life and fun. Thanks for brightening my day.

  2. My son plays cello, and we love Yo-Yo Ma. He's a great ambassador for the cello and for music in general.

  3. Music is a great connector for all. Thanks for sharing this look into the effects of music.

  4. "Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone" is still one of my favourite instrumental albums, so atmospheric and beautiful.

  5. Such an energizing video and thought-provoking poem. Thanks for sharing, Diane.

  6. Anonymous3:41 AM

    Love the energy and joy in that video - and pushing the bounds with their instruments. Oh to be a three year-old, steeped in wonder at the music.