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Invitation to the Opera
by
Kevin Arnold


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They say to handle each paper once,
but I can never do that with opera invites,
for I am someone who would like to like opera.
So when one comes, along with the bills,
fundraising letters from my daughter’s pricey college,
small magazines that published my work—
magazines I keep renewing but never find time to read,
even gold-embossed credit-card offerings to my ex-wife,
it’s the opera offer I can’t throw away.

It would be so good if I could get my daughter to go.
I wonder whether to subscribe or just pick one or two.
Perhaps start with a familiar name:
La Traviata, Madame Butterfly, Aida, or Carmen.
Or how about these colorful ads for the new ones:
The Death of Klinghoffer or Nixon in China—
any program that puts the stars in tails and flowing gowns.
Some Wednesday, Friday, or Saturday, maybe next year
I’ll be there, part of the daringly dressed audience
as the lights dim. Imagine me in that heart-stopping
quiet just before the songs echo into the night.

© by Kevin Arnold.
Used with the author’s permission.

Purchase a framed print of this poem.

Kevin Arnold is a poet, prizewinning short story writer, teacher, and novelist. President of Poetry Center San Jose in California, and co-founder of the Gold Rush Writers Conference, Kevin is an animal lover who enjoys daily interaction with his black standard poodle, Ava, and his horse, Jasmine. Learn more about him here.


Post New Comment:
road2happy:
I can be a little bit of a petery snob. I love poems that speak to me- and those that don't, no thanks! This one was really very good! I felt like I got a glimpse into this writers world, who he is, in just a few lines and phrases. Very well written! My advice? Let the opera pass on by Mr. Arnold- just stay home and write! :>
Posted 03/01/2011 08:52 PM
Joe Sottile:
I enjoy poems that resonate within me. This one does. I save magazine subscription offers, and then I don't order them--it's about the economy! I save tour guide offers to various cities and activities for the same reason. And sometimes I turn the volume up loud and listen to operas in my car, and daydream about being more than I am.
Posted 03/01/2011 09:47 AM
karenpaulholmes:
Very nice poem. I love opera. I'm imaging "me in that heart-stopping quiet just before the songs echo into the night."
Posted 03/01/2011 09:03 AM
jeanie:
i love this poem. i love the voice in the line, "some Wednesday, Friday or Saturday, maybe next year / I'll be there ..." wonderful!
Posted 03/01/2011 06:55 AM


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