Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2009

Bicycles and Violins

by Ting Hway Wong

They always say
- "Doing such and such
is like riding a bicycle.
Once you know how to,
you never forget."

Well, I say,
you haven't seen me ride a bicycle.
But maybe they are right
Just one of those things
That you can do,
Or you can’t.

I suspect that
is more like
playing the violin.
No genius plays Paganini first time.

You get better with practise,
expand your repertoire,
learn exactly
how its strings burn grooves
into the pulps of fingertips,
how the varnished wood
slides into the groove on the shoulder
the chin-rest cupping the jaw
the bow caressing with a pianissimo
its strings echoing with a forte.

Not at all like riding a bicycle.

Added: 30.04.2009