Farewell Serenade

When you are gone
I’ll have to go on
Alone and lost without you
What on Earth will I do?

How will it be
Without you by me
As life continues each day?
Who knows? But this I can say
In the day the shadows will
Unblissfully loom dead still
Casting a gloom on me
Then at night the gentle breeze
Will whisper your name to tease
That yearning heart in me
It’ll make me weep
The tears of grief
To seek relief
And lull me to sleep
In darkness’ light
Late in the night

So don’t be long
As I’ll be among
The woes that lonely hearts bear
Without your love to share

Do come back soon
To tend to the wound
That’ll plague my heart and my soul
And keep me from being whole
For you are a part of me
So if we should part you see
I just cannot be whole
If not so then I shall be
No more human than a tree
With half my heart and soul
I will live but love I shan’t show
Nor love will I know
I will be in a state of longing
As a tree yearns for the sun’s rays
Only this tree will yearn
Instead for your return
To enjoy life’s days
Once more as the man
Whose love and care
Were solely there
For you

03.03.94 – 06.20.94


This poem can be sung to the Serenade by Austrian composer, Franz Schubert (1797–1828).



Copyright by Minh Tan on listed dated of completion
and published in Perspectives, ISBN 0-9686250-0-2.



Notes to this poem…

My third lyric poem in a matter of months. This was a from what could be interpreted as a very sad sounding piece by Schubert, even though a serenade is “a complimentary performance given to honor or express love for someone”. The lyrics stayed true to that sentiment, it’s just doing it in a farewell capacity because the words that came to me as I heard the piece were pretty much as was seen in that first stanza. Started in early March of 1994, I wasn’t saying goodbye to anyone. The words that came just suggested that and I followed its lead to fill out the rest of the poem. Then I just stayed patient to work through the imagery, with the toughest part to complete being the middle of those two bigger stanzas, and especially the one where I then placed myself in the spot of a tree to extend the metaphor. That was really going “outside the box” when staying “inside the box” afforded me nothing more than the bare walls of confine. Heh, I’m still writing metaphors about it, but I love it, I’ve got to tell you. If I could speak in metaphors all day, I’d probably would despite what everybody would tell me to improve my communication skills. Ironically, metaphors have always been my best means of communication to describe things people don’t get that I tell them or accentuate the point, sometimes needlessly but nevertheless effective.

Fine note on words used, I do know that “unblissfully” is not a real word, but chill, dude. This is an art form. I’ll make up words if I want to, OK?

And oh, if you’re starting to notice the presence of love poems in my writings, be prepared for the onslaught because there are plenty of them coming!

As an extra bit of novelty on the music source from which I had come upon the Serenade that inspired this poem, I had borrowed a quaint classical CD from the library some time in the winter of 1994 called The Viennese Album (issued May 1990) from the CBS Masterworks Dinner Classics series. These CDs were created for entertaining value rather than maybe entertainment because thematic recipes were provided by some young dashing dame named Martha Stewart to match CD theme names with thematically appropriate music for the dinner chosen by certain well known people for each CD.

I didn’t know about the music selection until researching links to the CD today so I was surprised to find the Viennese Album’s music to have been selected by Russian Master Cellist Mstislav Rostropovich. I would have guessed someone Viennese if you had asked me. It seems strange to have a Russian do it, even though it’s cultural and anyone could technically adapt, but maybe it seems strange especially because it’s cultural since some people really believe you have to be rooted in a culture to know a culture. Being a refugee to Canada and successfully adopting to Canadian ways, I don’t agree, so don’t ask me why I was surprised at seeing “Msti” as the selector of music for the Viennese Album. Mind you, it’s not like there’s such a thing as a “Canadian identity”, either, except for being able to embrace many culture, which probably explains my surprise.

Whatever the merits of the Dinner Classics’ music selector or otherwise, it is quite the successful formula as there 22 such dinner classics showed up in my search for the series link. The Halifax Regional Library from where I borrowed the Viennese Album did not have nearly that many from the series at the time. I checked out what I could of the others but the Viennese one was, by far, the most delightful. From it came the Serenade used here, the Salut d’amour by Sir Edward Elgar meant as suggested accompanying music for reading Sonnet II (in Notes for Sonnet III), and a few other pieces for which’s attempts to write lyrics never amounted to anything and got thrown away or reworked into just plain old poems. It was just a great CD. I loved it so much I, in fact, bought my own copy years later with the very limited money I had to buy CDs then and I still have it now. If that indicates anything of what it meant to me, I’d have no choice but publicly compliment “Msti” for his “Viennese” musical tastes. As for Martha’s tastes, I can’t say the same, but only because I’ve never even dared attempt any of the quite “upper class” recipes suggested. It’d never leave me full, I can guarantee you that!


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