|By Stillwaters (Stillwaters) on Friday, January 02, 2004 - 10:34 pm: Edit|
This essay is for Columbia RD....it's a segment from what I like to call my novel...I edited it so it would be more essay-like. I'm either submitting this or another essay that's more normal...can someone tell me if this is okay for a college application, or should I send the other, more stereotypical one? I'm submitting online soon. They said that they wanted to see 'writing style' in the essay, which is why I want to submit this one.
It was an old piano. Nobody knew how old exactly, but, yes, it was old. Inside, it read “Conway New York”, and in 1975, my parents thought that, at $2500, it was a good deal.
“It used to be warmer,” my mother told me once. “Not so tinny. It went with the voice well.”
The warmth of the piano is a bit tinny now. The pedals don’t work that well anymore, and the bass notes all sound the same. The bell notes are sharp and sweet, though the melodies are detached- but it is forgivable. It’s an old piano.
I reach for the lamp- it is gold, shielded, it reflects a dim, smoky gold light off the arched mahogany of the baby grand. The soft, muted ebony and ivory keys fall under the sharp, soft hint of emotion- I play. I play a story of me.
I am a factory girl.
I am a nicotine-addicted socialite, a malevolent judge, a Russian dancer. I am a slighted twenty something; I am a Scottish milkmaid. I am a Lost Boy, a heroine, a kind face.
I am seventeen and I am an actress.
I am an echo; I am the dominant sound. I am the comfort and the catalyst. I am the light soprano of the little girl, the deep mezzo of the cabaret woman, the brassy belt of the showgirl. I am the softness of the concert hall and the crispness of the theater.
I am seventeen and I am a singer.
I am silent but screaming. My eyes are dry as the paper I mark but brimming with all emotion. I am ineffectual but capable of moving the earth. I am hidden but exposed, reticent but verbose; I am every contradiction and every harmony.
I am seventeen and I am a poet.
My song, a soft collaboration of verse, piano, and feeling, was spelled out, intricately and agilely; the soft ivory and darkened ebony keys spelling the words of the feeling. Finger after finger hit note after note, spelling a tremulous, wavering sentiment- a soft, solitary, tremulous, wavering voice accompanied the strains of the piano’s melody.
As I played, an old picture came to mind- a dark black and white picture of me sitting at the piano. I could barely play then- I could barely recognize notes. In the picture, I sat, absorbed and intent, at the piano, playing no music in particular, but playing nonetheless- making music.
Years later, I was doing exactly that- sitting absorbedly and intently, making music- making music that tremulously told a story of who I was and what I felt. Softly, my trembling fingers on the old, unsteady keys freed a few words of languid verse from my mind. The piano, the old piano, was muted- under the golden lamplight, the melodies that played seemed smoky, sweet.
The verse ended; I rolled a seventh chord, letting the last dissonant notes resonate. Lifting my head, the wood of the piano shimmered softly under the lamplight. It was an old piano- it was a story in itself. As I told my story, it let me tell another story- one with no specifics and no definitions. Each nuance, each freeing of verse, each soft chord and gentle melody said, tremulously and waveringly, “I am.”
|By Wrinklefiber (Wrinklefiber) on Friday, January 02, 2004 - 10:37 pm: Edit|
Bravo! Now read mine, which is more typical. Look for "picking my Columbia essay"
|By Stillwaters (Stillwaters) on Saturday, January 03, 2004 - 01:53 pm: Edit|
bump.....i already sent this one in but i'd still appreciate comments. thanks.
|By Daggerlee (Daggerlee) on Saturday, January 03, 2004 - 02:10 pm: Edit|
Very nicely done! I had issues with this sentence though; too many adjectives, maybe you might try splitting it into two separate sentences. Maybe it's the use of soft twice in the same sentence that's getting me..
"I reach for the lamp- it is gold, shielded, it reflects a dim, smoky gold light off the arched mahogany of the baby grand. The soft, muted ebony and ivory keys fall under the sharp, soft hint of emotion"
|By Foreignboy (Foreignboy) on Saturday, January 03, 2004 - 02:19 pm: Edit|
Very nice essay overall. You come across as a human being, not just as 'some piano player' like what happens with so many of the other piano essays.
However, some of the sentences aren't perfectly worded- too many adjectives and your vocabulary is repetitive, you use several words more often than you should have, ie. 'story' and 'tremulous'. I also found parts of the essay to be rather abstract, for example, "I am every contradiction and every harmony." I don't really understand what you mean.
But I'm being very picky. It really is a good essay, and the ending is wonderful.
(You wrote this essay at the last minute, didn't you)
|By Stillwaters (Stillwaters) on Saturday, January 03, 2004 - 02:25 pm: Edit|
Haha, yeah. I hated the other essay I was going to submit, so I rolled together some other material I had into what you see above. That's why it's so repetitive- I pieced this together from my 'novel' and poems and one other essay. That's my writing style, though...the repetitive nature. I guess it doesn't work as well in an essay setting.
|By Stillwaters (Stillwaters) on Saturday, January 03, 2004 - 09:51 pm: Edit|
|By Reeses (Reeses) on Sunday, January 04, 2004 - 12:33 am: Edit|
'I am silent but screaming. My eyes are dry as the paper I mark but brimming with all emotion.'- i love that.
i'd like to read some of your other writing if you don't mind, you can email me (see profile)
|By Reeses (Reeses) on Sunday, January 04, 2004 - 12:34 am: Edit|
it sounds kind of similar to this essay i found online...
I am a piece of paper.
In the beginning I was blank. I could have been anything.
A paper airplane, treating my life as a quick high, then being left on the ground, forgotten, had I wasted my childhood on drugs; a story, had I chosen to take my time and develop into a dynamic creature; a crumpled up ball, thrown away seconds later, had I not been loved; I could have been a college essay,
had I been created only to be given to someone else.
I am a story.
As I grew up, I chose which kind I should be.
I could have been one written by a child, should I be simple enough; a novel, should I live my life for fun, and die treating life as a game; a complex piece of art, with thoughts that run deep and insightful as the darkest red; I could have been a song, at first catchy and wonderful, soon forgotten by the world.
I am a painting.
As I continue to grow, I color and change myself.
I could be dark greens and purples, should I choose my mood to depress slightly; yellow-orange in some corny sort of false happiness; deformed like a Picasso, beautiful, but almost too complex to enjoy; I could be three-dimensional, rounded, patternless, deep.
I am three-dimensional.
I am unable to be contained on the paper I was created as. My ink, my paint, my complexity must evolve.
|By Daggerlee (Daggerlee) on Sunday, January 04, 2004 - 12:44 am: Edit|
...I could have been a piece of paper used to inflict malicious harm in the form of paper cuts! Muahahah!
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