Does anyone know anything about the poem, "The Clarinettist" by Ruth Fainlight? Such as, the speaker, the tone, the audience?  Thanks.

Expert Answers
engtchr5 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This poem is not one of Fainlight's more appreciated works, but its simplicity and imagery make it worth the read. We have the author's view of the clarinettist herself, and a physical description of the musician, among other things. The poem is mostly expository, explaining the person and situation at hand, but toward the end it becomes narrative as the musician "starts the tune" as the conductor's opposite.

The tone is one of quiet information, like a whisper in church. The reader is given the same sense that might be present in a great symphony hall -- quiet appreciation of the event at hand. In the reader's mind's eye, one can almost picture the lighting and softness of the moment portrayed. The intended audience for this poem could be anyone -- while musicians will appreciate it in particular, any reading audience will gain an appreciation by the poem's end. For more information, search for "The Hudson Review." The aforementioned is the publication in which this poem appeared.