The Story Behind ‘Tuning Fork’

Tuning Fork was the last of the poems in the collection to be completed. It’s also set after most of the other poems too.

I had in my mind a thought by an author called Mary Doria Russell in her haunting sci-fi book The Sparrow. You can read the full quote here, but the key point is when one of the female characters says, “Lemme tell ya something, sweetface. I have been married at least four times, to four different men.” even though she has been married to the same person all her life.

The point is that people change in marriage and if, like I’m trying to say in Anatomy, married identity is something which is forged between a husband and wife, the act of marriage changes identity. With a couple like the one presented in the poems, when a husband deliberately tries to alter their character, in this case by trying to construct a non-hierarchical masculinity, that still has a knock on effect into the identity of the wife. In trying to be something which may well in the end benefit her, he has created a tension as identity changes. It comes back to the wife again to choose to change with the husband or lose something of their marriage.

I hope that the last lines are seen more as an active choice than a passive acceptance. When I read this poem, there is a double meaning in the last 2 lines. On the one hand, it’s telling the story of the wife but it is also saying something personal about how I see faith. Being a person of faith requires a person to retune towards a different instrument, you lose that sense of being in tune with the world around you, but it is faith that leads you to believe such a choice is a good one.

Author: stackhousejones

Stackhouse Jones exists to form expressions of art and community which are strange and beautiful, touched by Heaven, and shared with love.