She’s so unusual: "The Trees are Down” for National Poetry Month

Americans know little of English poet Charlotte Mew, who wrote today’s poem during “the last Twenties,” but her poetry shows some unusual qualities, particularly for her time.*  For example, this poem starts off off-hand and rises at its end to hearing an angel — so beginning like a reserved Frank O’Hara and ending as if … Continue reading She’s so unusual: "The Trees are Down” for National Poetry Month

Her Lips are Copper Wire for National Poetry Month

Even with its most popular and well-known poems, poetry works, works its impact, one reader, one listener, at a time. Doing this project leads me to read a lot of poems. I’ll go through whole collections, entire anthologies, looking for things that I suspect I can create music for. That sense, “This could work with … Continue reading Her Lips are Copper Wire for National Poetry Month

Soul Selector Blues for National Poetry Month

Just suppose that back in the 1920s someone wanted to record a Blues song based on Emily Dickinson’s “A Soul selects her own Society,”  and so they waxed a 78 rpm platter at Paramount records “New York Recording Laboratories,” located back then in, well, Wisconsin.* If they did, it might sound a little like this. … Continue reading Soul Selector Blues for National Poetry Month

We Grow Accustomed to the Dark for National Poetry Month

How has it been this far into National Poetry Month before featuring Emily Dickinson here? Well, no matter, time to get onto that today, as a number of our most popular pieces over the years have been related to Dickinson. Today’s piece is one of my personal favorites, our orchestral setting for her “We Grow … Continue reading We Grow Accustomed to the Dark for National Poetry Month

Letters to Dead Imagists and A Pact for National Poetry Month

Within the limited time I can find for it, I’ve been informally surveying what others online are doing for National Poetry Month. I’ll make one casual observation, unbacked by rigor or focused study: a great deal I’ve seen this April is aimed solely at the supply side for poetry. I’ve got nothing against urging more … Continue reading Letters to Dead Imagists and A Pact for National Poetry Month