The prompt at OctPoWriMo today took me down one of my favorite creative pathways. While I may not be entirely “spot on” with my interpretation, a suggestion to use sound to inspire poetry immediately took me into the world of music. With the recent rise in popularity of a cappella vocal groups, I’ve become fascinated by the rhythms behind the sounds. Yes, I am speaking of the human beatbox. My favorite example of amazing rhythms behind incredible vocals is the winner of season 3 of The Sing Off – Pentatonix. Their bass Avi Kaplan and their beatbox Kevin Olusola are incredible talents. Here’s their most recent video release: Continue reading
Nothing like covering two poetry prompts in one day! At OctPoWriMo yesterday, we were invited to write lyrics. I went a different direction, though. Today, the prompt was to write a “reply poem” to another poet. My “reply” surfaced as lyrics. I “heard” the refrain in my head and just starting writing. This is a country song in response to Hinder’s song “Lips of an Angel” (shared below). Suggestion: Watch/listen to Hinder’s song first. Then my lyrics will make more sense! I’m also posting a link to their lyrics for those that cannot listen at the moment. Continue reading
Several weeks ago, I shared some of the elements of Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way” (click to read the post). One of her tools is something she calls “Morning Pages”. As I wrote my morning pages today, I was immediately influenced by the first song that came up on the Pandora station that I was listening to. Music is such a powerful muse for me that I couldn’t resist this response to the OctPoWriMo prompt to write a narrative poem. The song was “Crystallize” by Lindsey Stirling. If you’ve never heard this young lady’s music or seen her perform, please take a moment and play one of the videos below.
Oh, how she loves her violin!
She plays it with desire
Burning deep within her soul
To set the song afire!
The crowd has gathered in their seats.
Dull murmurs all around.
Orchestra enters single file.
Dissonant tuning sounds.
The Maestro takes his place in front
Upon the platform stand.
The crowd applauds and then he bows
And takes baton in hand.
The room then holds collective breath,
At last a spotlight on stage left.
The star then strikes a pose.
Applause and cheers now fill the air
She asks them, “Come away”
Lindsey Stirling lifts her bow
And then begins to play.
She draws the bow across the strings
And makes a crying sound.
She plays their hearts as much as hers,
More than notes resound.
Holding the crowd just like her bow,
She casts her music spell.
She plays and sways and plays some more,
This musical gazelle.
Too soon, she plays her final note
Ensuing pregnant pause.
A loud “Brava!” and then the crowd
Erupts in grand applause.
She’s empty from the love she gave,
But as she looks around,
She takes a bow and soaks it in,
Her heart now can rebound.
From its first season, I’ve been a huge fan of The Sing Off. Last season was really incredible with some mind-blowing performances by some incredibly talented vocalists. As I listened to some of their performances this morning, mixed with other a capella groups, I was inspired to compose this poem as an attempt to capture the essence of what these brilliant groups do. Listen to one of the videos I’m including as you read this offering for day 8…
Straight No Chaser
Staccato rhythmic harmonies
Underscore legato melody;
Synchopates through minor transition
Resolving to major crescendo.
Echoing screaming solo
Reverberates through the studio,
With the rich layers of
Bass and beatbox.
Clear careful arrangement,
Unexpected mashup attacks the pulse,
Balancing sound and silence
With dynamic full voices,
And carefully placed pause.
** To close out NaPoWriMo, I had the thought to write a poem composed entirely of song titles. Now, understand that I only used song titles of music I actually listen to. They cross the spectrum of musical genres – hence, the title that I selected. For you music nerds (like me), I hope you recognize many of the tunes I have chosen. I will not disclose at this time the actual number of songs in my poem. Feel free to make a guess, though!
On another note, this month has been an amazing journey. I have become addicted to the process of writing something every day beyond my daily private journals. While I may not post something here every day in the future, I will be continuing to write poetry, prose, and fiction to share with you, my dear readers. Thank you for stopping by and letting me know that you were here. It has been an honor to share with you! Now – on with the poem…
I stand on the highway to hell and it sucks to be me.
In my life, I’ve been the best imitation of myself
But everywhere I go I find I’m better than I used to be.
I heard I was in town and turned a whiter shade of pale.
It’s not the same and I blame it on Kristofferson.
He went to Paris, livin’ on a prayer, and said forget you!
You’re outta your mind if you don’t express yourself
And go your own way.
I used to be the owner of a lonely heart,
But come Monday, I’m leaving on a jet plane.
I have two tickets to paradise.
We were born free, so let’s set fire to the rain.
Here we go – let’s dream on, my daydream believer!
Let’s grab time in a bottle and drink on it.
We can have one bourbon, one scotch, one beer,
And a tequila sunrise in Margaritaville.
After all, it’s five o’clock somewhere!
You’re somebody that I used to know, but I know better now.
There ain’t no other man, so I turn to you and nothing else matters.
All I need is you and a little afternoon delight just rolling in the deep.
The way that you love me has me addicted to love.
Come home to me, wild thing.
Let it be me at last.
Bring me to life – walk this way
And take me down by the lazy river.
Take it to the limit when the stars burn down
And marry me
Because my life would suck without you.
That’s the story of my life.
**We are less than a month away from the season 9 premiere of my favorite television series, So You Think You Can Dance. This is a good time for a look at the process of choreography and the poetry in motion that is dance…
Words are just the beginning.
A well-turned phrase
A superb metaphor or two
Strung together in rhythm
And sometimes rhyme
And a poem is born.
Poetry is just the beginning.
Lyrics overlay a catchy melody
Inventive harmonies and instrumentation
Composed with coordinating rhythm
Or sometimes syncopation
And a song is born.
A song is just the beginning
Music inspires athletic movement
Turns and lines strung together
Or sometimes improvised
And a dance is born.
(This poem came from the daily prompt offered at http://www.napowrimo.net/ . For the past several days, I’ve been having a musical affair with the cello. This seemed like an appropriate tribute.)
Like wine made from the finest grapes,
You pour over me and I am drunk with your sound.
Your perfect fifths, your likeness to the human male voice
Strums my heart-strings until I am enslaved by your gentle power.
You tie me up in your strings and I am yours.
Master, Master, where’s the dream that I’ve been after?
I’m pulling your strings.
I wonder what Bach would think of what you’ve become?
Prelude to a 16th century Suite,
Yet you have crossed over into heavy metal darkness.
Oh beautiful darkness, my sweet cello!
Bind me to your soul and rock me to sleep again!