Definition

One must make a distinction however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry, nor till the autocrats among us can be “literalists of the imagination”—above insolence and triviality and can present for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them, shall we have it.

Friday, November 18, 2011

*your angel here*

I could go on at length about music and how it influences me, and how Music Is Subjective, so how can we use music as a prompt for poetry anyway? But that would be boring, so I won't.

Briefly, then. Sometimes, I write about how experiencing live music feels, like this poem I wrote after seeing Dick Dale perform live. I've written about how listening to particular music makes me feel, like this recent poem. Mostly, though, my thoughts fly off while listening, as I'm sure yours do, inspiring poetry.

One of my favorite bands of all time is They Might Be Giants. Smart and clever, poetic and wonderful, their music has influenced me for many years and has directly impacted my writing. I can attribute a number of my poems to having been inspired by lyrics and songs from TMBG, so my challenge is for you to do the same.

The song She's An Angel by They Might Be Giants has inspired at least two poems from me, so far:

 roswell
maybe you were sent
to remind me of my belly
full of bold assertions
or perhaps you are meant
to paint my dreams
such that i remember what i am
you are part of what lies
beyond the here
and now i've found a circle
maybe the aliens burnt you in the dirt
fueling you with enough evidence
that i believe you.
 -- and --

  following an angel
fitful sleep awaited me
tossing and turning
as an angel voice
implored me to spread
my wings
and reach
all the way
across the sky

which this morning
is full of clouds and rain
but when i peeked outside
i could see a bit of brown
where all that white had been
and that is good
as it portends the green
to come

and what am i to do
with you?
yes, sure as spring
i can even taste you now

good morning.
The song is so interesting, clever and layered. Your challenge is to listen to this song (and here are the lyrics in case it is difficult to decipher them in this live recording), and to write a poem inspired by the ideas within:




I promise to write another poem inspired by this song, too. Enjoy!

9 comments:

Kerry O'Connor said...

What is most fabulous about this prompt is that I have not heard this band before. Now I'm going to have a listen and see what thoughts arise.

Marian said...

aaaahhhhhh i thought that might happen! i've been listening to them for, oh, about 25 years. they are THE SMARTEST of pop stars. they have a great youtube channel, called, i believe, "particlemen."
honestly, i like the studio version of this song better, but it's an older song and they don't have a video for it and i cannot for the life of me figure out how to put an audio clip on here. so, enjoy!

Kay L. Davies said...

Oh, I'm with you about Dick Dale's playing. Amazing! How wonderful to have seen him perform live. I've never surfed, never wanted to, but I love that surfin' music sound.

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie’s Guide to Adventurous Travel

shawnacymariekiker said...

hA! i LOVE TMBG!! :) they're just the right combo of weird and swell. 'birdhouse in your soul' was my intro to them. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhjSzjoU7OQ )
ugh, this is a pretty terrible video of the song. :/ bummer there's not a better one out there.

Jinksy said...

Your first couple of paragraphs sent me off on another tack, and though I did listen to your music, my mind was already elsewhere! ♥

Marian said...

aw, thanks for playing, friends. i had some doubts about a music prompt, and about this prompt, but i just thought what the heck, people will play along.
if you have ideas or suggestions about using music as prompts here, do let me know.

Anonymous said...

Hmm... Interesting music prompt.

Kerry O'Connor said...

It would seem that rasta happy bikers has used our forum for the sole purpose of advertising his blog... or am I missing something?

Marian said...

well, i can't read that language, but it sure doesn't look like poeptry.