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, December 16, 2011

strawberry blonde

Happy Friday, Toads! Time for inspiration from a troubadour. Let's go again with this music prompt thing and see what kinda magic happens.

Today's inspiration is from Canadian singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith. If you haven't heard his music before (and even if you have), this will be a wonderful treat. Ron Sexsmith's songs are like poems and his voice is angelic. As a songwriter, he's often compared to Paul McCartney and he's revered by a range of music heroes from Bob Dylan to Elvis Costello to Elton John and many others. Here is an anecdote from his website biography on the subject of songwriting:
"A lot of my friends go to therapy, but my family are reserved and I can’t imagine telling all my troubles to some stranger. I’m lucky that I have the outlet of songwriting. Though in songs you sometimes tiptoe around things so as not to hurt people’s feelings, writing songs is very therapeutic for me. I would vote for songwriting over therapy!"
Sounds a lot like writing poetry to me. Don't you agree?

I've chosen this song, "Strawberry Blonde," because, well, it's gorgeous, and also because it tells a story that is both simple and layered. I get something different from it with each listen. The song is from the record Other Songs, released in 1997, but this is a recent video recording. I think the words are clear int the video (at least compared with our last music prompt, sheesh), but if you have trouble, you can follow along with the lyrics here.



 

Some time ago, I wrote this teensy poem inspired in part by this song:
playground
you swatted
flies from your eyes
as she came twisting
down the high slide
delirious
and demanding
"will you be my friend?"
I wrote another poem today that I've linked below, just to get us started. My new poem is about seeing someone at a distance with whom you have history; there are many other ideas and images in "Strawberry Blonde" that could be jumping-off points for your own writing. Please enjoy this gorgeous music and story and join me in being inspired. I so much look forward to reading what everyone creates.

15 comments:

Kerry O'Connor said...

What I like most about your prompt, Marian, is being introduced to musicians whom I have never heard before - and they are my favourite kind of artist: those who create their own music, rather than just singing a song written for them.

I can't wait to read your poem, and those of others that arise from this challenge.

Marian said...

also? first time in my life i have EVER scheduled a post! and it worked! :)

Lolamouse said...

Marian,
Never heard of Ron Sexsmith before. Just gave the song a listen. Gorgeous. Thanks for introducing us to him!

Marian said...

you're welcome! if nothing else, go check him out and get turned on to his music. very special!

Kerry O'Connor said...

I've started a piece, but I'm stuck.. trying to find the right angle on my idea. So far it's not working. I may have to sleep on this one.

Marian said...

i don't know, kerry. music prompts may be too abstract! or, subjective. or something. we'll see!

Fireblossom said...

I heard an interesting singer being played in a book store two or three years ago, and his voice reminded me of Tim Hardin. I asked who it was, and they told me it was Ron Sexsmith, so I bought his cd, which I love. (I also later bought his previous cd, which, ah, wasn't as wonderful). So anyway, I am eager to play this song and link up, after I have actually written something!

Fireblossom said...

Okay, I listened to the song and I've got to say that it's gorgeous. My goodness can that young man sing.

Kay L. Davies said...

Marian — I had to take your advice and look up Ron Sexsmith. I was just saying to my husband this week that we are now of the generation which knows nothing about young singers and songwriters.
I have become my grandmother! My parents were at least willing to think about trying to maybe listen to the music I liked. Then, when we convinced Dad to take us to an Elvis movie at the drive-in theatre, he was quite surprised and said, "Oh, I guess Elvis CAN sing when he wants to."
So, I took your advice, and I listened to the video, enjoyed it, then looked up Ron Sexsmith's lyrics. They are ALL poetry! Wonderful.
K

Marian said...

yes! you are making me happy, friends. i think his music is timeless. if you go on youtube you can find more video from the performance that i linked here, as another nice way of being introduced. he also has a nice record of duets with Don Kerr, who is the drummer in this video. that record is called Destination Unknown and it's very classic-sounding. the song i especially love is called Listen and you can find that on youtube.

Susie Clevenger said...

Love being introduced to new music. It is often an inspiration to me..Thank you for the prompt.

foxysue said...

Yes he told a sad story so beautifully.

Sue x

Heaven said...

I like his music...thanks for sharing this....I am still working on my muse..we will see ~

Mary Ann Potter said...

The song made me cry, and I loved this man's voice! Finally got a poem from it. Had to dig into a chance encounter from awhile back for this one...

Marian said...

:) thanks for sharing, friends. i LOVE the writing that this little song prompt have inspired. wow! WOW.