Friday, April 1, 2016

national poetry month, musical edition: #1

from The Alchemist's Kitchen 
Happy April, Happy Poetry Friday, and Happy National Poetry Month! (If you are new to Poetry Friday, this post from Renee LaTulippe is useful.) This month, inspired by Tabatha Yeatts' "Poem-Song Match-Up" project, I'm going to continue posting Poetry-Music Match-Ups. Tabatha selected music to go with poems by many Poetry Friday regulars, and some folks suggested their own match-ups.  That's the direction I'm going in!

Violet Nesdoly kicks us off with an original poem she constructed from a collection of song titles!  She only added connecting words.  Violet writes, "It was first published in a little contest anthology put out by The Ontario Poetry Society (and it won an Honorable Mention in the 2014 TOPS Sparkle and Shine contest)."

Paul Simon reunion

Duncan, my dear, take me to the Mardi Gras
to the outrageous hurricane eye
for the mother and child reunion.

Just because I was not born under African skies
not born in Puerto Rico doesn’t mean I don’t belong
in that Kodachrome Graceland of peace like a river.

Wartime prayers sung to an American tune—
there was something so right about that song
sung by Darling Lorraine.

You can call me Al if you like
the obvious child hearing spirit voices of father
and daughter—still crazy after all these years.

Can’t you hear that hearts-and-bones
train in the distance, while we sit here stranded
in a limousine of the late great Johnny Ace?

You be the boy-in-the-bubble
born at the right time, slip slidin’ away
into the cool, cool river. Adios Hermanos.

It’s late in the evening. He’s gone at last.
Now it’s just me and Julio down by the schoolyard
imagining what they’ll say:

“He was quality.
She was last seen wearing diamonds
on the soles of her shoes.”

© 2014 by Violet Nesdoly
 Violet has selected this one of many choices to accompany her clever tribute to a favorite singer-songwriter.

"Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes," from Paul Simon's 1986 album Graceland.

Wasn't that fun?  You too can play this game! The airwaves are wiiiide open…you can submit: 
·      your own poem with music that you've realized goes with it, as above,
·      your own music with a poem that goes with it,
·      someone else's poem with someone else's music to match, 
·      song lyrics that you find particularly poetic,
·      poems written AS song lyrics
·      poems inspired by songs,
·      songs written about poems, 
·      poems written about songs, 
·      favorite nursery rhymes (which often have tunes),
·      and any other poetry-music combinations that make sense to you.
We'll all need to be very careful with attribution, of course.

I aim to have a daily post, so I would love to have your submissions sooner rather than later so I can queue them up before my spring break ends. Send your ideas, texts, videos and links to me
I wish you all a really juicy National Poetry Month with a soundtrack that sparkles and shines!   Go to The Poem Farm today for sparkles and wonders as Amy rounds us up!


  1. I am SO looking forward to this!

  2. This is wild...I love it and kind of want to sing it but then I feel crazy! There's something magic going on here! And Paul Simon is awesome - he was here speaking with Billy Collins a few years ago. What a delight! Thank you both! I look forward to this project...Happy National Poetry Month! xo

  3. I love your poem, and that is a great Paul Simon song. So many beautiful songs, that reach right past all my layers and find my heart. I'm sending you an email.

  4. This is great fun, Heidi! That's one impressive puzzle Violet put together. Now where's my Rhythm of the Saints CD....

  5. Well, here we are! What a nice surprise. Thank you Heidi! Featured on the wonderful green background of your blog, this poem feels very at home. ;)

  6. Kudos to Violet! Makes me want to get out all my Paul Simon albums and...oh, wait. I no longer have a working turntable...

  7. I'll bet if you look under Violet's shoes, you'll find diamonds... or something sparkly that bubbles up into these wonderful poems of hers. What a fun Tabatha-inspired project; it's going to be lively over here all month!

  8. Bravo, Violet! What a great idea. Looking forward to reading more poetry/music match ups!


Thanks for joining in the wild rumpus!