#PoetryMonth: The Poetry of Music, by @lynniespalmtree

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The Poetry of Music

“When words fail, music speaks.”

– Hans Christian Anderson

Music has been an integral part of my life since I was a small child. I have always been surrounded by it. It is a huge part of who I am. I can definitely say that it speaks to me in ways other things can’t.  As stated in the Hans Christian Anderson quote above, “Where words fail, music speaks.” Music, when infused with words, can indeed have a huge effect on us.

When I say I have always been surrounded by music, it literally was around me all the time. My mother used to play music that she loved around the house. My sister started taking piano lessons when I was 3, and when I was 5, I started taking lessons as well. I took piano for 12 years, fell in love with pretty much anything that was on the radio in my teenage years, and it has continued that way all of my life. Anything from classical, pop, heavy metal, country, show tunes, you name it, I will most likely at least give it a chance.

Why would all kinds of music have such an effect on me? There are many reasons I am sure, but in addition to the music itself, I think it is the lyrical poetry of the words within the music that can have an additional effect on us. I also have found that many songs, as you read through the lyrics, read like a poem. Then there are the works of music I have heard that actually take poetry, and write music to the words.

I wrote a post for poetry month a couple years ago about the poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost and shared what a part of my life it had become. In attending one of my son’s All-County Choral Festivals around that same time, they sang a song that was this poem, put to music. I cried through the entire piece. Putting these words to music brought the words of the poem to a whole new level for me. It took something already meaningful, and elevated it.

I had a particularly rough therapy session last year. I’m always working on myself, as most of us probably are, and I have an uncanny ability to beat myself up over little things. After this session, I got in my car, and as I had just bought a new album the day before, I was listening to it on the first time through. These words came out of my stereo:

This song was what I needed to hear at that very moment. Since that day I have listened to this song, read these words, thought through these words, so many times. They lift me. They tell me to stop being so hard on myself. They truly do make me stop and take a breath and realize how strong I can be if I will just let myself. It is the words just as much as the music that made a difference to me on that day, and they still do.

Where words fail, music speaks. You can talk to me and tell me I’m too hard on myself, that I need to just let things go, that I don’t have to be everything to everyone, but it took this song to hit it home to me that day.

Music and words together can become part of the poetry that effects our lives. If you listen closely, you can actually feel the connection that music gives us to the words and it can greatly enrich our lives. I know it has mine. I have tried, and I believe succeeded, to pass this passion I have for music and their words on to my children and others around me. I believe music can make us better. So can words. When put together, it can become something almost healing.

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About Kristalyn:

You can find Kristalyn over on her blog The Sarcastic Palmtree where she blogs about what she reads, wants to read, and many great authors. You can also find some other fun posts about TV shows and music.

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#PoetryMonth: Some #PoetsofInstagram, part 2

This is the first of two posts featuring a number of poets from Instagram. I recently posted an explanation as to why I’m focusing on IG poets. You can find that here if you haven’t read it yet. I hope you check them out and also share others you may know of.

Tomarrow

by Megan, @unrulywords

Wild Oats

by Ben Ditmars, @BenDitmars

The Beauty of a Woman

by Yvette, @onedertwinpowers

The Beauty of a Woman

She is Shapely Contours,
‘La Femme physique’
of contrasting Design.
With each curvature,
the story…
graphically aligned.
Consciously aware
is the Beauty…
in and of this find.

Visually taste…
teleported in time,
released Inhibitions
confront unaccustomed minds.
She is Futuristic.
Doubled down on Double blind.
Confidently playing,
she wins Everytime.

these things shape us

by Emily Jane Burton, @emjaneburton

As we all know, poetry isn’t just about what’s on the page. Much of poetry is meant to be performed. What Emily is working on with her poetry is to put music to them. Now that you’ve read “these things shape us”, here’s a recording on the poem to compare and experience differently.

these things shape us on Soundcloud

About the Poets

Megan

Um, I hate talking about myself, but I love tacos and I’m really bad at math.

Instagram

Ben Ditmars

Ben is an author of surrealist short poetry. He was first published in his college publications the Cornfield Review and KAPOW. Since then he has been featured in several online literary journals. His published works include Night Poems, Inhale the Night and Number Poetry. Currently, he lives in Ohio and works in payroll and accounting. He loves historical documentaries and all things gnome.

Website | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon

Yvette

I am a proud mother, a cherished daughter, a true friend and spirited lover, dabbling in the words of life.

Instagram

Emily Jane Burton

Emily Jane Burton is a poet and singer-songwriter from Kansas City, MO. She combines her passions to create poem-songs, poetry she sings rather than simply reads.

Website | TwitterSoundcloud | Instagram

 

#PoetryMonth: Some #PoetsofInstagram, part 1

Minutes

by Dan Leicht, @deeliopunk

a poem

by Ashley, @anerdgirl

 

A Game With Time

by T.S. Anon, @t.s.anon

Note from R.Z – Before reading the full poem below, here’s the original post from IG. You’ll find the poem looks much different in the caption. Maybe you’d enjoy comparing the two versions and see what line breaks can do to a poem in aspects other than visually.

A Game With Time

I look up to the starry sky and ask,
“why do you play with hearts like they don’t shatter?”
Did you not notice the clock of time
when you let two soulmates pass by each other?
Or when one soul losses his footing and falls behind in the race,
while she dances in the arms of someone else?

I realize you don’t have any answers for me,
but I can’t help but howl up at the moon for those poor souls
hurting from lovers meeting at wrong times.

Was it too early in the season of time
when our eyes locked that night?
Or maybe it was too late in the life we’re living?

I can’t truthfully tell you that I sleep well at night
with these thoughts bombarding me like a pirate’s ship under siege,
for I carry other’s treasures lost at sea as well as mine.
I’ve gathered the treasures,
not from plunders but from lovers
that I’ve met when the clock ticked wrong.

I don’t know the meaning of your time,
when you bump two glasses together
long before a toast is meant to commence.

I try to ignore the shots of these thoughts
as they pierce my mind,
so I can live in peace and in the moment of your embrace,
but it’s hard when you show me that they’re right.

Don’t worry Darling,
I’m still searching for you in the maze of this clock.
I think I’m getting closer to finding you
amidst the half seasons of time.

About the Poets

Dan Leicht

Dan Leicht is a writer of poetry and prose, both of which he’ll often post to his Instagram and Medium pages.

Website | Instagram

Ashley Shaw

Single mother. Avid reader. Therapeutic poet. Battling mental illness while raising an autistic son.

Instagram | Twitter | Ashley’s son’s Youtube channel

T.S. Anon

I’ve been sharing my writing on IG since September 2017 and have grown to love the supportive writer community on there. I mostly write about love, whether its the presence or absence of it. On IG, I not only show my short picture size poem but I also write an extension to it in the caption portion of each post, and I think that sets me apart from the common road of posting poetry on IG.

Instagram

#PoetryMonth: Soon to come… #PoetsofInstagram

Poetry comes in many forms and from a variety of writers who fit in these forms…or invent their own when they don’t. There really aren’t any rules to poetry. With each new collection I read I feel that this is becoming more and more true. Poetry evolves over time.

Modern technology has helped poetry evolve, as well as reach a wider audience. This is something that the social media app Instagram is great for. On Instagram there are poets from all around the world sharing their work with millions of readers and writers. While the internet alone can do this, IG has its own advantages. It’s an instant source for words, for images, and it has a sense of community all its own.

One of the main features I see in Instagram poetry is that it’s usually brief, but says a lot compared to the lack of works. These bite-sized poems grab your attention, and with the accompanying images, may get non-poetry readers to consider it becoming a poetry reader.

I have two posts coming out this month that will feature a variety of poets I’ve found (or have found me) on Instagram. Some stick to brief sets of lines. Others expand passed the limitations of the square picture post. They all have talent and I hope you find some to follow.

If you know of any poets I should check out, please let me and my readers know in the comments!

#PoetryMonth: All Our Wild Wonder, by @kaysarahsera

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Here’s a poem from Sarah Kay that almost slipped my notice last month. I did a review of it, but forgot to announce it’s release. So that’s what I’m doing today.

Like Kay’s last two single poem “books” (B and The Type) this poem was also includes in her collection No Matter the Wreckage. But what you don’t get inside her collection is the accompanying illustrations that enhance the reading experience. So consider checking out this book. It’s a fast read, but like the others, one you may want to reread often.

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“From renowned poet Sarah Kay, a single volume poem perfect for teachers and mentors.

All Our Wild Wonder is a vibrant tribute to extraordinary educators and a celebration of learning. The perfect gift for the mentors in our lives, this charming, illustrated poem reminds us of the beauty in, and importance of, cultivating curiosity, creativity, and confidence in others.”

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Want to grab a copy now? You can find it over on

Amazon | B&N

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About the Author:

Sarah Kay is a New Yorker. a poetry writer and reader. a spoken word poetry teacher. the founder and co-director of Project V.O.I.C.E. with Phil Kaye. a witty banter enthusiast. a postcard lover. a documentary filmmaker. a foodie. a playwright. a singer. a songwriter. a photographer. a best-selling author of the book B. an editor for Write Bloody Publishing. a Gemini. a mediocre driver at best. a musical theater geek. a smoothie expert. the daughter of a Taoist mother and a Brooklynese father. a hapa. less cool than her little brother. an alum of the United Nations International School. an alum of Brown University. an alum of Brown University Graduate School’s Masters Program in the Art of Teaching Secondary English. a recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Grinnell College.

Find out more:

#PoetryMonth: double-feature! @SoniaGreenfield & @Kavetchnik

Earlier this week I shared a bit about a new-to-me poet Sarah K. Carey. I hope you’ve taken a look at some of her poems and maybe you’ve even enjoyed them. I know I read and enjoyed a few this week.

If you recall, I made mention of Sarah suggesting some poets to me. Today I’m going to share a little more about a few of those poets. You can never have too many poets to check out. I know I can’t.

Jen Karetnick

The first poet I’d like to bring to your attention today is Jen Karetnick. She’s written a number of collections and chapbooks. That means my TBR just got a hefty increase. I’ll be trying to track at least a few of them down in the coming weeks.

Jen’s poetry has been published by Cutthroat, Measure, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Missouri Review, among many others. If you’d like a taste, here are a few poems to read:

Along with her own poetry, Jen is a co-founder of SWWIM, Creative Writing Director at a charter school, and food critic. As you can see there’s much to explore when it comes to this poet.

Start your exploration:

Sonia Greenfield

As I said before, I’m sharing two poets with you today. Two for the price of one isn’t a bad deal if you ask me.

Sonia Greenfield is a California poet, but is originally from New York (LIKE ME!) That’s not the reason I have a collection of hers on my desk right now though. I have one because I was able to get it from the library and couldn’t pass up the chance to read Sonia’s work. I also have a copy of The Best of American Poetry 2010 next to it because she has a poem in it. One of the BEST poems in the country in 2010? It feels wrong not to check her out.

The book I’m about to read soon is Boy with a Halo at the Farmer’s Market. If you can’t get your hands on that one fast enough, here are a few poems you can read right away:

That’s probably not enough on your reading pile, right? Thought so. That’s why I’m going to leave this right here before I go:

Sonia Greenfield’s poetry chapbook American Parable is a portrait of America’s current political and cultural landscape. Greenfield’s candor is a light that helps us make sense of a murky world.

Amazon

Still reading? Cool. Just a quick favor: If you have any poets you would like to push on me and my readers this month (or in the future) let me know! You can tell me through this form or use the contact option near the top of the page.

#PoetryMonth: featured poet @SayCarey1

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Part of the reason I started doing the Poetry Month event on my blog was a selfish one. While the main reasoning is to spread the word about poets and poetry as a whole, it also brought new poems and poets to my attention. This is a semi-common occurrence for me on platforms like Twitter and Facebook. During National Poetry Month it’s a bit easier to find the hands reaching out from the massive sea that is the book world online.

I’ve discovered many talented poets over the years online and this year is no different. You’ll see a few throughout this month. Today I’d like to introduce a new-to-me poet Sarah K. Carey, who I found at the suggestion of author Tamara Lush.

Back in 2016 Sarah published a chapbook, The Heart Contracts, through Finishing Line Press. This was her debut and a collection I’m looking forward to reading. You can find how to get a copy below.

Before you skip ahead, though, I’d like to bring to your attention a few other poems Sarah has out in the wild. These have been published in various publications. If you’re like me, you may want to see where this poet’s grown as a writer over time by reading these along with her chapbook.

Poetry Month is about discovering new poetry, stepping out of your comfort zone (maybe by reading poetry for the first time), and helping to expand the online community for poetry even in the slightest ways my little blog can. So if you end up enjoying Sarah’s poetry, maybe consider letting a fellow reader know about her. The same goes for other poets and poetry found throughout the month! In turn, if you’d like to bring someone to my attention, let me know. My TBR is always hungry.

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Some more recent poems for your reading pleasure…

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Want to grab a copy of this chapbook? You can find it over on

Finishing Line Press

or

Amazon | B&N

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In the spirit of Poetry Month, Sarah has suggested some poets to me and I’d like to share them with the rest of you. They are…

Chelsea Dingman

Jen Karetnick

Sonia Greenfield

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About the Author:

Sarah Carey is an award-winning writer, communications specialist and poet. A North Carolina native, she grew up in Florida, where she has lived most of her life. After two years at Duke University, Sarah finished her undergraduate education at Florida State University, where she majored in political science and began taking creative writing classes. While in college, Sarah waited tables, sold ads, wrote copy for the local public television station and covered news and features for the student newspaper, the Florida Flambeau. In 1981, she received a master’s degree in English from FSU with a concentration in creative writing.

One of the poems from her creative thesis was a finalist in the Academy of American Poets competition and in the final year of her graduate program, Sarah had her first poetry publication in the Florida Review. In the years since, she has continued to publish poems in a variety of small magazines and literary journals. She spent ten days as a residency-only student at the MFA program for writers at Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, N.C. in 1987 and later participated in two Key West Writer’s Workshops with the poet Carolyn Forché.

After completing her graduate studies, Sarah began working for weekly newspapers in the Florida Panhandle, becoming one of the state’s youngest-ever newspaper editors when she was named editor of the Gadsden County Times in 1983 at the age of 25. Many of her stories were honored with awards from organizations including the Florida Press Association, the Florida Press Club and the Florida Medical Association. In 1990, she began working for the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, where she remains today as director of communications, routinely writing and publicizing stories on topics ranging from veterinary medical advances benefiting pets, exotic animals, horses and livestock to biomedical discoveries affecting animal, human and ecosystem health. Sarah’s communications work has received several awards from the Florida Public Relations Association, which named her its Jack M. Detweiler Professional of the Year in 2012. Her work for the UF College of Veterinary Medicine was nationally recognized in 2017 when she and her communications team received the American Association of Veterinary Advancement Professionals’ Excellence in Communications Award.

She lives in Gainesville with her husband, Chad Hunsaker, and their black Labrador retriever, Finn.

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