Musicians adapting Blake, cummings

Two contemporary recordings tie into our current readings neatly:

  • Tin Hat, the rain is a handsome animal: 17 songs from the poetry of e. e. cummings: Tin Hat play experimental acoustic/jazz music, and their version of cummings brings out his sultry side.
  • Martha Redbone, The Garden of Love: Songs of William Blake (streaming album): As The New Yorker puts it, “The mystical, humanistic words of the eighteenth-century English poet are fused with the melodies, drones, and rhythms of the Appalachian string-band music that Redbone absorbed as a child from her grandparents, in Black Mountain, Kentucky.”
  • We know that “lyric” implies a relation to music, but in English (as opposed to ancient Greek) poetry, that link is more likely to be imaginary. So how do we know which poems will lend themselves to a given genre of music? Is it really all about meter? What about the reverse phenomenon, when a song lyric tries to stand alone on the printed page?


    Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

    You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

    Google+ photo

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

    Connecting to %s