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< A poem about music | Main | Piano Puzzler in the style of...Chick Corea? >



A poem-to-be, getting closer

Posted at 6:42 PM on March 5, 2009 by Fred Child (1 Comments)

I love that C.K. Williams is so willing. Even if he's a little anxious about the whole thing.

Mr. Williams is a Pulitzer-Prize winning poet, he teaches at Princeton. Which means he certainly didn't have to take this gig.

CKwilliams1.jpg

But he did. And in a week, he will start writing a poem for us. Based on music you choose.

We have five nominees, pieces by Mendelssohn, Berlioz, Beethoven, Ravel, and Peter Maxwell Davies. You can hear highlights from the nominees and cast your vote on our "Notes to Verse" page. Voting goes through next Friday, the 13th.

(Will it skew the voting if I tell you where things stand? Beethoven has nosed ahead of Maxwell Davies, but playing the Berlioz on the air Friday may change everything. Stop calculating your vote based on this, just go listen and vote.)

You can also hear my conversation with CK Williams about our project on the "Notes to Verse" page. Or what the heck, just click here.

C.K. Williams will join me for an update on how the poem is coming later this month. And he'll read his finished work on Performance Today on April 1, the beginning of National Poetry Month.

For more about CK Williams, check out his profile here, on the Poetry Foundation website.

Here's a 2006 New York Times review of Williams' "Collected Poems."


Comments ( 1 )


I can't believe that no one has posted to this yet! Anyway, I just wanted to note that I love that PT is doing this collaboration with C.K. Williams and the National Poetry Project. As Fred and C.K. discussed last week, poetry and music are closely and inextricably linked in so many ways (meter or rhythm being at the heart of both). Also, I've heard that anthropologists think that early humans sang to each other before they developed speaking or speech, and, the first human speech was probably rhymed. In their songs and then later in their speech, early humans most likely used rhyme, along with meter, to help them remember important events or stories. So, I think what I'm getting at here is that music and poetry together--were sort of one and the same thing for early humans, and even though we now speak to each other mainly in prose, we still respond on some fundamental level to music/poetry whenever it is played/spoken.

I haven't decided which piece to vote for yet (for me it's between the Mendelssohn or the Beethoven), but regardless, I look forward to hearing the poem (and the piece that inspired it) later in April.

Posted by Catherine | March 11, 2009 11:46 PM

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