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< Seeing music -- Synesthesia | Main | A poem-to-be, getting closer >

A poem about music

Posted at 1:03 PM on March 2, 2009 by Fred Child (1 Comments)

Performance Today is commissioning a poem about music.

Not about music in general, but about a single piece of music. Which piece? Well...that's up to you.

The Pulitzer Prize winning American poet C.K. Williams has agreed to write a poem about a piece of music chosen by the listeners of Performance Today. The PT staff has narrowed it down to five works. But the final choice is yours. To hear excerpts and to cast your vote, go to the PT "Notes to Verse" page.

There is a rich history of poems inspired by music...and at the moment, I can't help but think of a poem we broadcast last spring. Bill Holm was a poet and pianist, and a force of nature. He lived for music, he lived for words. And his two passions often sparked each other. He wrote dozens of poems inspired by classical composers and their work.

Bill Holm died last week. He was 65 years old.


In the spring of 2008, Bill Holm joined me to talk about his experience of the connection between music and poetry. He introduced and read his poem based on Franz LIszt's Romance Oubliee. It's 8 minutes of audio, which is, I know, an eternity to spend with a single piece of audio online. But Bill's poem isn't just about music, it's about staring death in the face, and looking back on one's life. It's astonishing, deeply moving. I highly recommend you find eight minutes. Here's the audio from our 2008 interview.

Several of Bill Holm's poems about music were published in his 2004 collection, "Playing the Black Piano."

Comments ( 1 )

Just great!

Posted by malvina | March 2, 2009 8:39 PM

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