Saturday, July 25, 2009

Poets and pop.

The topics picked for RR lists just goes to show (for the mockers and sneerers) that there's a lot of overlap between pop and poetry. The songs people mention can very often easily stand beside the stuff I read in Carol Ann Duffy's piece in today's Guardian :

Those wonderful poems brought to mind a song from one of Australia's biggest ever bands Cold Chisel called Khe Sanh. Don Walker writes like Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan, two other pop poets (among many) (no, that's not one of my prolific typos - it really is the URL).

And then I went rummaging around for stuff about pop and poetry and found this piece from last year about poet Simon Armitage's love for pop :

Cheers, Caitlin


ToffeeBoy said...

Hey, Caitlinpuss! To me, and I suspect many others on the 'Spill, music is poetry. A good lyric is a big part of what I love about music which is why bands/acts like Prefab Sprout, The Go-Bewteens, The Decemberists, Death Cab For Cutie, Everything But The Girl and Sufjan Stevens figure so highly in my listening lists.

The best example I know of poetry set to music is The Go-Betweens' When People Are Dead.

When People Are Dead

Who knows, the link may even work ...

May1366 said...

Hello Caitlin, great to see you on here. As several of the old lags here know, my day job is writing and, whenever I trace the reasons why, throughout my teens, I developed the ambition to be a poet, music plays a massive part. Listening to John Peel obviously satisfied my punk and new wave sensibilities but it also introduced me to reggae, country & western...and contemporary poetry - John Cooper Clarke, Ivor Cutler, Attila the Stockbroker and, in particular, Linton Kwesi Johnson.

Far from there being a separation, I always aspired to the state of music with my writing, more so than I've ever bothered about it passing muster as 'literature'. It's a reversal of the traditional Dylan/Keats snobbery - Ode To A Nightingale's all very well, but imagine writing something that has the same overall effect as Coltrane's A Love Supreme, or Debussy's Arabesques, or Martha Reeves' Heatwave, or...basically, name your poison.

Anyway, here's a link that might amuse or outrage - a (fairly meek) translation of "A Rebuke to Aurelius and Furius" by the Roman poet, Catullus. I wish I'd come across this during the Cruel Songs theme:

Dangerpuss said...

Hi Toffee and May

I KNEW I'd get some interesting comments on this. Hooray! Conversation you can chew on.
S'wonderful, s'marvellous.

Thanks for the links.

(And for the evolving nick. I like Caitlinpuss. Maybe I should give Dangerpuss back to its rightful owner now. It's my cat's secret superhero identity. She doesn't do a lot of typing, what with the opposible thumbs issue. Perhaps I should mutate into TypoGirl.)

Anyway, yes there's poetry in all good songs. I think I read somewhere recently that our new poet laureate Carol Ann did some kind of live jam with music. Or maybe that's just wishful thinking. She's doing a fine job so far. Very refreshing.

Cheers, Caitlin

AliMunday said...

Toffeeboy - completely agree with you, music is poetry. Words have their own cadence - I mentioned 'The Schooner Flight' on this blog a couple of weeks ago (Derek Walcott). It should be read out loud.