Monday, April 24, 2017

NaPoWriMo 2017 - Prompt #24 - Music

Since yesterday's prompt focused on "silence," today we are looking at "music."  Of course, for some people silence may seem like "music to the ears," so you can consider words like: quiet, noise, ruckus, cacophony, and harmony as you think of music and poetry.  The two have long been in close association, with the natural rhythms of poetry playing like music, and so much of lyrical music being its own form of poetry.

Many people have strong associations with music, as some do with particular smells.  Here are a few lines from Katrina Vandenberg's poem, Record:

I regret giving up
your two boxes of vinyl,
which I loved. Surely

they were too awkward,
too easily broken
for people who loved music

the way we did. But tonight
I’m in the mood for ghosts,

Music is made by people across all cultures and has been made down through all of recorded history (and no doubt a lot longer than that.)  The variety is limitless.  Some music is made with instruments, and these can be created from material on hand like wood, or manufactured material like metal.  The human body is also an instrument, used for percussion sounds and also of course for singing.  Music can be composed ahead of time and preserved for generations, or it can be spontaneous, lasting just for that moment.  It can be performed solo or in groups.  Some music has strict rules, rhythm, and tune, while other music is more free form.  In many societies, the ability to perform music is a valued skill.  And of course some music never seems to get out of your head (ear-worm).  Music can make a strong cultural and generational statement.

Prompt #24:  Choose some aspect of the concept of music and write a poem.  What forms of music do you enjoy?  What instrument do you wish you could play?  What are your memories of music from major life events such as weddings?  What place does music have in your life?  What about the concepts of dissonance or being out of tune?  What are the implications for someone who does not hear music, or does not enjoy music?  In what ways is music viewed positively or negatively?  Consider these questions as you craft your poem.

For something more specific, write a poem that is inspired by the lyrics of a song, or a particular piece of instrumental music.

My mind is already bubbling with ideas to explore this theme in sci-fi, horror, or fantasy!

Did you use this or one of our other prompts? You can post your poem in our comments, if you like.

Happy Writing!

Prompts crafted by:
J.A. Grier, Senior Scientist and Education Specialist, Planetary Science Institute
Amy Grier, Managing Editor, Solstice Literary Magazine
Image Credits: Cello Player Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In and Out (of my Timeless, Lonely,
Late-Night, Ragged, Restive Mind)

(A poem written in response to Prompt
#23 - Silence; and Prompt # 24 - Music)

You know where the drums and guitars
Come in after the extended organ intro
of "Won't Get Fooled Again," then, after
a couple measures or three of repetitive
Rhythm-section vamping, the guitars stop
and Moon carries on alone with a heavy,
Stomping beat...until, finally, the guys
Return apace...soon to be joined by
Roger powerfully belting out the opening
Lines of the first verse, thereby commencing the main body of the song itself?

Well, one time (I kid you not), I was
Lying on my bed late at night, just
Listening to the radio with my headphones
On, barely able to stay awake (more on
That in a second), and this song came on,
Waking me (temporarily) up; then, after
The aforementioned intro, as Moon
Trampled on alone into my trembling ear-
Drums...I began to doze...

...drifting (lightly) off into an all-
Too-brief, midnight, lonely, twilight dream...(and: you know how, also, when
You're asleep -- well, this is true for
Me, anyway -- I don't know about all you
Other Who fans out there - I can only
Speak for myself, but - speaking personally, you understand - I have been known to be able to sleep through just about anything - even the massive drum stylings of one, Keith Moon - "late of
The Who, late of the Earth" - as one
Timeworn blurb once went, all across the
Back book jacket of a timeless time de-
tailing the heroic antics of one, madman,
Raging Moon)...

...well, I was
seemed (as I "slept"), as if I was out
For about ten, whole minutes! - even
Though I was just, lightly drifting...
Gently dreaming...(no sound coming through the soundproof inner brainpan walls of my snoozing, snoring self)
...I mean: that's, just, what it felt
Like, you know? Like I was down for the
Count for the duration of a decade of 60-
Second micro-units; okay? So:

...then, "soon" after...I was startled
Awake! by the roaring return of those
Screaming guitars all blasting forth
Beneath the bellowing, belting lungs of
The redoubtable singing Daltrey - jerking
Me out of my non-waking state; and, thus
(Necessarily), back to (of course) the
Waking kind;

...but: that's just the thing: if my due
Sojourn into the (temporary) land of
(Close-to)-midnight slumber...had only
Lasted for the duration of that brief,
Four-bar rhythmic interval of solo rolling drumbeats (type of: "four-on-the-floor": no frills; no fills; no rolls...
No nothing...just Moon, rolling mightily
Along on unsyncopated waves of hurling,
Non-stop - but regular and evenly-spaced
- percussive, wailing bash)...

...then: if that's the entire extent of
The time I was "down for the rumbling,
Ragged but common-time count" - then how
Come, when I awoke, I felt like I had been "gone" for ten, whole minutes! When,
In reality, it was only four, short bars?!

(I mean: that's, really, the only thing about it.)

(Is all.)

- T.B.