This April, we have been celebrating National Poetry Month to recognise the importance of poets and poetry in the arts world now and throughout history worldwide. Enjoy the final blog from us!
During this time of global uncertainty, poems can offer insight, wisdom, enlightening ideas and language that prompts reflection, helping us to slow down in our daily and often, busy lives with the aim of finding calm and peace mentally, emotionally and spiritually. With many working from home at present, why not take on the advice from Poets.org who have provided a fabulous list of ways to engage with National Poetry Month. In the meantime, keep up-to-date with our weekly blog, where we will showcase the poetical and musical talent of some great people in the arts world.
Here’s a few ways to celebrate poetry month:
- Organise a poetry reading, open mic, or poetry slam via a video conferencing service
- Sign up for an online poetry class or workshop
- Donate books of poetry to little free libraries and mutual aid networks
- Research and volunteer with poetry organisations in your area
- Take a socially safe walk and write a poem outside
#4 Emily Dickinson
The poetry of Emily Dickinson is drenched in music. It’s eminently singable, as she often borrowed meters from American hymnody: for example, many of her poems can be sung to the Common Meter tune of “Amazing Grace.” Dickinson also wrote frequently about music, like in “Better — than Music!,”I’ve heard an Organ Talk, sometimes,” and “Musicians wrestle everywhere,” which helped inspire the following instrumental work.
“Musicians Wrestle Everywhere” is a chamber piece, a “concerto for ten instruments” which British composer Judith Weir (b. 1954) wrote in 1994 for the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. Of this piece, Weir has said that that she wanted to write a work informed by the everyday sounds of her urban environment in London.
“While writing the piece, I discovered Emily Dickinson’s poem, which seems to suggest, in the very modern way of Cage and Feldman, that music is all around us if we only care to listen to it.” – Judith Weir
‘Musicians Wrestle Everywhere’
(Emily Dickinson (1830–86). Complete Poems. 1924. Part One: Life)
MUSICIANS wrestle everywhere:
All day, among the crowded air,
I hear the silver strife;
And—waking long before the dawn—
Such transport breaks upon the town
I think it that “new life!”
It is not bird, it has no nest;
Nor band, in brass and scarlet dressed,
Nor tambourine, nor man;
It is not hymn from pulpit read,—
The morning stars the treble led
On time’s first afternoon!
Some say it is the spheres at play!
Some say that bright majority
Of vanished dames and men! 15
Some think it service in the place
Where we, with late, celestial face,
Please God, shall ascertain!