Saturday, July 15, 2006

Playlist & Poetry

I've been thinking about how specific works in a given artform might correspond with specific works in another artform. I used to be a dancer, and sometimes if I was bored somewhere and didn't have any music, I would sort of choreograph something in my head, and then after I had imagined enough of it, I would think about what music was right for it. I think that's the same thing as what I've been thinking about lately, but that was always fairly easy. And of course even easier was to hear some music and choreograph to that, but that's a slightly different thing, because one of the works was being created under the influence of the other.

What I've been thinking about lately just to give myself something to think about while I stand in line at a store, or brush my teeth, etc., is more like, hmmm, What film or films sort-of "correspond" with Frost's poem, "Acquainted with the Night?" And I'll start thinking of film-noir.

Here's a partial list of what I've been listening to lately, and the corresponding poems:

"Metal Heart," by Cat Power .... "November Life," by Tony Hoagland

"Extraordinary Machine," by Fiona Apple .... "Lady Lazarus," by Sylvia Plath

"A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall," by Bob Dylan (or remake by Edie Brickell) .... "A Hard Rain's A Gonna Fall," by Bob Dylan


"Not Ready to Make Nice," by the Dixie Chicks
(yes, seriously. I never thought I'd be listing one of their songs on a playlist of mine, yet alone admit it, but I read a lot of great things about their latest CD, and was curious if Right-Wing-Wrath could really deepen and improve musicians, and based on this song, I'm not embarrassed to say "Yes." And good to know that powerful & over the top corporate right-wing radio has done something good, right?)
.... ? Haven't come up with a poem yet though ....

What are your ideas?
And for any other song, film, painting, etc....


Sam of the ten thousand things said...

I like this idea of connecting the art forms.

A song that's with me these days is Dylan's "Lay Down Your Weary Tune." A poem that, for me, connects with his song is "Love the Wild Swan" by Robinson Jeffers.

As for "Acquainted with the Night"-- the first film that comes to mind is Robert Bresson's Pickpocket.

Thanks for the post.

LKD said...

Since I'm deeply enamored with the concept of ekphrastic poetry (and fiction for that matter), and love to both write and read it, I find your question here incredibly provocative. I'd never thought to pair specific songs or poems to specific yet not necessarily directly related pieces of artwork or poems or whatever. Hmmmm.

I was never a Dixie Chicks fan until I saw them interviewed on Sixty Minutes. But then, I heard how adamant the lead singer is, and how she's not willing to back down on what she beleives in---and I was wowed. I really love the video for "Not Ready to Make Nice." Maybe that's why this is the first image that popped into my head in response to your question:

Nude Descending Staircase

I can't eplain why this particular image is the one I relate to that song except maybe the visuals of the video somehow triggered the paitning in my mind.

Only one pairing springs into my head right now in response to your final question. You're familiar with Johnny Cash's excellent excellent excellent (smile) cover of Trent Rezor's song "Hurt"? Just now, thinking of that song, this painting appeared in my brain.

I love the song. So much so, that I can't bear to listen to it unless I'm alone because it makes me cry in a really sloppy ugly way. (smile) And I love that painting. Because for years, I mistook or mis-saw the image. I saw it as vision of yearning more than one of an impossible journey. It took me years to "see" that her spine was curved and that her hands were claws and that she was crawling up that godforsaken hill, crawling home to that tombstone of a house.

Yikes. I'm blathering.

Hey, thanks for this post, Sara. Man, has it got my wheels spinning.

sara kearns said...

Hi Laurel, Great paintings of course, and thanks for the links to them, and I think Wyeth's painting of the crippled woman ('been a favorite of mine), you are so right, resonates so powerfully, so painfully, so perfectly with Cash's torturing & beautiful cover of "Hurt." Brilliant connection -- and one not for the faint of heart. Your comment really got me thinking more about this kind of thing -- I'll have to do another, and better, post about this, because now I'm so preoccupied with finding and stumbling upon these kind of artistic affinities, and hearing about others' ideas. You said the post got your wheels spinning, so let me know where the wheels take you -- & your comments have done the same for me so much! And yeah, aren't the Dixie Chicks surprisingly cool and admirable? And wow I really love that song.

And Sam, you too -- I found with your comments as well that it fed my interest and stirred my musings about this. Yeah, I will do another post soon. I'll call it "Affinities." I will have to see
"Pickpocket." Yay, I love adding films to my "to see" list. And Dylan & Jeffers -- I like it. & just as an aside, is that one of the best titles in poetry or what?!

The three of us seem so into this idea now; there have got to be others. My mind is so hungry now for a string of, like, hmmm, 100 comments.

Thanks again for the intellectual nourishment! And for the plain old fun of it. :)