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When students only have read a few poems, in exclusively academic contexts, they often approach poetry with what the li...

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Herrick (3)

Maybe the trick of Herrick is that he doesn't take himself too seriously.  He works seriously at his poetry, but his persona is not arrogant at all.

You tube piano tricks

I have been listening to some youtube piano videos, and I have noticed that one of the qualities in the best ones is that the player knows how to play, rather than demonstrating a technique or sequence of chords without any real jazz feeling. It might seem obvious but that's my guarantee that the player will not steer me in the wrong direction. The three best instructors I have found are Marius Nordal, Aimee Nolte, and Hal Galper. When you hear them play there is a level of conviction there, even when showing a simplistic lick it will be with the right feeling. There are other guys on the net who play woodenly, whether because they think they need to to teach, or because they actually aren't very good.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Herrick (2)

I guess what I like now about Herrick is the variety of approaches to life, but all within a single personality.  You get to know him well, and the deployment of a topos like the carpe diem feels sincere, because you feel that is something he identified with when he was writing this poem. He was one of the first poets who taught me how to read him, like many other poets since. It was also probably one of my first experiences in doing this with an early modern poet.  Herrick is one of the best connectors I have to my 15 and 16 year-old self.

I don't like biographical approaches, and don't know much about his life, but I feel a very strong personality in his poetry.  

I can identify this in time with some precision, because I only attended this school for two years. Ninth grade was at a Junior High School, and I didn't ever make it to 12th grade.

Dream Poem

In my dream my colleague had given me a book of his poems, as part of a promotion process.  I opened the book and the first poem said:

Papá, what you vant for breakfast?

I vant you, Vully!

Papá, I'm twenty!

The next poems were visual poetry, with wood-like shapes.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Herrick

So I am writing this memoir of reading.  When I was in high school I used to carry around a Norton edition of the Herrick's poetry. It is now out of print, and quite expensive to buy second hand. I tried to get a cheap edition of Herrick but ending up by accident buying a critical study instead.

Anyway, I liked Herrick, who shares my birthday, and I think I was doing almost an anti-Donne gesture, with a preference for a seemingly minor poet. I carried this volume around for years, and I don't know what happened to my copy. Herrick's wrote hundreds of poems (1,400) and was extremely accomplished. I realize now that reading him, probably every poem he wrote, when I was 15 or 16 was a formative experience, because I absorbed all those renaissance / 17th century tropes and topoi.  The poem "The Vine," about the poet's dream of an erection, was quite nice to read at that age.

I was perhaps wanting a teacher to notice that I was reading something not assigned. We had those dismal English classes where I never seemed to do as well as I might have.

my new favorite chord: sharp 9 sharp 5.

I voice this chord like this:

F B in the left hand (I'm omitting the root which is G).

D# A# in the right.

It is is the G7 with #5 and #9. It would resolve down to a C maj7.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Creativity

I have this book on creativity, by an artist or art teacher, you probably know what I'm talking about, that   claims the right side of the brain is more creative, since this is the visual side. Of course, this kind of crude bicameralism is scientifically incorrect. Not only that, why does only the visual get to be creative? Why not the musical and verbal?  I feel as creative when I am noodling as when I am doodling.  Even more so, since my songs are better than my drawings. I don't even try to write new songs now. I just play and once in a while something will occur to me and I will develop it into a song.

I think I need to do more song settings.  Maybe Herrick?  

I am sure that there are uncreative artists, just as there are uncreative creative writers.

Also, once creativity becomes the province of corporate culture, won't it lose any value?