I came to poetry through music. My mother was very musical and loved to sing. She had a broad taste and, instead of lullabies, she would perform popular songs of the day to get me to sleep, songs by Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Frank Sinatra; Harry Belafonte’s ‘Scarlet Ribbons’ (which reminds me of mum) and ‘Island in the Sun’; or A. A. Milne’s poetry put to music, such as ‘Vespers’. I had copies of A.A. Milne’s books of poetry and enjoyed the jaunty rhythms and rhymes. But the poetry that really got to me was introduced to me at school when I was eight or nine by our teacher, Miss Pile. I fell in love with Tennyson’s ‘The Lady of Shallot’ and Blake’s ‘The Tyger’ and ‘Jerusalem’, which was set to music and sung as a hymn in school assemblies. When my favourite hymn, ‘Morning has broken’, originally a poem by Eleanor Farjeon, was recorded by Cat Stevens in 1971, I was a teenager. I listened to the album ,’Teaser and the Fire Cat’, non-stop – I still have it on CD. I was also strongly influenced by the lyrics of Joni Mitchell and the poetry of Leonard Cohen. That was when I started writing my own poetry, as a way of exorcising my teenage demons. And releasing my angel wings.
new buds on fruit trees
vernal breeze in the wind chimes
music of the past
Kim M. Russell, 2018
My response to dVerse Poets Pub Haibun Monday: Who? What? Why?
This Monday Toni is back to host and she’d like us to write haibun about what/who inspired us to write poetry, including age and other circumstances; the who poets who influenced or still influence us and what it was about them that grabbed our interest; and the most difficult part is why we write poetry?
So we are writing one to two paragraphs of non-fiction, ending with a classic haiku which has a seasonal reference, and interchangeable first and third lines.