Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Music Theory Poem

I did my response poem based on Walt Whitman's "When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer"

When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer

When I heard the learn'd astonomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
when I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon unaccountable I became tried and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wandered off by myself,
In the mystial moist night-air, and from time to time,
Looked up in perfect silence at the stars.

Now for my poem:

When I Heard the Learn'd Music Theorist

When I heard the learn'd music theorist,
When the cadences and set classes were in columns before me,
When I was told about modulations, muical forms and formulas to invent a piece,
When I sitting heard the music theorist where he lectures with a sense of accomplishment and self-pride,
How soon frustrated I grew tired and sick,
Till humming a tune to myself,
A simple melody, untouched by formula and organically grown
Realizing what was beauty.


Dr. Robbins said...

This is wonderful, Jeremiah! Lovely and wholly in the spirit of the poem while recapitulating the form of the poem. If we thought of response poems as a circle in a sort of Venn Diagram relationship with the first poem, these two would be about the same size and overlapping a lot.

Jillian said...

I like it! And God, I feel that way about Theory too. Nice way to reinvent this poem...