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.

2 comments:

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...