jjhunter: Drawing of human JJ in ink tinted with blue watercolor; woman wearing glasses with arched eyebrows (JJ inked)
[personal profile] jjhunter
I'm a mockingbird poet. That is to say, I have my own style, but I also have a lot of fun imitating the styles of other poets, or combining elements of several styles into something new.

Why imitate? )

Today's featured project is a game that takes imitation one step further into remix, i.e. imitating some elements and transforming others of one or more pieces to create a new work. 'One Poem, Two Poem, Old Poem, New Poem':
Let's play an informal game today. Comment on this post with a favorite line or stanza [without telling me the source], and I will write you a minute remix poem or poem fragment in return. If you or someone else replies to that with another favorite line from a different source, I'll elaborate on the initial fill to incorporate the new reference, and so on and so forth.
And here's one of my favorite resulting poems:

they say your heart went fey to faeryland
where none can touch
or wound it wakeful

and down you went to goblintown... )
'Far and Fey' drew inspiration from five different sources — can you guess any of them off the bat? Try to work out what elements were imitated or transformed from each of the source prompts as the poem evolved, and then read the poem in its entirety again. Has your reading of the poem changed? Did any of the source prompts surprise you?

Bonus: I would be remiss if I failed to mention [personal profile] luzula set 'Far and Fey' to music and recorded it. Listen to luzula's fantastic performance here.
luzula: a Luzula pilosa, or hairy wood-rush (Default)
[personal profile] luzula
I was asked by [personal profile] jjhunter if I wanted to chant/sing this piece, and I was happy to take on the challenge, and was really inspired by the poem! I know very little about ancient Greek poetry and music, and I didn't even know that it was originally meant to be chanted/sung with lyre accompaniment. So the music here is straight from my own head. Er, I guess the recording is a bit rough--I've had a cold and am not quite recovered. Okay, enough excuses. The text is here, for reference, and here's my recording:

Alternative link in case the Soundcloud streaming doesn't work: click through for streaming.

About the song and about my process )
jjhunter: Ekwara jaunx wearing JJ's glasses; black ink tinted with brown watercolor to depict cute fuzzy cat/bear-like animal (Ekwara jaunx with JJ's glasses)
[personal profile] jjhunter
Now wait a minute, Mr. Socks Fox!

When a fox is in the bottle where the tweetle beetles battle
with their paddles in a puddle on a noodle-eating poodle,
THIS is what they call...

a tongue twister supreme! Today we have three takes on the closing tweetle beetle battle portion of Dr. Seuss' 'Fox in Socks', as well as a bonus reading of the entire poem with commentary by [personal profile] kate_nepveu. You can listen to each via their respective embedded player (note that you may need to click the play triangle twice), or download the audio files by right-clicking and saving-as the hyperlinks.

[personal profile] kate_nepveu - 'Fox in Socks' with commentary [mp3 link]

Three takes on the Tweetle Beetle Battle excerpt by kate_nepveu, mmcirvin, and jjhunter respectively )

Listeners, if something particularly delights or intrigues you about one or more of these recordings, tell us about it in the comments. Likewise, readers, please feel free to share your own thoughts about the experience of recording from 'Fox in Socks'.

Fox in socks, our game is done, sir.
Thank you for a lot of fun, sir.
jjhunter: Drawing of human JJ in ink tinted with blue watercolor; woman wearing glasses with arched eyebrows (JJ inked)
[personal profile] jjhunter
There's something about how listening to a poem can change the way you experience it. I find that is doubly true when I have the opportunity to listen to several different readers' interpretation of the same poem. If one or more of the following recordings moves you as a listener, try to articulate why in the comments. Likewise, readers, please feel free to share your own thoughts about the experience of recording this particular poem.

Note that you may need to click the play triangle twice on some of the audio players.

Julia Niedermaier (LibriVox) [mp3 link]


Four more recordings behind the cut )
luzula: a Luzula pilosa, or hairy wood-rush (Default)
[personal profile] luzula
I'm going to talk about a specific reading here, because it's really the strongest such experience I've had: Elizabeth Klett's reading of T. S. Eliot's "The Waste Land". You can download it at Librivox, and the text is online at Gutenberg.

I'd read this poem several times before, and found it captivating even though I don't get all the scholarly references in it. I think it's mostly the landscape descriptions and the connections between those and how society is described in the poem that got to me. I am a sucker for landscape and nature descriptions in basically any form, so this is no surprise if you know me.

Elizabeth Klett is one of my favorite Librivox readers--for example, her readings of the Austen novels are to die for--so when I saw that she'd recorded this poem, I downloaded it immediately. And wow. When I first listened to it, it gave me goosebumps and a sense of almost physical pleasure.

I got a new appreciation for the dialogue in it especially--she infuses all the dialogue with character so it really contributes to the overall impression of the poem. I never got that when I just read it on the page, and I'm far more likely to listen to this poem now than to read it.

This is my last post for this week! Thanks for inviting me, I've enjoyed it a lot. : )
luzula: a Luzula pilosa, or hairy wood-rush (Default)
[personal profile] luzula
I've always liked setting poetry to music. I think it started when I first read Tolkien at age eight or nine and making up melodies for the songs there.

It's hard to talk about how I do it, though! I mean, I love music and singing, and that's obviously a prerequisite. I most often make melodies that sound like folk music of some kind, because that's the sort of music I listen to most. I usually just go around humming and trying out different melodies and rhythms until I find one that works for me. Usually I won't write it down as sheet music, and neither will I be particularly bothered about the beat being regular--when I've tried to accompany myself with a guitar or something, I've often had to change the way I sing to make the beat more regular. Which is not to say that there isn't a beat, just that I've sung it in a freer way when I do it a capella.

Here's one I made fairly recently: it's fannish poetry by [personal profile] kill_claudio, originally posted here (the fandom is due South and the pairing Fraser/Kowalski, but it can hopefully be appreciated without context):

Shattered Light, by Kill Claudio )

God, I love that poem--it's heartbreaking. Anyway, this one's interesting because it's a set of haikus, so the rhythm of the song is going to have to work with that. Also, I want the melody to somehow indicate the sentence breaks as well as the line breaks, which means that there are variations in the melody between the verses. My sister is the one playing the guitar and singing harmony, and I remember that we wrote down fairly precisely what she was going to do with the guitar (for example make a small break after "full stop" *g*).

Here's a second one: it's Kipling's "Song of the Little Hunter" from the Jungle Book.

Song of the Little Hunter )

I did this one fairly long ago--maybe ten years ago?--so I don't remember much of the process. But I still like it. There's so much drama in it, and I get to act out all the stalking and the skittishness. And I like the language, too (but I remember having to practice saying "the lightning shows each littlest leaf-rib clear" fast without stumbling--there are a lot of consonants in there *g*). I also like how it lets me play around with volume, almost down to a whisper when the text calls for it.
luzula: a Luzula pilosa, or hairy wood-rush (Default)
[personal profile] luzula
As I said in the last post, I do some recording at Librivox. A cool feature of Librivox is the culture they have of reading poetry--there's no prestige attached to it, and anyone can submit readings. In fact, they encourage multiple readings of the same poem: there's a weekly poetry project where everyone reads the same poem, and also monthly collections where everyone can submit two poems each. Of course, everything has to be public domain, which is a bit limiting. You can check out their current poetry (and short prose) projects here, and previous projects are in the catalog.

Anyway, I dived right into the poetry readings and discovered that I loved it. It felt like a new thing, but I realized that it wasn't--when I was in my early teens or thereabouts, I learned, for example, Tennyson's "The Lady of Shalott" by heart and stood reciting it to myself in my room. *g*

I've always loved singing, and I think reading poetry aloud shares something with that. For one thing, the rhythm feels more important to me than when I'm reading prose, even when the poem doesn't keep to a set meter. Since poems are often fairly short compared to prose pieces, I'll practice the reading beforehand in a way I don't do with prose. I'll try different ways of reading, sometimes making notes in the margin, until I find something I like. This is like what I do when I practice songs, trying to find the phrasing that works for me (which can obviously be very different from how someone else might do it).

I also like reading poetry out loud for the pure pleasure of the sounds in my mouth. I get this with prose too sometimes, but with prose the plot or action or characterization is likely to be foremost in my mind when I read. Obviously there is meaning in the poetry too that you have to think about when you read, not just pleasurable sounds, but sometimes my brain gets side-tracked and goes "oooh, yummy allitteration!" and I have to concentrate to get back to what the poem is actually saying.

So, here's "The Lady of Shalott"--yeah, I went for the nostalgia. : ) And I still really enjoy reading this poem! It's got a clear rhythm, but it still doesn't feel like I fall into a monotonous sing-song rhythm; it has lovely sounds and images; and there's a clear narrative and even some dialogue, which gives me forward momentum and makes me feel like I'm actually telling a story. Which is not to say that I always want those things in a poem, but I enjoy them in this one. And of course, I care about the lady of Shalott. Emotional connection to the characters or the theme of a poem means a lot to the reading for me, too.

Since it's fairly long, I'll just link to the text.

Please do link to your own readings in the comments, or tell me how reading poetry aloud works for you and how it makes you feel!
luzula: a Luzula pilosa, or hairy wood-rush (Default)
[personal profile] luzula
Hi! I'm [personal profile] luzula, and [personal profile] jjhunter found a post I'd made in my journal about reading poetry out loud and asked if I wanted to post about it here during this week. So here I am. : )

I am--kind of a random poetry reader? I mean, I don't actively hunt for new poetry the way I hunt for new fiction or new music. But sometimes I'll stumble over poetry that really moves me and then I'll track down more poetry by that author. Stuff I have found this way and which I love include C. D Wright, Ursula K. Le Guin's translation of the Tao Te Ching, and the Swedish-Finnish poet Eva-Stina Byggmästar (I am Swedish myself). I used to write poetry when I was younger, but it was just for my own private purposes, kind of like a diary. Nowadays my creative writing energy is channeled into writing fan fiction instead.

I also do a good deal of amateur audiobook recording, mostly podfic, but I also record at Librivox, which is an awesome volunteer site dedicated to recording public domain books and other writings (including poetry) and releasing them back into the public domain.

Here is my plan for this week:

- a post about reading poetry aloud and why it appeals to me. I'll also share one of my Librivox recordings.
- a post about setting poetry to music, which is something I've done almost since I was young enough to read. I'll share some recordings here, too.
- a post about another person's recording of a poem that changed how I experienced the poem.

I'll keep to public domain poems, so as not to break the guidelines on the comm profile.

Right, I'll end with a bite-sized poem that I've recorded. (Rather bleak, I know. It, um, inspired me to write a story from the POV of someone turning into a zombie, which I bet is not what Walter de la Mare was thinking about. *facepalm*):

November, by Walter de la Mare )


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February 2017



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