18/06/2012 – Monday – Poetry
Today I made a video about poetry for my GeorgeTown channel. I quote both Wordsworth and Molesworth, and discuss in particular the poetry of Arlene Corwin. She has recently published her seventh collection of poems, and this one is about music, broadly speaking. Here’s the video, to begin with:
It’s an intriguing collection for a number of reasons. It spans both time and style. Some of the poems date back decades, and although jazz is Arlene’s main tipple (discussions of Charlie Parker, Tony Fruscella and Michel Petrucciani are among the highlights) show-tunes and classical music are also among the subjects incisively dissected.
The style is refreshing. Never too formulaic, Arlene writes in half-lines with beat rhymes driving the meter rather than the other way around. It’s very raw, very honest and very pleasing to read.
It’s a joy most of all, though, because it’s so introspective and honest. It’s pretty rare to see into the true soul of an artist or a musician, especially when the analysis comes straight from the horse’s mouth. But Arlene is fearless in her self-assessment, finding and caressing a personal flaw in every other poem, talking herself into and out of neat little insights about what it is to be a musician, a poet and a person.