Monday, February 11, 2008

Poetry and Song

Back in September, Paul Vermeersch and I had an extended--and probably stupid--argument about the relationship between poetry and song. Paul said they were different things; I said they were too closely related to be completely distinct. Paul committed several logical errors. I won.

In case there's any doubt of it, this story in the NY Times (thanks to Zeke for the link) about French singer Carla Bruni's musical treatments of Dickinson, Auden, Yeats, Christina Rossetti and Dorothy Parker poems gives weight to my argument that poetry and song are too intertwined to separate them neatly. And I'm backed up by no less a Paul than Mr. Muldoon. So there, Vermeersch.

Sounds like a seriously sexy album. Anyone familiar with her singing?

1 comment:

B. Glen Rotchin said...

There's only one (major) difference I can think of. By definition, in poetry words must contain and embody its own music (the musical elements of rhyme and rhythm etc. of language) In song, music is a self-sufficient accompaniment to words, with each existing separately, but when balanced are complementary.