Wednesday, March 12, 2008

this is the order of the music of the morning...

vachel lindsay

norman corwin reads american poetry

i had initially thought that the short spoken poems on this columbia 78 were spoken by the poets themselves, until i noticed norman corwin's name on both sides of the label... fortunately, this beautiful excerpt from vachel lindsay's poem 'the santa fe trail', stellarly spoken by "america's poet laureate of radio" was a more than pleasant surprise.

lindsay's word forms and corwin's diction feels like the sounds of trains, and sounds like a combination of sound poetry, hillbilly music, and even a bit like the beats. lindsay suggested that while reading the piece, one should inject 'one third of music added by instinct'. he also mentions the poem as an experiment to carry the 'vaudeville form back towards the old greek precedent of the half chanted lyric' (an idea that not only comes through in the reading here, but resonates a bit with the ideas of harry partch).

the image of lindsay comes from a blog devoted to him, which is not only interesting but much more obsessive than a wikipedia entry...

click here to listen.

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