October 23, 2007KR BlogWriting

Poetry with the Stars

A few weeks ago, I saw that Ani Difranco will be releasing a book of poetry. She’s not the first to offer song lyrics to the literati–there’s a litany of lead singers who have done this before. Jewel’s A Night Without Armor is the modern standard–but there are offerings from Alicia Keys (Tears for Water), Ashanti (FOOLISH/UNFOOLISH), Billy Corgan (Blinking with Fists) and Jeff Tweedy (Adult Head). Steve Earle, the country music rocker, has a collection of stories, Doghouse Roses.

There were forebears. Bob Dylan’s Tarantula came out in 1971. Jim Morrison’s The Lords and the New Creatures came out the same year (also the year of his death.) Leonard Cohen’s Let us Compare Mythologies appeared in 1956. Joni Mitchell did it then and is doing it now: “Bad Dreams are Good” appeared a month ago in The New Yorker.

The actor Jack Palance wrote poems too, and published them in The Forest of Love: A Love Story in Blank Verse. However, Leonard Nimoy, aka Mr. Spock, has been prolific. His work includes Come Be with Me, We Are All Children Searching for Love, and You and I, and A Lifetime of Love.

Here’s some of Nimoy’s verse:

I am convinced
That if all mankind
Could only gather together
In one circle
Arms around each other’s shoulders
And dance, laugh and cry
Together
Then much
of the tension and burden
of life
Would fall away
In the knowledge that
We are all children
Needing and wanting
Each other’s
Comfort and
Understanding
We are all children
Searching for love

Maybe this post should be a lesson to MFA programs looking to help graduates publish? Teach them to sing. Teach them to look good in front of the camera. It helps.

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The Kenyon Review Associates Program provides Kenyon students with valuable experience in literary editing, publishing, and programming. KR Associates work closely with Kenyon Review staff, gaining valuable experience in a number of editing, publishing, and programming areas including manuscript evaluation, publicity and marketing, copy editing, developing web site and social media content, outreach programming, event planning and promotion, and other creative and editorial projects

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