"Concert for Flute with Frederick the Great in Sanssouci" by Adolph von MenzelPoems on Famous Composers by Sally Cook The Society June 19, 2020 Beauty, Culture, Humor, Music, Poetry 9 Comments Johann Sebastian Bach Truly loved music, yet Managed to wed twice And father a gang. The kids took their tonics, Eschewed bad harmonics, Bach said Bohemian Life could go hang! Frederick Chopin was Never a well man. His Love for Maria Was only a yearn. George Sand, who helped slightly Did not take him lightly— His heart’s now in Warsaw, Interred in an urn. Billings was willing to Structure the music that Brahmins in Boston Thought of as chorales. Sam Adams enjoyed him, The churches employed him; His odd appearance Kept William from gals. Mozart’s enchanting style Revved up the royalty— Even old Handel Thought Wolfie the best. He played without stopping When he was bar hopping; Caught double pneumonia; Was then.laid to rest. Magical trumpeter Leon “Bix” Beiderbecke Captured notes no one Had ever dreamt of; Through this world he hurried, Creatively flurried; Didn’t have time for Conventional love. John Cage had a wife with A long Russian name; but Cared for each random Vibration much more. Lured into emptiness, He made a rhythmic mess, His wife got lost, for She thought him a bore. A former Wilbur Fellow and six-time Pushcart nominee, Sally Cook is a regular contributor to National Review, and has appeared in venues as varied as Chronicles, Lighten Up On Line, and TRINACRIA. Also a painter, her present works in the style known as Magic Realism are represented in national collections such as the N.S.D.A.R. Museum in Washington, D.C. and The Burchfield-Penney, Buffalo, NY. NOTE: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to email@example.com. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 9 Responses Joseph S. Salemi June 19, 2020 These double-dactyl poems (sometimes called “Higgeldy Piggeldy” pieces) are by nature comic. One real difficulty is that the name of one’s subject has to be made to fit somehow into the dactylic meter. I like the way Sally Cook has deftly arranged this, as in “Mozart’s enchanting style” and “Billings was willing to”. One thing about dactyls: they are so hard-hitting and forceful that they can easily override the expected natural stress in some words. The only place where this doesn’t quite work here is in the last item on John Cage. I’d revise the first four lines of it as follows: Cage had a wife with a Long Russian name but he Cared for each random Vibration much more. Reply Julian D. Woodruff June 19, 2020 Good laughs rule over bios, Ms. Cook: ‘Though you’ve played rather loose with the facts, It’s unlikely a reader will look At these poems as scholarly tracts. Please do us some more. I’ll try to get a couple of my recent composer poems posted as well. Reply Joseph S. Salemi June 19, 2020 Poets, like the Muses themselves, are not obliged to be truthful. Reply James A. Tweedie June 19, 2020 With Muse-inspired poetic diction A poet’s facts may well be fiction. And critics find, when they redact, That fiction is, quite often, fact. Reply Julian D. Woodruff June 20, 2020 Dear Mr. Tweedie, I fear you and Mr. Salemi sense a critical slant in my response to Ms. Cook’s poems, and a prescriptive subtext about poetry in general. Not at all! Reply James A. Tweedie June 21, 2020 Julian, My post was prompted by Mr. Salemi’s wry comment and was intended as a generically humorous reflection on the frequent admixture of fact and fiction in my own poetry, as well as in the poetry of others. Since it was not written as a direct response to your comment there is no need for it to be viewed as a “critical slant” on anything you said. If it has any “slant” at all, it was not intended in any way to be a “critical” one and most certainly not in any way associated with the negative sense of that word. All the best and nothing but the best from me to you. James A. Tweedie June 19, 2020 PS: I loved the poems. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant June 19, 2020 Sally, these engaging little poetic insights capture the essence of each composer with wonder and wit. I love them. ❤️ Reply C.B. Anderson June 23, 2020 Sally, I once read that the reason Bach had so many children was that his organ had no stops. John Cage was a frequent visitor at Wesleyan University when I was there. One time he put microphones beneath the seats of wooden chairs just so he could amplify the creaks. Better was when he brought conch shells with the pointy end sawed off, inviting us to use them like brass instruments. Having played the trumpet in high school, I was quite good at it. All in all, I think the man was on the wrong track. No one will remember him in a hundred years, or even ten years. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. 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