[Connie’s website update for April, 2016]

Because it’s National Poetry Month (are they aware Carl Sandburg called April “the cruelest month?”) and everybody’s talking about their favorite poems, I got to wondering whether I had one. And whether songs count. For the last month, I’ve been listening obsessively to “What Can You Lose?”, the Stephen Sondheim song/poem sung by Mandy Patinkin and Madonna in Dick Tracy.

Before that, it was Ivor Novello’s “The Land of Might-Have-Been” (Gosford Park) and before that, “The Lady of Shalott” as sung by Loreena McKennitt, which is definitely poetry, and Tennyson, at that. And for years it’s been William Butler Yeats’s “The Song of Wandering Aengus,” as sung by Bud and Travis, the most haunting poem I know and the only one I can recite from memory–though if I listen to “The Lady of Shalott” much longer, I’ll have that memorized, too.

Other favorites:

–“Bagpipe Music” by Louis MacNeice, which begins, “It’s no go the merry-go- round, it’s no go the rickshaw,/ All we want is a limousine and a ticket for the peepshow.”

–“I Remember Snow” by Stephen Sondheim (from Evening Primrose)

–“It Was Not Death, for I Stood Up” by Emily Dickinson

–“Funeral Blues” by W.H. Auden (from the movie Four Weddings and a Funeral)

–“With rue my heart is laden” by A.E. Housman

–“anyone lived in a pretty how town” by e.e. cummings

–“Four Quartets” by T.S. Eliot

–“You’re the Top” by Cole Porter

–“How Long Has This Been Going On?” by George Gershwin

And every poem Dorothy Parker ever wrote, including this one:

“Oh, love is a glorious cycle of song,
A medley of extemporanea,
And love is a thing that can never go wrong,
And I am Marie of Romania.”

Happy National Poetry Month!
Connie Willis

This entry was posted in Updates. Bookmark the permalink.