Tuesday Poem-Under African Skies-Paul Simon-and thoughts on rhythm

Rhythm, colour and poetry, put to music and combined into film. Wonderful stuff!

Below, is the chorus.  For all the words go here. ‘This is the story of how we begin to remember This is the powerful pulsing of love in the vein After the dream of falling and calling your name out These are the roots of rhythm And the roots of rhythm remain’ These days poetry, music and art, are coming together in new and exciting ways.  I grew up thinking of rhythm as belonging to music and colour to art.  Yes we had rhyming poetry but it was different somehow. Now I see that rhythm is a basic principle of the universe. Sure we can narrow it down to fit our own interests…anything from making beds, to running, to beating drums, or we can acknowledge the rhythms of the universe; day and night, the rumblings of mother earth, birth and death, the moon and the tides… But when it comes to our own writing,  have we got a handle on it?  Does it come naturally to us as poets or do we need to look at techniques such as assonance, alliteration, enjambment.  I think back to my student days and that  little ditty I can’t remember about the internalisation of knowledge.  It taught me that experience, instinct/gut feeling  and practice are so very different to theory. A few years back when I had the privilege of helping my daughter proofread and edit her PHD in physics I had an epiphany. I am not a scientist but some of the words and phrases she used are wonderful in their poetry…bathymetry, for example. The second part of this epiphany was that I realized that what ever one is writing about, the page has to have a natural rhythm, like musical phrasing. We soon get bored with language that is written/spoken in a monotone. And I realized that the most factual piece of writing doesn’t cut it unless it is rhythmically phrased. Enough to conclude that it is a combination of all the above which gets us there. So, my dears, embrace the rhythms of the world today! The interesting thing is that I started putting this page together a month ago. And coincidentally Tuesday Poems third birthday is to be celebrated with a communal jazz poem…18 poets out of the thirty starting today and finishing on the 23rd April.

Much later…go here for the finished poem.

2 thoughts on “Tuesday Poem-Under African Skies-Paul Simon-and thoughts on rhythm

  1. Lovely, Helen! How the rhythms of life keep us alive, and moving. And intertwine, too. I’ve got Africa on the mind, and I keep coming across things that bring me closer, in words and feeling… and eventually heading there in December. So thank you for this, and for your comments. I like what you say about your daughter’s PhD thesis, and the rhythms of even science writing. So true!

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