For Earth Day-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’ I am reposting this post from April 2013. It seems to fit with what I have been doing lately and also with the celebration of Earth Day 2019 which was on Monday 22nd. There are some amazing sites online if you want to check it out.

Rhythm is a Basic Principle of the Universe

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!