On Poetry and Music

Do you listen to music when you write? I do. When I am typing up ideas and starting to form them. Usually it’ll be some kind of classical, like Steve Reich, or Rihm. It needs to be something other than pop or rock, or my favourite ITunes categorisation, Alternative.

I can vividly recall the beginning of a number of long classical pieces, but if I’m writing it seems to drift straight into the subconscious. Brain food. My brain likes to be fed as it creates. And long jazz pieces seem to work, something like Sketches of Spain.

Where the hell is he going?

Where the hell is he going?


I’m like you: busy all the time. So sometimes sitting down to write is as much about sitting down to listen as much as anything. But if you’re wordy it wont be long before you will want to explain how the music makes you feel, or just explain the psychic landscape these tweets and honks are causing in you.

La grande macabre. Absolutely correctly that word.

La grande macabre. Absolutely correctly that word.

I think Ernst Bloch has a lot to answer for in my writing. And Gorecki, Ligeti, Wolfgang Rihm, The Kronos Quartet, Miles Davis. All making the kind of music you can wander in.

Caspar David Friedrich, the Vista Artist | The Starry Messenger

Caspar David Friedrich, the Vista Artist | The Starry Messenger

It was bliss, the other evening when I really felt those other 6,999,999,999 other humans breathing my air, to get back to a blank screen and Boulez. Poetry and music. Hand in hand.

Rodin's greasy, copper-y anguish...

Rodin’s greasy, copper-y anguish…

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About grahamcliffordpoet

Graham is an award winning poet, based in London. He graduated from the University of East Anglia with an MA in Creative Writing, and has since published nationally and internationally, winning many awards and performing at some of the most prestigious and well known Literary Festivals. His debut collection, The Hitting Game, is published by Seren.
This entry was posted in commentary, contemporary Clasical music, how to live, poetry, rodin, Uncategorized, Writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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