The Partnership of Music and Poetry by María Teresa Fusari Buenos Aires, Argentina
Much has been said about the partnership of music and poetry. It is not new to say that they were born together; both of them are artistic expressions and they arise from the same feelings following established patterns, that being rhythm, which is common to both of them.
Consequently, it is not strange that some teachers approach poetry teaching through classical music. They encourage their students to listen to classical pieces to help them find the way to writing and, most of all, to pick up rhythm.
It is not new either, the fact that many people have united music and literature by setting poems to music Ranging from the biblical psalms to poems by Byron, Walt Whitman, William Blake, WB. Yeats, Emily Dickinson, Wallace Stevens, Antonio Machado, Mario Benedetti, Pablo Antonio Cuadra, Ernesto Cardenal, Joaquín Pasos, among others.
I would call this ability of getting a successful blending of poetry and music, an expression of art in itself.
Here is when Clayton Corley becomes an artist, when assembling the poem and the appropriate melody. He does not only provide entertainment but he also exposes us to different poets and their work, returning to the origin of poetry, when it was popular –Homer and the Troubadours – and not a bookish art as it has become in more modern times.
Moreover, he also contributes to education in other ways. As an ESL teacher (English as a second language teacher) I find Clayton Corley´s programme “Spotlight on Jazz and Poetry” a very useful tool to expose my students to native speaking and general culture by making them listen. In that way, main ideas coming from the poem are discussed, to end up by commenting on the jazz piece that served as background and complement.
What else may I say about “Spotlight on Jazz and Poetry”? I have only praises for him; admiration for his work of great quality and gratitude for letting us enjoy it.