Tuesday, April 05, 2016

ET MAINTENANT — STRINGS TO HAUL FROM YOUR HEART

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Et maintenant... today's Found Poetry Review prompt, courtesy one Sarah Blake: "Ok, here’s the prompt: pick a song that you find dynamic. Track its moves. Try to replicate that movement with a poem."

Because I've been working on poetry-related stuff (actually, a submission) ALL DAY, including my very silly NaPoWriMo effort, I wanted a song that is somehow...I don't know, easy. I didn't want to have to think about it much.

So I'm using the inimitable Gilbert Bécaud's Et Maintenant, a song that seared itself into my psyche when I was in Grade 8 at Trafalgar Junior High in Nelson, BC and we were given half a year of Latin (yes! imagine!) and half a year of French, then got to decide which one we wanted to continue with. Mr. Abbott, the French teacher, would haul out a record player and play us a song at the end of class. Just one song. And one day, it was this. And my life changed, just like that. I lived in Montéeal for four years. I have had a great love and admiration for French popular music ever since, and yes, I went on with French and no, I don't speak it very well, but I still remember, after my friend Susan found a copy of Monsieur 100,000 Volts, playing Et Maintenant over and over and over again so I could write down the words as I heard them so I could attempt to sing along. You people who have only known life with the Internet have no idea what a struggle it was to figure out song lyrics in a foreign language, back in the day.  Approximately 2.5 seconds of searching produced this, just now. 

The song enjoyed life in English as well when it was translated as What Now My Love and covered by, oh, just about everybody — Sinatra, Bassey, Presley, Herb Alpert, to name but a few.

And now, my poem (I've taken to writing them directly onto my blog; thank you, Paul Nelson, for showing me how to get the hell out of my own way!):

STRINGS TO HAUL FROM YOUR HEART

Tap
tap tapping —
flicker on apple tree come spring
or bongos, first time you try them
tap tapping 

tap
deeper, then, 
strings to haul from your heart
every moment's passion
known, imagined,
tap tapping

tap
joy  pain  laughter, 
yes 
until the grand finale,
yes
flaunting sky
where sea should be
yes
tap tapping

tap
longing —
the killed  the maimed
the whole the hungry
tap tapping

tap
brass-ring love 
reached for, fumbled 
tap tapping

tap
across the road
the chrysalis that is 
Dona Chuy's house
expands each day
— she's lived there fifty years,
watched Ozymandias 
rise around her 
bane, delight
tap tapping

tap
and when it ends —
(it doesn't, of course)
ne me quitte pas
la nuit
toujours la nuit
tap tapping

tap
tap tapping
















and...just minutes till midnight!
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1 comment:

quillfyre said...

I thought I recognized the music! Yes, What now? Great post even if just before midnight.