Friday, October 25, 2013

Writing Inspired by Music

Many years ago, I watched a movie version of Cinderella. I suppose the kids must have watched it with me, but I don’t remember. What I do know is that a song—“Ten Minutes Ago: Waltz for a Ball”—stuck in my head. I waltzed around the house humming for days. And I thought, Wouldn’t it be fun to write to the rhythm of a waltz? I used that song as a template. Here’s what I (one, two, three, one, two, three) wrote.

Waltzing with the Wind

On a crisp golden day in autumn,
tufts of clouds drift through endless sky.
The wind tugs my sleeves
as it sweeps up the leaves
and teaches them how to fly.

The music begins with a whisper,
and branches all sway to the song.
The wind takes my hand
as it strikes up the band,
and I find myself dancing along.

Eager leaves, crimson, orange, and yellow,
leap and soar from each flame-colored tree.
The wind makes me twirl
as the leaves bow and swirl
in a flurry that whirls around me.

We glide, and we dip, and we circle
in a waltz of an autumn hue.
The music’s entrancing,
and while we are dancing,
each leaf has a partner, too.

Then a hush settles down from the treetops
as the wind tiptoes off with the tune.
The leaves touch the ground,
and I can’t hear a sound.
The dancing is over too soon.

I wait, and I watch, and I listen,
but the leaves have all flown from the trees.
The branches are bare.
There’s no sign anywhere
of the magical, musical breeze.

In the distance, a single note echoes.
One last leaf spirals down from the sky.
It beckons to me.
As it spins, I can see
that the wind is waving goodbye.
Try this: Think of a song you enjoy. Substitute your own words, keeping the rhythm the same. Have fun!

You, too, can watch and hear Paolo Montalban and Brandy sing “Ten Minutes Ago: Waltz for a Ball” from Cinderella (1997).

Today's Poetry Friday Roundup is at “Live Your Poem...” with Irene Latham. Enjoy!

JoAnn Early Macken

16 comments:

LInda Baie said...

I know that song-this is just simply terrific, Jo Anne. I love the rhythm and the story, too-sweet!

Irene Latham said...

Oh, that last leaf! If ever there was a subject for a poem, that's it. Thank you so much for sharing!

jama said...

Love this poem, JoAnn. Such a lilting rhythm with vivid images. What a perfect Fall celebration. :)

JoAnn Early Macken said...

Thank you, everyone! Outside my window, the combination of blue sky, puffy clouds, and changing leaves makes it look like the perfect day for that old, old poem. Now I'm going out to enjoy it!

Carmela Martino said...

Yes, I remember that song, too! Thanks so much for sharing this with us, JA. In addition to the image of the last leaf waving goodbye, I especially enjoyed this stanza:
>>We glide, and we dip, and we circle
in a waltz of an autumn hue.
The music’s entrancing,
and while we are dancing,
each leaf has a partner, too.<<
Hope you're out enjoying this lovely autumn day!

Joy said...

Wonderful job. I love the images in your poem of the wind teaching the leaves to fly, and the last leaf waving good bye.
Marvellous. thank you for sharing this poem.

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

It's so easy to be swept away by this lovely autumn dance! I love how you ended it with the wind saying goodbye.

April Halprin Wayland said...

A stunning poem and an inspiring suggestion--off I dance to write!

April Halprin Wayland said...

A stunning poem and an inspiring suggestion--off I dance to write!

Liana Mahoney said...

Beautiful poem, JoAnn! Thanks for sharing!

Margaret Simon said...

Oh, such memories. I sang that song in a pageant performance probably 35 years ago. I can still remember the tune and your poem fits beautifully. Dancing with colorful leaves of fall. Entrancing. Thanks for the writing idea. I should try this.

readingtothecore said...

This is lovely, and I can hear the music of the song in my head. I love the idea of changing the words of a favorite song. Can't wait to try it myself. Thank you for sharing!

April Halprin Wayland said...

JoAnn,

I didn't know this song--and now I'm listening to it and practically waltzing along. :-)

Here's another TeachingAuthor.com post about changing the words of a song:
http://www.teachingauthors.com/2012/02/happy-poetry-friday-write-your-own.html

Myra Garces-Bacsal from GatheringBooks said...

This is beautiful. I have this ongoing romance with the wind. Also reminded me of George RR Martin's oft-written words in his Game of thrones series (which I've been avidly reading recently): Words are wind. And the wind waltzes with you. :) Lovely.

JoAnn Early Macken said...

Thank you all so much for your comments! I'm tickled to hear how many of you remembered that waltz, which is still lingering in my head after a busy weekend. Whoosh!

Jill said...

I've always loved this song! In my head, I see it sung by Leslie Ann Warren. :)