TODAY’S PROMPT: take an old poem, without a copyright, and put a tune to it.
Rhyming is so out of poetry-style these days that if you can find a poem that rhymes, you’re likely to be safe. But just in case the song you half-create today is amazing enough to hit the airwaves and/or you just want to be careful, here is a website of poems in the public domain. It’s not hugely expansive, but it’ll get you started. Also, the site has nine Oscar Wilde poems on it. I didn’t even know he wrote poems. Doh.
Give it a shot!
SONG OF THE DAY: Richard Cory
Paul Simon is a poetry buff, if you haven’t noticed. He’s one of the most poetic lyricists we’ve got. This song, from his Garfunkel days, springs out of a poem by Edwin Arlington Robinson by the same title. Read the poem and you can see that S&G took a lot of liberty, i.e. rewrote and updated it. You can do this, too! You can do anything and everything you want to interpret and own the poem you’re working with.
Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
We people on the pavement looked at him:
He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
Clean favored, and imperially slim.
And he was always quietly arrayed,
And he was always human when he talked;
But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
‘Good-morning,’ and he glittered when he walked.
And he was rich – yes, richer than a king –
And admirably schooled in every grace:
In fine, we thought that he was everything
To make us wish that we were in his place.
So on we worked, and waited for the light,
And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet through his head.