7: Geographical Poetry Turned to Song

Back when I wrote poetry and took an Advanced Poetry class, I wrote a collection of fifty poems, each based in a state in the US. My number one idea for the project is to select multiple poems from this and turn them into songs. Play guitar, give the words melody, and record and mix them into GarageBand or Logic Pro. I have the resources—guitars, an fancy vocal microphone, an audio interface, a laptop, and access to the recording studio on campus. The real challenge would just be to create the music for it and a melody that goes with a text that wasn’t intended for melody.

Poetry and lyrics, though seemingly similar, and really very different types of text. They often cannot be interchanged successfully. I want to try to break this stigma with this project, showing that it can be done. People also often think that songs are always supposed to rhyme, and I want to make it clear that they don’t always need to.

The audience would shift from readers of poetry within an academic setting (specifically, at SU) to listeners of music. However, it might also interest readers of poetry as well, as they could see how poems can be translated into other media. Additionally, those interested in geography might be engaged for the fact that the poems are about places in the United States.

I would likely upload this to a platform such as Soundcloud, under my music moniker Louvena the Scout. I might try to license it under the creative commons, allowing users to possibly use it for various media. As I would hopefully be proud of it, I’ll share it on social media platforms to broaden its audience, especially since I am involved in music and writing scenes on these platforms.

My second option follows a similar route, except I’d just be taking selected poems I’ve written not from specifically the states collection. All of the above explanations would apply.

My third option would take the first option and also add a mode of extra interactivity. I’d write the songs, but also hyperlink them to a clickable map of the United States, where when a user clicks on a state, the song for that state would play. I don’t 100% like the idea, but it’s something. It would incorporate a similar audience, in addition to people who just enjoy clicking things. And maps. People, like I, who have unexplainable obsessions with maps, would find it cool.

This option, however, would add the difficulty of figuring out how to make this interactive map. There might be coding involved, and likely quite a bit of frustration. It also might not be as accessible on different devices as the first two options would be.

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