The Poeming Pigeon
Poems about Music
675 poets from across the globe answered the call to share their musically inspired poetry. We chose 88 poems—one for each key on a piano. Upon these pages you’ll discover poems inspired by music genres ranging from classical to country, from jazz to rock-n-roll, and everything in between. Join us on a musical journey of discovery and nostalgia. And let the poetry tug on your heartstrings, like a virtuoso glides the bow across the strings of a violin.
Contributing Poets from Around the Globe:
A.J. Huffman • Ada Jill Schneider • Akua Lezli Hope • Alan Catlin • Amy Miller • Anne Harding Woodworth • Anne Whitehouse • Annette L. Grunseth • Bill Cushing • Bill Frayer • Brad G. Garber • Carol Taylor Was • Carolyn A. Dahl • Carolyn Martin • Charles Rammelkamp • Christopher Luna • Christopher Scribner • Claudia F. Savage • Colette Tennant • Connie Post • Cynthia Linville • Dan Raphael • David Belmont • David Jibson • Deborah J. Meltvedt • Diana Cole • Diane Elayne Dees • Donna Barkman • Douglas Spangle • Eileen McGurn • Ellaraine Lockie • Gabriella Brand • Helen Kerner • Jack Maze • Jacqueline Jules • Jan Haag • Jane Miller • Jane Yolen • Janel Cloyd • Jeffrey H. MacLachlan • Jennifer Fenn • Jennifer Hambrick • Joan Leotta • JoAnn Anglin • Josh Gaines • Judith Arcana • Judith Barrington • Judith Kelly Quaempts • Judith Skillman • Julene Tripp Weaver • Julie Valin • Karla Linn Merrifield • Kate M. Wells • Kathleen Corcoran • Katy Brown • Kenneth Salzmann • Leah Mueller • Lennart Lundh • Linda Ferguson • Linda Goulden • Lynn M. Knapp • Marilyn Johnston • Marj Hahne • Mark Kerstetter • Michael T. Coolen • Nancy Haskett • Orel Protopopescu • Peter D. Goodwin • Peter Larsen • Robert Coats • Rosemary Douglas Lombard • Sandra Hanks • Sarah Key • Scott Thomas Outlar • Shahe Mankerian • Shawn Aveningo • Susan P. Blevins • Susana H. Case • Suzanne Bailie • Suzanne DeWitt Hall • Tiffany M. Burba • Todd Cirillo • Toni Partington • Tricia Knoll • Wayne Lee
Cynthia Gallaher –
I love when literary periodicals devote their issues to themes, and The Poeming Pigeon is surely one of them. I recently chose to read “The Poeming Pigeon: Poems About Music” as I enjoy music (who doesn’t?) and also find it a personal challenge as a poet to write poems about that topic. It’s hard to describe music when I feel the music does it so much better itself.
What stands out though, in particular, in “Poems About Music” are the pieces that bear personal stories about music. In Kate M. Wells’s “Duet.” we trace the nuanced life of a woman and her violin from childhood through old age. In Marilyn Johnston’s “Their Song,” we experience the pain of a Vietnam War soldier playing “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin'” over and over again in his tent, still hopeful his recent bride will send letters (which never come), intensified by the tolerance and empathy of fellow soldiers who won’t complain about the repetitive tune.
Poems in the issue that that turn music on its head through wordplay are fun, such as “What We Thought We Heard” by Jan Haag, offering an array of misheard lyrics. My favorite among them is “I’ve got two chickens to paralyze.” A pastiche of Joni Mitchell lyrics woven seamlessly into a poem take place in Diane Elayne Dees’s “For Joni.” While music is often hard to capture in words, it becomes clear through a comparison of different smells to music in Diana Cole’s “On the Scent of a Tune.” And what could be a more dramatic opening to the issue than a poem that pinpoints the sound of the universe “…a D flat fifty-seven octaves below middle C” in Michael T. Coolen’s “After the Big Bang.”
“The Poeming Pigeon: Poems About Music” offers a wide and enjoyable variety of voices that capture poetic snapshots of experiences with music from nearly every genre, and can serve as inspiration for poets like me who care to write verse about music, as well.