Avant-garde composer John Cage said: 

“The material of music is sound and silence.
Integrating these is composing.”

We could say:
The material of poetry
is sound and silence; 
 syllables and silence. 
Integrating these is composing
albeit poetry.

 We could compose music
and poems that go together;
i.e., compose songs:
Songs are poems–
lyrics set to music.

Now I morph into a poem 
that may be set to music!
(Blame it on my muse):

Composing is
a broad spectrum
to contemplate on.
After contemplating more,
I’ll enlarge upon it —
perhaps by way of
 musical composition,
song, or sonnet.

I’m aware some 
“poetry authorities” say
poetry shouldn’t have
rhythm and rhyme.
Enter to the rescue Lord Byron
who said:

“Some people prefer poetry
without rhythm or rhyme.
As for me, all the time,
give me poetry
with rhythm and rhyme.”

Amen to that, I say!
Now, till another time,
have a nice day.

Enjoy this rhyme …
or have it your way.
Any old way is okay
with me!

But I’ll rhyme on a dime;
slam for some wine and tea.
Any old time is best for me!

 I promise you’ll get your
ten cents worth;
I’ll throw along with it
 music and mirth!

How’s that for
an ad-libbed verse …
or line?

We’ll be
picking up here again,
next time!  :)~

by Stephany Spencer

*NOTE:
The essay-poem, “John Cage and Composing,”
inspired Vicky Rogers LeBaron to write the following:

In Adulation of Song
How can a song trifle with my emotions so?
It tosses my tears on the beaches below.
Then my resurrected heart soars 
Far above the craggy shores.
As it reaches the crest of the waves,
Suddenly it breaches,
And I’m thrust into the depths of another emotion, 
On the rolling waves of the sound in motion! 

What a rush to feel the melodious sound
As it vibrates through me to my soles on the ground!
A cacophonic pleasure with each passing measure.
And I realize:
I have found the treasures that abound
In the waves of sound.

In an instant I’m moved to a place I’ve not been,
But is somehow familiar and comes from within.
How does it transport me fro and to?
 Do I hear with my ears or the thoughts that ensue?

The vibration surrounds me 
And fills me clear through! 
Is this a primal instinct or a thing I’ve learned new—
To be still and listen? Really listen. 
To ride the sound waves, to soar on it’s breeze
Takes almost no effort,
It’s done with such ease.

So, oblivious of anything I could lose or retain,
The melodious refrain is controlling my brain,
And all other thoughts disappear.
Momentarily there is nothing to fear.
So I let myself fall.

I’m lost in the swells of vibrato, staccato, legato …
They beckon me to immerse myself
In this sea and see.
The chorus extolls, then a lonely bell tolls
And soon rapture ensues!
My heart strings play along
In adulation of song.

Completely irreverent of my desires,
Whether the sounds of nature
Or the singing of choirs,
I’m carried away on the wings of the song,
Irresistible and enthralling, my heart lauds.
Shall I try and resist as my soul persists
To insist that I bury my heart and mind
In pealing waves of the oceans I find?
Nay, I say.

As I rise to the top of the waves,
The song fades.
I catch my breath as the ocean calms;
Nothing but stillness fills the air.
I am there,
Immersed in peace and serenity,
Feeling like an eternity of bliss
Is echoing in my mind.
And the song in my heart echoes,
“Until next time.”

The oceans of sound in motion
Were written in the measures of creation;
These songs are for our elation.
We must learn to listen.
I surrender my devotion
With my heart’s emotions,
And I will ride the waves of song.
Will you come along?

By Vicky Rogers LeBaron

2 thoughts on “Essay-Poem: “John Cage and Composing”

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