Saturday, April 10, 2010

On a Cole Porter song.

The song rhyme must be

Written like a sturdy murder

mystery, beginning with

a surprise,

then moving

In reverse


the rest of it

As needed.


Bryan said...

I don't like to editorialize these things but this entry has nagged me ever since I set it down. There are two reasons for doing so, one being to correct a factually and commemorative error, the other a traditional misgiving on the last line which you may have noticed I altered. The tune upon which the poem was based is 'Cry Me a River', was in fact written by Arthur Hamilton in the early 50's, not Cole Porter (Forgive my affectation in not amending this inaccuracy in the title--a crooked beam set in cement I'm afraid).

Bryan said...

I've fallen down a rabbit hole this time. The previous comment should read factual error, not factually error.

Moving right along, the second reason for interceding in the reading of this particular poem lies in that ending line--it itched my side ever since I finished the first draft.

Actually it hardly qualifies as a draft. I tossed it off as a Facebook status update and liked it well enough to transfer it from the carton to the proverbial "good china"--here. The original ending stands on my Facebook profile, but the second one, the one I gave it with the initial transfer, has been changed. The effect is considerable, though I'm far from calling this a defining expression. See what you think.

Bryan said...

So too, it should be noted--since Mr. Hamilton has been given the short shrift--and again I do apologize, I might at least credit the wonderful lyric that served as inspiration.

As heard on Ella Fitzgerald's dynamic 'Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie' (Verve 1961), the couplet goes, "Told me love was too plebeian/Told me you were through with me"

Certainly one of those authorial situations in which writing to voice, in this case Ella's, worked in the composer's favor. Ms. Fitzgerald imparts in this smart line, the definitive balance of sensual revenge and sadistic wit.

When I heard it I was struck by its clever effect, but even more, from a creative perspective, by its ingenuity. I couldn't imagine how it was done. Maybe like a ship in a bottle, or 'The Moonstone', by which I mean out of sequence.