Sunday, April 20, 2014

Record - Poem # 20 for April 2014 Poetry Project

Learn about this, my April 2014 Poetry Project, HERE!

Photo by Amy LV

Students - I am forty-three years old, and in the span of my life, I have seen all of these types of music containers.  I had my own yellow portable record player when I was a little girl, danced to Mom's Neil Sadaka 8-tracks with my little sister, recorded my own voice on a tape recorder with cassettes, and now drive a car with a CD player and means to plug my mp3 player into the car jack.  Time does fly, and these containers have certainly changed.

But music, and our desire to connect through music is the same.  Voice to ear, heart to heart.  

Today, day 20, is a free verse day, just as #5 - Clock, #10 - Dancing Shoes, and #15 - Two Couches were.  I got the idea to write about the family tree of music containers about a week ago, and so for today, I simply sat down and explored the words.  I wanted to go way back to when people shared music together with only their voices and instruments.

We like to have bonfires here at home this way.  Actually, I am about to learn to play the autoharp so that I can play along with our songs.

In the draft below, you can see on the left hand page where I began sketching out the family tree of an mp3.  Realizing that it would be too wide at the top, where Record would be, I abandoned this idea.

What you cannot see is how many times I read this poem aloud to myself while working.  Whenever I do not know what to write as a next line (this happens about every single line), I reread from the top aloud to myself, sometimes whispering, sometimes speaking, sometimes tapping my fingers, to see what naturally comes out next.  

I have been wanting to use the word 'darkening' in a poem for quite a while...

Record - Draft Page Spread #1
Photo by Amy LV

Here you can see some more of the music container family, just getting smaller and thinner as the years go by.  As for the mp3, it's invisible.

8-Track Tapes
Photo by Amy LV

Cassette Tapes
Photo by Amy LV

Compact Discs
Photo by Amy LV

(I did write this poem on Thursday the 20th, a couple of days early, as my sister and her family are in town, and I want to simply visit.)

May your today be full of music!

Please share a comment below if you wish.


  1. I love "sending songs like sparks into a darkening night". Just wonderful tribute to music and all its packages. Think back to the time when all they had was the here and now and those around them. Not too long ago. You helped me recall when I was a teenager and would put 45s on my record player (not stereo) and play them at night before I fell asleep at night. I am thinking of later 50s and early 60s ballads like Blue Moon. Forgetting the titles now, oh yes, One Summer Night. Teenage angst and longing for romance and love. Ha!! Too funny to think of it now. And as a child (dark ages) I listened to The Carrot Seed on a 78rpm over and over. It is online. Do you know the book or song version? I really think that book played a big role in helping me a determined person who is persistent and does not give up. Even when discouraged by others. Belief in the possible. Amazing how words and books and poetry and song and music can live make such a difference.

  2. Wow. I love thinking about the record, cassettes, tapes, mp3, etc in terms of is Easter Sunday and all of the generations are sitting around my parents' great room...some controversial "intellectual" debates...interjections from other smaller groups on the periphery...all (except for my mom) have some technology with them...we are sitting around talking, surfing ( the web for argument support), mocking and laughing (lots of laughing)...
    Thank you for your writing...

  3. Amy,
    What a clever idea. I forwarded this one to my sister who teaches music in an elementary school. Maybe the students can try to write a family tree for music before she shares yours.

  4. I love where you took this, and especially the final lines with their surprising metaphor. Such a great series of poems!

  5. I love the idea of a musical family tree. I'm 55 and totally remember all of these! And then I was totally surprised when you took it all the way back to singing at the very end.

  6. Enjoyed your inventive approach here, Amy! I remember my beloved childhood record player well :-)