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Mark Liebenow Recommends...

Writers Recommend

Posted 3.21.12

“Lately I’ve been going to the symphony for inspiration. I don’t know classical music well, so most of what happens surprises me. The long segments of developing sounds break me out of my tight verbal boxes of thought. I listen for the emotions, rhythms, and phrasing, and think about how to do this with words. Occasionally a work leaves me stunned, like Arvo Pärt’s "Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten." A single chime repeats throughout and silence is written in, reminding me to let my writing breathe. When the string sections intersect and descend through dissonance, I am carried from the announcement of death through grief to acceptance. When the last bell rings, there is clarity, as when the sky suddenly clears after a storm, and I rush home and begin to write.”
Mark Liebenow, author of Mountains of Light: Seasons of Reflection in Yosemite (University of Nebraska Press, 2012)

Reader Comments

  • lrothe says...

    Dear Mark Liebenow--You may be interested in my book “For the Love of Music,” a collection of essays  written from a personal point of view (I’m not a trained musician, either), attempting (among other things) to understand how music moves us, how it shapes our emotions, our memories, and our expectations.  I’m reluctant to engage in self-promotion as I recommend my own book, but since it’s meant to help readers get more deeply into music, I want to call it to your attention. I envy you the adventures ahead as you expand your listening.—Best wishes, Larry Rothe

  • willduchon says...

    Dear Mr. Liebenow,

     

    I just joined the blog on this site in order to seek out new poets. I am a radio broadcaster on WMNR FIne Arts Radio (www.wmnr.org) and my weekly program includes a segment called "Words & Music", in which I read a piece of poetry follwed by a piece of music which, to me, reflects the soul of the poem. So, it is remarkable that I came across your post about...music.

    I have always sensed a mystical connection between poetry and music. Thank you for your sensitive thoughts along these lines.

     

     

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