Wednesday Writing Prompt

Music as Muse


I am honored to be teaching a class with Austin Bat Cave this weekend, on songwriting featuring the very talented, singer/songwriter/musician, Bill Callahan.  So this week, music is my poetic muse.  A perfect fit, right?  Poetry and music have long been hand in hand, inspiring and collaborating.  Think on the poem ‘Strange Fruit’ by Abel Meeropol:


Southern trees bear a strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black body swinging in the Southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

Pastoral scene of the gallant South,
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
Scent of magnolia sweet and fresh,
And the sudden smell of burning flesh!

Here is a fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for a tree to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter crop.


This protest poem was then famously recorded by Billie Holiday.  Poem inspired song.  For this weeks exercise, switch the idea around to let song inspire poem.  Take any song, and turn it into three four line stanzas.  Use Meeropol as inspiration.  Happy listening and writing!

– Amanda

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