Thursday, May 28, 2015

Rock song to a poetic triolet about a formal study photograph of lounge exterior in Newfoundland

"All the Clubs from Holyrood to Brigus #47, Brigus, Conception Bay"
By Scott Walden (2005)
Artist retains rights 

Like I was saying, Poetry Scores has a live premiere of a new poetry score on Saturday, May 30 at the Schlafly Tap Room in downtown St. Louis.

We are scoring "All the Clubs from Hollyrood to Brigus" by Mary Dalton, a twelve-poem sequence of "fictions, ruminations and riddles," according to its subtitle, about the taverns and social clubs that line a 16-mile stretch of one of the oldest highways in Newfoundland.

It's interesting that we are translating into music poetry that was itself the translation of photographs. Mary Dalton based her poetic sequence on a series of photographs taken on the road between Holyrood and Brigus, Newfoundland, between 2005 and 2007 by Scott Walden.

Only two of the twelve poems in the sequence are subtitled after a specific photograph. "Tommy's Lounge" is subtitled after the photograph "All the Clubs from Holyrood to Brigus #47, Brigus, Conception Bay," a formal study of the lounge's exterior.

A handsome, Western-themed sign features the lounge name framed by a Stetson tented over a pair of cowboy boots, with two big stars like lawmen badges. The lounge sign does not line up quite right with the smaller side window it butts up against. Siding that looks like it's seen a few hard winters buckles here and there throughout, forming a background pattern that is slightly warped.

Mary Dalton's poem picks up on the Western imagery, the things not lining up quite right, and the slightly warped atmosphere of the photograph.


Tommy’s Lounge (triolet)
All the Clubs from Holyrood to Brigus #47

By Mary Dalton

There’s Western gear on Tommy’s sign;
cartoon Stetson, boots and star.

Here’s no tang of kelp or brine,
but big bucks earned fast, by gar.

And, caught in a pane, a stave of lines,
and the sky that scatters us far.

Western gear on Tommy’s sign:
cartoon Stetson, boots and star.


I don't understand that bit about gar fishing in Newfoundland, but I know something about tough commercial fishing port towns, which seems to be what's evoked here.

The "triolet" in the poem title is the name for the poetic form that Mary Dalton uses here. Though "triolet" has "trio" in it, it's got nothing to do with threes, but is rather a short poem of eight lines with only two rhymes used throughout. It makes perfect sense that the poet would use a traditional poetic form to write a poem about a photograph that is a formal study.

Mark Buckheit scored "Tommy's Lounge" for us. Mark made that triolet rock.



"Tommy's Lounge"
(Mary Dalton, Mark Buckheit)

Demo performed and recorded by Mark Buckheit.


Video of Mary Dalton reading "Tommy's Lounge," recorded just for our show.

The original announcement of the May 30 show with more details.

Mary Dalton

Mark Buckheit

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