April 8, 2016

Poetry Friday--PMMU

PMMU? Poetry-Music Match-Up! It's going on at Heidi Mordhurst's My Juicy Little Universe for the month of April. The match-up idea originated with Tabatha Yeatts, and if you click here, you'll find a post full of match-ups from earlier in the year.

When Tabatha put out a call for match-ups, I couldn't come up with anything, but, when Heidi recently made the same request, there was a song running through my head, "East of the Sun (and West of the Moon)." My match-up, which Heidi is featuring today, was destined to be.

In looking into the song and its composer, Brooks Bowman, I discovered a tragic story. In short, Bowman wrote "East of the Sun" (and several others) for the Princeton Triangle Club's production of Stags at Bay, produced in 1934. The song was first recorded in December of that year. After graduating in 1936 Bowman headed to Hollywood, where he worked for a short time as a contract songwriter. Upon returning east the following year, he joined up with another Princeton alumnus to form a songwriting team, but, Bowman died in a car crash before they could sign a contract. It was four days short of his 24th birthday. I was left feeling really low after reading a brief Wikipedia entry, and this article written in 2013.

"East of the Sun (and West of the Moon)" has become a jazz standard, recorded by many, and Brooks Bowman missed the satisfaction of long-term success. Rather than the snappier recorded versions of "East of the Sun (and West of the Moon)," I was drawn to Sarah Vaughan's interpretation for today:



I've written a little tribute haiku for Brooks Bowman who left much too early to take up residence somewhere east of sun and west of the moon.
mid-day sun
and still the day moon
...just you and I

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

Stop by to visit Laura at Writing the World For Kids--she's rounding up this week's P. F. links.





15 comments:

  1. Gorgeous poem-song match-up. Love the combination of Sarah Vaughn's version with your just-right tribute haiku.

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  2. Thank you, Holly! Listen to two of Frank Sinatra's versions over at My Juicy Little Universe!

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  3. Enjoyed the backstory about Bowman, even though it was a tragic one. Nice match-up!

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    1. I don't know why the backstory affected me so strongly, but I felt like crying all day after I read it!

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  4. That last melancholy line in your haiku--just a lovely tribute!

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    1. The last line was borrowed from the song.

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  5. Nice haiku. That is a sad story, but at least his words live on. Sarah Vaughan is incomparable.

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    1. She really is. She takes a standard and unstandardizes it!

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  6. Just a few bars of Vaughan singing was enough to slow me down and relax my shoulders. Thanks for the fabulous pairing.

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  7. Diane, so glad I caught you at a moment of inspiration, even if it caused you melancholy. One wants a Brooks Bowman to have time to live into his own lyrics. Sarah's interpretation is so different than Frank's!

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    1. "One wants a Brooks Bowman to have time to live into his own lyrics." Exactly!

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  8. Awww... thank you for this melancholy. We NEED melancholy to appreciate all the beauty in the world... and this song is proof that melancholy can be beautiful all on its own. Thank you, Diane! xo

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  9. Seems your music-matching muse just needed a little extra time to warm up to the idea! Thanks for this beautiful pairing, Diane.

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  10. What a beautiful match up and a perfect haiku for such a sad story.

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