In my last post, I discussed the unfortunate marriage of Emily Dickinson's poems to "The Yellow Rose of Texas." This post and its successor turn to an equally unlikely pairing of poem and music that produced an extraordinarily serendipitous outcome, one that ought to lead to a recording contract for one of my students. Before I get there, I'd like to provide a little background.
My relationship to poetry took a sharp turn for the worse the day I learned that Emily Dickinson's poetry could be recited to the tune of the "Yellow Rose of Texas." (This observation is far from original, and there are scores of other tunes that work as well for the Dickinsonian canon for reasons that are well explained elsewhere, but the moment in which this unfortunate coupling occurred to me was nonetheless a shock to my system.)
This week I met a chemistry professor from Colorado who includes a creative writing assignment in his inorganic chemistry classes.
For me, this term featured 70 new undergraduates, mostly senior English majors, who embarked with me on my ongoing academic research and teaching mission: creative researching (a term formed by analogy with creative writing).