The Similarities Between Poetry and Music
In the car today, I was listening to the music of Vienna Teng. She has a beautiful, haunting voice and her lyrics are incredibly poetic.
In fact, as someone who writes poetry, I have often felt that poetry and music are very similar. Both art forms have the ability to capture a single experience or moment in time in a very visceral way. Poetry and music are as close as humanity comes to a direct expression of the soul.
For example, Jack Kerouac, who was both a poet and fiction writer, adopted a sort of stream-of-consciousness style of writing in order to approximate just that. His writing was his soul in written form.
I feel, as well, that poetry and music share something in common with meditation. In meditation, we attempt to experience the present moment directly, filtering the experience through the lens of thought as little as possible. Poetry and music both strive to express experience as directly as possible. Narrative writing – which is of course incredibly valuable in other ways – removes that removes the reader from the experience of the writer’s reality because lived experience is not linear and does not neatly follow a narrative. Poetry and music, however, are non-narrative for the most part. The goal of a poet and a musician often involves channeling experience in a very immediate and visceral way.