Monday, January 23, 2017

Now the Wackos Attack "Flanders Fields"!

Perhaps it's not significant compared to the Wacko-attack on Nature ('gender' v. 'sex' and homo-'marriage,') but in its own way, this is another piece of the Main set adrift.

John McCrae’s Flanders Fields is iconic. No more need be said. Unfortunately, its meaning has been distorted by the most popular voice and instrumental accompaniment. This new reading of the poem has transformed Flanders Fields meaning....

Apparently some pops song-writer has attacked the poem.  

Let me expand on that, briefly.  Any student of sung music knows that the music illuminates the text; that is, the music is the servant to the text; it makes the text shine forth, at least as clearly as if the text were just read aloud.  If the music does NOT do this, the artist has dis-served the text.

So.  Severing the last line of a stanza and re-planting it as the first line of another stanza is a dis-service in itself; but the results (even in reading) are a major revision of the poem's thrust and as the linked post makes clear, that revision changes the thrust of the whole.  Rather than illumination, we have darkening.

1 comment:

GOR said...

"...the music illuminates the text..."

Yes! And since when has the 'singing of our National Anthem' at NFL games devolved into a solo instrumental performance on trumpet or saxophone? Or a 'personal interpretation' by a soloist instead of leading the crowd in singing it?

Of course that assumes that people actually know the words...