This is a plea for help from some tweeting poets!
At the end of October, the Australian National University Choral Society is performing a concert at the National Library of Australia. The concert consists of American and Australian choral pieces, dealing with the themes of migration, journeys by sea, and the mixing of cultures. We're performing a new work, Freedom of the Sea by Ruth Lee Martin especially written for us setting poetry by Canberra writer Alan Gould; Anne Boyd's As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams; Cloudburst by American composer Eric Whitacre; some nineteenth-century ballads from the Library's collection of early Australian sheet music; and some Negro spirituals.
We're also doing a new work by me. Here's were the plea comes in.
The sea has always functioned to connect, and to separate. This is the thread that connects all the pieces in the concert. Without wanting to seem too poncey, it strikes me that in some ways the twenty-first century the twitterverse is a "sea", with messages in bottles pinging around the worlds electronic oceans, connecting us yet reminding us of our separation. To receive a "letter from home", from England, in the 1820s took six months. Now I can read a tweet from Devon in milliseconds. But has all that much changed?
So I decided that my piece would be a setting of tweets from around the world; micropoems exploring the ideas of migration, distance, journeys ....
Partly, the idea came to me when I read a tweeted poem of David Merrylees that I really love. It's this haiku:
park bench, names carved deep
this place, distant voices float
silver strand of brogue
I've asked David if I can use his poem in my piece; it captures exactly what I'm looking for.
So, I'm interested in receiving poems of 140 characters or less on the themes I have mentioned: migration, sea voyages, separated families, distance, oceans. For structural reasons I won't go into, the poem needs to contain at least one of these words: sea, strand, ocean, ship, waves, journey, float, home.
Oh, and please tweet them! Tweet them @jonpowles if they fit; if not, tweet them and copy them here as a comment. But I want to know they are actual genuine messages in bottles that have really been set loose on the twitter sea ...
If I have your permission, I'll then set them to music. You'll get full acknowledgement as author, of course :-)