Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Nursery Rhyme of Innocence and Experience

The first song on Natalie Merchant's album Leave Your Sleep is Nursery Rhyme of Innocence and Experience, by Charles Causley, a title evocative of William Blake's Songs of Innocence and of Experience. I'm abashed that this song is my introduction to Causley's poetry. I don't know how to write about poetry in a way that isn't choked with cliches. I'd rather just read it, think about it, and appreciate it anew when it's set to music. However, if I had to choose one word to describe Causley's poetry, it would be the German sehnzucht, which roughly translates to yearning and longing. Here is a video of Merchant performing "Nursery Rhyme of Innocence and Experience."

This essay
by Dana Gioia mentions Walter de la Mare as an influence. Yes. Causleys' work immediately reminded me of Mare's work, whose poems appear at first as if they are meant for children, but resonate with adults as well.


Lone Star Ma said...


Jules at 7-Imp said...

The last minute or so of this song---that final orchestration---breaks my heart. Every time.

Saints and Spinners said...

Me too, Jules.

Rounien said...

Wow, thank you for your sharing...♥
I'm close to tears... All songs are amazing. Thank you very much!
Warm regards from Rounien and Rjabinnik