Haiku Society of America - haiku column 28

Haiku Society of America

.haiku column

Gene MyersThe Haiku Society of America is pleased to host this ongoing column.

.Haiku: a place to share tools available to haiku writers and fellow haiku fans (like how to use Twitter, Facebook and Scribd for building community, self-publishing and marketing). The column will also feature interviews, blog spotlights and occasional multimedia presentations.

Gene Myers

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.haiku column 28

.haiku column number 28 • 1-15-2015

by Gene Myers <poetgene@gmail.com>

SoundCloud, a place for poets to sing

"I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," my recording of iconic poet Maya Angelou reading that famous poem was on a Buckshot LaFonque album. For those who don't know what that is (and I am betting most) that was Branford Marsalis' 90s hip-hop experiment. But it was the poem that stood out for me and made the recording special. We lost Angelou in 2014.

I know why the caged bird sings, ah me,

When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore,

When he beats his bars and would be free;

It is not a carol of joy or glee,

But a prayer that he sends from his heart's deep core,

But a plea, that upward to Heaven he flings—

I know why the caged bird sings.

What was it that pulled me in to this poem about a little bird locked inside a cage, bruised and sore? It was Angelou’s voice that connected me to the poem. But it wasn’t the CD that I grabbed for at the news of her passing. The first thing I did was checkout SoundCloud.com. 

At the site, which is also available as an app, a search reveals readings and speeches by Angelou, as well as radio shows and other recordings that focused on the poet. Remember when Gil-Scott Heron said, “The revolution will not be televised”? 

Today’s revolution of the people is on social media sites like Twitter and SoundCloud. With these platforms individual voices matter again and have inspired actual revolutions around the world. 

SoundCloud may not be the revolution that iTunes was as far as music distribution, but still it has the ability to bring artists out into the larger media landscape. By now institutions like the New York Times and NPR are already on SoundCloud, so it’s no longer a question of “Does this media have anything to offer?” but rather “How does an artist stay current and give their work whatever shot they can?”

The birdsong in Angelou’s poem is not a loud song, but it’s been put out there for the world to hear. There are billions of people on this overcrowded planet, all of us, social animals watching and listening for someone to connect with. SoundCloud is a way to get your voice out there. 

By the way, my own SoundCloud profile can be found at <https://soundcloud.com/myersgene>.

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Is there something you would like to see in a column? Email me at <poetgene@gmail.com>.

• .haiku column number 28 • 1-15-2015 •

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The Haiku Society of America web site featured a Haiku Column written by Gene Myers. Here is the archive of his columns written from 2010-2017

.haiku column number 37 by Gene Myers • 6/1/17

.haiku column number 36 by Gene Myers • 3/7/17

.haiku column number 35 by Gene Myers • 6/20/16

.haiku column number 34 by Gene Myers • 3/21/16

.haiku column number 33 by Gene Myers • 2/10/16

.haiku column number 32 by Gene Myers • 1/6/16

.haiku column number 31 by Gene Myers • 10/29/15

.haiku column number 30 by Gene Myers • 7/9/15

.haiku column number 29 by Gene Myers • 3/23/15

.haiku column number 28 by Gene Myers • 1/15/15

.haiku column number 27 by Gene Myers • 9/26/14

.haiku column number 26 by Gene Myers • 7/14/14

.haiku column number 25 by Gene Myers • 4/14/14

.haiku column number 24 by Gene Myers • 2/10/14

.haiku column number 23 by Gene Myers • 1/2/14

.haiku column number 22 by Gene Myers • 10/7/13

.haiku column number 21 by Gene Myers • 8/25/13

.haiku column number 20 by Gene Myers • 6/30/13

.haiku column number 19 by Gene Myers • 5/18/13

.haiku column number 18 by Gene Myers • 4/7/13

.haiku column number 17 by Gene Myers • 3/10/13

.haiku column number 16 by Gene Myers • 2/9/13

.haiku column number 15 by Gene Myers • 1/2/13

.haiku column number 14 by Gene Myers • 11/18/12

.haiku column number 13 by Gene Myers • 10/11/12

.haiku column number 12 by Gene Myers • 9/27/12

.haiku column number 11 by Gene Myers • 8/26/12

.haiku column number 10 by Gene Myers • 7/19/12

.haiku column number 9 by Gene Myers • 6/17/12

.haiku column number 8 by Gene Myers • 5/19/12

.haiku column number 7 by Gene Myers • 4/16/12

.haiku column number 6 by Gene Myers • 3/16/12

.haiku column number 5 by Gene Myers • 2/12/12

.haiku column number 4 by Gene Myers • 1/23/12

.haiku column number 3 by Gene Myers • 10/17/11

.haiku column number 2 by Gene Myers • 9/12/11

.haiku column number 1 by d. f. tweney • 10/6/10

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