Another Poetry and Jazz Poe/jazzi Blog.

William Blake Vs. Esparanza Spalding.

When I was a kid, it was a sport to me. I’d set a trap, a scrap of food in the dusty Nigerian heat, wait for them to arrive and shoot out the buzzing bastards with paper pellets and rubberbands. I cannot remember exactly when, but after reading the poem below, I stopped. It also coincided with learning the popular idiom ‘I wouldn’t hurt a fly’. I started keeping flies as pets, trapped one in a matchbox and fed it bread crumbs. That died too. I found the whole playing-God life-and-death topic all a bit too much after that.

Anyway, The Fly is a rather famous poem by Irish poet William Blake and grammy award winner Esparanza Spalding did Jazz to it. The results are startling. Yeah.

The Fly
BY William Blake.

Little Fly,
Thy summer’s play
My thoughtless hand
Has brushed away.

Am not I
A fly like thee?
Or art not thou
A man like me?

For I dance
And drink, and sing,
Till some blind hand
Shall brush my wing.

If thought is life
And strength and breath
And the want
Of thought is death;

Then am I
A happy fly,
If I live,
Or if I die.

“Little Fly,” a quiet and melodic piece in which Esperanza sets a poem by William Blake to music. Throughout the piece, Esperanza’s vocals merge seamlessly with her own bass as well as the string trio that surrounds it.

Inua x


About Charlotte Morgan Nwokenna

Editor and Public Relations Officer
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