Bev Braune

Lit-Mag #46 – Madrigalesque


Francesco Landini

Poets were asked to think form, counter-form, refrain, cacophony, celebration, protest in an invitation to submit a series of poems of many voices set in their own or a borrowed matrix based strictly or vaguely on the Madrigal, that short lyrical poem that Italian composer Francesco Landini was so gifted at composing in the 14th century.

The Madrigal focussed on its multi-voices as singers without instruments by taking up emphases of tone, cadence, point and counterpoint in poetic conversations. Poets were asked to send poems in the strictest Medieval Madrigal using the traditional Madrigal’s two or three three-lined stanzas with a certain syllabic count per line; the subject, often pastoral or about love or, if they preferred, to send contemporary re-interpretations in your own ‚mother tongue‘ or matricalis as a play of opinions, solicited or unsolicited points-of-view on any subject-matter. They could do so as audio recordings or as an image of words in visual formats that manipulate multi-voices, riff and segue.

What emerged from that call for submissions for Madrigalesque is an amazing, varied collection of well thought-out and moving works from Jordie Albiston, Justin Clemens, Roger Dean, Nova Longhurst, Philip Norton, Tegan Jane Schetrumpf, Hazel Smith, and Greg White. The works, some making their world premiere appearance in this Lit-Mag, do justice to the early madrigal in the broadest sense. They are witty, funny, dark, loud, gentle, challenging, irreverent, committed. They tackle emotion, reason, aesthetics, politics, philosophy. I hope you enjoy them as I do.

Bev Braune
Sydney, September 2014

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