Poems Based on Bach's "Goldberg Variations"
Alice B. Fogel
Schaffner Press Inc
In this series of poems responding to Johann Sebastian Bach’s spectacular “Goldberg Variations,” New Hampshire State Poet Laureate Alice B. Fogel has paid homage to a 274-year-old masterpiece and, with the theme of spirit and embodiment that music—and life itself—evoke, has rendered from it a luminous new interpretation. Bach created the Goldbergs’ 32 sections using nearly all the styles of western European music at the time; Fogel responds in kind with a range of contemporary poetic styles, including narrative, lyric, and experimental, all confined within the 32-line structure she has borrowed from the composer’s 32-bar format. Interval mimics the “baroque” effects of overlapping melodies and harmonies by layering sound, syntax, and sense in multiple voices exploring self, identity, and being. In capturing the essence of this iconic masterpiece, through these poems Fogel has created her own music.
Alice B. Fogel is the poet laureate of New Hampshire and author of three previous poetry collections, most recently Be That Empty, a National Poetry Foundation bestseller, and the acclaimed guide to reading and appreciating poet- ry, Strange Terrain: A Poetry Handbook for the Reluctant Reader. Her poems have appeared in numerous prominent literary journals and anthologies, including The Best American Poetry series; has been nominated seven times for a Pushcart Prize; and in 2012 she was the winner of the prestigious Carl Sandburg writer-in-residence award in North Carolina. She is the recipient of an Individual Artist Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, among other awards. She lives in Acworth, New Hampshire. For more information, visit her website alicebfogel.com