THE BALLAD FORM
He imagines or remembers the train.
Who was she, while she was traveling?
A ballad tells a story.
Take a theme with a broad appeal: a killing, an elopement, a haunting.
Most ballads can be sung to the tune of a hundred other ballads.
Look at yourself
and realize who you are.
If poetry is a place to think,
where they bring the drowned of the river.
He was a boy once. He was alone
at the time of his arrest. Left his vehicle, makes nothing of his life.
Where does music come from?
This type of chorus is called “ a burden.”
Because it was once submerged.
All our habitats
To put a spell on someone
or to break a spell
The singer maintains a distance.
He sees her in a reflection.
I know that something separates us now, permanently.
They were rich and I was new. The first day, we walked to school together—maybe we’d be friends. They were sisters. The younger one, Lynn, said: You should have been at the party Friday night—Ruth Ann pulled a train. I looked at Ruth Ann, she was unreadable. I had to ask what it meant so Lynn explained, shaking her head at my ignorance. It’s impossible to separate music from time, in any sense.
In most ballads, the “ rule of three”
calls for two primary characters.
Sometimes, a third
sister, a kind
One way or another, it gets written down.
A ballad relies
to find out
if her love is true.
A ballad may have many versions.
Tells a story you already know.