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Music's Spell

A pocket-sized collection of poems about the power of music.

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For readers hoping to turn a daily commute into moments of magic, or to convert a wait in a long line into a lyrical delight, here’s a suggestion: Try putting some poetry in your pocket. 

More specifically, find a copy of Music’s Spell: Poems About Music and Musicians edited by Emily Fragos. It is the newest installment in a series of pocket-sized poetry anthologies published in classy (on fine paper and festooned with a ribbon bookmark), bargain-priced, hardcover editions by Everyman’s Library Pocket Poets series.

This is a collection of 162 poems by both the famous and obscure about the power of music and musicians, and you’ll likely find several dozen of these works are capable of setting your pulse racing and mind happily meandering.

The poems in “Music’s Spell” are slotted into categories (such as “Pop and Rock,” “Jazz and Blues,” “Classical Composers,” “Practice,” “Music and Love”), but don’t take these divides too seriously. This tiny, winsome collection invites random sampling.

Most poems fit one page. The expected selections include Shakespeare (“If music be the food of love, play on!”), several 19th-century English romantic poets, and Walt Whitman.

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