Friday, January 14, 2011

Eve's Confession: The Movie

Many months ago I was contacted by a composer named Paul Carey. He had come across my poem, "Eve's Confession," from my first book, Eve's Red Dress, and wanted to set the poem to music. He offered to pay me! How cool was that! We quickly arrived at an agreement, a contract was sent and signed, and Mr. Carey got to work. Weeks later he sent me an mp4 of the result—my poem set to music and sung by the Women's Choir of the University of Illinois. I love the operatic style and the grand drama of the entire production.

Here's Paul's description from his website:
The text for this piece is from Diane Lockward's collection of poems called Eve's Red Dress, a quirkily brilliant deconstruction of the Eve story. This poem really pokes a lot of good-natured fun at Eve—she just can't resist the modern-day apple fritters (and who can blame her—I mean really, WHO can!).

The musical setting is all hustle and bustle as Eve goes shopping for the fritters and then in an endorphin-fueled frenzy just has to gobble them all up. I also added in some faux medieval organum for fun toward the end—after all, why not reference the church when the word "guilt" shows up in the poem? But right after, Eve gobbles up the last fritter anyway and the piece ends uptempo and loud.

After receiving the mp3, I thought it might be fun to take it one step further and make a video of the poem with Paul's music as the sound track. I set about finding appropriate images, fiddled for hours with the timing of each clip, and ended with the movie you find now displayed here. Before watching the video, it's probably a good idea to first read the poem. I think it will enhance your appreciation of the music.

Eve's Confession

Sunday morning I slipped
out of bed, ran to the bakery,
and bought two apple
fritters, bulging
with fruit and slathered
with sweet white frosting—
breakfast in bed for me
and my husband.
     While he slept on
in innocence, ribcage
peacefully rising
and falling, the kitchen
filled with essence
of apple. And oh!
those fritters looked
divine. I broke
off a sample—wickedly
good—then another
and another.
     Of course, it was
my husband's fritter
I sampled. I stuffed
my mouth. Globs
of tart gooey apples slid
down my throat, apple
after apple, and chunks
of dough, crusty
from the fryer.
     I could feel
my cholesterol rising,
arteries hardening, and I
didn't care. That fritter
was delicious.
     As the calories
mounted, guilt entered
the kitchen. And still,
that pastry beguiled me.
"Eat of this fritter," it called.
"Okay," I said, "one last bite,"
but I knew I was going to fall
and fall, knew in my evil
heart I was going
to eat it all.


  1. This is wonderful! So creative and fun!

    The image of the apple transforming into the snake is compelling.

  2. Holy Hysteria! Classical Frenzy! How beautiful, fun, and funny! And how did I miss this? It was in my town! (Or down the road....) YouTube says Illinois State University. But your blog entry says University of Illinois. Which is it? I would love to hear them in concert!! Will there be a Women's History Month performance in March?!

  3. Maureen--
    The apple/snake image is perhaps my favorite. I'm also rather proud of the heart with the snake inside as I inserted that snake into the image!

    Kathleen--U of Illinois is correct. I'll see if I can fix my own error at YouTube. I don't know if this will be performed, but check out Paul Carey's website where you might find information.

  4. Ah! I will keep an eye on this! Or rather, both ears!!

  5. Fantastic, Diane! I know how much work goes into these videos!


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