7 Poets Who Have Influenced Andre Feriante’s Life and Art

The connection between poetry and music is intimate and intrinsic. The two art forms are often one and the same, as some of the best poetry takes shape as song lyrics and some of the best music is poetry backed by instruments. Andre Feriante is familiar with the synergy between the two, as he aims to blend poetry and music throughout his work.

Andre’s interest in poetry began from a reader’s perspective. He especially enjoys the tactile experience of reading poetry on the printed page. This evolved into an affinity for writing freestyle poetry after he took up journaling during a difficult time in his life. He sought solutions as he filled the pages of his journal, and this healing process soon segued into stream of consciousness writing.

“Poetry can bring people to a place of contemplation,” Andre says, and he aims to do the same each time he plays music for an audience. He subconsciously draws parallels between his poetry and his music. For instance, Andre’s passion for Spanish guitar is echoed in his attraction to Latin language poetry. Just as he is drawn to universal poetic themes, his playing style forgoes agendas and remains open to each audience member’s interpretation. “For me, all art is a quest for more meaning and more knowledge,” Andre says.

In honor of National Book Lovers Day on August 9, Andre is sharing his favorite poets and the writing that has most inspired his own quest for meaning, knowledge, and his personal flavor of romantic expression.

Rainer Rilke: Andre describes Rilke’s book Letters to a Young Poet as a “bible” of sorts, an insightful life manual packed with nuggets of expertly crafted wisdom.

Federico García Lorca and Pablo Neruda: The dynamic and romantic stylings of Lorca and Neruda have inspired Andre in both his appreciation of and personal approach to poetry. The legendary Spanish poets are renowned for their respective romantic and surrealist influences — genres Andre enjoys exploring through his own writing, music, and art. “The imagery and the flavor parallel the mysterious sound of Spanish guitar in terms of art, color, and tone,” Andre says of Lorca and Neruda.

Watch as Andre reads and plays to Lorca’s “La Guitarra.”

Rumi: Out of all his top poets, Andre especially recommends reading Rumi as a form of stress relief amid chaotic times.

Watch as Andre reads and plays to an untitled Rumi original.

Charles Baudelaire: Baudelaire was one of Andre’s first poetic inspirations. The Frenchman and forefather of modern poetry especially appealed to Andre’s interest in free verse.

Leonard Cohen and Mark Strand: Strand is among Andre’s favorite modern poets thanks to his surrealist free verse style, and the fluidity between Cohen’s music and poetry is a clear influence in Andre’s own artistic philosophy.

Read on for an excerpt of Andre’s original poetry, and visit Excerpts from Anatomie de la Luna for more.

Individual love breaks down like fruit explodes,
misting the roof of the heart, the mouth of the human mind,
like seedlings, love whispers her painful plea,
she takes a weapon in a message and delivers it to herself.

— “The Breakdown,” Andre Feriante, April 2015