The art form formerly known as ‘Art Song’

Here at Cult of Orpheus we are obsessed with the beautiful art of notated, through-composed song. It’s often referred to in English as “art-song” – a name that needs a replacement! At once pretentious and overly generic, “art-song” seems to imply that other methods of songwriting aren’t art, while also not describing at all what makes the art form unique: being typically through-composed as fully notated song and accompaniment of a poetic text.

We are therefore proposing new names for this favorite art form, and asking you to vote! We will tally the results and post here as 2022 winds down – and start 2023 with a new name for one of our favorite art forms.

Name the art formerly known as 'art-song'
Vote on a scale of 1 to 5! 1 = No, 3 = OK, 5 = Best!
Selected Value: 3
Selected Value: 3
Selected Value: 3
Selected Value: 3
Selected Value: 3


Two sonnets

These two sonnets, “Nets” and “On Her Walk”, were written in 2016 as part of the unreleased Time-Wise Animals project.



There were pounds of cotton, bleached and dyed,
pulled from tufted blooms in southern seasons,
twisted into knots and diamond-tied,
soaked in blood and thunderstorms and reasons.
There was nylon, plastic spooled and cut,
fit for pulling life out of the water,
stretched across the frets in place of gut,
woven on the legs of someone’s daughter.
Millions walk the tightrope of abuse.
We look down. What chances will we take?
Safety nets of barbed wire are no use
but they’re cheap to build, and tough to break.
Will we perch our children on the wire?
Will we set the circus tent on fire?


On Her Walk

Ghosted pavement leaf-prints under sole.
Iron painted with the blood of rain.
Ink flows through the poster on the pole.
One green shoot twines up the metal drain.
Green paint on the red brick chiseled, chipped.
Chains on textured gates in cold, thick groups.
Scribbled cracks (unconscious urban script).
Faces formed in razor-wire loops…
Any wall can be a prison wall.
All her walls are canvases of time
where decadence bookends the wrecking ball,
defies the crane, the crew, the shiny crime.
In between construction sites, they talk —
old stones and broken things loved on her walk.

– C. A. Corbell