I've been looking through various files recently and came across an item that was a part of the first half of my classroom career, where I took the class book and interpreted it into a prose poem that then became the basis for musical interpretation as a part of a school assembly.
The book is well known; The Iron Man, by Ted Hughes. It's recently had a number of interpretations in a variety of media, many of which would be beyond school or personal equipment. However, it is very possible to take a shared text and remodel it, perhaps into "scenes", which can then be interpreted as a visual storyboard, which in turn can be the basis for a musical background to a story or, as here, a prose "poem". Sometimes, it's a case of use what you have got.
The Iron Man… by Ted Hughes
A prose poem interpretation.
The Iron Man came to the top of the cliff.
Where had he come from? Nobody Knows.
How was he made? Nobody knows.
Taller than a house, he stood, on the brink in the darkness.
He heard the sea.
His eyes glowed white, then red, then infra-red.
He stepped forward, off the cliff,
CRASH…His arms fell off.
CRASH… His legs fell off.
CRASH… His great iron ears fell off, and his eyes fell out.
CRASH… His body ended up in pieces at the bottom of the cliff.
A seagull came and found his hand,
It also found his eye.
It took them back to its chicks on the rocks.
But no good did it do them.
The hand picked up the eye,
And set off down the beach.
Looking for the other parts of the Iron Man to make him whole.
And bit by bit, and piece by piece they found him in the sand,
And put him back together,
‘Til the Iron Man stood tall once more.
Hogarth, a farmer's son, was fishing by a stream.
He heard the Iron Man climbing up the cliff .
He watched, he thought, he feared,
He ran off home tell his mum
Of the Iron Man on top of the hill
His father got his gun.
Driving along in the darkness, they saw his headlights eyes
And a tractor bitten right in two.
They drove off home in fear.
At every farm around,
The Iron Man ate all the tractors,
All the earth diggers at all the ploughs
Add all that was left were his footprints…
Farmers dug a great big pit
and covered it with earth
they hoped to trap the Iron Man
and Bury him forever
Time passed. Nothing happened.
Time passed. Nothing happened.
Hogarth was trying to trap a Fox
When the Iron Man reappeared,
Eating barbed wire beside a field,
Chewing it like spaghetti,
Clink, clink. Hogarth tapped a nail against his knife.
The Iron Man turned to face him.
Clink, clnk. Hogarth tapped a nail against his knife
And the Iron Man came,
And the Iron Man came, and came…
He fell and the whole world shook.
His metal gears ground in anger.
The farmers came and filled up the hole.
They thought they'd killed the Iron Man.
They slept peacefully for many days, but under the ground the Iron Man stirred.
The earth moved and the Iron Man reappeared,
This time, instead of trying to kill the Iron Man,
They took him to a scrap yard,
Where they sat him down.
Now, day by day, he sat and chewed.
A stove was like a toffee.
A bit of chrome a double decker bed, the best of all was brass.
One day, there came some dreadful news
About an Angel dragon
Landing on Australia.
The people were afraid when the dragon said
He’d eat up all the human race unless they kept him fed.
The Iron Man bravely challenged him
To battle in a furnace.
For the Iron Man it was an oily fire,
But for the dragon it was the sun.
Twice they went through this ordeal
Until the dragon faltered,
Crying that he'd had enough,
He’d be the Iron Man's slave
and fly through the sky making heavenly music.
Now peaceful sounds filled the air…