Title Details

314 Pages

22.8 x 15.2 cm

24 colour illus.

Series: Meliora Press

Series Vol. Number: 37

Imprint: University of Rochester Press


Writing Like There’s No Tomorrow

by Douglas Lowry

Edited by Ralph W. Kuncl

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Author
How would you write if there were no tomorrow? How would you see the world differently? The elegance of Douglas Lowry's writing is testimony to the intertwining of all the worlds of arts and music, including poetry, and is a curated gift to those who love the arts, whether philosophers, wits, or anyone who loves a good read.

Poetry is a way of looking into someone's soul. The original poems in this book were written over several years by Douglas Lowry, emeritus dean of the Eastman School of Music, and scattered throughout his many computers, iPads, and journals. They have been in safekeeping there since his death in 2013. Receiving a diagnosis of multiple myeloma created a sense of urgency. While a great musician and scholar was dying, he might have hoped, but never imagined, that any of his literary works would be published. It was said of Lowry that "he displayed a wide-ranging intellect, a fluent way with words, a remarkable range of artistic and scientific references, and a fine sense of humor." In one of Lowry's many speeches he talked of "the theatre of ideas; not just musical ideas inspired by somebody else's musical ideas, but the mosh pit of literature, visual art, drama; of the sciences, of social friction, of politics; in short, the mosh pit of the human condition."

These poems cover all of that and more. His tentacles of interest reached every corner of the human condition, delusions, fantasies, memorable characters in literature, mythology, and life experiences. Music, of course, was paramount (with a dose of irreverence) but also the pleasures of literature, history of the ancients, family, nature, and thoughts on life, death, meaning, and the divine. Toward the end, resignation set in with his realization, "days and nights aren't nearly as immortal as they used to be, are they?"

Foreword from the Editor

Prefatory Note
Le Quattro Stagioni
~ La Primavera
Chorum Aquas
The Crooked Months
The Rush of April's Sheen
~ L'Estate
Celestial Avatar
Like an Idyll
~ L'Autunno
Dissonant Pears
The College of Toads and Frogs
The Highline Whine
~ L'Inverno
Time Has Not Slowed
Can't You Find Some Other Button to Push?
A Melting Wind

Memorable Characters, Fools, & Charlatans
A Mere Tuner's Tap at Cuxhaven-Lüdingworth
A Dream That Melted Like Butter
Centurions Here with a Package for You
Feasibility Study
Hamlet Flipped Me Off
He Went On To Say:
Her Name Was Jane Gallows
No Wanna No
Of Current and Gas
Take All Comers
Then Came a Wagnerian Soprano
When I saw Him

Chomp and Bit
Five Pomes Late at Night
i. Rough Relations
ii. GL
iii. Late
iv. The Days When We Sing Hymns
v. Angles
Give and Take
Hacked in Heaven
Is It PhysicaL, or Is It MentaL?
One Man's Sky Is Another God's Floor
Straying from Rectitude

Word Play
A Bucket of Gs
Enough Is Enough
Soul Above the Instep

Images & Delusions, Fantasies & Phantasms
In This Case Delusions
Editor In Chief
People-Rating Service
Potions for Your Most Resistant Ailments
The Garbage Rocket
The Museum of Crime
The Nightingale
The Paradise Drilling Company
What the Big Deal Was

The Backstory of Music and Composition
Desire Names a Streetcar (Homage to Previn)
Air the Throne, Heir
Buoyed by the Delights (Music - the Backstory)
Imagining Beethoven
Schoenberg Cringes
The Band Wagon
The Hanging Ringlets

Existentia: Life, Death, Meaning, and the Divine
Does Goodness Swoop In?
And Gold and Tempers Flaring
At Wit's End
For Damn Sure
It Would Be Comforting
Little Toe-Knuckles Pounding, Pressing
Sleep as Sediment
The Mild Sinner
Up Where the Sails Flap in Heaven
What's the Charge in This?

Out by the Acacia Tree
Babble On
Glad Somebody Remembers
More Wondrous Murmur
This Is Precisely the Problem

Notes from Nantucket
The Broken Wons
When Little Is Known
Brought Under Rein
In the Quiet Shallows

Out West
Fire Up in Gibson Jack
Green River
The 550
The Timeless Split

Memes on Manhattan
Breaking Before Entering
Hostile Takeovers and Short-sellers
You Had to Mop Up the Sentiment

Natural World:
The Sea, Lakes, Rivers, Earth, Weather
Beer vs Burgundy
Knock You Off Your Rocker
Lake Looking Glass
Therefore Delusional
I Hear Such Separate Music

On the Pleasures of Literature and Writing
Rosie Takes the Cake
Automatic Dishwasher De-Loader
Blue Latte
For a Man Might Miss an Opportunity to Fight Bulls
One Damn Thing

History and the Ancients
Loyalty's Voice Imprisoned in the Upwelling
Sceptre and Conflict
Spiritual Surprises
Spittle and Clay

Family Times
Camp Stove
Cool and Collected
Life Without Sauce
Fashions and Filaments

Coda (Lyrics as sung poetry, plus other words)
Wm's Ghosts
The Blue Mazda
Words from the Cutting Room Floor

~ The Freedom Zephyr


DOUGLAS LOWRY, the Joan and Martin Messinger Dean Emeritus of the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester, NY, was a composer, conductor, and academic leader.

RALPH W. KUNCL is an American neurologist, president emeritus of the University of Redlands, and former provost/executive vice president at the University of Rochester, NY.



September 2023


$35.00 / £27.99

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Title Details

314 Pages

2.28 x 1.52 cm

24 colour illus.

Series: Meliora Press

Series Vol. Number: 37

Imprint: University of Rochester Press