The Poetry Question

Discovering the Relevance of Words

QOTD – October 15 – Mixtapes


Are there people reading this post who don’t know what a cassette tape is? Have we moved that far into the new generation, that an entire analog format has been lost? Does anyone remember the art of covering the cassette tabs with tape so you record over it? Shoving a pencil inside the spindle to wind it back up, and then hoping the tape wouldn’t stretch? Waiting for that perfect song to come on the radio, so you could hit play/record as quickly as possible?

Most importantly, does anyone remember the art of making a mixtape for that special someone?

When I meet someone, my head automatically starts putting together the perfect mixtape. It’s the way they walk, how they respond to certain things I say, how they smile when certain sounds pop up around us. It’s all about whether they used to listen to Depeche Mode, or Boyz II Men, or Tiffany – wait, did I just go too far back? If they say they listen to hip hop, what kind? If they say hip hop, and not “rap” then I have a bit more of an appreciation for them. Maybe it’s Big Daddy Kane, A Tribe Called Quest, and De La Soul. If you listen to James Taylor, I’ll give you David Ramirez, Matthew Mayfield, Josh Joplin. You enjoy classical music? I’ll up the ante with Mogwai, God is an Astronaut, Shelter Red, and Swords. Oh you like Jazz? Have you heard The Philadelphia Experiment?  Really into 90’s radio rock? Let’s get some Better Than Ezra, Eve 6, Posies, and some REM for good measure.

A mixtape is about creating a mood – both with music and lyrics. There is an art to it.

So, we ask you:

What was the last mixtape you gave someone, or were given? What were the songs on it, and what did they mean to you?

About Christopher Margolin

Chris Margolin spent more than a decade in Education as a high school English teacher, and is now an Instructional Coach for the Longview School District. He is also the founder of The Poetry Question, an online journal which focuses on reviews of small press poetry publications, and runs a regular series called "The Power of Poetry," where notable poets share their personal stories of how poetry has affected their lives. Margolin resides in Vancouver, Washington with his wife, and daughter.

One comment on “QOTD – October 15 – Mixtapes

  1. J. Gabriel Allan
    October 16, 2013

    There was this girl I was dating in college.
    I burned her a CD.
    It had a little Elton John, some Van Morrison, Best Friend by Queen, among others…
    Its title, scrawled neatly in sharpie across the face of the disc,was Mix Tape.

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