I have been pretty preoccupied lately and you know what that means, right?  I have to relate the DJ post to something that I am already doing.  Among other things (my Dad is in ICU in Los Angeles, but we don’t need to deal with that), I am taking a “Modernist Literature” class for an elective.  I didn’t review the syllabus well enough and lo! what do we have here; a shitload of poetry.  Really boring poetry in arcane language that no one uses any more.  Imagine my relief when I got to the 4 or 5 line mini poems like this:

“The Pool”

Are you alive?
I touch you.
You quiver like a sea-fish.
I cover you with my net.
What are you—banded one?

Yeesh.  If I thought for one second something wasn’t alive.  Poetry has a way of putting you in the scene somehow like literally poking at a dead fish in the sand.  Who would write a poem about that?  I thought I hated poetry until …

After a few pieces with the class summaries and analysis, I remembered that music lyrics are a form of poetry with varying degrees of quality and rhymywhyminess.  Most of the turn of the 20th century poetry rhymes.  Set some of it to music and I bet it works.  Well, turns out it has been done.

I LOVE music with interesting lyrics that I can relate to.  I have one of those “pattern seeking” personalities and find patterns everywhere so a lot of the music I like connects things in my mind somehow. I am not sure why I don’t like poetry; I should.  When set to music I “get” it.  On the page it reads like it came from a punch card. 

Prose is totally different for me. The class did a unit on Faulkner’s “As I Lay Dying”. Totally get the story and how it relates to real life.  (Hint: don’t make seriously bad decisions when many people are telling you they are bad decisions and your wife’s dead body is in a pine box on your rickety wagon.)

You guys may or may not be into poetry, but now is the tine to tell us about why you like the songs that you like:

  1. Poetry/prose set to music – Easy.  If it was originally a poem or essay and someone set it to music it fits here.  This applies to interpretations and mashups.  I am surprised at how the music changes the poems.
  2. Music that can be poetry – This is totally subjective.  If you think that Van Halen’s “Ice Cream Man” is poetry, who am I to say otherwise?  If you can, provide a few lines to show us.
  3. Fun with metaphors – Poetry is full of them.  So is music.  You know what they are; have fun with them! Is the Ice Cream Man really something else?

Here is the playlist:

Here are your dedications for this week:

London – Santino

Chancre Sore – Thrill

William Wilson -Rich

My Mystery – Zurvan

Dig Lazarus Dig…!!! – WVR

The Raven – Grendel

** Update-  my dad has been moved to a regular room.

13 comments

  1. I can hear my mother wailing
    And a whole lot of scraping of chairs

    WVR, I couldn’t easily put the lyrics in with the formatting.

    I have always wondered about this passage. The song is ostensibly about Lazarus living forever, but the narrator interjects this passage about his mother and some sort of dustup with chairs. An assailant? Is his mother one of the “baby blasted mothers” here?

    Collected up some baby blasted mothers

    Anyway, it is a silly song on the surface but something else seems to be going on.

  2. A good place to start is with some Tragically Hip.

    Poets – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_RSJ6xuHbE

    Flamenco – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KUKGI5_Qqc

    Maybe a prostitute
    Could teach you
    How to take a compliment

    Some Oasis

    So I start a revolution from my bed
    ‘Cause you said the brains I had went to my head.

    Don’t Look Back in Anger – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmpRLQZkTb8

    Do you keep the receipts
    For the friends that you buy
    And ain´t it bittersweet
    You were only just getting by

    Where Did it All Go Wrong? – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Nk_Oek5XEg

  3. Good thoughts and prayers for your dad. I can relate, last year I moved my mom (88) to a nursing home close to where I live so I can visit often. Strong in mind but frail in body, a week does not pass when we are not either at ER or at her doctors.

    A bit of Ambrosia always works for me;
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FvyVkfM8aA

  4. ** Update- my dad has been moved to a regular room.

    Quickest turnaround I ever had on a prayer, right there.

    Aerials by System of a Down – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpEV0FQFUSY

    Life is a waterfall
    We drink from the river
    Then we turn around and put up our walls
    Swimming through the void
    We hear the word
    We lose ourselves but we find it all’
    Cause we are the ones that wanna play
    Always wanna go
    But you never wanna stay
    We are the ones that wanna choose
    Always wanna play
    But you never wanna lose

    Enjoy the Silence by Depeche Mode – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qyipPXE3Ijw

    Vows are spoken
    To be broken
    Feelings are intense
    Words are trivial
    Pleasures remain
    So does the pain
    Words are meaningless
    And forgettable
    All I ever wanted
    All I ever needed
    Is here in my arms
    Words are very unnecessary
    They can only do harm

    For Santino:

    Jimmy by Tool – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PENR7ElKBg0

    This part gets me everytime. (2:10)

    Under a dead Ohio sky
    Eleven has been and will be waiting
    Defending his light and wondering
    Where the hell have I been?
    Sleeping lost and numb.
    So glad that I have found you.
    I am wide awake and heading
    Home.

  5. Glad to hear your dad is doing better!! I’ve learned about the power of the will to live. Both of my parents have been in ICU over the last couple of years and amazingly are living at home right now. Sending positive e-thoughts your way.

  6. What about this one? Every line in it sounds like it came from the Tao Te Ching.

    River of Deceit by Mad Season – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iyn_HfkjM-k

    My pain is self-chosen
    At least, so The Prophet says
    I could either burn
    Or cut off my pride and buy some time
    A head full of lies is the weight, tied to my waist

    Arsonist’s Lullaby by Hozier – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eJbxI-jZbA

    When I was a man I thought it ended
    When I knew love’s perfect ache
    But my peace has always depended
    On all the ashes in my wake
    All you have is your fire
    And the place you need to reach
    Don’t you ever, tame your demons
    But always keep ’em on a leash

    Say It Ain’t So by Weezer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wdpSFQTulo

    Dear Daddy
    I write you
    In spite of years of silence
    You’ve cleaned up
    Found Jesus
    Things are good or so I hear
    This bottle of Steven’s
    Awakens ancient feelings
    Like father
    Step-father
    The son is drowning in the flood

    Say it ain’t so
    Your drug is a heart breaker
    Say it ain’t so
    My love is a life taker

  7. Thanks, guys! It means a lot to me that you are thinking about him. He is having angioplasty today so I can hope to be able to talk to him tomorrow. He was pretty weak the other day. He may get to go home on Tuesday.

    These are great selections. Thrill, those verses by Tool are great. From having to read it, poetry is not all flowery language, especially during WWI.

    Rich – Alan Parsons did a lot of Poe. Here it one of them:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrrIm4ozbUc – Cask of Amontillado

  8. If, read by Michael Caine

    The epic poem of Beowulf, is to no surprise one of my favorites….
    part 1 of a abridged reading.,..
    part 2.

    Recessional
    BY RUDYARD KIPLING
    1897

    God of our fathers, known of old,
    Lord of our far-flung battle-line,
    Beneath whose awful Hand we hold
    Dominion over palm and pine—
    Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
    Lest we forget—lest we forget!

    The tumult and the shouting dies;
    The Captains and the Kings depart:
    Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
    An humble and a contrite heart.
    Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
    Lest we forget—lest we forget!

    Far-called, our navies melt away;
    On dune and headland sinks the fire:
    Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
    Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
    Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
    Lest we forget—lest we forget!

    If, drunk with sight of power, we loose
    Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe,
    Such boastings as the Gentiles use,
    Or lesser breeds without the Law—
    Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
    Lest we forget—lest we forget!

    For heathen heart that puts her trust
    In reeking tube and iron shard,
    All valiant dust that builds on dust,
    And guarding, calls not Thee to guard,
    For frantic boast and foolish word—
    Thy mercy on Thy People, Lord!

    As for a song that i feel is a poem, i present Fire on the Mountain
    Another one Winterborn by The Crüxshadows

    Dry your eyes
    And quietly bear this pain with pride
    For heaven shall remember the silent and the brave
    And promise me they will never see
    The fear within our eyes
    We will give strength to those who still remain

    So bury fear, for fate draws near
    And hide the signs of pain
    With noble acts
    The bravest souls endure the heart’s remains
    Discard regret, That in this debt
    A better world is made
    And children of a newer day might remember and avoid our fate

    And in the fury of this darkest hour
    We will be your light
    You’ve asked me for my sacrifice
    And I am Winterborn
    Without denying, a faith is come
    That I have never known
    I hear the angels call my name
    And I am Winterborn

    Hold your head up high
    For there is no greater love
    Think of the faces of the people you defend
    And promise me they will never see
    The tears within our eyes
    Although we are men with mortal sins
    Angels never cry

    So bury fear, for fate draws near
    And hide the signs of pain
    With noble acts, the bravest souls
    Endure the heart’s remains

    Discard regret
    That in this debt
    A better world is made
    That children of a newer day might remember and avoid our fate

    And in the fury of this darkest hour
    We will be your light
    You’ve asked me for my sacrifice
    And I am Winterborn
    Without denying, a faith is come
    That I have never known
    I hear the angels call my name
    And I am Winterborn

    Within this moment I am for you
    Though better men have failed
    I will give my life for love
    For I am Winterborn

    And in the fury of this darkest hour
    We will be your light
    You’ve asked me for my sacrifice
    And I am Winterborn
    Without denying, a faith is come
    That I have never known
    I hear the angels call my name
    And I am Winterborn

    I hear the angels call my name
    And I am Winterborn

    I hear the angels call my name
    And I am Winterborn

    I hear the angels call my name
    And I am Winterborn

    And in my dying
    I’m more alive than I have ever been
    I will make this sacrifice
    For I am Winterborn

  9. No secret that I love this one.

    Bullet the Blue Sky by U2 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wj3_m6VxW-U

    I can see the fighter planes
    Across the mudhuts as the children sleep
    Through the alleys of a quiet city street
    Up the staircase to the first floor
    Turn the key and slowly unlock the door
    A man breathes into a saxophone
    Through the walls we hear the city groan

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