I like old-school lyrics. Meaning from around 1685 or later.
Gots to have some rhyme and some rhythm in my opinion.
Do you like poetry? What kind – what poets?
I can’t stand most modern, academic esoteric intentionally cryptic blank verse. Who reads that stuff anyway? If I wanted cryptic I would rather listen to Steely Dan or early Pink Floyd after all…and forget those weak little ditherings in the margin of New Yorker and Atlantic – how boring. And although I once believed in it, I grew out of stridently political agit-prop years ago as well. Give me real poetry please!
I was forced to analyze poetry in school and I resented it. Maybe a few lines here and there [E.E. Cummings, Ogden Nash] were amusing but it was nothing I ever chose to read on my own. Years later I got turned on to French poets like Baudelaire, G. de Nerval, Rimbaud and others who had some great hypnotic rhythms and rhyme combined with astral imagery and intense feeling. I began to realize that I did like poetry – that kind at least. Later, stranded in the Arizona desert with the New Oxford Book of English Verse [1250-1950…new indeed!], I found great treasures. Many of them I have posted, and will continue to post here for your enjoyment. I discovered that being alone in the desert was the ideal way to develop appreciation for poetry. This was in the late 80’s to mid 90’s before the age of cyber-connectivity had infected me. After my mind cleared from the barrage of stimuli considered normal, I found that I was reading these old works with new perception. It was like actually communing with the mind of the writer, no matter how distant [or near] in time. It was a spiritual realization for me. Perhaps some of you have also experienced that realization – maybe you are so blessed that you don’t have to live in the desert as I had to reach that state of cerebral clarity. In this age of rampant pragmatism and commodified common-sense, it is almost shameful to confess that I love poetry.
Do you also hesitate before divulging your love of poetry? I am not even sure why I like poetry so much. It is certain that we who esteem poetry highly are at best, a demographic of overly word-oriented souls and, at worst, a crackpot minority of verse-swooners and semantic drunkards. I rarely pause to wonder how I became a poetry lover. It may have just been a logical extension of my interest in all those rock’n’roll lyrics [Beatles, Stones, Simon & Garfunkel to Aerosmith and Roxy Music ] or the children’s verse my mother read to when very young [ever heard this Syd Barrett song ?- it captures what I am trying to say here].
Later in this blog, I will explore the connection between pop-culture music lyrics and poetry; where does one end and the other begin? Are there criteria that divide them or does one flow into the other? High art vs. ephemera, eternal value vs. disposable enjoyment – so much to talk about.
Tell me what YOU like.