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Annie Lennox. Brilliant Poet?

I would honestly argue that Annie Lennox is one of the greatest poets of our time, and as an example of evidence of this I would present the court of public opinion the lyrics to the song cold:


Come to me, run to me
Do and be done with me
(Cold cold cold)
Don't I exist for you
Don't I still live for you
(Cold cold cold)
Everything I possess
Given with tenderness
Wrapped in a ribbon of glass
Time it may take us but God only knows
How I've paid for those things in the past

Dying is easy
It's living that scares me to death
I could be so content
Hearing the sound of your breath

Cold is the color of crystal the snow light
That falls from the heavenly skies
Catch me and let me dive under
For I want to swim in the pools of your eyes

I want to be with you baby
Slip me inside of your heart
Don't I belong to you baby
Don't you know that nothing can tear us apart
Come on now come on now come on now
Telling you that
I loved you right from the start,
But the more I want you the less I get
Ain't that just the way things are

Winter has frozen us
Let love take hold of us
(Cold cold cold)
Now we are shivering
Blue ice is glittering
(Cold cold cold)

Cold is the color of crystal the snow light
That falls from the heavenly skies
Catch me and let me dive under
For I want to swim in the pools of your eyes

https://youtu.be/xi19gH6_waE
Sun, 3 Mar 2019 01:54 pm
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Wow... That one I did not see coming! I'm stunned. You can hardly tell this is a song. It's a poem! Especially the last four lines! Wow! Incredible! 🎈
Thanks for bringing it out into the light Jason!
Sun, 3 Mar 2019 03:13 pm
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Did you watch the video?πŸ˜€
Mon, 4 Mar 2019 12:21 am
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Alan Pascoe

When the lyric is separated from the music, the lyric, too often, sounds utterly banal. It even happened to Cole Porter.

'Swim in the pools of your eyes.' 'Nothing can tear us apart.' Falls from the heavenly skies.'
Lennox has an enduring voice, but she needs a better lyric than this.

She should read Theodore Roethke, Leonard Cohen or Emily Dickinson.

What one has to do as a writer is to define a moment in time, then make that moment in time, eternal - without using trite phrases or purple prose.

Many young first year writing students could write a better lyric.
Tue, 5 Mar 2019 07:19 pm
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Oh don't get me wrong, there are better. Although I suppose it depends on unit of measurement.
If we were to measure, "One of the best," say in Β£ sterling? I would imagine Annie would be coming pretty near the to the top of the list.
But of course we're not.
For me, there are always, "Better," in the world, but for now, I don't think Annie Lennox will be in any rush to change them.

My son said, "How do you make money from poetry?"
I answered, "Set it to music son, set it to music."πŸ˜€

But seriously, most of our successful modern day poets are song writers, (and personally, I wouldn't change a single syllable of this beautiful song).😁

J.
Wed, 6 Mar 2019 09:47 am
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Of course then there's one my all time favourites, Tom Waits. Now there is a poet!πŸ˜€

Tom Traubert’s Blues (Four Sheets to the Wind in Copenhagen)
Tom Waits


Wasted and wounded, it ain't what the moon did
Got what I paid for now
See ya tomorrow, hey Frank can I borrow
A couple of bucks from you?
To go waltzing Mathilda, waltzing Mathilda
You'll go a-waltzing Mathilda with me
I'm an innocent victim of a blinded alley
And tired of all these soldiers here
No one speaks English and everything's broken
And my Stacys are soaking wet
To go waltzing Mathilda, waltzing Mathilda
You'll go a-waltzing Mathilda with me
Now the dogs are barking and the taxi cab's parking
A lot they can do for me
I begged you to stab me, you tore my shirt open
And I'm down on my knees tonight
Old Bushmill's I staggered, you buried the dagger
Your silhouette window light
To go waltzing Mathilda, waltzing Mathilda
You'll go a-waltzing Mathilda with me
Now I lost my Saint Christopher now that I've kissed her
And the one-armed bandit knows
And the maverick Chinaman and the cold-blooded signs
And the girls down by the strip-tease shows
Go, waltzing Mathilda, waltzing Mathilda
You'll go a-waltzing Mathilda with me
No, I don't want your sympathy
The fugitives say that the streets aren't for dreaming now
Manslaughter dragnets and the ghosts that sell memories
They want a piece of the action anyhow
Go, waltzing Mathilda, waltzing Mathilda
You'll go a-waltzing Mathilda with me
And you can ask any sailor and the keys from the jailor
And the old men in wheelchairs know
That Mathilda's the defendant, she killed about a hundred
And she follows wherever you may go
Waltzing Mathilda, waltzing Mathilda
You'll go a-waltzing Mathilda with me
And it's a battered old suitcase to a hotel someplace
And a wound that will never heal
No prima donna, the perfume is on
An old shirt that is stained with blood and whiskey
And goodnight to the street sweepers
The night watchman flame keepers and goodnight, Mathilda too
Wed, 6 Mar 2019 09:55 am
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William Williams

i wouldn't pay Alan Pascoe too much mind, Jason. The only time he shows his colors around here is when he is being condescending in some way, shape, or form.

He's a lot like Steven Waling in that aspect: both truly believe they are experts at being "elitist writers."

Here's a tip: If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, then chances are it is not a platypus.
Wed, 6 Mar 2019 12:39 pm
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Alan Pascoe

William,

You should read the jazz journalist and musician, Benny Green.

Try not to use cliches. Read Joseph Brodsky. Value language and ideas.

Learn something beyond your own prejudice.



Jason

Tom Waits - What a talent. What a voice.

Wed, 6 Mar 2019 03:32 pm
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Gentlemen, thank you for the advice, I remain endebted, smiling and as ever, make my own mind up about the things I like and the things I don't. And whilst Leonard Cohen is also a personal favourite I still find the lyrics of, "Cold," both moving and entirely perfect considering the context.

The broader point is that most of us in modern life have to search for the "classics," but the majority of poetry we hear these days is in the form of music, and that, I think, is undeniable.πŸ˜€

J. x
14 days ago
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P.S. I've always loved the duck analogy 😁

J.
14 days ago
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Wow! Where have I been all this time? Yes, Tom Waits! Incredible. He's kinda like a fiend, like a mystic, pagan creature, with that goatee of his and the triangular face... Like a faun.... Maybe he's one of Pan's minions, a wandering bard singing rhapsodies!
"I like my town with a little drop of poison, nobody knows they're lining up to go insane."
Strange mysterious rugged man comes into town, sits at the end of the bar sipping rotgut alone...He observes in silence, then whispers one word and before you know it a rocus breaks, things are stirred up, feuds revive ... brawl! The townies jump at each other's throats, by morning they will have ripped each other apart, all hell breaks loose as he staggers off singing cruel, sarcastic rhymes into the breeze and disappears into the night leaving nothing but his empty stout glass turned on its side, spinning on top of the ebony counter of the watering hole! Nice dark atmosphere!
Yes, I watched the video Jason! Very theatric! And that's good and bad at the same time! It's an awesome video clip. But all the theatrics and the direction take the focus off of the poetry, in the end to me it's just a ballad. A "tune"! But I have to disagree with Alan. When you take the music and the video clip away and really read the lyrics you discover they're poetry! And surely some parts of the song are not that poetic, but it's a song after all!
It's true, poetry is not exactly a fad right now but you do find gems in songs! And may I say that I personally take references and various influences from songs, mostly jazz, the blues, rock and soul, even God help me beep-bop! Who can argue with " Bewitched, bothered and bewildered" or "Delightful, delicious,
de-lovely!" ? Aren't they legit alliteration and rhythm phenomena?
Sometimes the music brings the words out but in my opinion it usually overshadows them, not doing them justice. You don't really pay attention to the lyrics until you strip them of the melody. And I find sweet nice poetic words in the most unexpected songs too: some may be considered corny... I won't give any examples, I wouldn't want to give away my guilty pleasures πŸ˜‹ But yes Jason I think you are right!
That's all from me!

Quack, quack to you all,
and to all quack quack 😊

'Night gentlemen!🎈
13 days ago
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Yep.... made me "snort laugh" again.
You really should stop doing that, I was drinking coffee this time πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚.

J. x
13 days ago
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Ouch! I hope it wasn't hot!🀣🎈
13 days ago
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Doesn't matter, it was worth it, you quack me up😁

J. x
13 days ago
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Haha! 🀣 ok, with this conversation in my head I'll be giggling to myself all day!
13 days ago
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And honestly, tell me this isn't poetic..


Say Hello Wave Goodbye.

(By Soft Cell. Although I prefer the David Gray version)


Standin' at the door of the Pink Flamingo cryin' in the rain,
It was a kind of so-so love
And I'm gonna make sure it doesn't happen again,
You and I had to be the standing joke of the year,
You were a runaround, a lost and found and not for me, I feel,
Take your hands off me, hey,
I don't belong to you, you see,
And take a look in my face, for the last time,
I never knew you, you never knew me,
Say hello goodbye,
Say hello and wave goodbye
We tried to make it work, you in a cocktail skirt
And me in a suit but it just wasn't me,
You're used to wearing less,
And now your life's a mess, so insecure you see,
I put up with all the scenes,
This is one scene that's goin' to be played my way
Take your hands off me, hey,
I don't belong to you, you see,
And take a look in my face, for the last time,
I never knew you, you never knew me,
Say hello goodbye,
Say hello and wave goodbye
Say hello and wave goodbye
Under the deep red light
I can see the make-up slidin' down,
Well, hey little girl you will always make up
So take off that unbecoming frown,
As for me, well, I'll find someone
Who's not goin' cheap in the sales,
A nice little housewife, who'll give me a steady life
And not keep going off the rails,
Take your hands off me, hey,
I don't belong to you, you see,
And take a look in my face, for the last time,
I never knew you, you never knew me,
Say hello goodbye,
Say hello and wave goodbye
Say hello and wave goodbye
Say hello and wave goodbye
Wave goodbye
Say hello and wave goodbye
Say hello, wave goodbye
Goodbye
Say goodbye
Say goodbye
We were born before the wind
Who are we to understand
We were born before the wind
Say goodbye
Through the rain, hail, sleet, and snow
Say goodbye
Get on the train, the train, the train
Say goodbye
Say goodbye
Say goodbye
Say goodbye
In the wind and the rain now darling
Say goodbye
In the wind and the rain now darling
10 days ago
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It's a bit long but so worth it....

https://youtu.be/-bzdrabPpRE
10 days ago
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SO SO good! I had never heard of David Gray but I can sincerely say I love him! And I'd like to say something, I never liked love poetry or romantic literature. I've never in my life read a romantic novel and I've hated every single love themed poem I've ever read, with but very few exceptions. And the few love whatevers I have written I consider them to be my worst of works. But with music! Niw that's a whole other story! The only way I enjoy words about love is in music!

Now this guy's voice reminds me bit of Bob Dylan and I can't believe we haven't mentioned him already! I don't know if you agree but I think that, that Nobel award was very well deserved!

Here it goes: "Hey Mr. Tambourine Man" in all its glory! If that's not poetry
I don't know what is!

This too is long but it's also worth it!

"Hey! Mr. Tambourine man, play a song for me
I'm not sleepy and there is no place I'm going to
Hey! Mr. Tambourine man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning I'll come following you
Though I know that evening's empire has returned into sand
Vanished from my hand
Left me blindly here to stand but still not sleeping
My weariness amazes me, I'm branded on my feet
I have no one to meet
And the ancient empty street's too dead for dreaming
Hey! Mr. Tambourine man, play a song for me
I'm not sleepy and there is no place I'm going to
Hey! Mr. Tambourine man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning I'll come following you
Take me on a trip upon your magic swirling ship
My senses have been stripped
My hands can't feel to grip
My toes too numb to step
Wait only for my boot heels to be wandering
I'm ready to go anywhere, I'm ready for to fade
Into my own parade
Cast your dancing spell my way, I promise to go under it
Hey! Mr. Tambourine man, play a song for me
I'm not sleepy and there is no place I'm going to
Hey! Mr. Tambourine man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning I'll come following you
Though you might hear laughing, spinning, swinging madly across the sun
It's not aimed at anyone
It's just escaping on the run
And but for the sky there are no fences facing
And if you hear vague traces of skipping reels of rhyme
To your tambourine in time
It's just a ragged clown behind
I wouldn't pay it any mind
It's just a shadow you're seeing that he's chasing
Hey! Mr. Tambourine man, play a song for me
I'm not sleepy and there is no place I'm going to
Hey! Mr. Tambourine man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning I'll come following you
And take me disappearing through the smoke rings of my mind
Down the foggy ruins of time
Far past the frozen leaves
The haunted frightened trees
Out to the windy beach
Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow
Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky
With one hand waving free
Silhouetted by the sea
Circled by the circus sands
With all memory and fate
Driven deep beneath the waves
Let me forget about today until tomorrow
Hey! Mr. Tambourine man, play a song for me
I'm not sleepy and there is no place I'm going to
Hey! Mr. Tambourine man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning I'll come following you.


https://youtu.be/OeP4FFr88SQ

And I chose this particular footage because I love the introduction, the strong wind blowing in the background, the crowds that we can hear but cannot see and and the way he acts on stage, very modest and witty! Notice how he tries to adjust the mic to his height? See the people cheering for this tiny fellow as if he's the biggest man alive?
And his nervous, modest response to all that is:
"I thank ye have the wrong ma'an!"
Little did they all know that many many moons later this shrill-voiced, curly-haired shorty with the southern accent would receive a Nobel Award for his poetry!
10 days ago
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Alan Pascoe

Mae,

'Tambourine Man' was a song Dylan wrote about Woody Guthrie,
the composer of 'This Land Is Your Land.' Both have become anthems.

Dylan's Nobel Prize for Literature was awarded too late. He may have felt he hadn't written anything of any worth for forty years.
Though he should have attended the ceremony.

He asked the superb Patti Smith to accept the award on his behalf. She sang 'Hard Rain' accompanied by a full orchestra. It was surreal.

Certain songs claim a century. 'Tambourine Man' and 'This Land Is Your Land' are two of them.

10 days ago
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I love Patti Smith! Really? I had no idea what happened with the ceremony! I don't know anything about the "This land is your land" nor about the symbols and historical landmarks anf milestones of the U.S., I'm not American, although that's no excuse πŸ˜…I just always felt in my heart that Bob Dylan is a poet! I kept telling my friends, this man is not just a folk musician, he's a poet! And when I heard he got it... wow! A musician getting a Nobel Prize for poetry! Surreal indeed, crazy for my little head in my little town in my little corner in the world! From what you tell me it appears he is much bigger than I thought!
Thanks Alan for the information!🎈
Mae
10 days ago
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Yes, you're right Mae, beautiful, poetic songs. Dylan was one of the greatest songwriters that ever lived.

Alan thanks for reminding me about the origin of the song, I'd forgotten that he wrote it for Woody Guthrie.

It's a truly beautiful thing to see successive poets and songwriters inspired by their predecessors, I might have one more for you but I have to check it out first.
10 days ago
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Ok, now this is really very, very long but I would say, one of Tom Waits best....


Nighthawk Postcards from Easy Street


[Spoken Intro]
Goodness, gracious. Our bass player should be chained up somewhere. Mongrel, canine, growling. I want to take you on kind of an inebriational travelogue here. Yeah, you ain't got no spare, you ain't got no jack, you don't give a shit, you ain't never coming back. Maybe you're standing on the corner of 17th and Walls easy Streets. Out in front of the terminal bar there's a Thunderbird moving in a Muscatel sky. You've been drinking cleaning products all night. Open for suggestions. Kind of about, well, it's kind of about going down to the corner, saying, "Well, I'm just going down to the corner to get a pack of cigarettes, I'll be back in a minute."

Yeah, you check out the street and it looks like there's kind of a
Kind of a blur drizzle down the plate glass
And as a neon swizzle stick is stirring up the sultry night air
Looks like a yellow biscuit of a buttery cue ball moon
Rolling maverick across an obsidian sky
And as the buses go groaning and wheezing
Down on the corner I'm freezing
On a restless boulevard at a midnight road
I'm across town from Easy Street
With the tight knots of moviegoers and out-of-towners on the stroll
The buildings towering high above lit like dominoes or black dice
Used car salesmen dressed up in Purina checkerboard slacks
And Foster Grant wraparounds
Pacing in front of Rainbow, Earl Scheib, thirty-nine ninety-five merchandise

Like barkers at a shooting gallery
They throw out a Texas Guinan routine:
'Hello sucker, we like your money, just as well as anybody else's here
Come on over here now...
Let me put the cut back in your strut and the glide back in your stride
Now climb aboard a customs Oldsmobile, let me take you for a ride'
Or they give you that P. T. Barnum bit:
'There's a sucker born every minute!'
'You just happened to be coming along at the right time, you know
Come over here now'

And you know, all the harlequin sailors are on the stroll
In search of like new new paint
And decent factory air and AM-FM dreams
Yeah, and all the piss yellow gypsy cabs
They're stacked up in the taxi zones
And they're waiting like pinball machines
To be ticking off a joyride to a magical place
Like Truckers Welcome diners
With dirt lots full of Peterbilts and Kenworths and Jimmies and the like
They're hi-balling with bankrupt brakes
Man, they're overdriven and they're underpaid
They're overfed, and they're a day late and a dollar short
But Christ, I got my lips around a bottle
And I got my foot on the throttle and I'm standing on the corner
Standing on the corner like a just got in town Jasper
I'm on a street corner with a gasper
Looking for some kind of a Cheshire billboard grin
Stroking a goateed chin
Using parking meters as walking sticks
Yeah, on the inebriated stroll
With my eyelids propped open at half mast

But you know, over at "Chubb's Pool and Snooker"
Well, it was a nickel after two, yeah, it was a nickel after two
And in the cobalt steel blue dream smoke
Why, it was the radio that groaned out the hit parade
And the chalk squeaked and the floorboards creaked
And an Olympia sign winked through a torn yellow shade
Old Jack Chance himself leaning up against a Wurlitzer
Man, he was eyeballing out a five ball combination shot
Impossible you say? Hard to believe?
Perhaps out of the realm of possibility?
Naaaah

Cause he be stretching out long tawny fingers
Out across a cool green felt in a provocative golden gate
He got a full table railshot that's no sweat
And I leaned up against my banister
I wandered over to the Wurlitzer and I punched A2
I was looking for maybe 'Wine Wine Wine' by the Nightcaps
Starring Chuck E. Weiss
Or maybe... maybe a little something called "High Blood Pressure"
By George (Crying in the Streets) Perkins, no dice
'Cause that's life, that's what all the people say
You're riding high in April, you're seriously shot down in May
I know I'm gonna change that tune
When I'm standing underneath a buttery moon
That's all melted off to one side
Parkay

It was just about that time that the sun came crawling yellow
Out of a manhole at the foot of twenty-third Street
And a Dracula moon in a black disguise
Was making its way back to its pre-paid room at the St. Moritz Hotel

And the El train tumbled across the trestles
And it sounded like the ghost of Gene Krupa
With an overhead cam and glasspaks
And the whispering brushes of wet radials on wet pavement
Shhhhhhhhhhhhsh
With a traffic jam session on Belmont tonight
And the rhapsody of the pending evening
I leaned up against my banister
And I've been looking for some kind of an emotional investment
With romantic dividends
Yeah, kind of a physical negotiation is underway
As I attempt to consolidate all my missed weekly rendezvous
Into one low monthly payment, through the nose
With romantic residuals and legs akimbo
But the chances are that more than likely
Standing underneath a moon holding water
I'll probably be held over for another
Smashed weekend

https://youtu.be/7b8nEdRazaA
10 days ago
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All fantastic I'd like to throw one in the mix....

On Every Street

There's gotta be a record of you someplace
You gotta be on somebody's books
The lowdown, a picture of your face
Your injured looks
The sacred and profane
The pleasure and the pain
Somewhere your fingerprints remain concrete
And it's your face I'm looking for on every street

A ladykiller, regulation tattoo
Silver spurs on his heels
Says, what can I tell you, as I'm standing next to you
She threw herself under my wheels
Oh it's a dangerous road
And a hazardous load
And the fireworks over liberty explode in the heat
And it's your face I'm looking for on every street

A three-chord symphony crashes into space
The moon is hanging upside down
I don't know why it is I'm still on the case
It's a ravenous town
And you still refuse to be traced
Seems to me such a waste
And every victory has a taste that's bittersweet
And it's your face I'm looking for on every street
Songwriters: Mark Knopfler
10 days ago
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Alan Pascoe

Kate,

That's interesting, but the words don't possess the quality of the silence that one gets with Dylan or Leonard Cohen.

As you may know, when a line works, it never ends... It follows one out into the street. It's there on the stairs in the night.

The line ages, as we age, but it also renews itself. It's passed from mouth to mouth, from generation to generation. It introduces us to ourselves. Through it, we learn how to listen, to a song, but also to our own lives.


The words and music of a song are inseparable from one's spirit.
They find us at a particular moment. We hold onto them, as we hold onto all those things we cannot name.

They outlive us. They are both eternal and transient in the same moment. Perhaps that's enough.
10 days ago
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Alan I mostly agree with you, and may I say, such a lovely input you contributed! But I diaagree with you on one thing, I did like the song Kate posted! I find it very poetic. I respect and revere that silence you're speaking of, but so.sometimes one wants to hear it, or see it or read it. Out loud!
Thank you 🎈
Mae
10 days ago
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Just like all written, spoken or sung words there's a time and a place for all of them. I love Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, Lenny Kravitz, Blues, Jazz, Heavy Rock, Queen oh my god Queen.

But sometimes there's a place for Abba, do you know what I mean?
We speak possibly the most complex, nuanced, expressive language in the world, a Polish friend of mine once said, "Bloody English, the meaning of a word can change with the lighting!"
But that's the beauty of it, nearly every word you say has at least one other meaning, another layer.
You can reflect on your reflection, have a defective defection, a complex complexion and stand erect with an erection, (although the last one might not bear inspection πŸ˜€).

I love all the duel meaning and deep meaning but sometimes I just like stuff because it's enjoyable to say, like Dr Seuss. It just pleasantly falls off the tongue.

There you go, that my two penneth.😁
10 days ago
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Jason, the only thing I can do after all those things you said is to just second that! All of it! Every single word! From "Oh, my God Queen!" to Abba and from "Bloody English" to Dr.
Seuss!!
Thank you for it all🎈
10 days ago
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Alan Pascoe

Jason,

A brilliant observation from your Polish friend. The kind of thing Robert Capa would have said.


Mae,

Abba with their utter genius will probably outlive Eliot. I was talking about the quality of silence between the words. The quality of silence at the end of a line, which one gets from Cohen's lyrics.

Whatever works for you.

Another point. The imagination has no geographical border. It doesn't matter where one lives. As you're aware, in the imagination one can be be anywhere...
10 days ago
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Alan thank you for saying that! Yes I am aware and on top of that fortunate to have this brilliant privilege, that free pass I have thanks to my easily distracted brain! And may I say, thank God for poetry and literature and art in general; and thank the stars that I found them or else my chaotic brain would have driven me bonkers!
10 days ago
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So anyway.....?? Annie Lennox, brilliant Poet?


Just kidding πŸ˜‚

What a great, in depth discussion. I can only say thanks to Mae, Alan, Kate and anyone else that's given an opinion so far. Really informative and thought provoking.
I can safely say I've learned a few things.

I'd struggle to say what is the most poetic song I've ever heard, there are just so many really good ones, "Hallelujah," comes to mind.
10 days ago
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Annie Lennox! Definitely a brilliant poet! But if you ask me, the greatest song ever written is "Nature Boy", composed by some guy named Eden Ahbez and performed by many. Big names too. Nat King Cole was the first and then Frank Sinatra, David Bowie, Ella Fitzgerald, it is the intro and outro in the movie "Moulin Rouge" (the one with Ewan Mc Gregor and Nicole Kidman) and I think even Lady Gaga has sung it.
As for Eden Ahbez, I don't know whatever happened to him, what kind of artist he was or if he ever wrote anything else, another masterpiece... If it were me, there would be no more words after that song. I'd have said it all.
I'd retire and stay silent and complete for the rest of my days.

Call it simplistic, call it whatever. I think it has that special silence Alan was talking about, I can never phrase it correctly, for the love of me!

Here it goes:

"There was a boy
A very strange enchanted boy
They say he wandered very far, very far
Over land and sea
A little shy and sad of eye
But very wise was he

And then one day
A magic day he passed my way
And while we spoke of many things
Fools and kings
This he said to me
The greatest thing you'll ever learn
Is just to love and be loved in return

The greatest thing you'll ever learn
Is just to love and be loved in return. "

I rest my case.🎈
Mae
9 days ago
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Alan Pascoe

Mae,

Eden Ahbez wrote songs for many artists, including Eartha Kitt. The last two lines of 'Nature Boy' are eternally true, but he wrote better songs.

Another album, 'Echoes From Nature Boy' was released in 1995, after Ahbez's death. You may find it on Ebay.

I know this will shock you and you should be aware that I'm hiding under the table as I write this... But I don't think David Bowie had any talent! He possessed no voice and his lyrics were crap. He could dress up well - but can't we all!

Some people have no talent, but they're around at the right time. He just got lucky and got laid. Probably not in that order.

I know you're already contacting your local branch of the Cosa Nostra - but before you arrange to have me shot - explain to me why Bowie was so good!

If you place him against Roy Orbison, as a writer and singer, or Dylan, Bowie is nowhere. Although I heard he could bake a good carrot cake.

Before you have me shot - please send carrot cake!
9 days ago
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Haha 🀣 it's ok Alan you're safe from me, I didn't care for Bowie either, I just mentioned him because he was in the list of artists that performed the song. Thanks for sheding some light on Ahbez, I really hate it when I have opinions about stuff without having the knowledge! Thanks a lot, I'll look him up and something tells me I'm in for quite a discovery! You know I actually have black and white pictures of my favorite musicians printed laminated and pinned on my bedroom wall, a teenager would call them posters, this young adult who was forced by 4 years of cancer to go back to her parents' house for a little while calls them portraits. If Ahbez's other songs are half as good as Nature Boy something tells me another portrait will be added on the wall of fame!
Very much obliged 🎈
Mae
9 days ago
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See now I didn't mind Bowie, but for me the last good album was, "Scary Monsters." I think even he admitted he wasn't the world's greatest lyricist, but with Bowie at his best it was all about the feeling.
If I said to myself, "Scary Monsters and super creeps, leave me running running scared!" I'd think, "Well of course they do, otherwise they wouldn't be scary, would they?" But nevertheless I still like the song.
Right, going to listen to Nature Boy now πŸ˜€.
9 days ago
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Yes, it's still brilliant, I think I'd have to give you that one Mae.πŸ˜€
9 days ago
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Thanks! Oh, Jason you should have a Nature Boy marathon! Listen to all the versions! I know I will, that and study Ahbez! Haha🀣 Scary monsters huh? I suppose Bowie has a point there! To quote a dear friend of mine, "you quack me up"!🎈
9 days ago
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Alan Pascoe

Speaking of interesting black & white photographs Mae, you might like to look up the work of the photographer, Fay Godwin. She worked with that scoundrel Ted Hughes on 'Remains of Elmet.'

Writers and photographers who are self taught possess a deeper passion towards their work. She was like that.

Work which enhances one's perception of the world, like Godwin, like Ahbez, stays with one. Also, in that kind of work, we find the imagine of our own mind reflected back to us.
9 days ago
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Alan, I find everything you say fascinating! You've given me a lot of homework! I love it! That's why I love this place!🎈From a quick glance at wikipedia I see Ted Hughes was married to Sylvia Plath, so so much studying I have to do and Fay Godwin's work looks absolutely breathtaking! I love it when practitioners of different arts intermingle! I love the idea of dialog between different forms of art!
9 days ago
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Alan Pascoe

Mae,

All art forms are inseparable. As you may know, art from another century waits for us.

The work we eventually produce is already within us. We just have to listen for it.

It's probably what Ahbez did...

In Vivaldi's Gloria in 'D' there's a moment when the music stops for perhaps a little more than a second. Then, the chorus comes in...

In that moment, a little more than a second, there is all the things Vivaldi could not say in his art, yet we know it. It's within that silence, within the unsaid.

Fay Godwin caught that. She has been unfairly forgotten. Perhaps you could write something about her.

She's looking at a landscape, waiting for it to speak to her. Knowing there is an hidden glory.

How to depict the lives, lived, lives lost in a landscape. How to give back a voice to lives unknown, yet felt.

As a writer, take risks. Push your talent to the very edge - then you'll push it even further.
9 days ago
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That is really well said Alan. I have the misfortune of not being educated as well as I could have been, dyslexia/dyspraxia not really recognised in the 70's and thereafter became angry and embittered with it and turned away by choice.
The upshot of this is, I don't really know where I learned most of the things I know from, it seems like osmosis.
I feel like I do nearly everything by instinct, it's an odd thing to get used to but now at 50 years old, I would say I've just accepted that's how I am. So whilst I believe I've never heard Vivaldi's Gloria in D, I get exactly what you mean about that pause, that off beat or moment of silence where you expected something to be, the absence of, "Normal."
I'm loving this discussion.
9 days ago
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Alan Pascoe

Jason,

You do brilliantly well. Picasso was dyslexic. He changed twentieth century art. He was the twentieth century.

It gave him a different gaze. Another way of seeing. He redefined what the retina can give us. He made the retina and the imagination inseparable.

Value that gaze.

Pasternak said... 'There can be no art without a sense of doubt.' Again, value that. You're right. We subconsciously learn many things through osmosis. It's another way of bringing what one can't name into one's life. In art, everything is a preparation for something else.

Selling work nationally has always been difficult. It's the waiting...
The waiting... It's not the work which finally gets to one, it's the hope.

Are you working on anything?
9 days ago
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Not really Alan, apart from getting through life and supporting a family, but I did think about publishing a book of what I've done so far. I do have some older stuff, but wrote that when I was much younger and it seems a little clumsy now, although some of it stands up.
9 days ago
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I'm too "little" for this exquisite conversation but if there is something I can contribute at this point is that I simply sense that the works that comes from "osmosis" as you gentlemen called it usually possess fragments of a rare authentic truth. Jason, you may carry a lot of bitterness and sorrow for the errors and malfunctions of your era but to me you've always been a beacon of brilliance. I've never seen you as "un-" or "dis-" anything. You're better than most. That's what I think. And not just cause you're so incredibly kind but for your poetry too. That's what I think, if that makes any difference. Alan, thank you for being here, this discussion is a piece of pure gold! Every single thing you've said had somehow made me feel better about my writing. Or, if I want to be exact, for my decision to keep writing. You too are both lovely gentlemen and I thank you for letting me pitch in my little ideas!
8 days ago
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Ok, firstly thank you but let's get this straight Mae. You are extremely talented. It's funny because I always look for your poetry because I really admire your style and in this conversation, I felt like the least educated, but then academically I would say I am. So in no way are you too little, your work speaks for itself. And I absolutely love your voice when you do readings. On top of that the depth of insight you bring is invaluable, so please don't ever think you're too little my friend.
8 days ago
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Thank you so much Jason. You are too kind. I 've said it and I'll say it again, your constant support ushers me to dare new things. You are profound, gifted and wise, regardless of academic level and things as such. And always look for tour comments and feedback because I really value your opinion. It's just that there are so many things I don't know. Important names, classic works, art, history... One lifetime is not nearly enough! That's what I meant above.
Still, thank you my friend for your support!🎈
8 days ago
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Alan Pascoe

You're right Mae, one lifetime isn't enough. It's been our pleasure to be enlightened by your passion for writing and your ideas.
I'm just someone who scratches one word against another and takes the dog for a walk.

There's line from T.S. Eliot... 'You are the music whilst the music lasts...' Ahbez must have felt that.

I often think of the American poet, Emily Dickinson, sitting alone in her room staring the candle out. Holding the words she'd written that day up to the half light.

As you're aware, the written word, or any art form, always gives one a place to go, a sense of being in the world, despite whatever else is happening in one's life. It becomes a kind of belonging, doesn't it Jason? A way of nurturing ourselves and others. A kind of grace.

One finds it in Fay Godwin's photographs, in the paintings of Caravaggio. He anticipated light and shade within an image, four hundred years before the invention of cinema.

Art always exists in the present tense. It is transient, yet it outlives us. It introduces us to our own mortality. Placing a word, a sound into the world, waiting for it to come back to us, changed, just as we are changed.

Always try to be working on something. A hunger for art is nothing to do with education, or what one has read. It's curiosity, it's the need to irritate the silence.

Eavan Boland in her collection, OUTSIDE HISTORY, writes...

myth is the wound we leave
in the time we have -

Perhaps that's what we search for as we stare the candle out. A story, maybe our story, unforgotten.

As I mentioned earlier Jason, the idea for another piece of work is already within you. Just listen for it... At some random moment it will begin to speak to you.

8 days ago
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Hi Mae and others - Have you time to consider Niel Sedaka?. He could write anything - it was his job, after all - and 'The Hungry Years' is one of the great romantic songs, I'm a sentimental old man and it makes me melt every time I hear it. Also (and this is a personal prejudice) he sings clearly and writes in simple words. If you want to communicate, that's how you get people to listen. And I wish I could do it half as well!
8 days ago
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Alan T. , I Heard the "Hunger Years". Tender and cozy and nostalgic of an idealized past! Who doesn't have one, am I right? I loved it! Not so much for the words of it but for the sentiment, but that is an immediate effect of the words (with a little help from his voice and the melody) so I guess Neil Sedaka is yet another sweet poet!

Alan P. , thank you for the kind words. I believe that as long as there is thirst, there will be need for water and the more we search the more we increase our chances of finding it.
I have to say something, though; I always feared that writing a lot, always working on something new, would corrode the quality of the work... The more the less... But you set my mind at ease with what you said. And plus it's much progress from the times I dreaded that the day my problems would go away, so would the writing and the ideas. But here I am four years later, safe and sound and I still have an ongoing storm in my brain, thank God!
Jason, the masterpiece is in you, I agree with Alan P. and I believe in you so much!

Boy, I can hardly keep up with all the Alans!
🎈
8 days ago
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"As long as there is thirst there will need for water."
Beautiful.
8 days ago
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I just read Patience Agbabi's "Unfinished Business" (it's on her website). That's the most recent poem that broke me up. That's Poetry with a capital "P". That sets a standard. How do we get there?
http://poems.poetrysociety.org.uk/poets/patience-agbabi/
8 days ago
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Just for you Mae, 'cos you said you liked him and of course he's brilliant!
Simple words but complex meanings...

https://youtu.be/j_M8fQG9OSI
6 days ago
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My, oh my, It does take a lot of love to keep the heart from freezing.
I'm still waiting for it! That's for sure. And with every day that passes my heart gets a little colder; and what's worse, a little more used to it...
But...as long as there's thirst, right?!
And I ask you!
"What kind of world is this that we are living in
Where you never win?"
Simple words but complex meanings indeed.
Thank you Jason! 🎈
Mae
6 days ago
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I read the piece Alan T. ! Very unique. Pushing the limits of the norms. I like it! Thank you 🎈
6 days ago
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Alan Pascoe

Wasn't David Gray's 'White Ladder' recorded in his garage. He has a lament in his voice and his music.

Mae,

As you're aware, writing, art, music, catches the earth turning. If you wish, you should think about selling work. Your talent is there. Believe in yourself.

Choose a writing form, drama, fiction - there's no money in poetry.
It's easy for one's imagination and one's writing to drift. Focus on a particular market. Create characters, stitch their lives into a narrative which contains conflict at its core. Tell a story not your own.

Selling work changes and hardens one's attitude to one's own work. Continue to study the work of other writers. See how Hemingway defines a moment in time within a single sentence, then makes that moment eternal.

Edith Wharton did the same thing in 'The Age of Innocence.'
As F. Scott Fitzgerald said... 'Use the experience of the thousands dead.' The already written work. Arguments that pass through people's lives. Art is essentially the lives of others.

Edit your writing. As Ezra Pound said... 'As a writer one has to be a master butcher.' The imagination in free fall isn't enough. To sell work it has to be placed with a fixed narrative which has a place to go, which can develop.

I hate the phrase - but study the market place.

I don't know if Jason would agree with any of this?
5 days ago
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Yes, actually I would, sadly I lack both the time and strength of will, (and probably the talent). But Mae is a fantastic story teller, I've been utterly lost (in a good way) in some of her longer works, they were so well written. Now there's someone I can see making a career of writing. Thanks Alan, good advice as ever.
5 days ago
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Re Patience Agbibi - I read her up 'cos she's judging a comp at Marsden and she is undoubtedly a significant poet and will be heard more of. There were a couple more of her poems near the link I posted, both excellent.
5 days ago
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Thanks Alan and Jason! You really believe I have what it takes to go further from here? Wow... I'm stunned and mostly flattered! Thank you🎈
5 days ago
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