Wednesday, April 15, 2009

National Poetry Month - The Poetry of Music

Something a little different...

If you haven't already figured it out, poetry for me is about imagery and sound. Vivid imagery is - in my mind - a hallmark of incredible poetry. And, forgive my mullet and the rock and roll devil horns, but some of the most incredible poetry ever written can be found in song lyrics. Now don't get me wrong, most pop music is - at its heart - soulless shit, and the lyrics reflect that. Sometimes it transcends the soullessness, but not often. However, other forms of music have had some of the most incredibly poetic writers imagineable... and they don't get the credit for it.

Jim Morrison, for instance. I'm not a huge Doors fan, but I appreciate Morrison's ability to write incredible lyrics. I didn't always feel this way. My friend Kristin gave me a book of his poetry some years back and it was incredible. I realized then that he was an artist. It gave me an appreciation for his music that I didn't previously have.

The list of musicians who are poets is exhaustive and I will not go into them, but I did want to post the lyrics to one of my favorite songs; Blood, Milk, & Sky by Rob Zombie.

Zombie's got some crazy lyrics and in most cases it's just a mish-mash of imagery with little sense... but this song is somehow different. I should add that I've mentioned this song before in my list of top twenty songs of all time. But I feel it necessary to show how the lyrics, even apart from the incredible music, stand up as poetry.

Take a look and you be the judge: Does this qualify as poetry? I think it does...

Blood,Milk, & Sky

The siren sings a
Lonely song of all the
Wants and hungers
The lust of love a brute
Desire - the ledge of life
Goes under - divide the
Dream into the flesh
Kaleidoscope and -
Candle eyes - empty
Winds scrape on the
Soul - but never stop
To realize -
Animal whisperings
Intoxicate the night
Hypnotize the deperate
Slow motion light - wash
Away into the rain
Blood, milk and sky
Hollow moons illuminate
And beauty never dies
Running wild running blind
I breathe the body deep
1,000 years beside myself
I do not sleep - seduce
The world it never
Screams dead water lies
Ride the only one who
Knows - beauty never dies

1 comment:

Randal Graves said...

I think it qualifies. And what's funny is that while, yes, most pop lyrics are soulless crap, there IS poetry in many examples for people seem to forget that poetry is meant to be recited, not merely read. The sonorous qualities are important, extra so if one is a follower of say, Verlaine.

Sure, I enjoy a cryptic verse as much as the next yokel, but the aural qualities are just as important.