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Song writers and poets

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Greetings and Salutations,

I’ve been away for a while and I must say I didn’t really miss you. When I travel I do my best to leave the usual behind and immerse myself in the country I’m visiting. Costa Rica is beautiful and fun. While it’s not the most exotic place I’ve visited, it is the kind of place that takes you out of yourself. Now on to todays topic.

As a writer I crave that perfect turn-of-phrase. I yearn to write that one memorable line that will stop a reader for the second it takes to sigh or chuckle. In a novel of 100,000 words that will occur. The of averages almost guarantee it.

When I read poetry or listen to music, I’m ashamed. Poets and song writers do this with at regular intervals in a page or two.  Without further ado, I will pay homage to these word smiths today.We’ll start with song writers.

Bruce Springsteen, from Thunder Road

There were ghosts in the eyes

Of all the boys you sent away

They haunt this dusty beach road

In the skeleton frames of burned out Chevrolets 

Bob Dylan, from A Simple Twist Of Fate

A saxophone someplace far off played 

As she was walking on by the arcade 

As the light bust through a beat up shade 

Where he was waking up. She dropped a coin into the cup of a blind man at the gate 

And forgot about a simple twist of fate.

Gordon Lightfoot, from The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald

The wind in the wires made a tattle-tale sound

and a wave broke over the bow

And every man knew

As the captain did too

T’was the witch of November come stealin’

Tom Waits, from A New Coat Of Paint

All your scribbled love dreams, are lost or thrown away,

Here amidst the shuffle of an overflowing day

Tom Waits, from Mr. Siegal 

you got to tell me brave captain,

why are the wicked so strong,

how do the angels get to sleep, when the

devil leaves the porch light on.

POETS

David Whyte, form Self-Portrait 

I want to know if you are willing  

to live day by day, with the consequence of love  

and the bitter unwanted passion of your sure defeat.

I have heard even the gods speak of God

Mary Oliver, from Have You Ever Tried To Enter The Long Black Branches?  

Listen, are you breathing just a little, and calling it life

While the soul, after all, is only a window,

and the opening of the window no more difficult

than wakening from a little sleep

Billy Collins, from In The Moment

I could feel the day offering itself to me,

and I wanted nothing more

than to be in the moment–but which moment?

Not that one, or that one, or that one,

Charles Bukowski, from Regrets Of Sorts

 but I do like the music of language

 the curl of the unexpected word

the sensation of a tasty almost never-used

near-virgin word

I’m certain you all have your own favorites, and  you are surely aghast because I left them out. I urge you to go now and pull that book of poetry off the shelf, or that song from wherever you store your music and enjoy it for the art that it is and the joy it brings you.

As for me, I’m going to try harder to raise my game. As always I’ll leave you with a quote which may seem ridiculous at this point, but there are so many.

W. B. Yeats, from A Prayer For Old Age

God guard me from those thoughts men think

In the mind alone;

He that sings a lasting song

Thinks in the marrow bone

Write On,

Dave Benneman

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