Archive for July 26th, 2010

When I was very young, I loved country music.  As I grew older, I discovered R&B and Rock.  My tastes grew to include most of the music we generally remember from the 60’s thru to today – ballads, show-tunes (musicals), Pop, Disco, and folk music.  Some artists transcend the trends of today and become – for me, anyway – kind of living legends.  Part of that comes from individual songs or albums being great and part of it comes from longevity and the sheer magnitude and volume of work they have created…
To me, one of the greatest song writers of all time is Willie Nelson.  Yes, he’s been writing (and performing) since the 50’s.  Yes, he’s put out a Godzillion number of albums.  Yes, he’s managed to crossover (on occasion) to mainstream and not so mainstream.  Yes, he’s had more million seller singles than I have fingers and toes.  But, he also means something more…
I’m not sure how to define what “more” is, but I  see it in more than 20 years of “FarmAid” concerts, I see it in the hole in the front of Willie’s guitar, I see it (and hear it) in the lyrics of his songs.  One of my favorites is “Hello Walls“.   If you can measure “true” poetry – whatever that is – by how it plays on your ears as well as your heart, consider the lines:  “Is that a teardrop in the corner of your pane?  Don’t try to tell me that it’s rain.” as the singer talks to a window.  I imagine the window thinks:  “Is that a raindrop in the center of your pain?  Don’t try to tell me that it’s not.”  (Yes, I know my rhyme isn’t as good as his!  He’s Willie Nelson, not me.)
Anyway, the play on sounds (pane vs. pain) has always seemed brilliant to me and I would love the lyrics if for nothing else than this one verse.
My second addition to the poetry page is not a poem at all.  It’s actually a speech.  The Gettysburg Address is probably one of, if not the most famous speech in American history.  I’ve taken some liberties with Mr. Lincoln’s prose and reformatted it as if it were a poem.  When I read the Gettysburg Address, this is the way I imagine it being said.
The more I read about American history and the Civil War, the more I read about Lincoln and think about true leadership, the more I come to understand the meaning of giving “the last full measure of devotion” in order “that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.  I pray for those in harm’s way in Iraq and Afghanistan and throughout the world.
I pray our President will see the folly of continuing pointless wars and that he will bring our sons and daughters home!
In the meantime, we all need to agree to disagree.  We need to remember you can disagree with someone without hating them for their views.  We need to work hard for the side we honestly support as being the best for all Americans (not just us as individuals), and we need to VOTE and encourage others to vote!  Vote in November and vote in 2012!!

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