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Such songs now form the hoarse, moaning soundtrack to countless movies and television episodes. The religiose sentimentality and painful growl, like a halibut with strep throat, have patched a lot of plot holes. With a plan laid down by the singer himself, the editors have included his own choice of some 60 poems, the lyrics from his last four albums and a long dreary selection of notebook jottings.
How awful had any of his passing fancies passed unnoticed. The poems are monotonous scribbles of the moody-undergraduate school, what young Werther would have sung had he been Canadian:.
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Cohen favors an Audenesque quatrain with none of the puckish genius Auden used to refashion the form. What we get instead is:. And from the wall a grazing wind weightless and serene wounds Me as I part Her lips and wounds Us in between. And fastened here, surrendered to My Lover and My Lover, We spread and drown as lilies do— forever and forever.
somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
After some of my friends went off to Vietnam, and one was shot down, then another, I felt a need to say something to them, or about them. I could talk to their wives or widows, but I turned to poems when nothing else worked; my first stumbling attempts were like letters to the dead. But I started looking around and, sure enough, I began to feel the call of my wild, native West Texas—which I knew better than I knew Iowa, better than Colorado, better than Vietnam. But, when I let down my bucket in a plains region doomed to dry up, I found all sorts of images for poems, even if I could live to write for forty years in that suddenly fabulous desert… Every poem is a metaphor of how it feels to someone to be alive at some time, at some place.
Oh, it is not as much joy as holding hands with my wife in the park, or bending down to lift one of my granddaughters above my head and feel her hug my neck.
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Poetry Foundation. Back to Previous. Walter McDonald. Poems by Walter McDonald. Related Content. Collections The Poetry of the Vietnam War. More About this Poet. Is the information for this product incomplete, wrong or inappropriate?
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