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Beneath Cherry Blossoms - The Lilliput Review Blog

Friday, 31 August 2007

Within and Without: Revelation
31 August 2007 06:54 EDT | Posted by donw714

Within and Without: Revelation


 

As I mentioned before I've been struggling with Charles Wright's recent volume of poems, Scar Tissue.  This morning, Garrison Keillor highlights a fine poem by Wright in his Writer's Almanac: "After Reading T'ao Ch'ing, I wander Untethered Through the Short Grass," from his collection Appalachia.   Check it out, it's worth the click.

Today is the birthday of the Irish songwriter/bard Van Morrison.  Over the years, he has given the world such a wide array of quality music, from the cliched blue-eyed soul through the mystic to skiffle, country and beyond.  One of his least lauded but very best albums, at least for the poets in the crowd, is 1980's Common One.  It is simply, while simultaneously being about, revelation.  Here is "Summertime in England":

 

Can you meet me in the country
In the summertime in England
Will you meet me?
Will you meet me in the country
In the summertime in England
Will you meet me?
We'll go riding up to Kendal in the country
In the summertime in England.
Did you ever hear about
Did you ever hear about
Did you ever hear about
Wordsworth and Coleridge, baby?
Did you ever hear about Wordsworth and Coleridge?
They were smokin' up in Kendal
By the lakeside
Can you meet me in the country in the long grass
In the summertime in England
Will you meet me
With your red robe dangling all around your body
With your red robe dangling all around your body
Will you meet me
Did you ever hear about . . .
William Blake
T. S. Eliot
In the summer
In the countryside
They were smokin'
Summertime in England
Won't you meet me down Bristol
Meet me along by Bristol
We'll go ridin' down
Down by Avalon
Down by Avalon
Down by Avalon
In the countryside in England
With your red robe danglin' all around your body free
Let your red robe go.
Goin' ridin' down by Avalon
Would you meet me in the country
In the summertime in England
Would you meet me?
In the Church of St. John . . .
Down by Avalon . . . .
Holy Magnet
Give you attraction
Yea, I was attracted to you.
Your coat was old, ragged and worn
And you wore it down through the ages
Ah, the sufferin' did show in your eyes as we spoke
And the gospel music
The voice of Mahalia Jackson came through the ether
Oh my common one with the coat so old
And the light in the head
Said, daddy, don't stroke me
Call me the common one.
I said, oh, common one, my illuminated one.
Oh my high in the art of sufferin' one.
Take a walk with me
Take a walk with me down by Avalon
Oh, my common one with the coat so old
And the light in her head.
And the sufferin' so fine
Take a walk with me down by Avalon
And I will show you
It ain't why, why, why
It just is.
Would you meet me in the country
Can you meet me in the long grass
In the country in the summertime
Can you meet me in the long grass
Wait a minute
With your red robe . . .
Danglin' all around your body.
Yeats and Lady Gregory corresponded . . .
And James Joyce wrote streams of consciousness books . . .
T.S. Eliot chose England . . .
T.S. Eliot joined the ministry . . .
Did you ever hear about . . .
Wordsworth and Coleridge?
Smokin' up in Kendal
They were smokin' by the lakeside . . .
Let your red robe go . . .
Let your red robe dangle in the countryside in England
We'll go ridin' down by Avalon
In the country
In the summertime
With you by my side
Let your red robe go . . .
You'll be happy dancin' . . .
Let your red robe go . . .
Won't you meet me down by Avalon
In the summertime in England
In the Church of St. John . . .
Did you ever hear about Jesus walkin'
Jesus walkin' down by Avalon?
Can you feel the light in England?
Can you feel the light in England?
Oh, my common one with the light in her head
And the coat so old
And the sufferin' so fine
Take a walk with me
Oh, my common one,
Oh, my illuminated one
Down by Avalon . . .
Oh, my common one . . .
Oh, my storytime one
Oh, my treasury in the sunset
Take a walk with me
And I will show you
It ain't why . . .
It just is . . .
Oh, my common one
With the light in the head
And the coat so old
Oh, my high in the art of sufferin' one . . .
Oh, my common one
Take a walk with me
Down by Avalon
And I will show you
It ain't why . . .
It just is.
Oh, my common one with the light in her head
And the coat so fine
And the sufferin' so high . . .
All right now.
Oh, my common one . . .
It ain't why . . .
It just is . . .
That's all
That's all there is about it.
It just is.
Can you feel the light?
I want to go to church and say.
In your soul . . .
Ain't it high?
Oh, my common one
Oh, my storytime one
Oh, my high in the art of sufferin' one
Put your head on my shoulder . . .
And you listen to the silence.
Can you feel the silence?

 

Well, for a blog that should be highlighting the short poem, that's a stretch.  Today's selection of poems from a back issue of Lilliput Review comes from issue #117.  Perhaps there might be some revelation there:

 

within and without

same

    red tulip

~ Ed Baker

 

 

EVERYTHING          THE MYSTERY THE

WOOD   THE SMALL ANIMALS THE

BIRDS      DEEP BEDS OF PINE NEEDLES

EVERYTHING

~ John Harter

 

 

 

We forget we're

mostly water

till the rain falls

and every atom

in our body

starts to go home.

~ Albert Huffstickler

 

 



Posted by donw714 at 07:00 EDT | Post Comment | Permalink

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