I am starting this thread in the hope that people will post poems or lyrics that they cherish for the way the words illustrate or encapsulate a feeling or notion with a precision that has made them memorable, haunting or just plain enjoyable. And hopefully comment why they treasure these particular words.
I am going to start off with the lyrics to a song which have resonated with me for nearly 50 years now. Long before I’d heard the word autism.
The Drifter’s Escape
“Oh, help me in my weakness”
I heard the drifter say
As they carried him from the courtroom
And were taking him away
“My trip hasn’t been a pleasant one
And my time it isn’t long
And I still do not know
What it was that I’ve done wrong”
Well, the judge, he cast his robe aside
A tear came to his eye
“You fail to understand,” he said
“Why must you even try?”
Outside, the crowd was stirring
You could hear it from the door
Inside, the judge was stepping down
While the jury cried for more
“Oh, stop that cursed jury”
Cried the attendant and the nurse
“The trial was bad enough
But this is ten times worse”
Just then a bolt of lightning
Struck the courthouse out of shape
And while ev’rybody knelt to pray
The drifter did escape
Dylan often uses the outsider to comment on society, like the previous generation of the Beat poets and writers.
In verse one the Drifter is in the court room expressing his fragility and how he is unaware of the nature of his transgression.
In verse two, the judge - official duties performed - removes the apparel of office and sympathises, he’s seen outsiders before. There is a restless crowd outside and the jury are crying for more - the disapproving, accusatory baying of those unable to accept and include lives lived outside the mainstream.
In verse three, the nurse and the attendant are appalled by the mob behaviour. Then divine intervention - or an ordinary weather incident ,take your pick - and the Drifter, unencumbered by popular superstition or orthodox religion, makes his escape. I’ve always felt a certain connection with the Drifter. In my young teenage years I banged on so much about Bob Dylan, that I ended up with the nickname Bob.
Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise
Take these sunken eyes and learn to see
You were only waiting for this moment to be free
Blackbird fly, blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night
Thank You Graham, I chose my name because of the lyrics to this beautiful song, I hope you feel on the cusp of a new beginning too.
You’re welcome. I had thought about calling myself Rocky Racoon - but it doesn’t end well.
We are on the cusp of Spring, which gives extra poignancy to -
Risk by Anaïs Nin
And then the day came,
when the risk
to remain tight
in a bud
was more painful
than the risk