Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Poem On the Underground Wall-Simon and Garfunkel

If you listen to any song on this blog, I'd recommend this one. I think this is the best example of music merged with poetry I have ever come across, and it's by one of the kings of that craft, Paul Simon. I heard a rumor that he wrote this song about a word that appeared very shortly on the cover of Simon and Garfunkel's first album, Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M., until it was noticed and removed. The writing is simply amazing in this song. He used alliteration, rhyming, and personification. There may even some more poetic devices used in this song. Either way, it's an incredible job.

Here is the song, and below it are the lyrics. Let me know what you think.

The last train is nearly due
the underground is closing soon
in the dark deserted station
restless in anticipation
a man waits in the shadows.

His restless eyes leap and scratch
at all that they can touch or catch
hidden deep within his pocket
safe within his silent socket
he holds his colored crayon.

Now from the tunnel's stony womb
the carriage rides to meet the groom
and opens wide and welcome doors
but he hesitates then withdraws
deeper in the shadows

And the train is gone suddenly
on wheels clicking silently
like a gently tapping litany
and he holds his crayon rosary
tighter in his hand

Now from his pocket he quickly flashes
the crayon on the wall he slashes
deep upon the advertising
a single-worded poem comprised of
- four letters

And his heart is laughing, screaming, pounding
the poem across the tracks rebounding
shadowed by the exit light
his legs take their ascending flight
to seek the breast of darkness and be suckled by the night.

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