Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Harris Lummis "Why Poetry Matters"

Harris Lummis's response to the question 'Why Poetry Matters'.

Response: I’m not much of a poetry guy but I definitely enjoy a bumpin’ tune every now and again. When I’m jamming out, I’m usually in it more for the rhythm of the words than the words themselves, but every now and again there’s that one lyric that really gets to me—gives  me chills or digs up some strong feelings. It’s that line that I look for in all my music, the one I can hear over and over again and still get that rush from. The mood created by the instruments and the voice of the singer is just as important though, because I’ve never gotten those same chills and feelings from poetry.

Harris's Favorite Poem: The Wasteland - T.S. Eliot
I’m all about the second stanza of this one:

“What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow
Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man,
You cannot say, or guess, for you know only
A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,
And the dry stone no sound of water. Only
There is shadow under this red rock,
(Come in under the shadow of this red rock),
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.”  

The Wasteland is way long, but this is definitely the standout section of it, at least for me. The imagery really lends to the idea of the desert: death, heat, bareness. The last line there is pretty great too, but I can’t say for sure why I like it.

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