Modern Poetry Edition #33/34, (National Treasure)


OK, party people in the house, we gonna show you how we do it for '05, kickin' it live.  Too good, the S&G.  Congrats Artie, for a minute I thought Paul was gettin' in by his own self with one or two there.  Late in the Evening and Julio did get some respect.  But The Boxer and The Sound Of Silence edged out Homeward bound to take the two MPulitzers this week.

In all, a fine issue and some fine responses.  If you are counting MPulitzers, Paul is the undisputed champ with 4 (Slip Sliding Away, and with S&G:  April, Come She Will and the two below).  So of course in second place we have Art Garfunkel with the 3 from S&G.  Let's have a round of applause for Mr. Art Garfunkel, ladies and gentlemen.  And in third place, we have a 30-way tie.

Modern Poetry #33/34 {National Treasure}
[7/19/05]
America by Simon and Garfunkel
Me & Julio Down By The Schoolyard by Paul Simon
Late In The Evening by Paul Simon
Homeward Bound by Simon & Garfunkel
Lincoln Duncan by Paul Simon
**The Boxer by Simon & Garfunkel
**The Sound Of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel
Kathy's Song by Simon & Garfunkel
I Am A Rock by Simon & Garfunkel
El Condor Pasa by Simon & Garfunkel
Richard Cory by Simon & Garfunkel (Van sang this one too!)

**Winner of MPulitzer

Dan is in with the trivia answer, and he was amazed at the rest of you lollygaggers.  He didn't even get the email till a week later but still won when him said, "It is 'Dear Yvette' by LL Cool J."  It's just as well.  I think Dan is most likely to listen and enjoy the audio MP.

The new winners (Paul Simon and maybe Art G. too) will be announced soon.  It's a three-horse race, "Homeward Bound"  "The Boxer" and "The Sound Of Silence."  If you have yet to vote... yada yada yada. 

And...  Are - You - Ready!?   Awwww Yeah.  I knew you were.  Next MP Edition is a special issue from Oxford -- guest edited by Sledge, an MP subscriber since the very beginning.  Look for it soon.

--------------------

Yes, we have no bananas, but we do have some issues.

Issues in the modern Modern Poetry world:

I have been listening to recitations of modern poetry all morning since in the last few weeks I have been compiling the MP MP3's. Oh my, how sweet they sound. I have a favor to ask: does anyone have Vanilla Ice's 'Mind Blowin' CD? Yeah, I know it sounds like a joke question but really I need to rip 'Get Loose' off of there. It was in the Advanced Placement MP. Also I can't find Jewel's 'When I Was With You.' If you have that one let me know.

The voting on the National Treasure issue is mighty close. One poem has 3 votes, about six have 2 votes and two others have a single vote. Hardly any of you ladies have voted. Susan B. Anthony would be very disappointed. You do know how much suffering went into securing the suffrage rights, don't you? Vote quick.

So far the trivia question has gone unanswered, so I will begin a series of hints (in addition to 'look here: http://www.macdart.com/mp/default.htm)
Again, the trivia question is "What's the only poem to have been included TWICE in the history of the MP?"
Your first hint is that it includes some greatlines including this one: "So calm down freak, get a G.E.D. - That's a General Education on Decency"
Come on, someone can get it just off of that, even if you didn't go to public high-school in South Carolina, Georgia, or Mississippi in the 80's. That would help though.
There is a prize, you know.

Later.

--Sean

--------------------

Gang, some fine analysis has already rolled in from Dan and Rachel, so if
you want your vote to count for all it should, we want to see some comments.

Dan pointed out that Kathy's Song does not contain the line "Kathy, I'm
lost, I said, though I knew she was sleeping." He also pointed out that it
was from another S&G Gem, "America." So here I will make a correction:
Kathy's Song is still included in the MP #33/34, but America is also in.
That makes this the first eleven-poem issue. Not a double issue, but a
double+1 issue all full of Paul Simon and S & G.

So two more things: (1) to fill my July quota for poetic references to
gabardine, Saginaw, and the NJ turnpike, see below the fine modern poem,
America. Wow, last week 'Born Free' this week 'America', W would be so
proud and (2) the first ever MP trivia question: What song has been
included TWICE in the short illustrious history of the MP??? I will take
the first caller with the correct answer and they win an MP3 CD of all the
modern poems to date. Good Luck. Ok, here's a hint:

http://www.macdart.com/mp/default.htm 

--Sean

--------------------

Welcome back to the modern poetry, cowboys and cowgirls.

I seem to be harkening back on my college days a bit lately. 'Twas so long
ago, I impress myself with the ability to recall such long ago moments.
Often in those days, it was clear to me that many of my friends back at
Clemson thought me a hopeless geek. While this was mostly due to my
prodigious mathematical talents, it could be in some part due to my frequent
proclamations that Paul Simon was a national treasure.

But my, how right I was. Note that Paul is the first and only two-time
winner of the MPulitzer Prize. He was the first winner with 'Slip Sliding
Away' and he won again with the charming if somewhat obscure (it is on S&G
in Central Park CD) 'April, Come She Will.' And he lost with 'Crazy Love
Vol II' and also with 'Bridge Over Troubled Water,' unarguably a good enough
poem to have won most MPulitzers.

And so now, we get a double shot of Paul -- 10 wonderful poems, many of
which include rhyming. You know I like the rhyming. And two will be
winners  -- that's right two winners in every double issue.

We got some kind of poetic power here. In the Boxer, we get the line,
"I am older than I once was and younger than I'll be. That's not unusual."

We here at the modern poetry like John Donne, the ancient poet, but we also
like 'I Am A Rock' which is a modern retort to Donne's "No man is an
island."  Really, look it up.

And 'Richard Cory' is a remake, moderned-up, if you will, of E.A. Robinson's
ancient poem of the same name (Paul Simon did not change the ending). "I'd
rather be a forest than a street" is a sweet line from El Condor Pasa,
"Yes I would, if I could, I surely would."

"Kathy, I'm lost, I said, though I knew she was sleeping." What a line!
From 'Kathy's Song' naturally.

'Lincoln Duncan' has this one: "My father was a fisherman, my mama was the
fishermanís friend." An this, "I remember there's a radio, Comin' from the
room next door, and my mother laughed the way some ladies do" that one's
from 'Late In The Evening.'

How about 'Homeward Bound' and this perfect stanza?
  Evíry dayís an endless stream
  Of cigarettes and magazines.
  And each town looks the same to me, the movies and the factories
  And evíry strangerís face I see reminds me that I long to be,
  Homeward bound

And I haven't even mentioned 'The Sound of Silence' or 'Me & Julio'

Enjoy them. I knew you'd be surprised. And vote, this time everyone gets
two votes since it is a double issue.

--Sean

America by Simon and Garfunkel
=====================================================
"Let us be lovers we'll marry our fortunes together."
"I've got some real estate here in my bag."
So we bought a pack of cigarettes and Mrs. Wagner pies
And we walked off to look for America
"Kathy," I said as we boarded a Greyhound in Pittsburgh
"Michigan seems like a dream to me now"
It took me four days to hitchhike from Saginaw
I've gone to look for America
Laughing on the bus
Playing games with the faces
She said the man in the gabardine suit was a spy
I said "Be careful his bowtie is really a camera"
"Toss me a cigarette, I think there's one in my raincoat"
"We smoked the last one an hour ago"
So I looked at the scenery, she read her magazine
And the moon rose over an open field
"Kathy, I'm lost," I said, though I knew she was sleeping
I'm empty and aching and I don't know why
Counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike
They've all gone to look for America
All gone to look for America
All gone to look for America

Me & Julio Down by The Schoolyard
=================================================
The mama pajama rolled out of bed
And she ran to the police station
When the papa found out he began to shout
And he started the investigation
Itís against the law
It was against the law
What the mama saw
It was against the law

The mama looked down and spit on the ground
Everytime my name gets mentioned
The papa said oy if I get that boy
Iím gonna stick him in the house of detention
Well Iím on my way
I donít know where Iím going
Iím on my way

Iím taking my time
But I donít know where
Goodbye to rosie the queen of corona
See you, me and julio
Down by the schoolyard
See you, me and julio
Down by the schoolyard
Me and julio down by the schoolyard

In a couple of days they come and take me away
But the press let the story leak
And when the radical priest
Come to get me released
We was all on the cover of newsweek
And Iím on my way
I donít know where Iím going
Iím on my way

Iím taking my time
But I donít know where
Goodbye to rosie the queen of corona
See you, me and julio
Down by the schoolyard
See you, me and julio
Down by the schoolyard
Me and julio down by the schoolyard

Late in The Evening
=================================================
The first thing I remember, I was lying in my bed
I couldnítíve been no more than one or two
And I remember thereís a radio, coming from the room next door
My mother laughed the way some ladiesí do

Well itís late in the evening, and the musicís seeping through

The next thing I remember, I am walking down a street
Iím feeling alright Iím with my boys and with my troops, yeah
Down along the avenue some guys are shootiní pool
And I heard the sound of acapella groups, yeah

Singiní late in the evening, and all the girls out on the stoops, yeah

Then I learned to play some lead guitar, I was underage in this funky bar
And I stepped outside to smoke myself a j
When I come back to the room, everybody just seemed to move
And I turned my amp up loud and I began to play

It was late in the evening, and I blew that room away

First thing I remember when you came into my life
I said I wanna get that girl, no matter what I do
Well I guess Iíve been in love before and once or twice have been on the floor
But Iíve never loved no-one the way that I love you

And it was late in the evening, and all the musicís seeping through

Homeward Bound
=================================================
Iím sitting in the railway station.
Got a ticket to my destination.
On a tour of one-night stands my suitcase and guitar in hand.
And evíry stop is neatly planned for a poet and a one-man band.
Homeward bound,
I wish I was,
Homeward bound,
Home where my thoughtís escaping,
Home where my musicís playing,
Home where my love lies waiting
Silently for me.
Evíry dayís an endless stream
Of cigarettes and magazines.
And each town looks the same to me, the movies and the factories
And evíry strangerís face I see reminds me that I long to be,
Homeward bound,
I wish I was,
Homeward bound,
Home where my thoughtís escaping,
Home where my musicís playing,
Home where my love lies waiting
Silently for me.

Tonight Iíll sing my songs again,
Iíll play the game and pretend.
But all my words come back to me in shades of mediocrity
Like emptiness in harmony I need someone to comfort me.
Homeward bound,
I wish I was,
Homeward bound,
Home where my thoughtís escaping,
Home where my musicís playing,
Home where my love lies waiting
Silently for me.
Silently for me.

Lincoln Duncan
=================================================
Couple in the next room
Bound to win a prize
Theyíve been goiní at it all night long
Well Iím tryiní to get some sleep
But these motel walls are cheap
Lincoln duncan is my name
And hereís my song, hereís my song

My father was a fisherman
My mama was a fishermanís friend
And I was born in the boredom and the chowder
So when I reached my prime
I left my home in the maritimes
Headed down the turnpike for new england, sweet new england

Holes in my confidence
Holes in the knees of my jeans
Itís left without a penny in my pocket
Oo-o wee iís about as
Destituted as a kid could be
And I wish I wore a ring
So I could hock it Iíd like to hock it

A young girl in a parking lot
Was preaching to a crowd
Singin sacred songs and
Reading from the bible
Well I told her I was lost
And she told me all about the pentecost
And I seen that girl as the road to my survi-ival

Just later on the very same night
When I crept to her tent with a flashlight
And my long years of innocence ended
Well she took me to the woods sayiní
Here comes somethiní and it feels so good!
And just like a dog I was befriended
I was befriended

Oh, oh, what a night
Oh what a garden of delight
Even now that sweet memory lingers
I was playiní my guitar
Lying underneath the stars
Just thankiní the lord for my fingers
For my fingers

The Boxer
=================================================
I am just a poor boy, though my storyís seldom told.
I have squandered my resistance,
For a pocketful of mumbles, such are promises.
All lies and jest.
Still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.

When I left my home and my family I was no more than a boy,
In the company of strangers,
In the quiet of a railway station, runniní scared.
Laying low, seeking out the poorer quarters,
Where the ragged people go.
Lookiní for the places, only they would know.

Lie-la-lie ...

Asking only workmanís wages I come lookiní for a job,
But I get no offers,
Just a come-on from the whores on seventh avenue.
I do declare there were times when I was so lonesome,
I took some comfort there.
Oooh la, la, la ...

And the years are rolliní by me.
They are rockiní evenly.
I am older than I once was, and younger than Iíll be.
Thatís not unusual.
It isnít strange,
After changes upon changes, we are more or less the same.
After changes, we are more or less the same.

Lie-la-lie ...

Then Iím laying out my winter clothes and wishing I was gone,
Going home, where the new york city winters arenít bleediní me.
Leadiní me, to goiní home.

In the clearing stands a boxer and a fighter by his trade,
And he carries the reminders of every glove that laid him down,
Or cut him ítil he cried out in his anger and his shame,
I am leaving, I am leaving.
But the fighter still remains.

Lie-la-lie ...

The Sound of Silence
=================================================
Hello darkness, my old friend,
Iíve come to talk with you again,
Because a vision softly creeping,
Left itís seeds while I was sleeping,
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence.
In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone,
íneath the halo of a street lamp,
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence.

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more.
People talking without speaking,
People hearing without listening,
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dare
Disturb the sound of silence.

Fools said i, you do not know
Silence like a cancer grows.
Hear my words that I might teach you,
Take my arms that I might reach you.
But my words like silent raindrops fell,
And echoed
In the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon God they made.
And the sign flashed out itís warning,
In the words that it was forming.
And the sign said, the words of the prophets

Are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls.
And whisperíd in the sounds of silence.

Kathy's Song
=================================================
I hear the drizzle on the way
Like a memory it falls
Soft and warm continuing
Tapping on my roof and walls

And from the shelter of my mind
Through the window of my eyes
I gaze beyond the rain-drenched streets
To England where my heart lies

My mind's distracted and confused
My thoughts are many miles away
They lie with you in your sleep
And kiss you when you start your day

And this song I was writing is left undone
I don't know why I spend my time
Writing songs I can't believe
With words that tear and strain to rhyme

And so you see I have come to doubt
All that I once held as true
I stand alone without beliefs
The only truth I know is you

And as I watch the drops of rain
Weave their weary paths and die
I know that I am like the rain
There but for the grace of you go I

I Am a Rock
=================================================
A winter's day
In a deep and dark December
I am alone
Gazing from my window
To the streets below
On a freshly fallen silent shroud of snow

I am a rock
I am an island

I've built walls
A fortress deep and mighty
That none may penetrate
I have no need for friendship
Friendship causes pain
It's laughter and it's loving I disdain.

I am a rock
I am an island

Don't talk of love
Well, I've heard the word before
It's sleeping in my memory
I won't disturb the slumber
Of feelings that have died
If I'd never loved,
I never would have cried

I am a rock
I am an island

I have my books
And my poetry to protect me
I am shielded in my armor
Hiding in my room
Safe within my womb
I touch no-one and no-one touches me

I am a rock
I am an island
And the rock feels no pain
And an island never cries

El Condor Pasa
=================================================
I'd rather be a sparrow than a snail.
Yes I would.
If I could,
I surely would.

I'd rather be a hammer than a nail.
Yes I would.
If I could,
I surely would.

Away, I'd rather sail away
Like a swan that's here and gone
A man grows older every day
It gives the world
Its saddest sound,
Its saddest sound.

I'd rather be a forest than a street.
Yes I would.
If I could,
I surely would.

I'd rather feel the earth beneath my feet,
Yes I would.
If I could,
I surely would.

Richard Cory
=================================================
They say that Richard Cory owns one half of this whole town,
With political connections to spread his wealth around.
Born into society, a banker's only child,
He had everything a man could want: power, grace, and style.

But I work in his factory
And I curse the life I'm living
And I curse my poverty
And I wish that I could be,
Oh, I wish that I could be,
Oh, I wish that I could be
Richard Cory.

The papers print his picture almost everywhere he goes:
Richard Cory at the opera, Richard Cory at a show.
And the rumor of his parties and the orgies on his yacht!
Oh, he surely must be happy with everything he's got.

But I work in his factory
And I curse the life I'm living
And I curse my poverty
And I wish that I could be,
Oh, I wish that I could be,
Oh, I wish that I could be
Richard Cory.

He freely gave to charity, he had the common touch,
And they were grateful for his patronage and thanked him very much,
So my mind was filled with wonder when the evening headlines read:
"Richard Cory went home last night and put a bullet through his head."

But I work in his factory
And I curse the life I'm living
And I curse my poverty
And I wish that I could be,
Oh, I wish that I could be,
Oh, I wish that I could be
Richard Cory.