Posts Tagged ‘Spring and All’

Desmond Painter. ‘…love like a newspaper tattered and stained…’

Friday, October 29th, 2010

As jy die woorde ‘Spring and All’ google kom jy heel eerste af op die baie bekende gedig van William Carlos Williams. Dit begin so: ‘By the road to the contagious hospital/ under the surge of the blue/ mottled clouds driven from the/ northeast – a cold wind.’ Jy kan die hele gedig hier lees. Terloops, ‘Spring and All’ was ook die titel van die bundel gedigte wat Williams in 1923 gepubliseer het; ‘n bundel wat ook sy beroemde (dalk beroemdste?) gedig ‘The Red Wheelbarrow’ ingesluit het. 

Greg Brown

Greg Brown

Maar die woorde ‘Spring and All’ herinner my nie heel eerstens aan Williams se gedig nie. Nee, vir my is ‘Spring and All’ eerstens die naam van ‘n country-liedjie deur Greg Brown, ‘n liedjie wat my veral in die weergawe van Mary Chapin Carpenter aanspreek. Dit is een van mooiste, mees melancholiese, mees liriese goed wat ek al ooit gehoor het; dit gaan my verstand te bowe dat Greg Brown nie in dieselfde asem as mense soos Bob Dylan, Paul Simon en Bruce Springsteen genoem word wanneer daar na Amerikaanse liedjieskrywers verwys word nie. Seker maar oor hy as ‘country’ gekategoriseer word. Musikale grense, en musikale grenswagters, is nou maar eenmaal ‘n onding! Hier is die lirieke; dis pragtig, sekerlik ‘n selfstandige gedig, maar om die volle effek van hierdie lied te ervaar moet jy dit hoor ook — die skakel is na Mary Chapin Carpenter se opname.

 

Spring and All – Greg Brown 

Spring and what’s left of the hippies return

from old rooming houses and Mexico.

More letters, more journals, more poems to burn;

real heat at last. At last my words glow.

 

My friend Jim just broke up his band,

the guys all have jobs and the nights got too long.

He’s selling the amps, one guitar, and the van.

I’m sure you could have it all for a song.

 

Snow on the north side, trash in the yard,

love like a newspaper tattered and stained.

A two bourbon twilight, fog from God’s cigar.

the neighbor’s retarded dog chasing the train.

 

Don’t see any good in just hanging around,

take a tip from the birds and change the scene.

Find some long river and follow it down

to where our old sins have washed up in New Orleans.

 

Spring and what’s left of the songbirds return,

to fight about loving and nesting and such.

Thanks for the letters you sent back to burn.

Their smoke is as light, and as dark, as your touch.

 

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