|Nabokov via www.hrono.info|
Running up as we are on Halloween, it's creep week on the Sunday Service. This week's selection comes from The Police, is one of the more affected tunes on the Jukebox: "Don't Stand So Close to Me." A tip of the hat to Humbert Humbert:
It's no use, he sees her
He starts to shake and cough
Just like the old man in
That book by Nabakov
Don't stand, don't stand so
Don't stand so close to me
The Nabokov reference has the right feel considering the teacher's "dilemma:"
So bad it makes him cry
Wet bus stop, she's waiting
His car is warm and dry
Though perhaps not as explicit as in the totally repulsive "Every Breath You Take," this song broke ground by talking about something that is in the headlines regularly. These songs, put to catchy pop melodies, run counter expectation, to the point that some have used the stalker tune "Every Breath" for their wedding. Mr. Sumner is perhaps to be congratulated for expanding the narrative boundaries of pop (as a former teacher, he draws from some sort of experience), yet still, to me, they have more than a bit of an exploitative feel (the accompanying background vocal to the chorus, with Sting accompanying himself, has got ambivalence all over of it).
Of course, I'm talking about rock being exploitative as if this was some sort of news.
Well, if you're going to sing about creeps, maybe this is the way to go:
Next Tuesday, I will be talking to a group of lifelong learners about haiku. Sketching in the background, I'll be talking a bit about Japanese history, culture and concepts, such as wabi-sabi. Here's a great illustration of that very concept by the great upper New York state poet, W. T. Ranney, from Lilliput Review #110, April 2000:
Old menin stiff white shirtsmoving from room to room,placing a handon a worn spot.
in lightning's flash
faces in a row...
translated by David G. Lanoue
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