Sunday, May 29, 2011

Pilgrim's Progress: Issa's Sunday Service, #104

I hardly need an excuse to feature a song by Procol Harum; they've already made the list here and here  and here, to say nothing about this non-Sunday Service rant   (in fact, there is even a post that compares Shelley's "Ozymandias" and Keith Reid "Conquistador", dating way back to the old Lilliput blog, "Beneath Cherry Blossoms") Since it's Gary Brooks birthday today, May 29th, we'll call it excuse du jour, needed or no, and make it a fourth (or fifth) appearance.

"Pilgrim's Progress" is the last song on the seminal A Salty Dog album, a summing up of went on before.  The litrock connection is to John Bunyan's book of the same, being a title shout-out and all.   It continues the loose nautical theme that permeates the album, dealing with anchors, explorers, pirates, and all.  The last 3 lines are not as honest as it gets with rock but, in my opinion, with literature.

We are all taking turns passing it on ...

Pilgrim's Progress
   I sat me down to write a simple story
   which maybe in the end became a song
   In trying to find the words which might begin it
   I found these were the thoughts I brought along

   At first I took my weight to be an anchor
   and gathered up my fears to guide me round
   but then I clearly saw my own delusion
   and found my struggles further bogged me down

   In starting out I thought to go exploring
   and set my foot upon the nearest road
   In vain I looked to find the promised turning
   but only saw how far I was from home

   In searching I forsook the paths of learning
   and sought instead to find some pirate's gold
   In fighting I did hurt those dearest to me
   and still no hidden truths could I unfold

   I sat me down to write a simple story
   which maybe in the end became a song
   The words have all been writ by one before me
   We're taking turns in trying to pass them on
   Oh, we're taking turns in trying to pass them on
                                    Keith Reid


This week's poem comes from Lilliput Review #90, from which only one poem over the years has been featured on this blog.  It would seem that, perhaps, #90 wasn't quite the issue I thought it to be at the time I laid it out back in July 1997.  I could be wrong.  Like a poet's poem, once you let something go it's out there; the same is true for an editor and her/his work.  Here's one, however, I find particularly relevant.  Enjoy.

For Cavafy

   The poems are sad and short:
   love half-remembered,
   history--beautiful, closed and Greek.
   But what I like best
   is the blank three-quarters page,
   white as a statue's marble eyes- -

   a space to write or cry.
   Bruce Williams

spring rain--
there's one window
per person
translated by David G. Lanoue


PS Really happy I got through the whole post and didn't mention the other thing. 

Send a single haiku for the Wednesday Haiku feature.  Here's how.

Go to the LitRock web site for a list of all 104 songs


Charles Gramlich said...

Whiter shade of pale.

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Indeed, Charles, it was number 63 on the Sunday Service.