Friday, July 20, 2007

Poetry Friday: "Anthem"


Guernica, by Pablo Picasso

Whenever I hear Leonard Cohen's song "Anthem," I think of Picasso's Guernica... and vice versa:

The birds they sang
At the break of day
Start again
I heard them say
Don't dwell on what
Has passed away
Or what is yet to be

The wars they will
Be fought again
The holy dove
She will be caught again
Bought and sold
And bought again
The dove is never free

Chorus
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in

Read the rest of Leonard Cohen's lyrics here.



This week's Poetry Friday Roundup is at Mentor Texts.

9 comments:

TadMack said...

That is -- profoundly beautiful, and it is the first one I've read for Poetry Friday this week - thank you!

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Time to boast - I saw Guernica at the Prada in Madrid last year. Have you seen it?
Time to embrace - Although I don't much feed my love of music any more, Leonard Cohen's words keep rising to the surface of my brain from long ago... like an old friend.

Sara said...

The words to the chorus of this song are taped to the base of my computer monitor right now. I'm using the song in my next book, because one of the characters loves it.

If you're interested in more thoughts about the "crack in everything" check out artist Claudia Tennyson, who "repairs" old houses as art: http://saralewisholmes.blogspot.com/2007/07/artist-of-week-claudia-tennyson.html

Jules said...

That's beautiful. And really neat that Sara's going to be using those lyrics in one of her books.

Thanks.

Jules said...

(Incidentally, my father-in-law and his wife travelled to Spain and brought us back a trivet, of all the things, with that art work on it. It's a bit odd to see these images of war every morning in my kitchen . . . but I still think it's beautiful).

Kelly Fineman said...

That is a perfect association, yet I may never have thought of it. I did see Guernica in 1992 on a trip to Madrid, but back then, it wasn't in the Prado. It was housed in its own building, behind bullet-proof glass, and guarded by soldiers with automatic rifles. Because it was still so controversial/political. That is what art can do.

goddess of clarity said...

Wow, Alkelda. Thanks for bringing me something new and beautiful on a hectic Friday in the office. That chorus just says it all, doesn't it?

John Mutford said...

I love the "There is a crack in everything/ That's how the light gets in" line. Great connection to the painting, btw.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

I'm glad this piece resonated with people. I have never been to Spain, so I haven't seen the original Guernica.

Claudia Tennyson's work is quite cool. Thanks for sharing that link. I look forward to reading Sarah's book.

As the Carnival submissions pour in, I realize that my preconceived ideas of how I was going to sort everything are going to have to be tossed aside like the rough drafts they were. Everyone else (but Yorkshire Pudding) will be reading the new HP this weekend, and I'll be pulling together the Carnival of Children's Literature!