Thursday, June 28, 2018

Except Sometimes...

Last week my Poetry in Practice classes finished for the summer. The class has been running for 24 years. Each term we examine a song lyric. This has led me to the conclusion that lyrics without their music rarely read like poems - and poems are rarely improved by the addition of music.

We examined I GET ALONG WITHOUT YOU VERY WELL, a song by Hoagy Carmichael, first broadcast in 1938. I chose it because I did find the words rather poetic, then, to my surprise, a little background reading revealed that Carmichael had made use of a virtually unknown poem, published in a magazine in 1924. The author was Jane Brown-Thompson and she called her poem EXCEPT SOMETIMES. Here it is:

I get along without you very well,
Of course I do.
Except sometimes when soft rain falls,
And dripping off the trees recalls
How you and I stood deep in mist
One day far in the woods, and kissed.
But now I get along without you - well,
Of course I do.

I really have forgotten you, I boast,
Of course I have.
Except when someone sings a strain
Of song, then you are here again;
Or laughs a way which is the same
As yours; or when I hear your name.
I really have forgotten you - almost.
Of course I have.

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Jim C. Wilson  Poet
‘A true poet —