We need our poets.
Whether composed with rhyme or meter, or to music, or if it is just on paper in free verse for someone to interpret through cadence, we need their words.
We need words put together to frame an emotion, an event, a doubt, a success, a life event, or something that never happened. And there are always those voices that say the very feelings or lack of feelings that we experience in such a way that rereading those words allows for the experience to be fully relived or abhorred.
It is very possible that someone else’s words gives you voice.
I’ll go further. The words of a true poet live well beyond the day in which the verses were written. Those poems are timeless. We read them over and over again and their relevance grows. Even when the poet physically leaves this earth those poems still breathe and give us breath.
Maybe one of the greatest gifts that God has bestowed upon us is that there are people in our lives who can say things better than we could ever imagine and we should be grateful for that. Someone took a snapshot of our mental, emotional, psychological, and physical state simultaneously and sent us the picture.
It gives us more time to experience and reflect. It reminds us that we are human.
Leonard Cohen passed away last week. And in a week that many saw as the upheaval of the American political system, it was his musical poem that opened up a satirical comedy sketch show that totally slowed the pulse of many people’s bleeding hearts and gave comfort and perspective.
And it was (plug in your own poetic words).
You can view it here.
“Hallelujah” has been covered probably dozens if not hundreds of times. Jeff Buckley’s version is on my iPhone and he added some lyrics to the original version.
I also think that part of the strength of this song is that you can just read the lyrics and sense the power.
Now I’ve heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don’t really care for music, do you?
It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah
Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you
She tied you to a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah
You say I took the name in vain
I don’t even know the name
But if I did, well really, what’s it to you?
There’s a blaze of light
In every word
It doesn’t matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah
I did my best, it wasn’t much
I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch
I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you
And even though it all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah
Read some poetry.