I love Maya Angelou’s writing. I do. I love her poetry a whole lot. One thing that sticks in my head though is a while back, I dunno, maybe in the late 80’s, Maya Angelou did a record with Peaches and Herb. Google it. I hated it. I’m sorry, I just did. She rapped poetry over and inbetween their lyrics and I just did not dig it. I did not. meh.
This got me to thinking…
I do see a fundamental difference in song lyrics and poetry. I don’t think one automatically can become or should become the other. I also am not sure how the two intersect. Spoken word or Performance Art done WELL is awesome. Two thumbs way up…but gah, Maya Angelou and Peaches & Herb…not so much…
Given that I’ve posted my lyrics and my poetry here from time to time I thought I’d jot down my thoughts about the difference between those two creative pieces of myself….while there are many qualities they share there are some very basic ways in which they differ.
I completely own this. I do not expect everyone to agree with me because frankly, this is about me. It’s all about me…isn’t it? Don’t answer that….it’s rhetorical.
My poetry is inward looking. It’s intimate. It’s not something I put on like an article of clothing to show off. It’s not something I write down to keep me warm at night. It is more like my skin, a part of me. Perhaps it’s best described as a tattoo. My poems are tattoos on my body. Some I show. Most I do not. Some are meant to peek out from under my clothing. They never give the whole story. They are ingrained. They represent me because they are me. It’s fine if no one sees or likes them. They are not created for you. They’re mine. I’ll show them ’round if the timing is right, if I really am proud of their craft or their form but generally they’re not open to debate because they reside in my flesh.
My lyrics, though. Those are clothing. There are some I wear around the house for comfort but mostly they represent my mood or my fancy. They are a statement about what I see in the world at times. The are inward looking, of course…not a costume that I wear to be someone else, you see…but I can take off that article of clothing. I can lend it out to other people. There are quite a few in fact that I WANT to be seen by other people…I WANT to be liked by other people. I want people to want that piece of clothing to reside in their closet too.
In some ways maybe that’s part of why I’m making The Glass Factory. I know that I don’t feel it’s enough for me to write songs and never have them heard by other people. I’m hand crafting this article of clothing that might keep you warm or might help you define the creative you as well. It might speak something to you when you hear it. When you wear it, it may speak something to another person. Maybe it will inspire them to fashion something of their own in turn…
that’s the hope anyway…to wear it well….