Today’s a sick day so I’ll have to keep brief my comments about my National Poetry Month tribute, in the form of a shared modified poem, or song. Today’s selection comes from across the pond, from recent British, and let’s be honest, international, sensation Mumford and Sons. These lyrics were my first introduction to the band (via Hype Machine, beloved Mecca of music junkies everywhere), and even though I love all the tracks on Sigh No More, with the exception of “Little Lion Man,” overplayed by 101.9 RXP, my local rock station, before they finally got some sense knocked into them somehow and started airing the single, “The Cave,”… *inhale* … my devotion to the aesthetic delights of “Thistle and Weeds” is fast and unyielding. I start to develop a slight jealousy for the Greeks, who not only made their acquaintance with poetry through their ears but had the luxury of hearing those packed verses overlaid with melancholy melodies to tug at the heart. Oh, wait. I need not be jealous. I feast on the same luxuries all day long, day in and day out, through my ease of access to rich music, made available in part thanks to those technologies for which we have the Industrial Revolution to thank. The only unfortunate part is that I live, day in, day out, in a society that mostly disavows the poetry pervasively in its midst, by divorcing connected arts from each other in the pursuit of greater and greater specializations. But it is among us, people, it’s among us! Blaring melancholy! Stirring us with the profound!

Thistle and Weeds

Spare me your judgments, and spare me your dreams,
‘Cause recently mine have been tearing my seams.
I sit alone in this winter clarity which clouds my mind.
Alone in the wind and the rain you left me;
It’s getting dark, darling, too dark to see,
And I’m on my knees, and your faith in shreds, it seems.

Corrupted by the simple sniff of riches blown,
I know you have felt much more love than you’ve shown,
And I’m on my knees, and the water creeps to my chest.

But plant your hope with good seeds.
Don’t cover yourself with thistle and weeds.
Rain down, rain down on me.
Look over your hills, and be still;
The sky above us shoots to kill.
Rain down, rain down on me.

But I will hold on,
I will hold on hope.

I begged you to hear me, there’s more than flesh and bones.
Let the dead bury the dead — they will come out in droves,
But take the spade from my hands, and fill in the holes you’ve made.

Plant your hope with good seeds.
Don’t cover yourself with thistle and weeds.
Rain down, rain down on me.