The Cumberland Post

The Cumberland Post
My Backyard, Six Miles from the Cumberland River

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

There's Poetry in Nashville, Music City

There's poetry in Music City.

Many country music songs are poetry in the oldest and most traditional sense. But there's also poetry in the struggles of those who make the music, in the beautiful city of Nashville itself, and in the hearts and souls of those anonymous dreamers who arrive here daily seeking success in the industry.

A Nashville Woman and Other Sorrows is a book of poems, forty-five years in the making, which recently received the highest award given in the love/romance category of the 2015 International Readers Favorite contest.

These "simple and eloquent" poems tell the story of a Nashville songwriter whose life spirals downward after he loses the woman he loves. He stops for awhile in a mental place he refers to as The Catatonic Hotel before he eventually struggles back to writing and living again.

Readers Favorite Reviewer Lorelai Rivers gives the book a five star rating and says, “These poems ring true, as though author Dan Jewell has first-hand experience of the hope and heartbreak of being a working or non-working, musician/songwriter…These snippets of life, feelings, moments, scenes, and snapshots read to me like an epic song put together with the best book openings and chapter closings from every great novel never yet written.”

Another Readers Favorite Reviewer, Jack Magnus, says, “Jewell’s words are spare and eloquent, conveying worlds within a few well-placed words. While suffused with melancholy and loss, these poems also hint at redemption.”

A Nashville Woman & Other Sorrows is available in these formats: Amazon Kindle, ebookCreate Space, paperback, 68 pages, Barnes & Noble Nook eBook.

Comments are welcome in this blog's comment section.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Are Some Country Songs Poetry?

Some might say that mentioning Country Music and Poetry in the same breath is at best an oxymoron and at worst a travesty. IMHOP these readers have a narrow, esoteric, and academic notion of what poetry is.

There are many, many definitions of poetry, almost as many definitions as poems. Here's one I like from Irish poet William Butler Yeats:
Out of the quarrel with others we make rhetoric; out of the quarrel with ourselves we make poetry.
There are numerous country artists whose carefully constructed songs are poetry -- whatever it is -- in its purest sense, such songwriter poets as Bob Dylan, Gordon Lightfoot, Hank Williams, Kris Kristofferson, and Townes Van Zandt.

Take a look at a couple of videos of songs by two of these songwriters and listen carefully to the words.

First, Bob Dylan's "One Too Many Mornings," performed by Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings.

And this is Van Zandt's "Tecumseh Valley." He's singing with Nanci Griffith.

Sad stories. Internal quarrels and remembrances. Robert Frost once said, "Poetry begins with a lump in the throat."

(Reposted from Music City Poetry)

Thursday, September 24, 2015

New Blog: Music City Poetry

It's been awhile since my last post. About 14 months. Time passes.

I'm getting older, that's for sure. I've noticed lately when I'm watching a movie or a TV show that when the story involves some old geezer who's passed on and they have a scene at the cemetery, the birth date on the headstone is the same as mine (1940) or even later.

John Doe: born 1940, died 2012.

Kinda makes you think.

And the political stuff is pretty much the same isn't? I mean the country still seems like that old Merle Haggard song, "rollin' downhill like a snowball headed for Hell."

But we go on.

I'm not giving up on this blog, I'm just slowing her down a bit. But I have started a new one, Music City Poetry. I hope any of you who still come by the old Post will take a look at it.