Ithaca Blog

Friday, March 21, 2008

A Song of When War Strikes Home

It might be kind of a school kid thing to assign significant poetic status to song lyrics. I can't help it, however, listening to a song called "Gypsy Biker" by Bruce Springsteen.

The song is a story about a soldier killed in war, presumably the current one.

The first words tell, maybe, as much of the story as needed.

Speculators made their money
On the blood you shed.
Your mother's pulled the sheets up
Off your bed.

I once heard of a contest among some writers: who could create the fullest story in the fewest words. Someone devised these five:

Baby shoes for sale. Unused.

President Bush stays mostly out of sight these days. Last week, though, he was in front of cameras, entering the sixth year of the war, still saying that the war was a good idea.

Six years into it with, as in Springsteen's portrayal, nothing but misery out of it.

The alternative, non-violence, is a philosophy taught by a figure celebrated this week.

Stephen Burke
for Ithaca Blog

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