Saturday, May 17, 2008

Bono and Poetry

"Every poet is a thief.."
-"The Fly," U2

photo: Bono reading Irish poet Seamus Heany to Mrs. Billy Graham

a great article by Angella Pancella about Yeats poems/lines Bono has read/recited/thieved.

She inspired, along with St Mark Thomas, this miscellaneous collection of poetry by Bono and by others he appreciates.

Most fans know that "Until The End of The World" was inspired by Brendan Kenelly's "The Book of Judas," is Bono's review of that book.

"The Crunch" (Excerpt from "Love is a Dog From Hell" by H.C. Bukowski:

"Beautiful Ghost":
(U2 from Joshus Treee Outtakes):

Hear the voice of the Bard
Who present, past, and future, sees
Whose ears have heard
The Holy Word
That walk'd among the ancient trees

Calling the lapsed soul
And weeping in the evening dew
That might control
The starry pole
And fallen, fallen light renew

'O Earth, O Earth, return
Arise from out the dewy grass
Night is worn
And the morn
Rises from the slumbrous mass

Turn away no more
Why wilt thou turn away
The starry floor
The watery shore
Is given thee till the break of day
Till the break of day

Till the break of day
Till the break of day
Till the break of day

"MIdnight Mass" by John F. Dean, read on Irish radio:

Merry Christmas. This is Bono the singer with U2.
This is a poem I'd like to, recite for you by another Irishman, John F. Dean
It's about driving to midnight mass in Dublin on Christmas Eve:

Five-thousand million years ago, this earth lay heaving in a mass of rocks and fire
Wasting, burdened with its emptiness
Tonight, when arthropods and worms and sponges have given way to dinosaurs
And dinosaurs to working, wandering apes
Homo erectus have given way to sapiens, and he to
Homo sapiens sapiens (alias Paddy Mack)

Look down on Dublin from the hills around
And lights could be a million Christmas trees
Still firs standing, while in the sky a glow as if of dawn
This day a light shall shine on us
The Lord is born within our city

Look along to the river toward O'Connell Bridge
The lights, the neon signs, all stream on water like breathed-on strips of tinsel
All is still...

Eleven-thirty, pubs begin to empty
Men stop to argue, sway and say the name of Jesus
For those who have known darkness
Who have now seen a wonderous light
Those who have dwelt on unlit streets
To them the light has come

Tonight, few cars go by
The blocks of flats with windowed-plastic trees
And fairy lights stand, watching for a miracle
Here are no dells where fairies might appear

Out from the dark an ambulance comes speeding
Sickly blue lights search in siren-still
The mystery of the night ticks slowly on
It will pass and leave memories of friends and small, half-welcomed things

In Him was life
In Him, life was the light of man
For neither prehistoric swans nor trilobites, the mesozoic birds
Neanderthal, nor modern man had ever dreamt or seen what was our God

The shops are gay with lights and bright things
All save funeral homes, they dare not advertise their presence
As midnight peels and organs start to play
Two cars meet headlong in a haze of drink
The crash flicks into silence
Pain crawls like a slime through blood and into limbs
God is revealed, a baby naked, crying in a crib

In the church porches and out along the grounds
Teenagers laugh and swear, smokin', watchin' girls
So, once more, Christmas trails away
Its meaning moves back into the mist and the march of time

"God's Laughter" by Brendan Kennelly; Performed By: Bono

Someone had mercy on language
changed it into something else I can touch
I can touch
grow to love, murmured Ace
as he heard the stranger talking
of how laughter comes from God.

Who, hearing words from his own mouth
and from others, can[not]* stop himself
laughing or freezing in terror

at sound bubbling up out of infinite
emptiness? Well fill it up with pride
and let vanity strut along for the ride.

When the ride peters out at the edge
of small daring, then that other sound

This is the sound of God's laughter,
like nothing on earth, it fills
earth from grave to mountain-top,
lingers there a while, then like a great
bird spreading its wings for home or somewhere
like home,
heads out into silence,
gentle and endless, longing to understand

children, killers of children, killers. Mercy. Silence. Sound.
Mercy. Sound. Word. Sound. Change, there must be
change. There is. Say flesh. Say love. Say dust.
Say laughter. Who will call the fled bird back?
Stand. Kneel. Curse. Pray. Give us this day
our daily laughter. Let it show the way.
Thank God someone has mercy

by Bono:

"To the good people of East Timor. On behalf of myself, Bono and the band U2, on behalf of most scribes and poets, most music, film and object makers, both here in Ireland and around the world, please be sure that we know of your strife and that even if we are not allowed to see, you know that we hear of you, and that when we don't hear from you we think of you...all the more.

There is no silence deep enough
No black out dark enough
No corruption thick enough
No business deal big enough
No politicians bent enough
No heart hollow enough
No grave wide enough
To bury your story
And keep it from us.

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