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Carpe Diem Baby -- James Hetfield

Guest poem sent in by Ajit Narayanan
(Poem #1341) Carpe Diem Baby
 Hit dirt
 Shake tree
 Split sky
 Part sea

 Strip smile
 Lose cool
 Bleed the day
 And break the rule

 Live win
 Dare fail
 Eat the dirt
 And bite the nail

 Then make me miss you…
 Then make me miss you…

 So wash your face away with dirt
 It don't feel good until it hurts
 So take this world and shake it
 Come squeeze and suck the day
 Come carpe diem, baby

 Draw Lead
 Piss wine
 Sink teeth
 All mine

 Stoke fire
 Break neck
 Suffer through this
 Cheat on death

 Hug the curve
 Lose the time
 Tear the map
 And shoot the sign

 Then make me miss you…
 Then make me miss you…

 So wash your face away with dirt
 It don't feel good until it hurts
 So take this world and shake it
 Come squeeze and suck the day
 Come carpe diem, baby

 Live win
 Dare fail
 Eat dirt
 Bite the nail

 Strip smile
 Lose cool
 Bleed the day
 And break the rule

 Hug the curve
 Lose the time
 Tear the map
 And shoot the sign

 Then make me miss you…
 Then make me miss you…

 So wash your face away with dirt
 It don't feel good until it hurts
 So take this world and shake it
 Come squeeze and suck the day

 Come make me miss you…
 Come carpe diem baby
 Come carpe diem baby
-- James Hetfield
           (Metallica)

It has become unfashionable to like Metallica these days, but nonetheless,
of all the hard-rock and heavy-metal groups that I have heard, I think
Metallica would rank very high indeed for the power and beauty of their
lyrics. Indeed, they are one of the few bands that I started listening to
because I was very powerfully moved by the _poetry_ of songs like 'Sad But
True', 'Holier Than Thou', 'Fade To Black', 'Sanatarium' etc. 'Carpe Diem
Baby' is one of my favourites -- short lines, chosen and brought together
with a mastery that gives the whole song tremendous coherence and meaning.

In suggesting that you run this song on Minstrels, my judgment is clouded by
the fact that, having listened to the song before having read the lyrics, I
cannot imagine what the words sound like when read as poetry -- despite my
best attempts at self-control, whenever I read it out loud, I lapse into the
languid drawled-out melody of the song. However, reading it, one cannot
under any circumstances mistake it for the scribblings of an illiterate or
unskilled man. Metallica, for all the trappings of the genre that they
chose, still project an image of _culture_, and for that reason, I do think
their work deserves a place among the greats.

- Ajitq

[Martin adds]

Interestingly, until I got to the "then make me miss you..." bit, I didn't
realise it was a song at all. I was even more surprised to hear that the
music was languid and drawled-out; read in isolation the lyrics project a
sort of intense, driven energy, and a rhythm reminiscent of Hood's "No!"
[Poem #251] with its short, choppy and tightly rhymed lines. I ought to hunt
up the song sometime.

martin

167 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Alkemygirl said...

Love the rhythm here!

More and more I look forward to Minstrels daily....
Thanks to Sitaram, Martin and Abraham!

Reed C Bowman said...

I didn't suspect it was a song until the complete repeats began. Like
Martin, I read the compressed two-word lines as short, explosive little
punches of language. In this it reminded me of the Gwendolyn Brooks poem
"We real cool," but I was if anything more impressed by the variety and
power they got in all those lines of two words. Maybe there is something
to this Metallica stuff, after all...

Martin DeMello said...

--- Reed C Bowman wrote:
> I didn't suspect it was a song until the complete repeats began. Like
> Martin, I read the compressed two-word lines as short, explosive little
> punches of language. In this it reminded me of the Gwendolyn Brooks poem
> "We real cool," but I was if anything more impressed by the variety and
> power they got in all those lines of two words. Maybe there is something
> to this Metallica stuff, after all...

As long as you steer clear of the music :)

martin (just kidding - don't lynch me!)

Carolyn McGrath said...

Hello all

After Martin's "I ought to hunt out this song sometime", I felt compelled to
hear it and find out how the apparent contradiction between the length of
line and the "languid, drawled out melody" resolved itself. So, I got a
friend to work his magic on the internet to find and play it for me, and was
rewarded with the insistent, pounding drive of the music and the smooth,
melodic tones of the vocals. Very powerful and strangely hypnotic and
poignant. Good fun. Any chance of running more lyrics and can Sitaram add
the sound or put in a link?

Carolyn McGrath

tony landa said...

this is a true poem about ceasing the day i listen to this song everyday it is available on the re-load album, it is a song by Metallica.

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