March 4th, 2010
|07:56 am - Too Much Too Young|
So this (below the cut) is the poem I have written about the lyrics of 'Too Much Too Young' by Jerry Dammers. Strange to write a poem about a poem (link above is to the lyrics).
Many poems implore the reader to marry and have a child. For example a lot of Shakespeare sonnets say that. This Specials song takes the opposite view, saying 'what an idiot you were to get married and have a child'. It is influenced by the Jamaican Lloyd Charmers' song "Birth Control" ('Oh no, no gimme no more pickni').
I was eighteen when this song reached number one. I completely agreed with its premise - I didn't want to get married and raise a family. Now, I am a married woman with grown up children, and I feel more ambivalent. I dislike the way that teenage mothers are vilified. On the other hand I do agree that birth control should be celebrated. So - ambivalent.
Therefore my poem is called Two-tone.
to my beloved - look not in your glass
reflecting on the waste of years to come
or the inevitable silvering of time
do not inflict yourself repeatedly upon the earth
for the world is over-peopled
and this town
is coming like a ghost town
so do not warm your oven -
like a mayfly
above the long water
for the ten-year winter comes, when the
dance halls will close
and the factories will dissolve
and teenage mothers will be vilified
alike by bishops, ministers, and boys
for their faithlessness
refuse to give yourself
to those who would diminish you
like the bride of emptiness
like a firework loosed into the dark air
give yourself to me
in the bathroom look into your glass
and ask your replicated face
is it better
to be remembered in this song
is it better to be recorded in this flesh
to burn up in the sky, and leave no trace
Thank you, and I was also thinking of 'Mirror in the Bathroom' by the Beat.