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Rant Of The Day THIS RANT 03/03/98

Rant Of The Day is where I get to mouth off about whatever I feel like for however long I like. Theoretically, I'll update my whinge/opinion piece every weekday; in practice, maybe not so often.

More crap poetry with a celebrity connection

It must be something in the water. Barely a week after I revealed to the world the truly horrible nature of Michael Jackson's poetry, more pop-star related pap has come my way. This time, it concerns the man whose 'King' title and daughter Michael tried to steal, Elvis Presley.

To be fair, the poetry in question wasn't written by Elvis, but about him. I came across it in a book I picked up from Woolies for $2.50, entitled Elvis People: The Cult Of The King. The book, through numerous interviews with Elvis obsessives, develops the thesis that Elvis fan worship is essentially similar to many other world religions. Although some of the evidence is interesting, author Ted Harrison fails to recognise that the behaviour of Elvis fans is no essentially different to that of ABBA fanatics, or Duranies, or any of the other fan groups with which I am personally familiar. Perhaps the only difference is that, because Elvis recorded a large amount of gospel music in his life, the connection between Elvis and conventional religion is more obvious. But the same could be said of Cliff Richard, and I don't think anyone sees him as a Messiah candidate, especially after it was revealed he's been giving it to one of the Shadows' wives for the better part of the sixties.

However, we're not here to discuss the merits of the book, but the crap poetry it contains. Here's the opening lines of one effort:

Elvis touched my heart
And my soul began to sing,
I was searching for life's reason,
And I found the King.

After reading this, you may experience nauseous sensations. Brace yourself before continuing:

Oh Lord oh God Almighty,
You took our friend away.
The effect it had on millions,
Well, I really could not say.

And only if you are especially strong of stomach should you contemplate this complete work:

I found you in amongst all others
With scratches and cracks and dog-eared covers
Your face shone out like a trapped moonbeam
With eyes all starry, as if in a dream.
After wiping the dust from your heavenly sleeve
I placed you on the turntable and then, what relief
Your voice was unhurt and strong as could be
And say "How Great Thou Art" especially for me.

Conclusion: Pop music can be poetry, but poetry about pop stars is puerile.


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