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May 10th, 2005

Sometimes, Bono likes to break and enter my thought process @ 10:18 pm

kjackson:
For the poetry class I'm taking this semester, my professor assigned us to read and review one poem a day; we need to look at 75 total. (Not surprisingly, I had been slacking off and now am doing quite a bit of catching up!)

I'd just looked at a poem by Ron Padgett called "Nothing in That Drawer," and, groggy and totally out of it, found myself suddenly referencing The Joshua Tree.

And, as something of a spinoff entry, I then considered the lyrics of "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For."

And... I'd like to share my thoughts.


Ron Padgett – “Nothing in That Drawer” {180 More, p. 272}

Nothing in that drawer.
Nothing in that drawer.
Nothing in that drawer.
Nothing in that drawer.
Nothing in that drawer.
Nothing in that drawer.
Nothing in that drawer.
Nothing in that drawer.
Nothing in that drawer.
Nothing in that drawer.
Nothing in that drawer.
Nothing in that drawer.
Nothing in that drawer.
Nothing in that drawer.



This one is simple and all too true. One could read further into the poem and conclude that the protagonist metaphorically leads a barren, repetitious life, one in which problems reoccur without resolution; perhaps the narrator pines “I have climbed the highest mountain; I have run through the fields, only to be with you. I have run, I have crawled, I have scaled these city walls, only to be with you… but I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.” Or maybe he’s just looking for a sock in every drawer, but without any luck. This poem could mean anything and everything, if you sit and stare at it for just long enough.




Paul Hewson – “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” {see Additional Poems}

I have climbed the highest mountains
I have run through the fields
Only to be with you
Only to be with you.

I have run, I have crawled
I have scaled these city walls
These city walls
Only to be with you.

But I still haven't found
What I'm looking for.
But I still haven't found
What I'm looking for.

I have kissed honey lips
Felt the healing in her finger tips
It burned like fire
(I was) burning inside her.

I have spoke with the tongue of angels
I have held the hand of a devil
It was warm in the night
I was cold as a stone.

But I still haven't found
What I'm looking for.
But I still haven't found
What I'm looking for.

I believe in the Kingdom Come
Then all the colours will bleed into one
Bleed into one.
But yes, I'm still running.

You broke the bonds
And you loosed the chains
Carried the cross of my shame
Oh my shame, you know I believe it.

But I still haven't found
What I'm looking for.
But I still haven't found
What I'm looking for.

But I still haven't found
What I'm looking for.
But I still haven't found
What I'm looking for.



This poem speaks with greater urgency than the last but could also very well also be about a wayward sock. Much more likely, however, is that the subject is a wayward God, one that hasn’t appeared after a string of varied experiences – the prevalence of religious imagery would certainly insist so. The narrator cries to a Creator all the things he’s been through, specifically what he’s done while testing his faith as well as what he believes in. The phrase “What I’m looking for” seems to indicate that the God he has invented (as in, “Did God create man, or the other way around?”) doesn’t correlate with the actuality of God, if there is a God. The narrator must realize, though, that he has lived quite a life in trying to fill that God-shaped hole.
 
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From:orpheus42
Date:May 12th, 2005 10:28 pm (UTC)
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A thought for each poem:

1. For some reason, the Joshua Tree that comes to my mind reading the first poem is "Running to Stand Still"

And so she woke up
From where she was lying still
Said we got to do something about where we're going
Step on a steam train
Step out of the driving rain
Maybe run from the darkness in the night
Singing Ha La La La De Day
Singing Ha La La La De Day
Sweet the sin
But bitter the taste in my mouth
I see seven towers
But I only see one way out
You got to cry without weeping
Talk without speaking
Scream without raising your voice, you know
I took the poison, from the poison stream,
Then I floated out of here
Singing Ha La La La De Day
Singing Ha La La La De Day
She runs through the street
With her eyes painted red

Apparently I've touched on the despair element a bit. Like you said, it could mean anything and everything.

2. I tend to think of the song as a commentary on Philippians 3. Perhaps targum is a better term than commentary, actually.

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