I’ll probably never be done writing about Lou Reed, not completely, but this is the last time I write of his death in any kind of memorial sense. I posted and dissected his lyrics for a week and I felt that fitting enough tribute. Even by the end of the week, if I’m being honest, I was beginning to tire. Not because my love for him and his work had diminished in the slightest, but because his work is powerful enough to stand on its own, without my chirpings.
However, through Morrissey’s Autobiography I have discovered the poet A.E. Housman. I just posted something by him earlier today that was quoted in Autobiography. I was able to download a book of his poetry today for the ridiculous price of $1.99. Amazing that a man’s whole life work can be bought for so little. Well he’s dead now, so at least he doesn’t have to be troubled by it.
Anyway, I had mentioned in my posts about how Lou Reed was often funny and, at least more often than his reputation would allow for, was also quite capable of commenting on the brighter side of life. However, his reputation for treading in the dark was also well earned.
For those of you that don’t have time for writers who dabble in the darker side of the human experience, or don’t understand why someone would, I thought the poem below will say what I, if I had a million words, could not. Although any words fail when trying to represent the true complexities of a human life, I thought that this poem would help explain why Lou Reed was important. He went places other writers in the field of pop music dared not go before him. I believe that this was as much purpose as chance. Those like Lou Reed carve out trails in the night, so that the rest of us won’t feel so alone when we take that similar and inevitable path.
They say my verse is sad: no wonder.
Its narrow measure spans
Rue for eternity, and sorrow
Not mine, but man’s.
This is for all ill-treated fellows
Unborn and unbegot,
For them to read when they’re in trouble
And I am not
– A. E. Housman