led zeppelin

Triolet for Robert Plant

Happy birthday to Robert Plant, who is 68 today. Robert Plant is (should I say was?) the singer and primary lyricist for my favorite band of all time, Led Zeppelin. I was easily sucked into the history of the band and haven’t yet read about Mr. Plant’s life before it, but he is an exceptional writer and singer and I can’t imagine any other voice in his place. It’s hard to read Zeppelin lyrics without the context of the music because they’re so recognizable, but to me his writing is accessible–a next-level understanding of things situated in reality. In that spirit I wrote this poem.

Triolet for Robert Plant

First find your gift; then exhaust its full extent.
These are the ones who live beyond their years.
You can never be too late, too old, too spent—
First, find your gift. Then exhaust its full extent.
Accepting less than best breeds spite and discontent,
and a mediocre life is not a life revered.
First find your gift; then exhaust its full extent.
These are the ones who live beyond their years.

This verse is a triolet, an 8-line repetitive stanza following an ABaAabAB pattern. Most examples I noted were also in iambic pentameter so I went for it, but I deviated quite a bit. I prefer to work with a syllable count and let the meter come naturally. It was a neat little exercise, anyways!

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That… Was… Awesome…

Last Saturday, 12/13/14, I went to see the “Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Performing the Music of Led Zeppelin.” It was a really great show, and reminded me of how much I love live music. Watching the bows of the violins dart up and down together and singing “what a whole lotta love…. what a whole lotta love!” with a few thousand people made for a pretty awesome night. Some of my favorite songs from the night were “Kashmir,” “Since I’ve Been Loving You,” and “The Rain Song,” all deepened by the live accompaniment of the MSO.

“Stairway” was the encore, of course, and even though I predicted it was coming after the 2-minute standing ovation, (yes, it was that good), I don’t think I’ve ever focused so much on the words to a song. It’s really tough not to read these lyrics and have the tune in your head, but try reading this as a poem. I’m curious as to what others see and hear!

 

There’s a lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold
And she’s buying a stairway to heaven.
When she gets there she knows, if the stores are all closed
With a word she can get what she came for.
Ooh, ooh, and she’s buying a stairway to heaven.
(more…)