friday feast: a little koo koo ka choo

“You want to be a writer, don’t know how or when? Find a quiet place, use a humble pen . . .

Artie is a singer, and I’m a writer and player and a singer. We didn’t work together on a creative level and prepare the songs. I did that . . . We had many more points of agreement than we had points of difference, but we did differ, and the bigger we got, the more insistent we got that each one of us should have his way.”    ~ Paul Simon

Happy Poetry Friday! Is it hot enough for you?

I don’t come across cool poems written about singer-songwriters very often, so I was tickled pink to find “A Duet” by Kevin McFadden.

McFadden is totally new to me, though his work has been featured in a number of journals in recent years. His first collection, Hardscrabble, just came out in April with the University of Georgia Press. It was a runner-up for the 2006 Walt Whitman Prize, and is the first publication of the Virginia Quarterly Review Poetry Series. His poems have been cited for their inventive wordplay, quirkiness, wry humor, irony, and “super-charged associative thinking.” All good things, I think.


by Kevin McFadden

Art was long.
Paul was short.
Art sang the song.
Paul was the sort

who made one up
as if from air.
Paul had more gift.
Art had more hair —

which isn’t to take
away from Arts.
Many sing well
if someone starts,

(rest is here.)

To get your weekend off to a good start, how about some vintage S&G? LOVE THIS!

If you need further nourishment, check out my post about “Mother and Child Reunion.”

Lisa is hosting Poetry Friday this week at Under the Covers.

“We human beings are tuned such that we crave great melody and great lyrics. And if somebody writes a great song, it’s timeless that we as humans are going to feel something for that and there’s going to be a real appreciation . . .

Paul has more, I think, of a feel for the stage. Whereas I have it more for the notes themselves. I love record making and mixing, arranging, producing. That I love. I love to make beautiful things, but I don’t like to perform.”
~ Art Garfunkel

P.S. Don’t forget about the Teddy Bear and Friends Picnic!

24 thoughts on “friday feast: a little koo koo ka choo

  1. A clever poem. My parents had ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water,’ and we kids loved it growing up… Especially “Cecelia.” Perfect for dancing!


  2. What a find!
    Great poem! So many puns and plays on words. And SO spot on in describing S&G! Thanks for the video — now I’m off to load up the cd player for a morning of sing-along! You made my day!


  3. Love the poem. My parents had ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water,’ and we kids loved to dance to “Cecilia.” An amazing pair, these two.


  4. Mrs. Robinson = Mrs. Roosevelt?
    That’s what I heard.
    There was a trivia contest to name what 1967 or 68 pop song was about Franklin Roosevelt’s wife.
    And what comes to mind is the Turtles’ “Eleanor” or maybe the Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby.”
    But the answer was Simon & Garfunkle’s “Mrs.Robinson.”
    Try replacing the names, you be surprised how well it works and how the references make much more sense than Anne Bancroft’s sexy “older-woman” seductress…


  5. random commenter
    I love Simon and Garfunkle, I wish Garfunkle would have just let Simon take the reins and everything would have stayed fine.
    Their music is the best to listen to right before bed.


  6. Yah! Great post! Love it!!!!
    I, of course, had to Google the thing about the lyrics of Mrs. Robinson. Some of the commenters said this, about Elinor Rooseveldt. Others pointed out, and I think they’re right, that the song was written before the movie and the song’s character’s name was changed to fit the movie’s.
    But I still can’t see S&G being critical of Elinor Rooseveldt in the original lyrics. With the references to a mental institution or rehab, I don’t think they would have implied that Elinor went insane.
    The song, taken as a whole, seems to be about the 60s. Anti-Vietnam-war, for sure. The changing values (have an affair but hide it), the change in attitude towards religion. Keeping secrets (that part fits in with the movie). Loss of ideals, heros such as Joe DiMaggio. “Going to the candidate’s debate…any way you look at it you lose” — a political comment. This was 1968, a volatile year for politics (big understatement).


  7. Re: random commenter
    Simon definitely took the reins with his solo career, proving that he was indeed the dominant creative force in the duo. As a result, I do think we have missed out on appreciating more of Garfunkel’s talent — but since he doesn’t like to perform, his career has been a low profile one ever since the breakup.


  8. You and Kevin have made me want to take a good, long look at the lyrics again. I tend to agree with you at this point — all the references to the 60’s and the prevailing political and social climate. Lots of turbulence, lots of change, lots of questioning of pre-established order.


  9. What a fun poem, and so on the mark. I love how you bookended the post with the quotes from the two of them. I really like Paul Simon on his own, but still not as much as the two of them together.


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