Monday, March 6, 2017

Monday's Poetry: Art Garfunkel's 70th Birthday Poem for Paul Simon

by Pa Rock
Poetry Appreciator

Okay, I promise that this will be my final post dealing with Simon and Garfunkel, at least for the time being, and tomorrow I shall return to the more tedious, but necessary, business of trashing Trump.  However, for today at least, bear with me.

Art Garfunkel read several pieces of his own poetry at the concert in Kansas City this past Saturday evening - each piece carefully written on a number 10 white envelope.  One longer poem stretched across both sides of an envelope.   Garfunkel did not, however, share the poem which follows, a piece he wrote and then read to Paul Simon at his 70th birthday fete.   A summary of the event posted on the Internet said that he read it from the far side of the room and did not make eye contact with his former partner during the recitation.

But, separated by a room full of revelers or not, this poem speaks very clearly to the closeness of this duo who will forever be linked in life and song.

70th Birthday Poem for Paul Simon
by Art Garfunkel

He was enigmatic to himself.
Which of us was more aware?
Which the elder?
I was born November fifth.
He on October 13th - a few weeks premature, you following me?
He was born three weeks before me, my dear,
But he was a premature baby.
Were we both conceived at the same instant?
February 5th 1941, the dead middle of winter,
In the heart of World War Two
Was I born at the right time?
For 70 years his arm has been around my shoulder,
He's dazzled me with gifts.
I nurtured him in his youth.
He brought me into prominence.
I taught him to sing.
He connected my voice to the world.
I made him tall.
All of our personal belongings are intertwined.
We say it's exhausting to compete,
But we shine for each other.
It's still our favourite game.
It goes on, this embrace, whether I speak for him or he for me:
Love ruled our lives.
It rules the mourners,
And the winter of longevity.

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