Wild Abandon

There’s an infamous
club made up of those
of youth and genius
and sensitive hearts.

They’re poets, singers,
musicians and such,
vulnerable they were
possessing incredible gifts.

The unblinking eye of
society watching
became overwhelming
to their wild abandon.

Weight was added by
these looks and anxiety
expanded; the spotlight
grew–reprieve was sought.

Joplin, Morrison, Hendrix,
Cobain, Winehouse and
Basquiat were but a few
whose lives were snuffed.

Brilliant, charismatic,
lights extinguished
by life’s harshness
that became too much.

Not really wild, but
creative and insightful,
their emotions unaligned
with culture’s boxed formation.

Jim Morrison in 1970.

Image via Wikipedia Jim Morrison 1970; Photo Public Domain-- My entry for dVerse Poetics; WILD: http://dversepoets.com/2011/11/26/poeticswild/

 

 

 

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47 Comments

  1. nice…was commenting on another…kez’s i think on how artists tend to walk that razor of madness…and many seem to fall off well before their time….you have named a few greats here…

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    • The pressure to conform is shattering I think to some of these sensitive souls–mainstream thinking won’t allow them to be–so they stop “being”…

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  2. Talk about wandering into the wild, Morrison did it to a far greater extent than most artists of modern times. Basquiat says in the documentary that the public always turns on its celebrities. And sometimes the way society does it inflicts mortal wounds.

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  3. so sad that so many of those termed ‘wild’ by society died too young, probably feeling unappreciated. But in their deaths they often have become more famous. Sad that they could not have enjoyed this while they lived.

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    • You’re right, Mary. Many times, it’s after they have passed on that their brilliance in thinking and creativity was finally appreciated. Sad…

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  4. They do live wild at times, some more than others just can’t take the fame, fortune, and drugs they have thrown at them and it is sad.
    Nice take on the ‘wild’ prompt

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    • If they were sensitive people at all–I can see how many would turn to drugs to numb the pain of the notoriety and pressure by all the attention–good and bad. Bummer…

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  5. The last stanza says it all. Great piece!

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  6. a talented group of artists.. wild abandon, we may know them by this, but they are gifted and in touch with their “wild side”

    nice one ~

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    • I seemed to gravitate to some of these “wild” people. I so appreciated their talent and thinking outside of the boxes that society thrusts on us.

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  7. Wanted to say, “Oh Jesus…” didn’t know if it was appropriate.. saw Morrison, and figured it might make him smile. LoL Great contribution, I really enjoyed your writing. Poets and prophets, wherever we go, there we are…. :)

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    • Sure, it’s appropriate–I think it might make him smile too. :) I’m glad you liked my interpretation of the prompt, Brenda–thank you. And you’re so right–wherever we go–there we are…

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  8. Sheila Moore

     /  November 27, 2011

    Oh the last stanza is so true – I completely agree!

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  9. i think the vulnerability is the key here…the walking the line…the searching for more…the not being content..and this can lead to madness as we try and never find the answers to our thousand questions..fine write bodi

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    • You are so right–vulnerability. They were strong enough to forge new ideas, etc. but not to sustain the pressure that society heaped on them…

      Thanks a lot, Claudia.

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  10. The final two lines clinch it for me. That’s why the vulnerability. Fine poem.

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  11. love this

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  12. Androgoth

     /  November 27, 2011

    Yes it is a real shame that stardom
    sometimes changes the realities of
    those great stars…

    The Pressure Pot…

    Androgoth XXx

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  13. I love your take on the prompt!

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  14. The pressure to conform to society’s boxes is sometimes difficult for us all. For our escape we looked to these talented people for an outlet and inspiration. So much more pressure for them especially with the media of today.

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  15. The 27 Club…for all that you listed except for Basquiat. Although he was almost part of it. Such a shame. I think there are some sensitive souls (whether they become famous or not) who are not cut out for the harsh realities of this oft big, bad world. They lack the thick skin or maybe the strong, inner resources to handle it. But fame does definitely cause them to burn out faster…I wonder, do you think they burn twice as brightly because of that?

    I was lucky enough to get to Père Lachaise cemetery while in Paris, and had gone there specifically to get a rubbing from Morrison’s tombstone. There are all kinds of graffiti and signs saying things like “This way to Jim”, “Jim is not dead” and arrows pointing to where he is buried. Imagine my surprise when I got there to find that they have an armed guard posted 24/7 at his grave!

    I did not speak French, so could not convey to the guard what I intended. I think he thought I meant to deface the grave with my big, black crayon. So, I sighed and went to sit at the fountain at the center of the cemetery. While there, I was smoking a cigarette and was approached by two young men, roughly college-aged (about the same as me at the time). They saw that I was American and smoking American cigarettes (which they LOVE), so they both bummed a couple.

    Turns out they were brothers and one spoke decent English. When they asked me why I was there I explained my intention to get a rubbing from the tombstone. The one who spoke English smiled and had me follow him back to Jim, where he briefly spoke to the guard, explaining. The guard gave me a distrustful look and held up two fingers, indicating I had 2 minutes to accomplish my task. Overjoyed, I thanked both brothers and the guard and quickly got my rubbing! I still have it and it is my favorite souvenir from that trip! :) Sorry to ramble. Just wanted to share. :)

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  16. What I read about Basquiat said he died at age 27, was that inaccurate–I wouldn’t have included him here…

    That is the coolest story about visiting Jim Morrison’s grave and getting to take a rubbing of it–what an amazing and memorable time, Corina. Fortunate for you too, to meet those helpful brothers. :)

    You know you have a good point there about burning out/burning brighter. I do think they burn brighter–fast and furious… Thanks so much for sharing a great story!

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  17. Interesting take on an amazing time and the magnificent talent that passed with that time.

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  18. So many have passed on at age 27 that I started wondering if some purposefully wanted to go at that age just to “join the club”!

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  19. I just gave you the Readers Appreciation Award. You’ll see what it’s all about on my blog. Thanks for being one of my top 6 loyal followers. :)

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  20. I love people who create. This is a wonderful piece you have dedicated here to them. Thank You!

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  21. when a person is too sensitive he often crosses the line of no return. they are so different from most of the people.

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  22. Society does not move without creative thinkers and yet those ideas which stretch the imagination and push at the boundaries are often looked upon with disfavor, sometimes leading to martyrdom or suicide. Most of the poets and writers wrestle with the subject at some point. Sensitive people know that all people live lives of quiet desperation and we show that in our poetry. “A Word for the Hour” by John Greenleaf Whittier and “Richard Cory” boy Edwin Arlington Robinson are part of that ongoing struggle. Your poem illustrates some of the musical talents that were consumed by pressure.

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  23. Sorry. Should say “by Edwin Arlington Robinson”.

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    • What you share here is true, Dan–this world is filled with suffering and we each have our struggles and challenges–no one is spared. New ideas are often met with resistance and the fear of change. Too bad.

      I’ll have to check out the references you gave here–thanks for sharing with me.

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  24. Anonymous

     /  December 29, 2011

    Syd Barrett wasn’t dead @ age 27, yet his music career died then. Sad. Oh and by the way which one was Pink? Syd Barret, the founding member of Pink Floyd was “Pink”. No, actually on the spur of the moment he made the name up by combining two American Carolina Blues boys first names ( Pink Anderson, and Floyd Council ), just before metaphorically crash landing on the dark side of the moon…Many later Pink Floyd hits were tributes, or lyrically inspired in reverence to memory of his founding contributions, and previous presence with the band. “Wish You Were Here” and “Shine On You Crazy Diamond”…Just to mention a few…

    There’s such great insight here. I can tell many of your comments and replies come from shared frustrations with many of those who’ve been mentioned…

    I often wonder, when I think of Joplin, Hendrix, Covain, or Hemingway, regardless of their age, would their destinies have been different had they remained among the millions of undiscovered struggling artist? Something I suppose we will never know.

    One more, if but bitter sweet glimmer of light at least flickered in Syd Barrett’s cerebral prison after he was institutionalized and forgot he ever wrote or played in a band. He returned to his first love of creativity…Painting.
    Wildly abstract paintings, yet what can we expect from a beautifully productive mind that by age 35 hated loud music and had forgotten he ever played in a band at all?
    “I Think…Therefore, I am…I think”.
    God Bless
    paul

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    • Very sad about Syd. I watched a great documentary on him several months ago…live footage of he and his bandmates from the early days. He, of course, wasn’t with Pink Floyd for very long–I believe it said his total years of playing were only seven. Isn’t it interesting that his career was over at that age…27.

      Thank you for adding your thoughts here…I appreciate it.
      Peace,
      Gayle

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