Daily Archives: September 3, 2009

Among the Jumbled Heap of Murky Buildings

keats.aspxIn a previous post, I talked about how the clanging, banging music of Einstürzende Neubauten was the perfect soundtrack to urban living. Well, since John Keats published his sonnet “To one who has long been in city pent” in 1817, it is certainly not a new sentiment to want instead to escape the urban environment and sink “into some pleasant lair of wavy grass.” I often do. Or, at least, I’ll walk through some wavy grass and then check for ticks afterward.

But, for better or worse, and probably worse, not everyone has the desire to commune with nature like Mary Oliver and Wendell Berry. I once asked the drummer of the awesome, technical noise-rock band, (((Microwaves))), if he’d want to go on a hike in the woods with me and the drummer for the thrashing Crucial Unit. He replied, “Nope, not at all. Well, maybe, if you guys wanted to stomp through some abandoned buildings.”

There you have it. In his “O Solitude! if I must with thee dwell” sonnet, Keats didn’t want to dwell “among the jumbled heap of murky buildings.” But some folks do.

— Tim

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