Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Word & Question 10

With head hung low in shame, I drag myself in, late, but here.

In which I borrow liberally from sources historical, fictional and musical. Part I of several (maybe):

I'll Call Her Jenny
Across the room you glanced at me
And whistled your way so casually
To where I stood, and gracefully
Endured my dancing disability

You whispered your name soft in my ear
I smelled the perfume of your hair
And ordered us both a beer
Shamelessly starting to stare

You laughed so effortlessly
Charming in your youthful ways
I asked you to play, you asked me to stay
I nodded and whisked you away

All night I lay awake in bed
And contemplated what you said
But so many roads cried, "move along"
So I slipped out the door with the dawn

On the road, in the train, I saw your face
I heard your voice inside my head
A laugh, and a wink, and a stolen grace
And a wallet I'd left by your bed

So carry on, move down the line
Let there always be plenty of beer and wine
And my boots, and my hat, are ever signs
That I'm not the staying kind.

Word: disability
Question: Why can't I remember your name?


  1. I like the quadruple rhymes, and I like the last two stanzas especially ... I believe that whenever a poet mentions beer or wine, the quality of the poem is immeasurably improved! Bravo on this poem-song-story! (BTW, the question was mine.)

  2. Thanks for the question, I blame the word for my slowness, though the answer to the question didn't really occur to me until yesterday when I was on a bit of a drive with John Mayall and Neil Young.

  3. The word was mine; sorry for the squelching quality. But I like how you used it; I can SEE him "dancing".

  4. +JMJ+

    Dauvit does Country! ;-D

    I've always found these songs by "wandering" narrators very sad, especially when they centre on one memory that has proved more resilient than others.

  5. +JMJ+

    PS--But why does he call her "Jenny"???

    That would take another poem to answer, though, wouldn't it? =P

  6. Ellen,

    Don't worry, it wasn't the word alone that got me hung up. It was a tough question to answer, tougher than I thought.


    Lies! It's NOT country. How do you know they aren't in Spain (Cervantes), or Britain (John Mayall and the Tossers... well, the Tossers are more Chicago), or Russia (Dostoevsky's Notes)? But, well, maybe there is a little bit of a western flavor to it.

    He calls her Jenny because he doesn't remember her name. And because of Jenny and Whiskey in the Jar.

  7. +JMJ+

    Touche! But I was already aware that ABBA--which is as far from Country as you can get while still staying populist, melodic, and full of happy major chords--has a song about a wanderer as well. =P

    Perhaps it's the name Jenny. Change it to Maria--or to Tanya--or to Astrid--and you might get a different flavour.

    (Hmmmm. We should do a variation of W&Q one day that uses names instead of words!)