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   >> Interpretation
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03/01/06 07:38 PM
Eight loaded, impenetrable lines new [re: theidiot2]  

Good stuff, i2.

In reply to:

The collision isn't necessarily harsh or an evil portent or whatever - to me the mobile is a homely touch (not unlike windchimes)

I understand mobiles aren't necessarily windchimes, but I always took this one to be, partly because of Clara's response. However, I think Bowie's use of the word collision does suggest a certain harshness. That's why I tend to think Clara is responding to it with the head-'neath-paws maneuver.

In reply to:

Will all the cacti find a home?

The way you formatted your interp brought this line into focus for me just now - Bowie is commenting on the cacti for sale in these shops. Will they find a home = will they be purchased. This line never made much sense to me previously.

In reply to:

But the key to the city is in the sun that pins the branches to the sky

Bowie's delivery of this song has never seemed to ask that I listen too closely, but again, seeing the lyrics parsed and commented upon, it's clear that Bowie is contrasting the sun to the cacti, and in some regards is rejecting the cacti for the sun. Bowie's employment of the phrase "key to the city" becomes more interesting now as it is awarded to the sun over the cacti.

I don't think I agree with your summation of this song as a "Fill Your Heart" trifle, but you've certainly expanded my horizons as to possible meanings. Thanks, i2, and keep on posting.

Kid, you've paid your dues...dues and dues. ~J. Tweedy

(eden but no sham)
03/01/06 10:26 PM
We lost Bob's poems but we found David's new [re: theidiot2]  

In reply to:

Will all the cacti find a home?
The writer has a cynical (though entirely reasonable in my opinion) outlook - "Surely there must be something more to life than this?"

Similar to the girl experiencing boredom in the cinema asking - "is there life on Mars?". This is such a good bridging song between track 2 and 4 - one of the best ever.

In reply to:

But the key to the city
Is in the sun that pins the branches to the sky.

This is probably one of the most poetic lines David's ever written. It seems the writer just suddenly thinks, "It's a sunny day, and life isn't all that bad after all."

Given the descriptions of domestic scenes, I always see it translating to something like....."it's a sunny day..........and the answer is outside your window". Great interpretation, by the way. I've sometimes felt there's something of a theme running through this album.


(absolute beginner )
03/02/06 04:55 AM
Eight loaded, penetrable lines new [re: power2charm]  

"I don't think I agree with your summation of this song as a "Fill Your Heart" trifle"

I don't think there's anything trifling about Eight Line Poem, and to me it's more sophisticated than Fill Your Heart because it doesn't present a one-sided case. It isn't just "life is beautiful", it's "life is boring and drab and tedious but heck it's a lot of fun too". And that's much more powerful because it's rooted in real life, not some grand abstract idea. I seem to remember reading an essay by Aldous Huxley where he comments on Brave New World years later and decides that freedom doesn't lie in grand ideas or philosophies but in idiosyncratic practices like collecting coins or building model railways. And then there's Ulysses, a collossal monument to ordinary life, and no less urgent reading because of that. Eight Line Poem certainly reacts against life's mundanities, but that doesn't make it any less grounded in reality. It seems to express the writer's aspirations (cue Rent-A-Quote Wilde's "gutter and stars" quip) and, ultimately, his positive outlook.

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