Sunday, July 31, 2011

It's alright ma... and "only"

I found myself all of sudden, answering to an email from a friend asking me how it was going, quoting:

"It's alright ma, it's life and life only..."

The final lines from the song lyrics of "It's alright ma, I'm only bleeding". Too many associations are linked to Dylan's songs of those years...
but this one: maybe, maybe it's a kind of understatement the sort of cool tone with which the "all right ma" is in contrast with "I am only bleeding".

But it's the "only" which constitutes a masterpiece.

I was attracted by an "only" myself several years ago walking on the beach in winter and coming across the umpteenth "only one shoe". Well it's a different, even if not so much I think, "only" but, with the feeling of particular restriction it creates, I remember I had tried my best to express its strength.


A trainer. Just one.
On the sand, without laces,
in the field stormed by gunmen,
in the debris after the blast,
in the mud where they show you
the whole village has left,
on the deck where they passed,
among tins, dirty blankets
and plastic bags.

One only.
You never stop seeing it.
On the desert strand ,
unable to leave the roar.
With all that is lost
it’s the –only- that lasts.

1 comment:

Dave King said...

You remind me of the time I taught in a special school (as we called them then) in which I took football and boys would turn up with "only" left boots or "only" right ones.

I didn't know the Dylan song, but will do some digging.