In my last post I reflected a bit on the nature of "bad" rhymes. In this post I would like to explore one of the many examples that could be cited of an outstanding lyric. The text from which I’d like to preach this morning can be found in the song, "Gold Dust Woman," by Fleetwood Mac, written by Stevie Nicks. Emerging from the texture of the insistent cowbell and evocative guitar chords comes the opening line:
"Rock on, gold dust woman
Take your silver spoon, dig your grave"
Now this is a fairly simple lyric, but as mentioned in the last post, good rhymes, or good lines, can be simple, and often are.
What strikes me about this lyric is the way Nicks has captured the zeitgeist of a decade, and the whirwind of everything around her, with such concision and power. The simple images of "gold dust" and "silver spoon" capture the ’70s with an economy of words, with the slight twist of "dig your grave," delivering a satisfying poetic closure to the opening verse.
Susan Griffin once told me that a lot of what poetry is about is connecting the concrete and specific to the abstract and universal.