Sorrows of the City: Two Poems
PRELUDES – TS Eliot
THE WINTER evening settles down
With smell of steaks in passageways.
The burnt-out ends of smoky days.
And now a gusty shower wraps 5
The grimy scraps
Of withered leaves about your feet
And newspapers from vacant lots;
The showers beat
On broken blinds and chimney-pots, 10
And at the corner of the street
A lonely cab-horse steams and stamps.
And then the lighting of the lamps.
The morning comes to consciousness
Of faint stale smells of beer 15
From the sawdust-trampled street
With all its muddy feet that press
To early coffee-stands.
With the other masquerades
That time resumes, 20
One thinks of all the hands
That are raising dingy shades
In a thousand furnished rooms.
You tossed a blanket from the bed,
You lay upon your back, and waited; 25
You dozed, and watched the night revealing
The thousand sordid images
Of which your soul was constituted;
They flickered against the ceiling.
And when all the world came back 30
And the light crept up between the shutters
And you heard the sparrows in the gutters,
You had such a vision of the street
As the street hardly understands;
Sitting along the bed’s edge, where 35
You curled the papers from your hair,
Or clasped the yellow soles of feet
In the palms of both soiled hands.
His soul stretched tight across the skies
That fade behind a city block, 40
Or trampled by insistent feet
At four and five and six o’clock;
And short square fingers stuffing pipes,
And evening newspapers, and eyes
Assured of certain certainties, 45
The conscience of a blackened street
Impatient to assume the world.
I am moved by fancies that are curled
Around these images, and cling:
The notion of some infinitely gentle 50
Infinitely suffering thing.
Wipe your hand across your mouth, and laugh;
The worlds revolve like ancient women
Gathering fuel in vacant lots.
You Belong to the City – Jack Tempchin & Glenn Frey
The sun goes down
The night rolls in
You can feel it starting all over again
The moon comes up
And the music calls
You’re getting tired of staring at the same four walls
You’re out of your room
And down on the street
You can feel the crowds through the midnight heat
The traffic roars
And the sirens scream
You look at the faces, its just like a dream
Nobody knows where you’re going
Nobody cares where you’ve been
‘Cause you belong to the city
You belong to the night
living in a river of darkness, beneath the neon light
You were born in the city
Concrete under your feet
Its in your moves, its in your blood
You’re a man of the street
When you said goodbye
You were on the run
Tryin’ to get away from the things you’d done
Now you’re back again
And you’re feeling strange
So much has happened, but nothing has changed
You still don’t know where you’re going
Your still just a face in the crowd
‘Cause you belong to the city…
You can feel it
You can taste it
You can see it
You can face it
You can hear it
You’re getting near it
You’re gonna make it
‘Cause you can take it.
You belong to the city