Thursday, June 21, 2007

Sam Payne

"Though I tried to write songs about
God in his starry home
They sound like they're all about me."

I've been listening to Sam Payne lately. Specifically, his album called Railroad Blessing. I grew up on his father's stuff (Marvin Payne) and really like the poetry in Marvin's lyrics, so I had high hopes for Sam's stuff--and haven't been disappointed. There's a lot to think about here. (And, by the way, I don't listen to his music just for the lyrics. The music is great, too. Some of it is very complex, some quite simple. My favorite song, which is actually not on this album, is "So Unfamiliar," which I heard on a Timpanogos Songwriter's Festival sampler.)

The little tidbit I quoted above speaks to me as a writer. I think that's one of my biggest weaknesses in my work--everything is about me. I'm trying to deepen my love for things and people, so that my poems can be more about them, more about God and his creations, and less about myself. I know it would be wrong to take myself completely out of things--for it is in specificity of experience that truth is found through art. But I want to learn to look harder, without the glasses of self-consciousness clouding my view.

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