Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Make it ancient

Listening to "The Band," by The Band, for the first time in a long time today, I was struck yet again by the brilliance of all the songs, but especially by "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down." It's a song I grew up with, one I don't remember hearing for the first time. But I do know how surprised I was when I discovered that the song is even younger than I am. How could it not be ancient? How could it not have been written in the era it is set in? It shows that one way to fulfill Ezra Pound's call to "make it new" is to "make it ancient", as Pound himself, that lover of the troubadours, was well aware.