One must make a distinction however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry, nor till the autocrats among us can be “literalists of the imagination”—above insolence and triviality and can present for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them, shall we have it.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Kerry Says ~ Where Do You Go To?

girl dreaming photo medreaming.png

Where do you go, to my lovely 
When you're alone in your bed? 
Tell me the thoughts that surround you
I want to look inside your head, yes I do 

I remember the back streets of Naples 
Two children begging in rags 
Both touched with a burning ambition 
To shake off their lowly born tags, they try 

So look into my face Marie Claire 
And remember just who you are 
Then go and forget me forever 
But I know you still bear 
The scar, deep inside, yes you do 

Read more HERE

"Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)?" is a song that was written and performed by Peter Sarstedt and released in 1969. It was a number-one 1 hit in the UK Singles Chart for four weeks in 1969, and was awarded the 1969 Ivor Novello Award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically (together with Space Oddity by David Bowie, the subject of my challenge last month.)

Sophia Loren (photographer unknown)
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I think what made this song so memorable, aside from the haunting lyrics and intimate vocals, was the source of Sarstedt's Marie Claire. Popular opinion held that it was Italian actress, Sophia Loren, who was abandoned by her father and had a poverty-stricken childhood in Naples. However, Sarstedt himself denies this: "Yes, it's a portrait of a poor-born girl who becomes a member of the European jet-set. And yes, there's reference to her growing up on the 'back streets of Naples', so I can see why people may think it was written with Sophia Loren in mind. But that's just a co-incidence. I really wasn't thinking of anyone specific." source

Aside from this tantalizing mystery, the song is rich in allusions to famous artists and well-known people. Marlene Dietrich, Zizi Jeanmaire, Picasso, the Aga Khan. Behind it all is the Cinderella story, which never seems to lose its poignancy.

Our Challenge today is to consider the theme of Dichotomy: the division of parts which may complement one another or create a sense of opposition. In this song, there is a dichotomy between Marie Claire' upbringing and present circumstance, also of the person she is inside her head and the one she shows to the world. Your poem may take any form and you are free to explore subject matter of your own choosing.

For those who would like to read all the lyrics, while listening to the song and viewing significant images, I have included this video.

Top Photo credit: girl dreaming


Anonymous said...

damn, Sophia was beautiful.

that's quite the dichotomy right there- Sarstedt and Bowie sharing an award. I'd never heard that song before ~

Anonymous said...

Kerry -- this is a very interesting prompt. My newest poem fits it very well-- perhaps because it is a subject I am interested in, but I confess not having written it for the prompt--wondering if okay to link up? K. (Okay not.). M. Is right--Sophia so beautiful. K.

Marcoantonio Arellano said...

the dichotomy i'm projecting here is one of 'transmutation'.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Let us see your poem, karin. I would be interested to read your take on dichotomy.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Oops! There appears to be something wrong with your link, Marco. Please try again.

Margaret said...

I was quite enchanted with the lyrics … not sure I can rise to the occasion, but will give it some thought. Thanks for the introduction. Look forward to seeing what everyone else comes up with…

Margaret said...

Sophia Loren is STILL one of the most beautiful women of the world… almost 80 and so full of life.

jo-hanna said...

Life is full of them, and they continue to flummox us.

Karen S. said...

A very engaging challenge and mixed with life at the moment, a very interesting twist came to life before I could stop myself! I just watched a recent movie of Sophia the other night, and even now she still has that incredible voice that commands you to listen, and she can still turn heads! A style of elegance you don't see everyday, even at her age now.

Susan said...

The song was so much fun at first, and then I read all the lyrics as it played and was moved to tears! Such a "slumdog millionaire" story--it touched something inside and when I find it, I'll be back. Thank you, Kerry.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Perhaps the song never really made it in the US. I heard it so much in my youth I know the words by heart. But I am thrilled that it is being discovered afresh today!

hedgewitch said...

A very fascinating challenge, Kerry, as always. This has been a crazy day, but I will put a pinch of dichotomy in the cauldron and see if anything bubbles up.(I had never heard of the song before, or the author, but I do love it, and that shot of Sophia Loren.)

Susie Clevenger said...

A wonderful prompt, but I am fighting writer's block. I hope to come up with something.

Anjum Wasim Dar said...

Challenging prompt !

hedgewitch said...

Thanks for the help in getting something written, Kerry. I will be by in the morning to visit, when my mind isn't mush.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the opportunity to share my divided soul.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the opportunity to share my divided soul.

Hannah said...

Thank you for bringing us this concept of dichotomy and the story of these people...excellent challenge, Kerry!

Karen said... of my favorite old songs. The only problem is that I can't get it out of my head now! Pa - I still have the vinyl album!

Björn Rudberg said...

Actually I wrote a poem for dVerse on Rilke today.. and somehow it fitted this prompt so well so I link it up