I was tracking down some of the allusions in the “Powhatan’s Daughter” section of Hart Crane’s The Bridge when I found another rock rip-off. When I was growing up, it would have been a great help if rock and roll albums came with bibliographies. I discovered on my own that Jim Morrison ripped off whole songs from William Blake, but now I find another one of the ghosts from my past is also appropriated poetry.
It seems normal that American bands would rip-off English poets, but English bands ripping off American poets? Buried in Hawkwind’s spaced out album Warrior on the Edge of Time is a stanza of Longfellow’s A Psalm of Life. Now that’s just plain weird.
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime
And, departing leave behind us
Footprints in the sands of time