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The “coming of age narrative” will never lose its allure because we are constantly drawn back to the moments that shaped us into the adults we are today.
Nostalgia, many argue, is the most powerful human emotion. It not only memorializes eras but intermingles fact with memory and emotion we even remember the feelings memory elicits and the realities we longed for. In My Bedside Radio (Deadly Chaps Press, 2016), coming of age is informed by music that in turn, informed an entire decade.
The musicality of the lines mimics the musicality of a 1970s adolescence.
The speaker learns about love, relationships, and our national culture by juxtaposing what was taking place in his home with how music was responding to current events. There was no internet and no way to broadcast knee-jerk responses. Musicians and other artists had to take time to process and understand. Their “art as response” actually depicted a thought out and measured response.
Coming of age stories will continue to take on many forms– we can only hope for more “poetic forms” as these.


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