Jump to content

Jack White pens poem about Detroit

Recommended Posts

Jack White pens poem about Detroit



In this June 20, 2007 file photo, musician Jack White of the rock band "The White Stripes" performs in West Hollywood, Calif. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/Dan Steinberg

DETROIT - Singer-guitarist Jack White has penned a poem expressing his strong feelings for Detroit to clear up any misconceptions about how the White Stripes frontman feels about his hometown.

White said he was frustrated by a sense that his thoughts about the Motor City were misrepresented since he moved to Nashville two years ago.

So, White wrote a poem titled "Courageous Dream's Concern" that was published Sunday by the Detroit Free Press. He says it asserts his "feelings about the city itself, and how strong I believe it to be."

Part of the poem reads: "Detroit, you hold what one's been seeking, Holding off the coward-armies weakling, Always rising from the ashes not returning to the earth."

White, also a member of the Raconteurs, told the Free Press that the poem represents his true feelings about the city.

"The ... poem is the Detroit from my mind," he said. "The Detroit that is in my heart.

"The home that encapsulates and envelops those who are truly blessed with the experience of living within its boundaries."

White told The Associated Press in a 2006 interview that he had to leave Detroit because he "couldn't take the negativity anymore."

In other media accounts, he was quoted as lamenting what had become of Detroit's music community.

He addressed those comments in his statements to the newspaper, saying: "Those expressions of mine have never been a representation of my feelings about Detroit the city, a town that I have strong feelings about ... nor were they expressions about its citizens."

'Courageous Dream's Concern,' by Jack White

I have driven slow,

three miles an hour or so,

through Highland Park, Heidelberg, and the

Cass Corridor.

I've hopped on the Michigan,

and transferred to the Woodward,

and heard the good word blaring from an

a.m. radio.

I love the worn-through tracks of trolley

trains breaking through their

concrete vaults,

As I ride the Fort Street or the Baker,

just making my way home.

I sneak through an iron gate, and fish

rock bass out of the strait,

watching the mail boat with

its tugboat gait,

hauling words I'll never know.

The water letter carrier,

bringing prose to lonely sailors,

treading the big lakes with their trailers,

floats in blue green chopping waters,

above long-lost sunken failures,

awaiting exhumation iron whalers,

holding gold we'll never know.

I've slid on Belle Isle,

and rowed inside of it for miles.

Seeing white deer running alongside

While I glide, in a canoe.

I've walked down Caniff holding a glass

Atlas root beer bottle in my hands

And I've entered closets of coney islands

early in the morning too.

I've taken malt from Stroh's and Sanders,

felt the black powder of abandoned


And smelled the sawdust from wood cut

to rehabilitate the fallen edifice.

I've walked to the rhythm of mariachis,

down junctions and back alleys,

Breathing fresh-baked fumes of culture

nurtured of the Latin and the

Middle East.

I've fallen down on public ice,

and skated in my own delight,

and slid again on metal crutches

into trafficked avenues.

Three motors moved us forward,

Leaving smaller engines to wither,

the aluminum, and torpedo,

Monuments to unclaimed dreaming.

Foundry's piston tempest captured,

Forward pushing workers raptured,

Frescoed families strife fractured,

Encased by factory's glass ceiling.

Detroit, you hold what one's been seeking,

Holding off the coward-armies weakling,

Always rising from the ashes

not returning to the earth.

I so love your heart that burns

That in your people's body yearns

To perpetuate,

and permeate,

the lonely dream that does encapsulate,

Your spirit, that God insulates,

With courageous dream's concern.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...