Song of the Week: “All Our Bruised Bodies and the Whole Heart Shrinks” by La Dispute

Last August, when asked in an All Songs Considered blog interview what poet from the past could’ve fronted a post-hardcore band, La Dispute’s frontman/vocalist/lyricist Jordan Dreyer answered “Dylan Thomas,” noting that there’s really nothing more punk rock than raging “against the dying of the light.”  And who could argue with that?  Nobody, so don’t try.  But I would also note that if there’s a post-hardcore band, which could also be a brilliant gaggle of wandering poets, it’s got to be La Dispute, who, especially on their latest album Wildlife, prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that our humanity thrives in the depths, not the surfaces.  One of my favorites is the penultimate track, “All Our Bruised Bodies and the Whole Heart Shrinks,” which combines the “flashing eyes” and “floating hair” of Coleridge with a kind of Keatsian fire-breathing Negative Capability and the Ted Berrigan of “Red Shift.”  “Everyone in the world comes at some point to suffering…. I wonder when I will.  I wonder…,” Dreyer screams over and over.   However, it’s not the suffering, but the wonder that sticks with me, the heart growing bigger by the minute for the sentiment.

-Matt Hart

Matt Hart is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Sermons and Lectures Both Blank and Relentless (Typecast Publishing, 2012).  A co-founder and the editor-in-chief of Forklift, Ohio: A Journal of Poetry, Cooking & Light Industrial Safety, he lives in Cincinnati where he teaches at the Art Academy of Cincinnati and plays in the band Travel.




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