Jack White Writes a Poem for Detroit

July 7, 2008


Two years after moving to Nashville from his hometown of Detroit, Jack White has officially written a poem honoring his favorite Motor City.

Jack went ahead and penned his own verses to prove he bears no ill-will for the Motor City, even though he criticized the music scene last month in Rolling Stone expressing that he "couldn't breathe anymore in that scene."

White recently explained his words to the Detroit Free Press by saying they were not "a representation of my feelings about Detroit the city, a town that I have strong feelings about...nor were they expressions about its citizens."

Peep the poem, "Courageous Dream's Concern"...

"The following poem is the Detroit from my mind, 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."  –Jack White

"Courageous Dream's Concern"

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.


Jack is such a suck-up. Don’t apologize if you were speaking from the heart and telling the truth. And since when did rockstars write poems? Could you imagine Axl Rose coming out and apologizing for his raw Los Angeles lyrics in “Welcome to the Jungle?” Kinda lame if you ask me.