i haven't listened to jewel's music or read her poems for over a year. but upon finding this node, i remembered her. to begin with, i thought jewel was ultimately dicky. her music was pretty country, she had the whole cowgirl, tassles and 'back at the ranch' vibe. but then after a while, after the songs "foolish games" and "little sister" and "who will save your soul?" i guess she grew on me, her chesty voice, her crooked teeth, her flaxen hair -- she even glorified blondes for me. she un-oprahfied the word spirit for me and made me appreciate poems for the stark little portraits they are, rather than meaningless splattered words that don't even sound good. (essentially, she set me up to appreciate rainer maria rilke, samuel taylor coleridge and sylvia plath). in "a night without armor" she writes about alaska, the fading of passion, intimacy. divorce, domestic matters, friendship.. and then there are the images of the road, the people, the bars, the planes, the loneliness, and the exotic and the boring places.
her words seem very immediate and at times her imagery is unmatched, although i find it ultra-annoying the way mindless little teenage drones (like an old friend of mine) just luuurved to cut out the lyrics of her songs about 'bones' and fat girls and 'envy' and them paste them all over tacky, unsinspired collages. i feel like her message was being lost. for example, in her poem 'too many nights' she writes "it's been/too many nights/of being with/to now be suddenly/without." of course, teenage girls attach this to mean something soooo positively deep about the last boyfriend they broke up with. (shudder).
jewel's poetry was embarrassing at times, very amateur, but that's the way she wanted it, and i like that. i like the way she didn't polish. i like the way she didn't need it to be perfect. she explains this rawness, and other things, more so, in the preface to her collection of poems "a night without armor".