In the weeks leading up to the release date of Shut Down Strangers & Hot Rod Angels, I'll be featuring some of the pieces and authors here on the blog! Our thirteenth and final feature is Jade Hurter and her poem "The Promised Land."
Which Springsteen song(s) inspired your poem?
As the title suggests, The Promised Land! It also alludes to Jersey Girl. What is it about these songs in particular and/or Bruce’s music in general that inspires you?
“The Promised Land” sums up a lot of what I love about Bruce. The song is about hope in circumstances that seem hopeless; it's this longing for something better, something you can imagine but have never experienced. And the narrator is willing to do whatever it takes to reach that place. I think that’s a really powerful kind of hope, and one that’s lost for too many people as they get older and are forced to accept the crushing realities of existence. The song is also just so earnest, and that’s something else I love about Bruce. Culturally, he represents this kind of 80’s Jersey macho thing, but in reality, so many of his lyrics speak to love and hope and vulnerability.
What five Springsteen songs do you think everyone should listen to?
I do think everyone should listen to The Promised Land, but my other top 5 (this is so hard!) are I’m on Fire, Tougher Than the Rest, Atlantic City, The River, and No Surrender. Runners up are Downbound Train and Reason to Believe.
What’s your favorite line/section from this poem?
I’m not sure about a favorite, but the most important is “For most people, home is more story than place.” Because I am from New Jersey, Bruce tells the story of where I came from in a way that makes it feel more real, sometimes, than it does when I physically go back to my hometown.