I found it interesting that Rumor Hermisferico chose to name his poem “Major Tom (Coming Home)” after David Bowie’s song “Space Oddity” which features an astronaut called Major Tom. Major Tom is a fictional character that first appears in “Space Oddity” on Bowie’s album of the same name released in 1969. While Major Tom becomes a regular character throughout Bowie’s albums and videos through the entirety of his career, it is only “Space Oddity” that is mentioned in Buzzing Hemispheres. In the song “Space Oddity”, Major Tom is a man who travels into space. He gets very, very far (past one hundred thousand miles) when ground control tries to reach him to tell him his circuit is dead, and there’s a problem. The last words from Major Tom are “Here am I floating ’round my tin can, far above the moon. Planet Earth is blue, and there’s nothing I can do.”
Why did Hermisferico specifically choose this song to name his poem after? In the first line of the poem he writes
“the answer song to space oddity plays in downtown
cafes in all the cities of the planet “
Above the poem is written Syracuse, NY.
One thing we discussed in class is the use of noise throughout Buzzing Hemispheres. The reader can almost hear the city streets in “Major tom (Coming Home)” with lines like
” the drum shuffle the side streets.”
So what is the answer to “Space Oddity”? It seems that Hermisferico isn’t writing about Major Tom but the answer to “Space Oddity.” When listening to Space Oddity, it’s a song with a lot of noise. There’s a lot of instrumentation going on and celestial sounds and it can feel noisy but there are also times it is more quiet, especially when Major Tom is floating around space, he says he feels “ very still” in the song. So what exactly is the answer to “Space Oddity?”
Hermisferico also mentions Phil Collins’s songs twice in the poem. One line says ”
“love lives like in
that phil collins song going on too long”
Which, in my opinion, any Phil Collins song goes on too long. But I am curious as to why Hermisferico specifically chose Phil Collins and David Bowie to write about, and to name his poem after. After listening to both artists, I am no closer to a definitive conclusion.