Title: The Promise
By: Joe Posnanski
This piece was written partly about Bruce Springsteen and his song The Promise but it used the song to explore the author’s dad. I learned basic facts about Bruce Springsteen and his music career, but I don’t think that was what the piece was about. It was like the author was taking the reader back to his childhood and showing us the world that Springsteen sang about. The correlations between the song the promise and his dad’s job at the factory are pointed out. Springsteen’s songs are said to be relentlessly sad and hopeless yet his album does have hope. In the same way Posnanski has the realization that his father has been living the life Posnanski didn’t want to lead, yet he still managed to pull through.
I don’t know if you can call it bias that the article is written by the subject’s son or whether it’s simply a perspective. It’s certainly interesting to see someone’s interpretation of a song being reflected in their life.
What I learned form this article and what I was trying to do in my last feature, is that you can introduce your own life into a feature as long as it makes sense and it doesn’t become all about you. This article still manages to convey a message about Bruce Springsteen’s music translating into real life without the author’s personal experiences taking over. The way the article is broken up by song lyrics is very effective, and helps the reader to read, what is a quite lengthy feature.
What I liked about this article is that the reader has to work things out. How his father made it through isn’t explained fully, the conclusion doesn’t answer all the questions, I actually went back and reread the article. There is the possibility I could be wrong about his father but I got the impression it was his family that got him through and the hope that their lives would be better.