Feeling nostalgic. Seems I was born with such a notion, condition perhaps. Some people think there is beauty in the word. Maybe so. Seems to also contain a certain sadness, always looking over the shoulder-ness, never moving forward-ness, unaccepting of now-ness. Could be that is the beauty. Reflection on the ephemeral, the transient.
The opening lines of this song have been with me all my life - well, most of it. Guess my folks bought the album when I was a wee tacker. A friend of mine today said that young writers were clever with their style and content, whereas older writers had more depth of wisdom and feeling. I disagree. Young writers are so close to their emotions, and often the emotion is impossible to escape from, and it is strong enough to be truth for the writer, and to be everything to the writer, and perhaps it is truth and everything. Particularly if the writer has lyrical precision. Particularly in reference to poetry and song.
Some historical cases in point: Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein when she was 19 (18 according to Wikipedia). Robbie Burns died at 37, and he wasn't alone in passing so young. Rimbaud also died at 37 and finished his writing career by age 21. And there are many, many more. Wordsworth was a bit more unusual in living until he was eighty. Maybe within the last fifty years there haven't been so many examples within literature, but there definitely is within music.
Some get better with age - Anne Tyler, Delillo, I think improved, or got clearer. McCourt's Angela's Ashes and Teacher man are sweeps of exquisite crafting. Note, I have switched to the prose writers now. But many other artists of all hues have their moments of brilliance early, cliched as that notion is.
Maybe with their initial efforts they fulfil a task that was universally set for them, a purpose for being, or psychological demons are laid to rest, and what follows those first efforts is sometimes satisfying to the reader/listener and writer in another way, sometimes not at all. Is it that styles get used to so freshness is lacking, or is it that the urgency is lacking from the writer's end, and so too then is the immediacy and clarity of image, language and metaphor?
Simon and Garfunkel seemed to think they were on borrowed time and, though I have enjoyed later Simon, their songs of true beauty for me were written at this early juncture of their lives, even though I am not really at this juncture of my life any more. This is off the Sounds of Silence album which was released in 1965, so Simon was twenty-four at the time. Not the twenty-one of the song, but still plenty young and pretty enough.