Caroline Langston, writing in Image/Good Letters, thinks Robert Plant has an air of humility about him.
She writes in part:
The picture from the Grammys showed something even further, I think, which is that the face can reveal the results of a life lived with integrity. I don’t mean a life of virtue, necessarily. The smile on Plant’s face revealed a man that looked pretty jovial and happy: clearly, he was having a good time, something that was confirmed in the media reports I read. (You probably watched it, so please feel free to comment.)
What I saw in his open expression, though, was something you don’t often see in the faces of public figures—such as, say, Hank Paulson or Rod Blagojevich—a kind of clear-eyed self-acceptance of himself, and humility.
That’s it: the man looked humble. As though he were amazed to be standing where he stood.
That attitude was reflected in the remarks by Plant that I later read when I was continuing to mull over why that photograph had struck me so. Filled with praise for his Raising Sand partner Alison Krauss, Plant credited the album’s brilliance to the creative tension arising from the fact that he and Krauss “come from such different places on the map,” musically. He stated, roughly, that while his background with Led Zeppelin, like so many other English bands of the Sixties, had always led him to conceive of American music strictly in terms of the African-American musical experience—as in Delta blues and R+B—Krauss had introduced him to that other great strand that flows down through white Southern folk culture.
It was the statement of a keen mind betraying a willingness to learn, and wonder.
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