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The Poetry of Music

I would be remiss if I didn’t make sure to show off the astonishing and gorgeous poetry of one of my favorite artists, Joanna Newsom.  Her voice and musical style aren’t to everyone’s tastes, but I think her lyricism speaks for itself.  Its long, but worth it

Emily, By Joanna Newsom

The meadowlark and the chim-choo-ree and the sparrow
Set to the sky in a flying spree for the sport over the pharaoh.
A little while later the the Pharisees dragged a comb through meadow.
Do you remember what they called up to you and me in our window?

There is a rusty light on the pines tonight,
Sun pouring wine, lord, or marrow,
Down into the bowns of the birches
And the spires of the churches
Jutting out from the shadows.
The yoke and the axe and the old smokestacks and the bale and the barrow
And everything sloped like it was dragged from a rope
In the mouth of the south below.

We’ve seen those mountains kneeling, felten and gray.
We though our very hearts would up and melt away.
From that snow in the night time
Just going
And going
And the stirring of wind chimes
In the morning
In the morning
Helps me find my way back in
From the place where I have been.

And Emily, I saw you last night, by the river.
I dreamed you were skipping little stones across the surface of the water
Frowning at the angle where they were lost, and slipped under forever
In a mud-cloud, mica-spangled, like the sky’d been breathing on a mirror

Anyhow, I sat by your side, by the water.
You taught me the names of the stars overhead that I wrote down in my ledger.
Though all I knew of the rote universe were those pleiades loosed in december
I promised you I’d set them to verse so I’d always remember

That the meteorite is a source of the light
And the Meteor’s just what we see
And the Meteoroid is a stone that’s devoid of the fire that propelled it to thee

And the meteorite’s just what causes the light
And the meteor’s how it’s percieved
And the Meteroid’s a bone thrown from the void that lies quiet in offering to thee.

You came and laid a cold compress upon the mess I’m in.
Threw the window wide and cried: Amen! Amen! Amen!
The whole world – stopped – to hear you hollering.
You looked down and saw now what was happening.

The lines are fadin’ in my kingdom
Though I have never known the way to border ‘em in.So the muddy mouths of baboons and sows
and the grouse and the horse and the and the hen
Grope at the gate of the looming lake that was once a tidy pen.
And the mail is late and the great estates are not lit from within.
The talk in town’s becoming downright sickening.

In due time we will see the far butte lit by a flare.
I’ve seen your bravery, and I will follow you there.
And row through the night time,
Gone healthy
Gone healthy all of a sudden,
In search of the midwife
Who Could help me
Who could help me
Help me find my way back in
There are worries where I’ve been.

Say, say, say in the lee of the bay; don’t be bothered.
Leave your troubles here where the tugboats shear the water from the water,
Flanked by furrows curling back, like a match held up to a newspapaer.
Emily they’ll follow your lead by the letter.
And I make this claim and I’m not ashamed to say I know you better.
What they’ve seen is just a beam of your sun that banishes winter.

Let us go! Though we know it’s a hopeless endeavor.
The ties that bind, they are barbed and spined and hold us close forever
Though there is nothing would help me come to grips
With a sky that is gaping and yawning.
There is a song I woke with on my lips
As you sailed your great ship towards the morning.

Come on home, the poppies are all grown knee-deep by now,
Blossoms all have fallen, and the pollen ruins the plow.
Peonies nod in the breeze and while they wetly bow, with
Hydrocephalitic listlessness ants mop up their brow.

And everything with wings is restless, aimless, drunk and dour.
The butterflies and birds collide at hot, ungodly hours.
And my clay colored motherlessness rangily reclines.
Come on home, now! All my bones are dolorous with vines.

Pa pointed out to me, for the hundredth time tonight
The way the ladle leads to a dirt-red bullet of light.
Squint skyward and listen -
Loving him, we move within his borders:
Just asterisms in the stars’ set order

We could stand for a century
Starin’
With our heads cocked
In the broad daylight at this thing
Joy
Landlocked
In bodies that don’t keep
Dumbstruck with the sweetness of being
Till we don’t be
Told; take this
Eat this

Told, the meteorite is the source of the light
And the Meteor’s just what we see
And the Meteoroid is a stone that’s devoid of the fire that propelled it to thee

And the meteorite’s just what causes the light
And the meteor’s how it’s percieved
And the Meteroid’s a bone thrown from the void that lies quiet in offering to thee.

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