The Nerdiest Thing I've Done All Year and Why I Loved It

Back like a month ago, was going to post for National Poetry Day but I didn't get around to it because... well. 

I first decided to revisit and reread my favorite poem ever-- "The Idea of Order at Key West"  by Wallace Stevens. That was cool, because I love this poem with a deep and abiding passion (which has caused me to memorize almost half of it.) 

So then I went online and found a clip of Wallace Stevens reading the poem, which was also really cool because his voice is so lovely and the recording really just transports you to a different time and place. Mesmerizing.

Then I decided to listen to that clip alongside Clair De Lune (Debussy), because I have always felt like these two pieces of art share the same heart -- or at least they strike a similar chord, even in two separate mediums (interestingly enough though, Clair De Lune was inspired by a Verlaine poem of the same name-- also an interesting poem). Just passively listening to both is delightful, but to me there is also this profound sense of longing, loneliness, sorrow, darkness, mystery, and tension/dissonance just a scratch below the surface in each piece.  That dimensionality is both beautiful and haunting to me. 

SO WHEN I ACTUALLY PLAYED THEM TOGETHER, SIDE BY SIDE-- I COULDN'T EVEN BELIEVE MY EARS. 

The first montage I've ever made :D

It was like they were dancing, if a poem and a song, disparate from each other, can be said to do that. They just fit together, and the dynamics of the music highlighted the pathos of Wallace Stevens' voice perfectly for nearly the entire length of the two being played together. I wondered at one point if these pieces were choreographed together in an alternate dimension (or the collective unconscious of Debussy and Stevens.) It was like they were always meant to be together. And I, for once in my life, got to see my matchmaking efforts come to fruition.

So reader, I married them -- in a YouTube video that took me an ludicrous amount of time to create with (cough) free stock footage and Windows Movie Maker. This is not a perfect thing I have done here, but it was a passionate thing I did and loved doing it.  

Obviously, you don't have to love it as much as I do (especially the clicking sound, sorry about that). But if you don't love it I might not really want to talk to you again, so just think about that ;O. 

All jokes aside-- I hope that these feeble efforts can bring some awesome art and feeling into your maybe otherwise art-less day.  And that you can get jazzed about some other project  in your life that makes you happy even though it seems ridiculous.

Viva la art. :) 

 

The Idea of Order at Key West - Wallace Stevens 

She sang beyond the genius of the sea.   
The water never formed to mind or voice,   
Like a body wholly body, fluttering
Its empty sleeves; and yet its mimic motion   
Made constant cry, caused constantly a cry,   
That was not ours although we understood,   
Inhuman, of the veritable ocean.

The sea was not a mask. No more was she.   
The song and water were not medleyed sound   
Even if what she sang was what she heard,   
Since what she sang was uttered word by word.
It may be that in all her phrases stirred   
The grinding water and the gasping wind;   
But it was she and not the sea we heard.

For she was the maker of the song she sang.   
The ever-hooded, tragic-gestured sea
Was merely a place by which she walked to sing.   
Whose spirit is this? we said, because we knew   
It was the spirit that we sought and knew   
That we should ask this often as she sang.

If it was only the dark voice of the sea   
That rose, or even colored by many waves;   
If it was only the outer voice of sky
And cloud, of the sunken coral water-walled,   
However clear, it would have been deep air,   
The heaving speech of air, a summer sound   
Repeated in a summer without end
And sound alone. But it was more than that,   
More even than her voice, and ours, among
The meaningless plungings of water and the wind,   
Theatrical distances, bronze shadows heaped   
On high horizons, mountainous atmospheres   
Of sky and sea.

                      It was her voice that made   
The sky acutest at its vanishing.   
She measured to the hour its solitude.   
She was the single artificer of the world
In which she sang. And when she sang, the sea,   
Whatever self it had, became the self
That was her song, for she was the maker. Then we,   
As we beheld her striding there alone,
Knew that there never was a world for her   
Except the one she sang and, singing, made.

Ramon Fernandez, tell me, if you know,   
Why, when the singing ended and we turned   
Toward the town, tell why the glassy lights,   
The lights in the fishing boats at anchor there,   
As the night descended, tilting in the air,   
Mastered the night and portioned out the sea,   
Fixing emblazoned zones and fiery poles,   
Arranging, deepening, enchanting night.

Oh! Blessed rage for order, pale Ramon,   
The maker’s rage to order words of the sea,   
Words of the fragrant portals, dimly-starred,   
And of ourselves and of our origins,
In ghostlier demarcations, keener sounds.