The twenty-eight days in February generated such a rich variety of moments – as ordinary as unparalleled – that paradoxically I am surprised at how quickly we have melted into March. I am nearing the end of my first year of university and although I have attempted to enjoy and record it as much as possible, most of my experiences have been left unprocessed. I suppose I should be happy to leave some in the forgotten past, but what is the use of memories there?
Buddy Holly by Weezer (1994)
I wish I was a more woke blogger who could help you discover new, promising music, but for this month I have picked a 90s classic because it shaped my vision of February. There is something especially satisfying with the whole process of listening to “Buddy Holly” – it starts off abruptly angry, morphs into an optimistic chorus, and continues on with this clear-headed clutter of emotion. The length of the song reflects well its subject and content – precious and heartbreaking in its brevity.
Honourable mention: Message to My Girl by Split Enz (1983)
I think February has delivered me my Kiwi awakening. First, this song by iconic New Zealand band Split Enz (thank you Anna for the introduction!), then discovering Allen Curnow’s poetry, and finally, receiving the February 2018 issue of Poetry Magazine, which is completely dedicated to Aotearoa/New Zealand poets! “Message to My Girl” is, in an opposite but similar way to “Buddy Holly”, a wonderful song for February 14th. Love is not simply a New Year’s Resolution after all – January, you need to step up your game next time.
Classical music piece
Concierto de Aranjuez by Joaquín Rodrigo (1939)
During my week back in Winnipeg, I had the pleasure of hearing Gaëlle Solal perform this piece with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. I have linked her performance of the second movement, which Wikipedia describes, with strange artistic accuracy, as [permeating with a] feeling of quiet regret.” Even as the movement reaches a climax, the theme, now loud and powered by the entire orchestra, seems to still retain that soft quality of its first breaths. Contradictory to the popular narrative claiming Rodrigo wrote this movement as a cry pain for his wife Victoria’s miscarriage in 1939, letters by Rodrigo reveals that he heard the complete theme of the Adagio singing in his head, one day in his study room in rue Saint Jacques, in the Latin Quarter of Paris.
Short Talks by Anne Carson (1992)
We all love a minimalist and powerful queen. Anne Carson’s full biography reads, “Anne Carson was born in Canada and teaches ancient Greek for a living.” Short Talks is Anne Carson’s first collection of poems, and it is delightful in its unapologetic, cryptically obvious vision of the ideas we gloss over in our weaker reality. I’ve linked a video of Anne Carson reading from Short Talks.
Short Talk On Where To Travel
I went travelling to a wreck of a place. There
were three gates standing ajar and a fence
that broke off. It was not the wreck of any-
thing else in particular. A place came there
and crashed. After that it remained the
wreck of a place. Light fell on it.