The Seasons, Sounds and Poetry

I can actually see grass outside, there is (somehow) no snow on the ground, and it’s finally warm outside-

Which, for some reason, means the tone of my poems completely changes. I know this doesn’t only happen to me, as I have read friends’ poems written at different times of the year and the same thing seems to happen. In case this does truly happen to anyone else, how does your tone shift? I notice that, when the weather is warmer, the lines on my poems become more center-justified and a little bit more structured than before. After wondering about this for what seemed like hours but was probably minutes, I tried to figure out what the root cause of my poetry shift could be.

Is it some sort of Seasonal Affective Disorder? No, I have no noticeable behavior changes between the seasons, and I feel no different in Summer versus Winter. Is it the sun finally being out? No, I don’t ever go outside, so the sun and I do not see each other much (sad, I know). I began to think that the answer lies in music.

I know we as a group have talked about the music we listen to while writing, and I thought, “Hey, I listen to different music in warmer weather versus colder weather, maybe that’s it!” So, I tried a small experiment: winter music versus spring music. I noticed that the poems I wrote during the winter music were much more broken apart, with a lot more space permeating the lines than the spring poems. Spring’s lines were more centered and structured.

Just as an example, here’s the kind of music I listen to in the Winter (ignore the obnoxious ads):

And here’s an example of Spring music:

I want someone else to tell me the kinds of music they listen to during the different seasons (if the style of music is different) and if the seasons change their style of writing, too!

2 Replies to “The Seasons, Sounds and Poetry”

  1. Juliana,

    So, I’ve actually never considered the difference in my winter music and summer music. I guess I don’t have separate music for separate seasons. However, what’s really interesting to me is that if I were to categorize Jose Gonzalez (who I love), he would be my summer music. This might have a lot to do with my own personal associations with that music. Do you categorize completely based on sound, or does the memory/atmosphere associated with certain music contribute to your categorization? Just curious. Also, I think it is really cool that you noticed a seasonal effect on your poetry. I actually haven’t written enough poetry over a long period of time to even attempt to find a similar phenomenon. But I definitely notice other seasonal shifts in my life, and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if this translated to my writing.

    1. I partially categorize music as seasonal due to the atmosphere of the song, though many of the songs I listen to sound the same. (For example, I can’t name one of my favorite songs that ISN’T in a minor key). Jose Gonzales, for me, has a varied mix of music, but there’s something about Crosses that seems more wintry to me. His cover of Massive Attack’s Teardrop or Heartbeats sound more summery. I’m sure someone else has experienced seasonal shifts in their poetry. Glad to see another Gonzales fan!!

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