It’s spring break, and it’s past my bedtime, but I had to write this. I think my blog posts are getting crazier by the second, but stick with me here. What could I do to make my poetry sound like it’s under water? If you think I’ve lost it, close your eyes and listen to La Cathédrale Engloutie also known as The Sunken Cathedral. I remember my chorus teacher playing this piece for us because she wanted us to have more intention behind our singing. She played this without telling us the name of it, but at then end she asked for our guesses. We all guessed things that were dark, foreboding, and (most importantly) having to do with water. I can feel my mind fill with water when I listen to this. It sounds like a church falling into the ocean and settling on the sandy floor. Maybe it’s my Catholic upbringing, but I can see the stained glass and the steeple. I wonder how I could do this, but with poetry. I’m not interested in a watery church, but I think it would be so cool if I could make a reader feel like they were underwater while reading my poem.
Now the reason I thought of this is Billie Eilish related. I’ve already revealed myself as a huge fan of her music, so I’ve got nothing to lose by obsessing over her a little more! I was listening to Lovely and I felt like I was back in choir hearing The Sunken Cathedral! Close your eyes and listen to that song, it’s absolutely underwater. I can feel the push and pull of the current dragging the water back and forth. The high parts? Feel like sitting at the bottom of a pool and opening your eyes, looking upward into the blurry sun. It’s an oxymoron of a feeling because it’s heavy but also floating. There are a couple other songs of hers that give this feeling too. Ocean Eyes and Everything I Wanted are the examples I’m thinking of right now.
I think this concept could go even further because listen to Clair de Lune and tell me you don’t feel moonlight on your skin! Not a Debussy fan? More of a Beethoven fan? Moonlight Sonata will also make you feel like you’re sitting on the roof of your childhood home at 1am, gazing up at the moon. I want to do that! Ever wanted to feel like you were sitting by a lake watching swans in the sun? Swan Lake Suite, Op 20: Scene: Enchanted Lake has you covered, but how can I do that without any sound, just words on paper?
If anyone has examples of poems that make you feel like you’re experiencing something ridiculously specific (being underwater, the moonlight on your skin, swan lake) please link them to me. I have nothing better to do than to procrastinate my real work by reading poems, being jealous, and trying new things in my poetry! In return, I will link you a song that I think will inspire you. Even if you don’t have a poem for me to read, I’ll give you a song to inspire you because my atlas of awesome songs needs to be put to use somehow. I hope you are all having relaxing spring breaks and sleeping more than I am!