I’m a Magpie
A few weeks back, I asked my husband, Brian, if he had a favorite poem.
“I don’t really know any poetry,” he said. “But you could always illustrate a song.”
“Like what?” I asked.
“Like that grievous angel one,” he said. “That one’s like a poem.”
Gram Parson’s “Return of the Grievous Angel” has always been one of Brian and my favorites. When we first got together, we listened to Lucinda Williams’ cover version I don’t know how many times, and it’s still in regular rotation on nights when we sit and watch the sunset from the back of our boat.
Researching the lyrics, I discovered that, not only is it like a poem, it is a poem, one that started as a sheet of lyrics written for Parsons by a young poet named Thomas Stanley Brown.
Of course, it’s a song now, and it’s hard to imagine it existing without the melody Parsons wrote to go with it. But here it is, for Brian, on his birthday. Happy birthday, sweetie. I can’t imagine life without you.
There’s something about spring that makes cummings irresistible.
(Apologies for the late upload — last night’s wind storm knocked out our internet just as I was trying to get this out there)
I'm a librarian. Special skills include dog charming, brochure writing, slapdash cooking and long-winded nattering. I also enjoy watching the sunset's reflection in the tall buildings downtown.
For a while there, I taught classes on Classical literature, philosophy, and the history of religion at New College of California. I have an MA and an MFA in Writing, and live on a boat in Sausalito, CA.