“If Winter Ends” by Bright Eyes
In 1998, right around the same time I found that I was falling in with love poetry, I found Letting Off the Happiness in the record store in the basement of Antiquarium in Omaha. More than any other poems I was reading, this album made me need to write. I wanted to figure out how to make myself feel with words how Bright Eyes could make me feel with songs. There was no other reason to write a poem than to purge joy like this.And it was this song, “If Winter Ends,” the first track on the album, recorded on an analog 8 track in my home city in a basement somewhere nearby, that has over and over, while listening with earphones and walking around in the frozen air, given me the courage to make my changes, to move from a winter into the lie of a spring.
Zachary Schomburg is a founding editor of Octopus Magazine in 2003, and of Octopus Books in 2006. He is the author of four books of poetry including, most recently, The Book of Joshua (2014). He lives in Portland, OR.Questions, compliments, (hopefully not) complaints?