Song of the Week: “Consequence” by The Notwist

This song describes a kind of longing that can be sung only in a foreign accent. Accent, from the Latin: quite literally, to sing. An accent falters, fades, misplaces emphasis, as if flirting with the very failure of speech. This song reminds me, in language and love, to fail better. Its circle of logic: longing is eloquent loss. All love songs are songs to love, and this one maybe more than most: Love itself is the recipient of the singer’s perfect, cryptic praise: “you’re the color, you’re the movement and the spin.” Yes, something keeps spinning long after what spun it is gone. When the philosopher Friedrich Schlegel observed how each note in a piece of music depends on every other note for its meaning—so that no note achieves its full identity until the very end—he termed it “longing.” This song feels like a translation.

-Michelle Gil-Montero

Michelle Gil-Montero is a graduate of Brown University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her poetry chapbook, Attached Houses, will be published by Brooklyn Arts Press in the summer of 2013. Her poems have appeared in Spoon River Poetry Review, Colorado Review, Third Coast, Cincinnati Review, Alice Blue Review, and Caketrain, among others. She is the translator of Poetry After the Invention of América: Don’t Light the Flower by Andrés Ajens (Palgrave MacMillan, 2011), Mouth of Hell by Maria Negroni (Action Books, 2013), This Blue Novel by Valerie Mejer (Action Books, 2013), and The Tango Lyrics by Maria Negroni (Quattro Books, 2013). She lives in Pittsburgh and is Assistant Professor of English at Saint Vincent College.

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