“We Hovered With Short Wings” by Vic Chesnutt
This song haunts me: the high keening sound of Vic Chesnutt’s voice, the low plucks of the bass, the relentless drum beat, the violin’s grieving accompaniment. There’s pain in this sound, darkness. Death is always present. Chesnutt’s music epitomizes the duende. Duende is a melancholy “daemon, small as a green almond, who, tired of lines and circles, goes out along the canals to hear the drunken sailors sing.” Federico Garcia Lorca. When I listen to this song, I want whisky, a late night meander through a field, the grass cutting my legs. When I listen to this song, I want to feel everything, the greatest pain, the greatest sorrow, and the joy of feeling, the joy of being alive. Vic Chesnutt’s life was short and filled with pain and despair, but what he brought to this world was music so intense and beautiful, it is almost too much to bear.
Amanda Earl lives in Ottawa, Canada. Her first poetry book, Kiki was published in the autumn of 2014 by Chaudiere Books. For more information visit AmandaEarl.com or keep in touch with her antics at Twitter @KikiFolle.
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