“Wuthering Heights” by Kate Bush
Out in the wily, windy Upper Midwest I hit adolescence like a bird hitting the solid glass of a reflective window. It was the early 1980’s. My classmates were listening to “Jack and Diane” and dog-earring The Preppy Handbook while I filled notebooks with poems and my mother struggled to buy me a new pair of jeans. Through some lucky accident there entered into my narrow life the amplitude of Kate Bush’s voice—by turns warbling, lulling, shrieking. In “Wuthering Heights” it’s pure play, ranging from grotesque to gorgeous, reveling in the sheer sweep of expressive possibility. Kate was an adolescent herself when she wrote the songs on her first album, and those songs and the woman herself offered reassurance that my own beautiful, raging, and shameful strangeness might yet be redeemed. They were songs large enough to live inside when it seemed I couldn’t live anywhere else.
Karin Gottshall is the author of three chapbooks (from Argos Books and Dancing Girl Press) and two full-length collections of poems. Her most recent book is The River Won’t Hold You (Ohio State University Press, 2014). She teaches poetry writing at Middlebury College in Vermont and directs the New England Young Writers’ Conference.
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Contact Jackie Clark: jackie [at] coldfrontmag [dot] com.
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