There are two lines in the Florence + the Machine song, “Dog Days Are Over”, that for me is a particular hook in the first part before the chorus,
“With every bubble, she sank with her drink
And washed it away down the kitchen sink.”
That particular lyric blows me away every time. It’s beautifully poignant, and speaks a wonderful poetry. It’s also unexpected: bubbles and sinking are not associations one normally thinks; if nothing else, bubbles, like those in champagne, lift. Juxtaposition at its finest.
(My other favourite song from Lungs is “Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)”, in particular the lyrics: “And in the spring I shed my skin/And it blows away with the changing wind”.)
One day while playing “Dog Days Are Over” on loop, I Googled “Florence Welch poetry” and discovered a BBC radio series called Rhyme and Reason with Florence reading poetry and discussing it. It was also, thankfully, uploaded by someone on to YouTube and that was how I was able to listen to it. (Unfortunately, it seems the BBC website for Rhyme and Reason does not exist anymore.)
Videos are embedded after the jump.
It was refreshing to hear someone talk about poetry with such candid, genuine interest. As a poet it gives me hope in this poetry-depraved world, when the most poetry the average person will read is in the classroom and is forced to analyse it, to think what the poet might have thought and tried to express (or not), and by the time graduation comes – oh! poetry, relegated to mind-numbing and dry at its worst, along with Shakespeare.
The best poetry is that which provokes a reaction from the reader or the listener if being read to or if it is spoken word. A poem should inspire new ideas and realizations one hadn’t been aware of before or to think of something familiar in a new way. Above all, it should move you. A poem should move its reader and touch him so deeply and so profoundly that he’ll never be the same again. In one of the poems talked about, “Here Bullet”, the thought is expressed that a whole world is killed when a person is killed: all their ideas, all their views of the world – gone.
If you’re a fan of Florence + the Machine, Florence herself, or poetry in general, I encourage you to give the show a listen.