Words

"I have got some business out at the edge of town
Candy weighing both of my pockets down
Till I can hardly stay afloat, from the weight of them
(and knowing how the commonfolk condemn
What it is I do, to you, to keep you warm:
Being a woman. Being a woman.)

But always up the mountainside you’re clambering
Groping blindly, hungry for anything;
Picking through your pocket linings —
Well, what is this?
Scrap of sassafras, eh Sisyphus?

I see the blossoms broke and wet after the rain
Little sister, he will be back again
I have washed a thousand spiders down the drain
Spiders’ ghosts hang, soaked and dangling
Silently from all the blooming cherry trees
In tiny nooses, safe from everyone —
Nothing but a nuisance; gone now, dead and done —
Be a woman. Be a woman."

- from "Only Skin" by Joanna Newsom

"Waking or asleep,
Thou of death must deem
Things more true and deep
Than we mortals dream,
Or how could thy notes flow in such a crystal stream?

We look before and after,
And pine for what is not:
Our sincerest laughter
With some pain is fraught;
Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.

Yet if we could scorn
Hate, and pride, and fear;
If we were things born
Not to shed a tear,
I know not how thy joy we ever should come near.

Better than all measures
Of delightful sound,
Better than all treasures
That in books are found,
Thy skill to poet were, thou scorner of the ground!

Teach me half the gladness
That thy brain must know,
Such harmonious madness
From my lips would flow
The world should listen then, as I am listening now."

- from "To a Skylark" by Percy Shelley