Thursday, October 4, 2007

Fashion is Poetry

I'm obsessed with fashion. You all know that. How could I not be, when I devote huge portions of my time to reading blogs and writing my own? I'm also obsessed with writing/reading, but that probably doesn't come as a surprise, either, for the same reasons. I feel like fashion and literature are really connected, and not just because fashion is covered by writers. I've always thought that the same part of me that appreciates the way words sound together, and the rhythm of them, and the imagery you can find within rows of text is the same part of me that appreciates the way outfits are put together, and different fabrics, and the way a garment can tell a whole story. Literature and fashion - they're not so different. I think if I were ever to be a fashion designer (unlikely, but not impossible), I would get a lot of my inspiration from literature.

Anyway, having said that, I want to share the poem below with you. It's probably my favorite poem ever, and every time I read/hear it, I'm moved almost to tears by the beauty and the rhythm of it:

Canto Negro by Jessica Hagedorn

dancing
the spirit shaking everyone
your faces are flowers of darkness
eyes closed
in dancing ecstasy
the spirit shaking everyone
shake
shake
children of the jungle
calling me to sing
forget my nightmares
mangos staining my lips

what is the spirit
that moves us
when we sing
in a thousand backrooms
funky with dopesmells
and pretty men and women
the spirit shaking everyone

we feel so beautiful
a whirlpool of silver eyes
and silver sweat
the spirit moving us
like holiness
in the sway of our bodies
the joy in our voices
humming the dance
the trance
of one night’s voodoo
celebration

the moon is almost full
and there’s danger
in the air
your faces are flowers of fire
burning
the toucans are flying
macaws are shrieking
and it’s forever
in the moment we stop
and start again

what is the spirit
that moves us
unspoken magic
weaving dangerous colors

it’s our birthday
and we sing a baptism
for our souls
our godliness

(higher and higher
we dance
out into the street

you ask me
if i
want to die
and i say
no
not yet
not tonight

it’s too beautiful

and i want to love you.)


That was it. Did you like it? Any thoughts? I know a lot of people have problems with the lack of capitilization, but I like it. I like the idea that the poem sort of transcends the written word. For me, the lack of capitilization says that the poem goes far beyond text on paper, that grammar isn't important because the ideas, imagery, and musical quality of the poem are what matter most. But that's just what I think.

Jessica Hagedorn reminds me a lot of Francesca Lia Block, if you want to know the truth. They're both wonderful, no?

Couldn't you picture the most beautiful collection based around this poem? I'm imagining something like this, all butterflies, flowers, mist, and gauzy dancing fairytale fabric.

6 comments:

ladyjulianne said...

I really like that. The imagery and rhythm work together to create a wonderful effect. I agree, a fashion collection inspired by it could be beautiful.

Fashion Directory said...

ladyjulianne is right . but who will do it ?

Proper Joe's said...

Yeah, I think the lower case poem works really well - Jessica has a lovely way with words - she ends her poem Sorcery - and once you start dancing to words you might never stop.

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