For me, each season brings a very definite mood, and I indulge those moods through the music and books I choose. For example, in music, fall and winter are David Gray months. Maybe it’s his name I associate with cloudy, November skies or the moodiness of his music, but he’s all I want to listen to right now. I think of Babylon, “kicking through the autumn leaves, wondering where it is you might be going to,” or Mystery of Love “the city gates at twilight, and a red ship sinking, behind winter’s grey wall.” I’m also partial to dark piano music (well, that’s all year round) but especially Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata or Chopin’s Suffocation.
Fall also awakens my desire to read poetry. Sylvia Plath is a favorite. I have an audio recording of her reading her poems taped before and after her divorce, and the change in her voice is chilling. It sounds like an entirely different person. She uses the death imagery associated with rooks–in bare trees and against the sky. It makes the hair stand on my arms to see flocks of them circle my yard and roost in my trees. I want to shoo them away. She writes of a cold, November Graveyard: “The scene stands stubborn: skinflint trees/Hoard last year’s leaves, won’t mourn, wear sackcloth, or turn/To elegiac dryads…” Yesterday I thought of Fever 103 all day because I was sick: “Darling, all night/I have been flickering, off, on, off, on./The sheets grow heavy as a lecher’s kiss.” It stays with me today with this stubborn fever. (I found both of these poems on Youtube. Follow the links to hear the difference in her voice.)
I want to indulge in my autumn moodiness through these musicians and poets. It feels good, now. But in January when the holidays are over and the trees are frozen sticks I’ll be looking forward to the warmth of my summer music, and Jason Mraz, and Carbon Leaf, and Bob Marley.
God, they’re so far off.