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  • Ana Savković

Florence Welch: Words that Grew Wings and Monsters that Demand Sacrifices

Birmingham Museums Trust; The Briar Rose Series - Study for 'The Garden Court' by Sir Edward Burne-Jones

Source: Unsplash, downloaded (13.2.2020.)

Monarch Butterflies

I am afraid of things being written down Confined to the page so permanent There is an impermanence to song It is fleeting and of the moment Words grow wings Flying and out of the mouths of singers and crowds But never caught fully Never pinned down Celebrated for their imperfections Because they are a disappearing creation They live entirely in the moment A vibration, an exchange of enеrgy And that way things can be misheard... Reintеrpreted, you don't have to be seen You can be so loud so visible and yet Totally hidden By a flock of notes fluttering, already dying, Disguising the somewhat ordinary if anxious writer With their shimmering glory and colour My grandfather said I am Like the monarch butterfly That got lost I flew from North America In the eye of my mother... Drawn to the churches, frescos And old books of Europe The new world too new Back to grey stone and skies Ancient scrolls, death and dust Old death, not this fresh death There in your hand Glowing and Relentless


The song speaks in grand prophecies

Older and wiser than me

Trying to out-think death and out-swim the sea

How would I speak

If it was just me

Not full of choirs, singing fucking constantly

How would I speak

If the song left me

That strange knowing entity

Man nor woman

Genderless, luminous

And free

Left me as it found me

Hollowed out

Self absorbed

Checking my phone and watching TV


So you start to take pieces of your life

and somewhat selfishly

other people's lives

and feed them to the song

At what cost

This wondrous creature

that becomes more precious to you

than the people that you took from

How awful

To make human sacrifices:

a late-night conversation

a private thought

all placed upon the altar,

but you can't help making a monster

Source: Useless Magic (Welch, F. (2018.) Useless Magic, Fig Tree)


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The image of Quasimodo is by French artist Louis Steinheil, which appeared in  the 1844 edition of Victor Hugo's "Notre-Dame de Paris" published by Perrotin of Paris.


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