Prompt: Listen to the song below and write anything you want about how it makes you feel.
This isn’t a song, it’s a poem. But read aloud in Leonard Cohen’s distinctive voice, it’s hauntingly beautiful and the fact that we’re listening to it posthumously make it even more poignant.
Have you ever read your poetry aloud? Recorded yourself for others to hear your poetry in your own voice? I have. I feel ridiculous reading my own poetry. I don’t have a voice like Leonard Cohen. I mean, it’d be weird if I did, because his voice coming out of a 39 year old woman would be a bit odd. But I guess I feel like I just sound very average and amateurish. I don’t have the kind of voice that people hear and think ‘Ooh, she should narrate audio books, what a great voice!’ I guess my New Zealand accent makes me more distinctive, but that’s about it.
But does it matter that my voice doesn’t sound like Leonard Cohen’s? My poetry is not like his either, so, maybe my poetry is meant to be read aloud with a voice like mine. I can’t see anyone being all excited to buy an album of me reading my poetry aloud after I’m dead though (or even before then) so alas, no Leonard Cohen-istic fame for me.
I do sometimes (too often) think about what my ‘legacy’ will be after I’m gone, and how much (more) people will treasure what I’ve written/created. No one in real life is remotely interested in reading my poetry now. Not even the slightest. Caitie feigns polite interest if I show her a poem. Mum doesn’t like my poems because they don’t rhyme, but she likes my short stories (I don’t share the m/m ones with her). That’s about it. I know that people would be sad if I died, but would they care about my poetry and short stories and my blog posts? Probably not. They’d probably keep them just because they knew they were important to me. Maybe after time had gone past, someone would want to read back over those and they’d appreciate and cherish them. Maybe because I was so prolific, they wouldn’t. If there was one or two poems, they might be more important than 500 poems that are just tiresome. Who knows? Chances are, I never will.
“Maybe we all need to leave our children with a value legacy, and not a financial one. A value for things with a personal touch – an autographed book, a soul-searching letter.” ~ Lakshmi Pratury
Until I die, my poetry, my short stories, my blog posts and memorabilia and everything else in my life, only have the value that I attach to them. And that’s quite interesting, because I think too often people don’t value themselves highly enough, myself included, yet we value our creative works. I am more than my creative works – I’m a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend, an employee… But those are all relationships, and whether I’m a good wife can only be determined by my husband, and whether I’m a good mother can only be determined by my children and so on… If you take away my relationships AND my creative works – my writing, my photography, etc. – what’s left? I can’t think of much. I guess we’re the sum total of who we are to others AND who we are to ourselves, and I guess I see myself from those two perspectives – as a creative person and as half of all those relationships I mentioned above.
Hmm, that went weird places, huh?