As I’ve been reading The Art of Losing: Poems of Grief and Healing, a collection edited by Kevin Young, I’ve considered how this book might have worked as a dynamic text. Two songs that I keep playing in my head while thinking about scoring the book, if you will, are Don Henley’s “The Heart of the Matter” and Mike & the Mechanics’ “The Living Years.” Both songs confront different forms of loss. Henley’s song contemplates the end of a romantic relationship and the Mechanics’ song addresses regret upon the death of a loved one.

Henley asks a question in “The Heart of the Matter” that I find compelling and also apt in its description of history: “How can love survive in such a graceless age?” I’m hard pressed to name an age in U.S. history and culture that wasn’t “graceless;” the contemporary moment certainly fits this description. Rather than despair, as I am wont to do, these images offer some consolation that kindness and compassion are possible:

4f24965ad39b1f4765c4c08f74f8257d

b548d948de8f22967d6a0d718ea2d517

c59202fef882f1dc5c2a65bb5570c038

e0d88af955ceaaaea6e546acc33eb9f3

ef71547ee5d958aadc3d13cea6b12054

Advertisements