Monday, 11 October 2010

The Little Bird and the Monster

Monday morning in my "Reading Poetry" class, and we were taking it in turns to read out poems we had selected. I chose to read out the song "Vicarious" by Tool, a band I have always been extremely impressed with, due to the outstanding quality of the music, the bizarre alternative realities they portray in their music videos, especially this one, and the wonderfully immersive experience that is seeing them live. The song is about how we are thrilled by watching tragedy on the TV, vicariously, in a safe environment, and challenges people to admit it.

Now it has to be said that some of the imagery in their videos is a bit dark. After playing the class the video we moved on to another poem, a wonderfully sweet message of hope entitled, appropriately enough, "Hope" by Emily Dickinson. Which is when things started to turn really bizarre.

The tutor accidentally hit the "replay" button as she was rolling up the screen that the video had been projected on. The sound had been turned off, so she didn't notice that the video was playing again on the wall behind her.  

So as we were discussing the imagery of the little bird in the Emily Dickinson poem, how the fact that it can fly represents freedom, and how the little bird of hope has kept "so many warm", Tool were showing us otherworldy wormlike creatures slithering around an apocalyptic-type landscape, telling us "don't look at me like I am a monster".


By Jane Playdon

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