Saturday, July 22, 2006

Nightswimming (R. E. M.)

Language: Portuguese

This is very likely my favorite
R. E. M. song ever, and it's up there in the top 50 songs period, probably, unless I think of others. (I've never sat down and tried to come up with a list, which is strange, since it's totally the kind of thing I would do.) Though as soon as I say that, I'm going to think of another song of theirs that I think is better.

(Well, "Belong" is nice. Though I'm not sure it's better. And I probably couldn't get away with using a picture of a bioluminescent squid for "Belong." It'd depend on what you envision for the "those creatures jumped the barricades" lines.)

In any case. I like it, a lot of other people like it, and if you're still reading this, then odds are good that you think it's at least okay.


Squid photo by Dany Weinberg, found through Pharyngula

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Nightswimming deserves a quiet night.
The photograph in the dashboard:
the years have made an examination,
the lathe stops, turned in backwards, thus the windscreen shows.
Each streetlight discloses the reversed picture.
Still, it is very clear.
I forgot myself, my shirt, in the edge of the water.
The night's moon is low today.

Nightswimming deserves a quiet night.
I am not certain I understand all these people.
He isn't, as he has years. He stopped the fear to start, of recklessness and the water.
They cannot see me undressed.
These things, leave, substituted for daily.

Nightswimming, remembering this night.
Septembers that come soon. I pine for the moon.
Two, side by side in the orbit around the sun. Will that be more just?
That shining drum, pressed forever,
could not describe nightswimming.

I thought that you knew it.
I cannot judge who you
thought that you knew: me, you, him. Quiet,
this laughing at my breath, underneath.

The photograph reflects that, each streetlight is a reminder.
Nightswimming deserves a quiet night,
deserves a quiet night.

1 comment:

Samantha Moss said...

I always just assumed the creatures in "Belong" were lemmings, but last night I saw March of the Penguins.

So I guess I'm saying now I think of them as lemmings that all look like Bill Berry.