Video: St. Vincent; February 21, 2010; Diesel Club, Pittsburgh, PA

St. Vincent, a.k.a. Annie Clark, takes her stage name from Dylan Thomas, a Welsh Romantic poet. In 1953, he died at New York’s St. Vincent’s Catholic Medical Center.

There are a few theories about why he died: was it alcohol, diabetes, or heart attack? Or something else, or all of the above? There has never been a consensus. When asked about why she chose that specific moniker, Ms. Clark replied, “Because that is where poets go to die.”

I recently had the pleasure of seeing her perform and I found her live show to be charming, whimsical, and yes, poetic. So much so that I decided to film the encore and share it with all of you. I also thought a piece by Mr. Thomas entitled “The Map of Love” would serve as a nice artistic accompaniment to St. Vincent’s musical poetry. Read, watch and listen below.

The Map of Love (1939)

Because the pleasure-bird whistles
I make this in a warring absence
When all my five and country senses
We lying by seasand
It is the sinners’ dust-tongued bell
make me a mask
The spire cranes
After the funeral
Once it was the colour of saying
Not from this anger
How shall my animal
The tombstone told
On no work of words
A saint about to fall
If my head hurt a hair’s foot
Twenty-four years

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