Sufjan Stevens: Casimir Pulaski Day

Many months back, I mentioned to Ben that I had been looping Sufjan Stevens’ Casimir Pulaski Day incessantly. He mentioned to me that the lyrics to that song were quite good, and had moved him on more than one occasion to sadness. At the time, I was only really hearing the music, the notes.

“Listen to the lyrics,” he told me. “They’re heartbreaking.”

This morning I had that song playing in the bathroom, as I was getting ready for work. I had stopped to pull out the CD liner and was looking over the words to the song. And yes, I welled up a little bit. I didn’t full on cry at all, but came pretty close.

The way the phrases keep folding in on themselves is one of the main attractions for me, to this song. It’s weird, but I thought of poetic forms like villanelles or pantoums, the way those forms require certain lines to be repeated as the poem progresses. I’m fan of both poetic forms, and I really like the way this song folds back into itself at each stanza.

Someday soon, I’ll post it on the audioplayer.

// Edit: Just found a link to the mp3 online. Check it out here.

// 2017 Edit: This post was done before YouTube was around. Take a listen to the song here.

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