I have always found poetry a tad dry and music a tad frivolous hence I never identified myself as an enthusiast of either. So when fate intrduced me to the works of Tanya Davis I felt I had finally found the missing link.
Davis’ style is an embodiment of all things queer. Her spoken word poetry set to music is fluid, simple, beautiful. It is clear and precise. It is short and heart-felt. It pours out from a place of infinite truth and utmost purity. There is no pretention and there is no ostentatious display of word or rhyme. She is a peasant poet – limited in words but not in depth or range of emotions.
Davis works from Halifax, Nova Scotia and has toured internationally. On one of her tours she performed her piece ‘Subtlety’ at Words Aloud 9. From the moment she launches into the poem with the revelatory lines – ‘Subtlety was never my speciality, and so without much thought to consequence I showed my heart and soul to many’ you are hooked. You see her break herself down and lay herself out as flawed as she is. Yet, there is such power in her vulnerability that it can make the coldest hearts betray a tremble.
Her collaboration with Andrea Dorfman has given to the present generation of facebook afflicted teens and young adults alike the best guide to being with oneself. Tanya Davis’ poem ‘How to be Alone’ with Dorfman’s quirky and heart-warming animation shuns the concept of being in the constant company of people and shows the path of being self-sufficienct, complete and fulfilled in one’s own company.
‘Eulogy for You and Me’ again set to animation by Andrea Dorfman from Davis’ third album ‘Clocks and Hearts keep going’ is a masterpiece.
‘The clock is gonna turn back soon the season is already changing,
We said goodbye for the final time and my room needs rearranging,
The sidewalk is full of people and leaves and we’re all turning colors,
I want more radiance and less green this season is my perfect lover ,
Long nights for more dreaming short days to fill real and fast,
Sweaters for my heart’s safe-keeping, for my soul’s heating, through the cold of winter to last ‘
It portrays the soft sorrow of love lost and the pangs of moving on, set to the tune of the weather that says out with the old and on with the new. Hope resides besides wretchedness and the desire to tread forward with the intense longing for the past. A case in contradictions and the nature of human life Eulogy relates to each and everyone of us probably why the author named it ominously as ‘for you and me’.
For everyone tired of the firm-set genres of poetry and music and who would like to take chances with the queer side of things Tanya Davis is a must try. She will leave you spell-bound.