How to Be Alone: a poem with music and video


36 Responses to “How to Be Alone: a poem with music and video”

  1. Jonathan Badger says:

    She’s not alone — she has a kitty. One that actually looks like my kitty, actually.

    • rtresco says:

      She also has a cameraperson. I just feel bad that she’s obviously felt persecuted in the past for being alone and had to go out and get a cat and a camerperson.

  2. ephcee says:

    Hey! I live there! And I live alone with my cat!

    So I liked it.

    Although the coffee shops around here are so packed with “alone” and sometimes shoeless hipsters it can be really hard to be that contemplative.

  3. toyg says:

    As a married man with kids, I can say that sometimes I miss being alone… but all the single friends I know don’t even try to pretend they like it anymore. Like homelessness, it’s all very poetic until you actually have to live it.

    (Some commenters here would probably feel more at ease in 4chan, which better caters to their tastes.)

    • Snowrunner says:

      Everything has it’s pros and cons and ups and downs.

      Yes, being single at times sucks, but at other times it’s great. Much like being married is great and sucks at other times.

      Overall there isn’t just one thing that’s “right” or “wrong”, I think for most people there is a need for balance.

  4. jamesneysmith says:

    Halifax, Nova Scotia represent! This is beautiful and makes me proud of my city for some reason (it’s somewhat indicitive of the tight arts and music community in our small city)

  5. KremlinLaptop says:

    First off from the stand point of composition and so forth this very well done and the presentation is top notch. Kudos on that, seriously I have no purely objective complaints. So begins the rant.

    The content? Absolutely infuriating. The overly eager tweeness (and possibly my subtle dislike for Canadian accents, I know, what the hell is my problem they’re the nicest people on earth, eh?) of the whole affair caused a near instant aversion. I’m not certain how it would feel to be drowned in honey, but I do imagine this is the poetic equivalent.

    Especially lines such as the one about going to the woods alone, “the squirrels and trees will watch for you.” Life is not a Disney film! If you go walk around woods alone here there will be fucking MOOSE and motherfucking BEARS who will go, “Waddafuckya doin’ in my woods?” at which they will eat your liver — well not the moose — and the squirrels will be like, “What a dumb bastard,” and the trees will be like “…”.



    (I’ll go eat some pie now.)

    • Anonymous says:

      You should make your poem into a video. Go!

    • Anonymous says:

      I just wanted you to know that I both really enjoyed the poem/video and REALLY ENJOYED your comment. I probably laughed for five minutes over the moose and bear bit.

      Thanks for the bit of humor. :)

    • Sagodjur says:

      Not all poetry is meant to be taken literally.
      If you cannot abide the florid imagery
      perhaps you should just avoid the poetry
      but then you might be lacking spiritually.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sir I agree with you. Life is not a disney movie. But poetry is not so much literal that the content should always be taken literally. As a poet sometimes the words themselves carry a feeling and meaning not exactly in accordance with what they are typically defined as. It is creative license. It is the beauty of poetry and song. It doesn’t have to be completely real or true in a literal or factual sense. it is true in however the author or writer means it to be. It is art.

      But I will say that as a writer (note i am not the author of this poem) criticism is a good thing. Have a nice day.

  6. Anonymous says:

    parts of it sound like “how to get yourself raped” (go to the woods, sit lonely on a bench, go to a club where no one knows you and dance like hell until you are really sweaty,….).

    but still, i like it.

  7. Unmutual says:

    Reminds of of that “Marcell the shell with shoes on”

  8. jonw says:

    got to agree with anon. like the video, like the first comment. being alone in the jack london outdoor sense is dangerous and is a big part of human evolution to becoming a social animal who is also able to survive in solitude…

  9. Possession says:

    Halifax, Nova Scotia is one of the best places in Canada. Hanging out at Gus’s Pub may be the only known cure for all you cynical internet critics.

  10. Eric Ragle says:

    I thought this poem was brilliant. I felt like I wanted to take pride in my frequent time alone, as well as hug Ms. Davis for expressing herself so well.

    Was it me or did she up the cadence about 3/4ths of the way in? It didn’t feel like a tempo change for a climax of the poem, just a sudden insertion of a different style, just for the hell of it. Anyway, I loved it. Thanks for posting it Cory.

  11. imag says:

    Thank you, Tanya and Andrea. This is such a gorgeous piece of creation. The poem, the sound of voice, the music, the animation, the quiet awesome in the whole thing…

    Thank you. I was just stressing about a landlord who is being mean to my wife and I; this gentle art really helped my morning out.

    I wish I could be alone for the day… :)

  12. Anonymous says:

    i love you.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Eh, I’ve been alone. My problem is more when there are other people around. Of course, that’s why I moved. Far, far away from other people.

  14. Dorkomatic says:

    Sensible advice.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I just broke up with my fiancee of four years, was kicked out of the house, and moved back across the country, to the city I left once already this spring. I have no job, and lots of health problems, and am living out of a suitcase on a friend’s futon. I’m almost 30. I’ve been terrified of being alone. I’m still terrified of being alone. But I’m getting more writing done, and thinking done. And I think I will watch this video every day.

  16. DeWynken says:

    asshat commenter #1: gfy

    the video is happily floating along my friends list on fb like a small errant leaf in the wind..

  17. usagizero says:

    Load of hipster BS.

    Try being alone and falling down the stairs, hurt, and unable to get help.
    Choking on something, if lucky you can do the solo thing to get it good.
    Pretty much anything happening where you need help, but have no one to help.

    This girl isn’t alone, she has friends who will help her make this annoying video, and is probably having tons of people coming up to talk to her. Single doesn’t equal alone. A middle aged (or even over 30) male alone comes off as being a “creep”.

    It’s not a bad thing to not “need” other people, but we are social creatures, it’s in our basic biology and psychology.

    • 2hirondelles says:

      We aren’t all ‘social creatures’. Some of us are introverts, and quite happy all on our own, thank you very much.

      Ugly Canuck #24: hear, hear!

    • Phasma Felis says:

      If someone wrote a poem about liking steak, would you rail that eating nothing but steak fo breakfast, lunch, and dinner is bad for you?

  18. Astragali says:

    @KremlinLaptop: I think this explains why your poetic license was revoked.

    @Cory: I love the term “mildly poleaxed”! Being poleaxed always seemed more definite than that to me. I plan to use it for my next apology:

    “Sorry I’m late for work – I was mildly poleaxed on the bus.”
    “Sounds painful.”
    “Only slightly.”
    “It does explain why you’re walking oddly, though.”

  19. chubs says:

    Her new CBC commissioned poem for the fall, “Peaceful & Crimson” is even better (in my opinion).

  20. Anonymous says:

    Great little day-spirit lifter.

    BTW, what kind of guitar was that? Some kind of Mustang/Tele hybrid?

  21. Anonymous says:

    can I have the narrator read the lyrics to “sleeper in metropolis” please. and anne clark read her poem as well?

    greetings to braunschweig.

    why was my “parts of it read like how-to-get-raped-in-5-easy-steps” not passed on? :(

  22. KremlinLaptop says:

    Personal attacks because I don’t like the content of the poem? I’m not even on of those insufferable people who barges about the comments going, “THIS IS NOT A WONDERFUL THING,” because I think this could very well be a wonderful thing to some people — just not me.

    So why did I watch it then, now again, and comment? Because I do like the general composition and flow of it; it is a good poem but on a personal level it gets to me like a cheese grater down a chalkboard. I’m not obligated to like everything I consume and I’m not barred from having a viewpoint on stuff I dislike.

  23. forgeweld says:

    How do you leave masturbation out of a poem like that?

  24. Scuba SM says:

    Tanya Davis is also a musician, and you can listen to more of her music at:

  25. Anonymous says:

    Touching little piece, very sweet. I loved it.

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