Thursday, November 1, 2007

Possession (Sarah McLachlan)

Feeling swamped - this seems to segue nicely into post-Halloween... :-)

My friend M told me the backstory of this song many years ago - spooky indeed...

Tell me about writing "Possession." Were you writing from a male point of view?

Yes. I tried to put myself into their shoes, into the mind of someone who is so obsessed with another person that they could conceive murdering them. It took me awhile to justify that one. As a woman, living with that fear in the back of your mind every day with the possibility of being raped. And so, it's kind of weird for me, but then I save myself in the third verse by saying I'd never really act on it, except in my dreams. And maybe that's putting me into a false sense of reality, but it did help. Not just that, but writing the whole song, was kind of a cleansing thing for me, because I had two people in particular who just became incredibly intense with the fantasy world that they created, and demanded that that was reality and we had to be together. And they went to great lengths to make this happen. It became frightening, but it ticked me off that I had to look over my shoulder every time I walked out the door. There was one point where I was told I'd have to have a bodyguard. It was like, screw that, I don't want to live in fear. It makes me so angry.

POEM: Her Kind by Anne Sexton

I have gone out, a possessed witch,
haunting the black air, braver at night;
dreaming evil, I have done my hitch
over the plain houses, light by light:
lonely thing, twelve-fingered, out of mind.
A woman like that is not a woman, quite.
I have been her kind.

I have found the warm caves in the woods,
filled them with skillets, carvings, shelves,
closets, silks, innumerable goods;
fixed the suppers for the worms and the elves:
whining, rearranging the disaligned.
A woman like that is misunderstood.
I have been her kind.

I have ridden in your cart, driver,
waved my nude arms at villages going by,
learning the last bright routes, survivor
where your flames still bite my thigh
and my ribs crack where your wheels wind.
A woman like that is not ashamed to die.
I have been her kind.

QUOTE: "Passion, though a bad regulator, is a powerful spring." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


  1. Susan, your memory is so much better than mine...sigh...I don't recall the conversation at all and am reading this with fresh eyes. The song is so hauntingly beautiful. I do remember reading the book "with" you,

  2. Hey, M ~

    That CD, Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, remains in my bedroom 5-disc changer - each song, and the mood it evokes, is perfection...

    Hard to believe it's been ten years - October 1997 was a very good month for haunting... :-)