cosmia – joanna newsom

now i can’t not focus on the moth on the ys album art but i think that’s okay because moths are pretty life-enriching. joanna holds to us a pinned and framed dun-bar moth or the cosmia trapezina which is part of the noctuidae family. i don’t think we get this particular moth in new zealand but there are apparently over 160 noctuidae species here out and about to make up for this lack. this isn’t too surprising as noctuidae is the largest family. these are the ones that are very typically moth-like and maybe too moth-like in that they are coloured drably, fly at night and are attracted to light. much of this imagery and metaphors associated are used by newsom in the music. noctuidae are also called owlet moths.

beneath the porch light/we’ve all been circling/
beat our dust hearts/singe our flour wings/
but in the corner/something is happening!/
wild Cosmia/what have you seen?/

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