Five of Swords

5 of Swords from Anecdotes Tarot: Two pigeons on a tombstone

When the sky goes pink in Paris, France,
do you think of the girl who used to dance
when you’d frame her moving within your hands,
saying This I won’t forget?

Joanna Newsom, “The Things I Say” (Divers, 2015)

Image Description

A sword blade sticks up from the top of a gray tombstone that features a carving of a woman dancing in an oval wreath. The words “This I Won’t Forget” are carved on ribbons over the wreath. Two gray pigeons with pink and green feathers sit facing each other on top of the tombstone, and three more birds can be seen flying through the pink clouds in the air.


Like “The Things I Say” on Divers, the Five and Six of Swords act as a crossing between the two halves of the suit, where time flows both backward and forward. Through the association with XV. Monkey, temptation is the province of number Five. Here, the temptation is to relive painful memories and to feel sorry for oneself, recounting “lists of sins and solemn vows.” The memorial can also serve as a guiding principle, and the Sword atop the tombstone is a reminder of the need to look upward, too.