Musician Lupe Fiasco released a song called Wave File on his album Drogas wave https://genius.com. The central idea of the song is when blacks were on slave ships they would jump off the ships and become one with the sea and create pathways back to Africa. “Get back to our nation, oh Lord

So we walkin’ back to Africa

And I found a detour to the seashore

Yes, jumped off the deck

To leave footsteps on the depths of the seafloor”, And how black society is angry that Poseidon the God of the ocean allowed slave owners to use the sea to steal them and put them into slave trades “Poseidon apologized and said that I’m sorry, we’re shelter

Y’all can live down here forever”. This line shows the poseidons affection for blacks so he offers them a chain of an eternal afterlife in the sea. He also speaks on Africans speaking with the trees to figure out why they were allowed to use their wood for boats and heat to take blacks away from their land this shows that the trees feel ashamed and want to offer them wood for shelter. He uses personification to show the connection between nature and man. Later in the 4th verse, he talks about how the stars went against them with lines like “ Conversations with the constellations While you navigate the haters, black baby alligator baiters Supposed to do greater” saying that the stars should have been warning them about who was coming but instead guided those who did wrong by them to their homeland. He uses personification to show the relationship through the help and affect the starts had during slavery when escaping slavery. And in return, the stars would form specific shapes to help slaves escape to freedom during slavery and give them the ability to accomplish great things with their time here. Throughout the song Fiasco’s Audience is towards blacks themselves and other races who want to see things from a different perspective.

Thats That, an Ode to Lyricism

This song, “That’s That“, by veteran rapper MF Doom, serves a different purpose than most songs and poems we study in this class. Instead of focusing on one central theme throughout the song, this song is more of a showcase to the writing and performing abilities of MF Doom. This song is from the album “Born Like This”, which came after he took a multiple year hiatus from creating and releasing music. This is likely why this song is more about showcasing his skilful writing than a single general theme, as he was proving to fans and critics that he has just as much writing talent as ever. Figurative language, allusion, and a complex and constantly changing rhyme scheme are present throughout the song, and add to the deep personal allegories that he shares. Each aspect makes the others more impressive, as he so creativly and seemingly effortlessly connects completley differnet observations, ideas, refrences, and stories.

It is worthwhile to examine some of the refrences Doom makes to politics, life, and other forms of media as they are always related to a theme that is discussed in the song. I do not need to include more than a single line from the song in order to fully examine and delve into his writing skills, as each line has so many different refrences and examples of poetic devices that it would take pages to explain. Doom explains the background of his parents using the line, “Mama was a ho hopper, papa was a Rolling Stone star like Obama”, the first part of the line about his mother mostly exists to compliment the deep connection he makes about his father, or to reflect his mother’s attitude towards his father or men in general. Obama has appeared on many Rolling Stone covers, and calling his own father a ‘Rolling Stone Star’, is likely a refrence to his father’s rock star like behavior. Obama’s father had abandoned him and his mother at a young age, much like the behavior of Doom’s father, whom he describes in other songs in a negative light as he abandoned him and his mother.

Doom criticizes artists ether inferior to them in music/rap, or those who he believes are following the masses. The beginning of the song not only disrespects other artists and the state of the hip hop game, but makes a point about various political and social problems that exist today. Doom compares less succesful artists in rap who follow trends to political figures. He criticizes artists who believe that violence, drugs, and otherwise criminal behaviors are necessary in order to make hip hop music or be a part of the culture. He also criticizes those who enlist in the military as an alternative to prison, and compares them to figures in politics who are weak on their opinions, and simply flip to whatever side is the most profitable. This theme is echoed throughout the poem, but there is one line that I believe is a commentary on both of these topics, “Cornish hens, switching positions, auditioning morticians-
Saw it in a vision, ignoring prison-Ignoramuses enlist and sound dumb”. This line uses “cornish hens”, which are a type of hen that are raised to be slaughtered, and are mass produced and packed together, to compare them to the actions of these groups. “Switching positions, auditioning morticians”, is likely about our political leaders, who are seemingly switching positions to whatever side is the most popular, and are willing to audition/pay those to do their dirty work. Since Doom is not on the side of war, he disrespects those are enlist to get out of prison. Not only does he believe their actions were sadly inspired by a music culture that promotes drugs and violence, but they are also still just as captive as soldiers, risking their lives for the government, as they are prisoners.

Doom wraps up the song with a hook that proves this song is truly a testament to his lyrical skills. This time singing, “Can it be I stayed away too long?-Did you miss these rhymes when I was gone?-As you listen to these crazy tracks-Check them stats then you know where I’m at”. In my eyes, and likely the eyes of any hip hop fan or literature buff. Doom is a lyrical mastermind, and this song perfectly showcases this in so many ways. The hook wraps the song up with a steady decline from the fast paced, rhyme heavy, and deeply meaningful bars that came previously. This is a refrence to his hiatus from making music, and the fact that this song showcases his abilities so well, and parodies a Jackson 5 song titled, “I Wanna Be Where You Are

Ode to the Golden Past

Ode to the golden past

An era still unknown

But yet, it does not last

When the demons are shown

Mostly all obfuscate

Especially to you

Yet unlike those of late

These have 1 horn, not 2

Please be gentle with the critiques, I wrote this over the span of 3 hours.

To be a Rock

In 1966 as part of their Sophomore album, Sounds of Silence the folk rock band released the song I am a Rock. It is, in every sense of the word, human. It is a hauntingly beautiful song about despair, isolation, and the pain we feel from others. If you want the lyrics to the song simply google the phrase “lyrics to I am a Rock”, it’s the first thing to come up. 

When the ones you love hurt you, all you can do is hide away in solitude. When the first lyrics are sung, a sense a somber austerity arises. The first stanza is a description by the narrator of a dark and dreary December morning sequestered in his abode. Here he stairs out his window and sees the fresh snow. Finalized by the repeated mantra throughout the song, “I am a Rock, I am an Island”. These are the most important lines in the song. The narrator is trying to shut himself off from the world around him. All the while rejecting and throwing away what makes him human. He becomes an inhuman, isolated, a rock, an island. 

The theme of self made isolation continues in the second stanza. It it it states 

“I’ve built walls

A fortress deep and mighty

That none may penetrate

I have no need of friendship, friendship causes pain

It’s laughter and it’s loving I disdain” 

From this we clearly see that the narrator is done with human interaction after being repeatedly burned one too many times. This doubles back to what it said about the innate humanity in this song. This is a feeling or a since many of us have felt betrayed and alone, we can only lock ourselves away from what hurts us. 

The rest of the poem has many more idiosyncrasies with this, but it’s better for you to listen to yourself. But I would like to talk about the final lines of the song. Out of all of them they are perhaps the most somber and beautiful, “a rock feels no pain, and an island never cries”. This last stinger at the end is like a knife in the heart, bringing together all the song stand for, that if your not human, you can’t be hurt. I am a rock, I am an island. 


The song, “Photograph” by Ed Sheeran is part of his second studio album Multiply (X). The song was inspired by one of his ex-girlfriends and the lyrics portray a long-distance relationship. In the song, Sheeran urges his partner to look at a photograph of the two of them when things get tough and remember the good times. Throughout the song, Sheeran expresses the theme of love. He explains both the advantages and disadvantages and the impacts it has on people’s lives.

Sheeran begins the song with the lyrics: “Loving can hurt, loving can hurt sometimes”. The use of repetition in this line reinforces the idea that love is not perfect. It is much more complex than just romance. It can come with disappointment, loss of freedom, and vulnerability. It is common for love to cause pain, but it can also make you feel alive.

Loving can hurt, loving can hurt sometimes

But it’s the only thing that I know

When it gets hard, you know it can get hard sometimes

It is the only thing that makes us feel alive

He then continues the idea of love with the line: “We keep this love in a photograph”. Every photograph holds a story because they have the power to keep memories alive. The man referred to in the lyrics tells the woman that if she misses him, she can always look at a photograph of him and revive memories. Through a photograph, she will have the power to take him wherever she goes.

We keep this love in a photograph

We made these memories for ourselves

Where our eyes are never closing

Hearts are never broken

And time’s forever frozen still

This next line uses imagery in order to emphasize the idea that a man can still be in a woman’s heart forever even if he may not be present with her physically. With the use of imagery, Sheeran reveals the importance of photographs. As we keep them with us, we are able to continue living on with the memories that we created.

So you can keep me inside the pocket of your ripped jeans

Holding me closer ’til our eyes meet

You won’t ever be alone, wait for me to come home

The line “That’s okay baby, only words bleed” uses personification. By attributing human characteristics to words, it shows how words may seem painful in the moment, but that pain is temporary. Words are powerful and that unlike physical wounds, mental wounds left by words can leave a bigger impact.

And if you hurt me

That’s okay baby, only words bleed

Inside these pages you just hold me

And I won’t ever let you go

Wait for me to come home

I think the line: “Loving can heal, loving can mend your soul” is really powerful because it reveals the positive aspects of love. Although love can be heartbreaking, it can also strengthen relationships and bring happiness to one’s life. Love is a very powerful feeling because it is pure and real.

Love can heal, loving can mend your soul

And it’s the only thing that I know, know

I swear it will get easier,

Remember that with every piece of you

Hm, and it’s the only thing we take with us when we die

By using different literary devices, expressing emotions, and conveying a long-distance relationship, Photograph is a poetic song because it appeals to the listener’s emotions by presenting the overall theme of love.

Over Soon…

Bon Iver’s song, “22 (Over Soon)“, marks the first song in his 2016 album 22, A Million. This specific album is a complete journey of songs that encapsulate Bon Iver’s own journey in life. With many references to God and Biblical imagery, Bon Iver takes the listener to a tumultuous state in his life with the first song of “22 (Over Soon)”, and ends the album with songs that show his newfound direction in life.

“22 (Over Soon)” is about Bon Iver searching for a direction to take in his life. The first couple of lyrics show his confusion with life, and his realization that nothing lasts forever.

It might be over soon
Where you gonna look for confirmation?

Clearly, Bon Iver is struggling with some kind of decision he has to make before his life is over, or before a huge change occurs in his life. With his repetition of the word “soon” he evokes a sense of urgency, and need to find his path in life. His confusion with direction is directly seen with Bon Iver not knowing where to go for “confirmation”.

It can be inferred that this song is about Bon Iver overcoming his depression as well due to the bright aspects some of his lyrics show. We see in the second verse Bon Iver makes a biblical connection to the Garden of Eden when he says

There isn't ceiling in our garden

In the Bible, the Garden of Eden represents the intimacy God and humanity held with one another. For the first time in history the relationship between God and humanity was perfect. Therefore, by Bon Iver depicting that there was not a ceiling in the garden, he is referring to the serendipitous relationship between Heaven and Earth, unencumbered by a “ceiling”. All in all, with Bon Iver’s use of Biblical imagery, he is able to illustrate the perfection and unity in his life.

However, there is also a dark tone to the song because of the repetition of “over soon” he implicates the idea that his happiness may be over soon as well. With his last two lines, this darkness and depression is clearly seen.

Within a rise there lies a scission 
(It might be over soon)

Here Bon Iver uses a metaphorical phrase to show that even in one’s happiest of times, nothing lasts forever. Bon Iver is saying that acquiring his fame may not have been all that great because any great “rise” is inevitably tied to an inverse “scission”.

Bon Iver’s “22 (Over Soon)” is a multilayered song which refer’s to the quintessential theme of life that in order to find true happiness, one must experience true sadness as well, and that anything, may be over soon.

Where’s The Karma for Life?

Image result for karma ajr

Ajr’s newest album Neotheater contains a total of 12 songs, one of them being called Karma. I consider Karma to be a very poetic song because it contrasts the meaning of the lyrics with the emotion of the music. When you first listen to it, the song is upbeat and it’s suppose to make you feel happy. One might say that this song is a “mood booster.” However, when you begin to hear the lyrics you start to realize that this about a broken man that’s slowly losing hope in life. The beginning of the song starts with the chorus which you don’t hear much nowadays which makes it even more unique. The chorus is:

I’ve been so good, I’ve been helpful and friendly

I’ve been so good, why am I feeling empty?

I’ve been so good, I’ve been so good this year

I’ve been so good, but it’s still getting harder

I’ve been so good, where the hell is the karma?

I’ve been so good, I’ve been so good this year

We’re told the speakers problems just from listening to the song for at most 25 seconds. The speaker tells us that they’ve been helpful and and friendly with others this year, however, they witness that life is only getting harder and they’re not getting anything in return for all the good deeds. This chorus introduces the concept of whether we keep doing good things just for the good feeling or to expect something in return, a quid pro quo. Most people would say to keep doing it for the good feeling, except this speaker shows a problem. The speaker has been doing good things but he’s felt nothing good about the things that he’s done. On top of that, life has been throwing more challenges and obstacles at the singer. From this chorus alone, the singer questions the act of goodness and whether or not he should keep doing it. The first verse goes like this:

Why, are you asking me why?

My days and nights are filled with disappointment

Fine, oh no, everything’s fine

I’m not sure why I booked today’s appointment

In this first verse, it seems the speaker is experiencing a bit of depression because of the fact that they can’t find any enjoyment throughout their entire day. The third and fourth represents him talking to a therapist or a doctor of some sort. Although he booked the appointment himself, he’s doesn’t feel ready yet to open up to his doctor and discuss the problems that he’s been having. After another section of chorus, the second verse is:

What, am I normal or not?

Am I crazier than other patients?

Right, I’ve done everything right

So where’s the karma doc, I’ve lost my patience

The speaker in this verse finally opens up to the doctor and begins to question whether he was the problem. The line “Am I crazier than other patients?” indicates his inner conflict with himself showing how he doesn’t fell normal. The speaker can’t form the definition of “normal” for society so he seeks help from others, like the doctor, who can somehow help him. The speaker truly believes that he’s done everything right, but with the way life is going for him, he wants to get revenge for his pain and suffering.

Karma is very poetic is a sense that it captures the sadness and anger of a man who just wants to live a happy life. Life had been cruel to the speaker for no particular reason and the speaker believes that the only way to combat this is for life to find karma. If life receives karma, then it would have no other choice but to send good things towards the speakers way ensuring a more happier life.

In My Life

In less than 10 years, The Beatles produced over 200 songs, which often makes it hard to come up with a favorite. But,  when I heard “In My Life” for the first time, I just loved it. I think those are the most powerful and even poetic songs: the ones that immediately speak to you, transcend your pain, and stay with you all those years later (and of course what Perrine said too). I have memories even now listening to this with my sister while dropping her off at college, with my dad on any given night, and with myself during stressful moments. 

This is the song that when people tell me they aren’t Beatles fans I tell them they should listen to. Though I’m not as big of a fan of their earlier work, this song is the highlight of their 1965 album Rubber Soul. It’s credited to both Lennon and McCartney, but Lennon wrote most of the lyrics here. It tends to be a favorite among many Beatles fans, and, well I think that’s because it’s one of the most beautiful songs ever. 

The song starts off with a nostalgic tone as Lennon reflects on past places and people in his life. He begins, “There are places I’ll remember/All my life, though some have changed” and continues, “With lovers and friends, I still can recall/Some are dead, and some are living/ In my life, I’ve loved them all”. I think this first verse is particuallry strong because though he uses some vague language, you can tell he looks fondly upon on these memories. To the reader, there is not much specificity, but that really sets up the second half of the song by emphasizing that his current lover is more important to him.

Lennon said that this song was the first time he put his “literary self” into music, and I think that really shows. It has such a reflective and nostalgic tone. He effortlessly discusses the different influential people in his life and how much love he had for all of them. The tone of this song converys the reflection Lennon was doing while he wrote it and pulls the listener in. It makes you stop and reflect on similar people in your own life.

While he begins the song by reflecting on past moments, places, and friends, he quickly transitions to the present in the 2nd verse. He switches to addressing his current, “imaginary” lover (this is pre Yoko Ono). He writes, “But of all these friends and lovers/There is no one compares with you.”

That shift in time is something we’ve seen in a lot of poems. In “Those Winter Sundays” the author shifts from writing about what he remembers to what he understands. Lennon does the same here. I think that shift is an example of multidimensional language as it adds to the overall reflection of the song. He is able to convey how much his current best friend and lover means to him in contrast to past people.

As with many Beatles songs, there is a poetic flow. The lyrics are beautiful and descriptive and the melodies only make it better. On their own, the lyrics are poetry to me because they conjure up images of friends and specific places that Lennon was thinking about at the time.

Towards the end of the song he writes, “For people and things that went before/I know I’ll often stop and think about them/In my life, I’ll love you more.”  “Penny Lane” is famous for literally describing a place, but this song does the same. The images that Lennon creates here are extremely powerful because where his own memories are more vague, you as the listener fill in your own. Perrine, in describing poetry, discussed how it’s about experience and this song fits exactly that. Lennon makes it easy for the listener to understand his experience while reflecting on their own experience with life and meaningful people. 

Eleanor Rigby

The song ,”Eleanor Rigby”, is undeniably a classic. Released on The Beatles’s album Revolver alongside other hits like “Yellow Submarine”, its haunting melody and enigmatic lyrics still grace radio stations and pianos more than fifty years following its release.

As mysterious as the lyrics may seem, the song really serves to highlight the experience of an outcast. It also addresses the hazy border between life an death, and the fact the the outcast is likely to straddle this border. The Beatles likely never intended the song to consist of a true story. They do give a voice to people who likely don’t have much of one because they don’t have others to support them, or are rejected by society. Ultimately, “Eleanor Rigby” is more than just a random story about a person named Eleanor Rigby. The Beatles address the effects that isolation has on a person, and how the lack of acceptance likely causes the person to die leaving no obvious imprint on the lives of others.

Throughout the song, The Beatles intertwine the two stories of Eleanor Rigby and Father Mackenzie. Before describing the two subjects, however, The Beatles introduce the song by including them among “all of the lonely people”. The two characters theoretically know each other because Eleanor Rigby goes to Father Mackenzie’s church, but they don’t ever seem to connect until Eleanor Rigby dies.

Eleanor Rigby

Died in the church and was buried along with her name

Nobody came

Father McKenzie

Wiping the dirt from his hands as he walks from the grave

No one was saved

The two stories emphasize the true effects of isolation. Even though the two lonely people coexist, they never seem to find each other until death. The Beatles state that Eleanor Rigby is “buried along with her name”, which supports the theme that these isolated people often go unnoticed until death.

The Beatles’s use of metaphors also build the theme.

Eleanor Rigby

Picks up the rice in the church where a wedding has been

Lives in a dream

Waits at the window

Wearing the face that she keeps in a jar by the door

Who is it for?

When they reference Eleanor Rigby’s face in a jar, they likely mean that she puts on a different personality. Eleanor Rigby can’t be her true self, even though she is an outcast, which develops the idea that isolation negatively affects a person’s well-being. The use of such a gruesome metaphor also adds to the haunting tone of the song, warning people about the consequences of living on the fringe of society.

Nearly half the lyrics in “Eleanor Rigby” are rhetorical questions.

All the lonely people

Where do they all come from?

All the lonely people

Where do they all belong?

Like the metaphors, the questions also develop the eerie tone of the song. However, they do so because they leave the listener to form their own answers. Strangely enough, The Beatles don’t state their theme directly. Instead, the theme emerges through their rhetorical questions, because they leave the listener thinking about possible answers. For instance, one could interpret the answer to the line “Where do they all belong?” as a statement about how society rejects the outcasts. One could also interpret the answer to be commentary on the fact that isolated people are more likely to both metaphorically and literally die.

New Person, Same Old Mistakes

Link to the lyrics

As its name indicates, “Currents,” Tame Impala’s most recent album, is one about change. Tame Impala itself, or rather Kevin Parker, has gone from a relatively underground psychedelic rock band to gold, platinum, and eventually worldwide renown with awards and honors like a Grammy nomination. Reflecting this rapid change in fans, fame, relationships, and style, “Currents” beginning first with moments of change with songs like “Let It Happen” and “The Moment,” realization of change with the aptly titled “Yes I’m Changing” and “Reality in Motion,” and a moment of introspection with the final song, “New Person, Same Old Mistakes”.

As the conclusion to a thematically dense album,”New Person, Same Old Mistakes,” in addition to having a killer bassline and dream-like vocals, offers a response to how to deal with change. Through questions, contrasts, and multiple perspectives, Tame Impala conveys the theme that although one will naturally be conflicted over whether or not their change was correct, change is still worthwhile because one desires to change and can learn from it.

“New Person, Same Old Mistakes” begins with the narrator asserting how they’ve found something new that’s changing their tastes. However, after this admission of change, the narrator raises the first contrast,

Two sides of me can’t agree,

that’s swiftly met with the question:

Will I be in too deep?

The contrast of sides introduces the theme that change brings internal conflict with it. The question then vocalizes the internal disagreements over the change. This doubt is then met with the response,

Going with what I always longed for,

that demonstrates the contrast between one’s doubts and longing. The first verse ends on this note, demonstrating that change causes internal conflict, although maybe conflict worth going for, as change may be what’s needed for fulfillment.

Tame Impala then uses constant shifts in perspectives from the chorus to articulate the doubts one has with change, biggest of all being whether or not one can and/or should change. The chorus begins with one voice repeating phrases like,

Feel like a brand new person

I don’t care, I’m in love

I finally know what it’s like

that Tame Impala interweaves with a more doubtful voice,

But you’ll make the same old mistakes

You don’t have what it takes

There’s too much at stake

These two parallel perspectives demonstrate both the ecstasy and self-doubt that change inspires: one feels both renewal and fear. However, one line from the first voice that stands out is “know what it’s like,” as it demonstrates a fundamental shift in character that unlike the love and feeling of newness, won’t fade.

The second verse then bounces back to the more optimistic voice that reinforces the intellectual and personal worth of change with a contrast:

The point is, I have the right

Not thinking in black and white

The contrast in the last line summarizes the point that even though the change may be frightening, it is ultimately an expression of one’s freedom and wisdom. After these lines, several more lines such as the repeated final line of the first verse reinforces the positives of change: one desire it and one learns from it.

After the repeat of the call-and-response chorus, the songs shifts to the more pessimistic voice, the one who calls the narrator “you,” who demonstrates the naturalness and knowledge gained by change. The voice sings,

But maybe your story ain’t so different from the rest

But you’ve got your demons, and she’s got her regrets

A realization is as good as a guess

These lines demonstrate the ultimate positives of change. The first two lines demonstrate how self-doubt is a part of the process of change while the following one demonstrates how change causes “realizations,” gains from change that can substitute for less-informed guesses.

After the bridge, the two voices return for the outro that reiterates the theme that change comes with self-doubt and the chance to fulfill one’s dreams and learn. The interspersed voices convey similar lines from the chorus, however most noticeably, the outro uses questions in much higher frequency,

So, how will I know it’s right?

So, how will I know if I’ve gone too far?

that Tame Impala mixes with the responding voice,

(Stop thinking that the only option).

These final uses of the dual voice and call-and-response demonstrates how change will always create both self-doubt and growth. The first line specifically illustrates the internal question evident in change. However, the response demonstrates how this doubt demonstrates that change isn’t the only option and that change is multifaceted and grows one’s knowledge to the point that they’ll have another option even if the change isn’t ultimately right.

In “New Person, Same Old Mistakes,” Tame Impala uses questions and responses, more than one perspective, and contrasts that demonstrate how even though change will cause doubt and internal conflict, it is worth it because one desires it and can grow from it.

Dead Dogs

The song Dead Dogs was written and performed by the Memphis based artist, Annie DiRusso. About four months ago, Annie DiRusso appeared on my recommended music playlist. I found that she was a relatively up and coming artist that had a small, but dedicated fan-base. I soon fell for her two singles that showcased her lyrical expertise, and her ability to describe the pain of unrequited love. A month ago, DiRusso released the first single of her new album, Dead Dogs. Coincidentally, this single bore the same name as her yet, unreleased new album. What struck me first about this new single, was the captivating album cover. Personally, I judge artists heavily based on their album covers. Now I understand that this may be arrogant and dismissive of the actual quality of their music, but an album cover should set the tone for the proceeding work of art. Therefore, it should be thought out and expressive. The art itself should add to the poetic style. DiRusso’s cover is a vibrant watercolor, that depicts dogs of different breeds stretched out and configured so that they spell the words Dead Dogs.

Image result for annie Dirusso dead dogs

In terms of the music itself, the lyrics and accompanied heavy chords hit right off the bat.

I feel insane/talking at the sky/ trying to send love/ to my dog that died/ Don't know what I think, or a reason why/ Bella would be up there, just chilling with the big guy. 

The first time I heard these lyrics, I was genuinely confused. Is she actually going to be singing about her dog? I realized then, that both her album and song title should be viewed literally. Even though DiRusso presents this song as a pretty typical Indie Rock song, the lyrics invoke a more melancholy feeling that creates a sense of nostalgia in the hearts of listeners. DiRusso began her career by belting our chords about the loss of a lover. Now, DiRusso earnestly shares her despair over the death of her beloved dog. When she describes singing to the sky, she creates a more child-like persona. She innocently misses the company that her dog once provided. Through this, a central theme of the song itself is introduced. DiRusso doesn’t postulate over complicated love affairs, but instead, defends an idea of pure love that has been formed through loving companionship. Poetry is supposed to help individuals expand their experiences or perceptions of the world. By providing her honest remorse, DiRusso allows listeners to build on their own feelings of loss. In essence, she provides a safe space for listeners to process their grief-related emotions, and earnestly assess how they feel. In addition, DiRusso challenges her listeners to not necessarily place value on aspects of life that society tells us to, but instead, to value relationships and bonds that bring us the most personal joy. If that joy is centered around your pet, then so be it. As the song progresses, DiRusso sings

Well, dead dogs don't talk to me, and neither does god/I guess it's free therapy I'm in need of.

This set of lines highlights DiRusso coping with the confusion and loneliness of grief. DiRusso herself seems to be undergoing a sort of existential crisis. It appears that not only has she been stuck by the loss of her dog, but now she feels she’s been abandoned by God himself. These references to God add a comedic layer to the song that alleviates some of the dark tones. Her request for some variation of therapy is essentially a request a platform to share her emotions. 

In her next section of lyrics, DiRusso sings,

No one sees clearly/ we all just play along/ Well, I need some answers please, the world is going wrong.  

This final section of the song describes DiRusso’s dissatisfaction with society’s changing values and morals. It seems that instead of valuing the important relationships of life, society has become obsessed with materialism. In this haze of grief, DiRusso has become privy to the effects of losing something of importance, and only being left with lifeless material objects. Instead of breaking free from these destructive habits, individuals continue to feed their indulgences, and buy into this consumeristic culture. Though this is not the only reason the world is going wrong. Going back to the religious component of this song, DiRusso is questioning how God could have cut short the life of her beautiful dog. Why is it that everything good and pure, is ripped away from the world too quickly? 

Not only does this song meet all of my personal music specifications, but it truly is a work of poetry. DiRusso takes a specific personal incident and uses it to address greater themes of grief. By doing this, she address how individuals prioritize different areas and relationships in their own lives. Her song is short and concise, which allows listeners to focus deeply in on the lines she provides. Though DiRusso currently resides in a relatively niche area of the indie music genre, it is ballads like these that I believe with soon attract a wide fan base.     

Wait there’s no guidebook to parenting?

“Anybody Have A Map?”, sung by majority of the cast of Broadway production Dear Evan Hansen, is both poetic and unique.  Dear Evan Hansen is about a high school boy with social anxiety disorder who so badly wants to make a connection with his peers and fit in that he fakes a relationship with a deceased classmate to become closer to the boy’s family. This whirlwind production starts with the the song “Anybody Have A Map” to introduce the characters and plot of the play.

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“Anybody Have A Map” is a clear example of poetry. Poetry has the ability to make the reader feel something, and this song certainly does. A central theme of the play is the struggle to try and connect with others. Throughout the play, Evan’s mom is struggling with how to connect with him and how to help him find friends. It pains her deeply to see her son so lonely and know that there isn’t much she can do. This pain is shown in the song when Heidi (Evan’s mom) sings:

“Another stellar conversation for the scrapbook

Another stumble as I’m reaching for the right thing to say

I’m kinda coming up empty

Can’t find my way to you”

This stanza is very powerful because it illustrates how helpless Heidi feels and how challenging it is for her to connect with her son. The word choice in this stanza also emphasizes the helpless tone Heidi is conveying. The words, “stumble”, “reaching”, “empty”, and “can’t” create a sense of powerlessness and struggle.

The title itself is poetic. The map that is being referred to in the title is metaphorical for a guidebook to connecting with your kids and being a mother. This metaphor adds a multidimensional layer to the song by making the meaning deeper and more up for interpretation after clues are dropped.

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In addition, there is repetition throughout the song of the hyperbolic line:

“I’m flying blind”

No, she is not actually flying blind. What is meant by this is that she is trying her best by guessing. There are no directions for parenting and no guide on how to connect with your child when they feel distant. This line is conveying that parenting has much to do with feeling one’s way through.

“Anybody Have A Map” is a powerful and thought provoking song with many poetic devices, but what makes it poetry is how it makes you feel when reading and listening to it.

“English Rose, ” A Love Poem

The song, “English Rose” by Ed Sheeran appears on his album, Multiply: Wembly Edition. The first time I heard this song, I immediately fell in love with both its musical and lyrical elements, and it has been my favorite song for almost two years.

This song is most certainly poetry in every way, through its flowing metaphors, rhythm, diction, imagery, rhymes and deep emotion that helps the listener understand the strong love and longing Sheeran is expressing through his music.

In this song, Sheeran is describing being on tour and playing shows in Tennessee, across the sea from his home in England.

I spend my days, just traveling and playing shows

But my heart still beats, for my home and my English Rose

In these particular lines of the song, the metaphor “English Rose” Sheeran is describing is his love interest, an English woman back at his home in England. The term “English Rose” is often used to describe a very beautiful English woman, as well as a type of beautiful and vibrant rose, and this is whom Sheeran is describing his longing for throughout this song. Sheeran is also describing, through powerful diction and imagery, how he loves to perform and tour with his music, but that his heart really belongs with his love interest back at home.

In addition to the metaphors in these lines of the song, the words “shows” and “Rose” rhyme, which is another poetic element that adds rhythm to the lyrics of the song.

I told my dad, on the phone it’s amazing
From the street to the craziest places I’ve seen

but I’d long to be
In the arms of my true love
Like he loves my mother, he understands me

In this section of the song, Sheeran is describing how he discussed, with his father, his feelings of longing towards the woman he loves. His father describes his love for Sheeran’s mother, and is able to understand the pain Sheeran feels in not being able to be with the one he loves. Sheeran uses the imagery of yearning to be in the arms of his “true love”, which helps the listener to understand the deep desire he feels to be with his “English Rose.”

The use of multiple poetic devices as well as the strong and deep emotion and desire conveyed in this song make it poetry in every sense, as it made me, and so many other listeners, feel these deep feelings along with Sheeran in this beautiful song.

English Roses!