The Song I chose is “Line Without a Hook” by Ricky Montgomery, released as part of his first album, Montgomery Ricky. This song reflects on an intimate and passionate relationship he had with a woman, and the responsibility he feels for their relationship failing.
Montgomery’s clearest use of poetic language is when he claims “I broke all my bones that day I found you / Crying at the lake”. He expands on the classic metaphor of a broken heart, feeling his emotions so strongly that he hyperbolically “broke all [his] bones” when he saw his lover experiencing sadness. After hearing this lyrics, it brings clarity to a phrase he uses earlier in the song. Montgomery, in the opening, says “I can feel all my bones coming back / And I’m craving motion”. By using this same set of words, Montgomery can indicate how his perspective is changing – in the past, Montgomery has felt the emotions of his lover even stronger than she has felt them herself. But now, as their relationship is struggling, he no longer has so much empathy for her.
Montgomery clearly feels that he is an inherently deeper and more emotional person than his lover; at one point, he claims that “You’re a pond and I’m an ocean”. He metaphorical equates both himself and his lover with bodies of water to compare the depth of both of their emotions. But although he views himself as more emotionally available, he clearly thinks of his lover as being out of his league. In the bridge of the song, he exclaims that “‘She’s a, she’s a lady, and I am just a boy'”. He feels that he cannot be everything that she needs – a lady needs a man. However, emotionally, she cannot be what he needs – an ocean and a pond are incompatible.
This use of poetic, multidimensional language makes their incompatibility clear, while it also makes the song more emotional. As I listener, I know very little about their relationship; in fact, Montgomery says very little about anything they have been through together. But his poetic use of figurative language makes it clear even to me, a teenager who has never shared these experiences, how Montgomery feels about his relationship and his lover.