So Poetry Goes

Mac Miller’s album, “Swimming”, was released only a month before the artist was found dead in his apartment from a drug overdose. The album was Miller’s fifth release and – being composed in the aftermath of a breakup – focuses on self love, healing, and growth. The last song, “So It Goes”, however, is a humble acceptance of the end. It expresses both satisfaction with life and an exhaustion that welcomes finality.

“So It Goes” is simultaneously haunting and guiding. The song broadens the listener’s experience through multidimensional language by allowing them an insight into Miller’s life in fame and in the music industry. In the beginning, he states, “You could have the world in the palm of your hands / You still might drop it / And everybody wanna reach inside your pockets.” The image of Miller carrying the entire world in his hand yet dropping it illustrates both his satisfaction with success and the overwhelming feelings that came with it. While Miller had achieved the goal of sharing his art, he was inhibited by others who only focused on fame, jealousy, and the responsibility that came with his name. He goes on to say, “My god, it go on and on / Just like a circle, I go back where I’m from.” This simile further conveys Miller’s comfort with coming to an end. He has found himself in success, but desires to return to his values, which are found in art rather than fame. This description of an end can be seen as beautiful, but it is not limited to beauty and rather serves to counteract the glamour that many associate with the life Miller was living. 

Furthermore, Miller references drugs throughout the song, expressing his resorting to substances as a way to cope with his life. In the second verse, he writes, “My eyes on the enterprise / Nine lives, never die, fuck a heaven, I’m still gettin’ high / Nevermind, did I mention I’m fine?” This complex portion of the song conveys Miller’s persistence and determination to succeed in life, however the quick shift to a hopeless tone reveals a desperation for change. The question after reverts to his previous obligation to put on a mask of satisfaction as a way to please others, which his listeners may otherwise not see. Similarly, Miller expresses that, “It’s like, in every conversation, we the topic / This narcissism, more like narcotics, so it goes.” The alliteration in “narcissism” and “narcotics” serves to conflate the ideas. It references both the addicting nature of fame and the actual drugs that Miller mentions throughout the song.

Ultimately, Mac Miller’s use of multidimensional language in his song “So It Goes” serves to deepen the listener’s perception of resolution and personal discovery while broadening their experience by providing insight into Miller’s life and welcoming of an end.

2 thoughts on “So Poetry Goes

  1. Shane C

    I think a lot of celebrities feel that they have to put a mask on, especially in the public eye — you do a really nice job of explaining this concept through Mac Miller’s song. I also really like the title.


  2. Ben Ko.

    This song has been one of my favorites for a while. I totally agree with every element of your analysis and I think you expressed your points very well. This was such a good closing song to “Swimming”, through its ability to bring the album’s overarching themes and story to their natural conclusions. The way that you explain the song and album further solidifies that opinion in my mind. The song’s ability to bring to a conclusion everything loose end within the album while telling its own story is definitely no short of poetic.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s