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.