Facing Problems In LIFE

Saba’s 2018 album CARE FOR ME was all about his process of coping with the deaths of family members and other issues in his life. “LIFE” encapsulates all of these ideas into one song. The standout aspect of “LIFE” and CARE FOR ME is Saba’s ability to paint a vivid and personal account of his state of mind in this time so listeners can empathize with him. The biggest theme on “LIFE” is the unpredictable and transient nature of life and what the people’s lives mean to other people.

Saba opens the song with a commentary on the prison system in America and it’s unfair treatment of black people.

They want a barcode on my wrist (barcode on my wrist)
To auction off the kids
That don’t fit their description of a utopia (black)

Saba uses allusion to fit multiple meanings into these 3 lines. First, the “barcodes on my wrist” most predominantly reminded me of the treatment of Jewish people in Nazi concentration camps but the later inclusion of “to auction of the kids” made me think of slave auctions. The mini theme within these lines is about the prison system and mass incarceration of black people in the US and racial tension in general. While these don’t specifically relate to losing loved ones, it does give some backstory as to why there is so much turmoil in his life as well as others with these same experiences. Giving listeners the ability to experience what Saba goes through and how he views the treatment of black people in America is one example of how “LIFE” is poetic.

The chorus in “LIFE” repeats the names of people Saba has lost that had significant influence on his life,

They killed my cousin with a pocket knife
While my uncle on the phone
He was gone for more than half my life
He got out a year and then he died
I was honor roll, talking to my father on the phone
Left the city when I was just four

These few lines relate to the main theme of loss being unexpected and life being temporary, but in order to really experience his emotions you need to listen to the music. One of the aspects of poetry we talked about in class is how delivery of lines affects the meaning of the words. Whenever the chorus comes up, Saba’s voice becomes very deep, distorted, and sped up with a booming bass line setting the tone for the few seconds of the chorus. I believe he chose to rap the chorus this way because it adds to the impact of his losses and the dark/deep places that he ended up in because of them.

Something a lot of people struggle with is expressing their true feelings. It is common in people who feel depressed or are just struggling to be happy with their lives and Saba illustrates this feeling in these following three lines,

Tell me it’ll be okay, tell me happier days
Tell me that she my bae, that I won’t be alone
Tell ’em I’ll be okay when he ask, “How’s my day?”

Saba uses the repetition of “tell me” to show he’s asking other people for validation in what he’s doing and to give him hope for the future. The last line is the most impactful in showing how people hide their true emotions. Almost everyone can relate to saying “I’m okay” when they’re really not but either don’t want to trouble other people or don’t want to face their feelings. Saba shows how the combination of wanting the help and validation of other people while simultaneously feeling unable to seek help creates a vicious cycle of self-loathing and depression.

While this song focuses on the sad feelings of loss, other songs on CARE FOR ME address how he overcame his sadness by facing his problems head on instead of continuing to run away and stay in denial. It’s only 40 minutes long so I highly recommend listening all the way through if you feel you’re trapped and need some music to relate with and potentially learn from.

Polo G. A Poetic Genius at 21.

The song “21” by Polo G off his album THE GOAT is a perfect example of poetry in rap. The album was released in May of 2020, and is Polo’s sophomore album. In the song, Polo G reminisces and walks through his past life, articulating everything he has experienced while being just 21. Polo G also pays homage to the late rapper Juice WRLD, who died last year from an overdose just days after turning 21. Both artists grew up in Chicago. A one-cut music video was released shortly after the song came out showing Polo walking through his childhood, which included him dodging bullets and fighting internal demons. This is one of many songs off his album that exhibits poetic elements.

Ever since I stepped up in this game, I’ve been a bomb threat
I was in the trenches, tryna see a life beyond that

In this part of the song Polo G uses assonance to push his message. The words “threat” and “that” do not rhyme with each other, but instead are words that are in close proximity to one another. There are many different parts of the song where this occurs, and it is an effective way to keep the flow of the song going without utilizing rhyme. The use of assonance plays a major role in connecting to the theme of the song. Polo explains here how he knew he had the potential to blow up as an artist, and how he was not content with the current situation he was in. His horizon was much greater than staying in the neighborhood where he grew up. Hyperbole is used here as well because he is not actually a “bomb threat” and he did not actually live in “trenches.” The terminology, however is relatable for a large portion of his audience.

I just been ballin’ on these n****s, like I’m Kendrick Nunn

In this part of the song Polo uses simile to draw a comparison to a basketball player. While Polo means he is surpassing other rappers in success, the person he compares himself to is important in alluding to the theme of the song. Kendrick Nunn is a basketball player for the Miami Heat and was a “Rookie of the Year” candidate this past season. He grew up just minutes away from Polo G and had a similar success story in making it out of his neighborhood and becoming a star. Polo G could have choose someone much more prominent to reference like Michael Jordan or LeBron James. The fact that he chose to compare himself to someone who was in a similar position goes to show the significance Chicago still has to him.

Decorate your block with red tape, foenem slidin’ every day
Bunch of hollows spittin’ out the Glock
I been servin’ fiends all day, out there posted with the gang
N***a, we was taught to get it off the block

While there are many more poetic devices included in “21,”Imagery is the last of them I will be discussing. Imagery is an essential part of music because it can help put the audience in whatever situation the artist desires. In this beginning portion, the vivid imagery of the lyrics shapes the theme of the song. An immediate impression can be made regrading what the song contains. Chicago terminology and slang is also included, and is an effective way to connect to the specific audience he is attempting to reach.

Modern Life

Pink Floyd’s song “The Thin Ice”, from their conceptual album The Wall, is a deep emotional song that has impacted my life because of the meaningful lyrics. The instrumental is melancholy, and from the first listen many may only see the song as that, but the lyrics tell a deep, poetic story through only two verses.

The lyrics are from two different perspectives. The first verse coming from the perspective of Pink’s mother. Pink is a character that Pink Floyd created to embody their struggles and The Wall is a story about his life. “The Thin Ice” is the second song from this conceptual album, and it is introducing one of the first struggles that causes Pink to spiral into a depressive state throughout his life and the album. 

The song starts with Pink’s widowed mother consoling her child…:

 Momma loves her baby
 And daddy loves you too
 And the sea may look warm to you babe
 And the sky may look blue 

Throughout the album, we see the band taking on various rolls outside of their character Pink. In verses like this, the lyrics seem comforting, but also hopeless. Cooing her baby, telling him that life may look beautiful, yet implying that it isn’t is an odd way to calm a child down. This is intentional, hence it is one of the first instances Pink feels hopelessness, one of the driving points of this conceptual album.

We can see this soft, somber verse from the mother contrasted by Pink’s harsh view in the last verse…:

 Dragging behind you the silent reproach
 Of a million tear-stained eyes 

This second verse, from Pink’s perspective as an adult, almost seems like he is mocking his Mother’s cooing, and instead he’s warning that life is inevitably going to send you into suffering. This warning is close to the same warning his mother was giving him, although his interpretation is not as soft and concealed as his mother’s. This modern life holds personal struggles for the person skating and it was created from other’s suffering that the skater must feel dragging behind them. Skating on “the thin ice of modern life” is an emotional risk, but it doesn’t seem like a choice, even though it is phrased as one. 

 Don’t be surprised when a crack in the ice
 Appears under your feet
 You slip out of your depth and out of your mind
 With your fear flowing out behind you
 As you claw the thin ice 

Although it is blatantly stated that the thin ice represented modern life, arguably not everyone felt these events unfold the same way Pink did. Pink lost his father at a very young age because of WWII and his mother was severely depressed from it. Introducing loss into his life at an early age may be the cause of his thin ice. Throughout his post-war life more things build up while his support systems also have a negative outlook which may be cracking the ice, causing him to eventually lose himself to his own fear and depression.

The cautionary message of this song is arguably an existentialist one: pain felt from past generations will never leave and life will inevitably hurt you. 

Can Sins be Washed Away?

The song by Leon Bridges titled, “River” off his album called Coming Home, is one of the most lyrically brilliant songs of the 2010’s. Bridges’ album was highly anticipated and was seen on Spotify’s Top 10 Most Viral Tracks. The song was featured on the hit television series Big Little Lies. He is typically known for his R&B/Soul music; however, he has been involved with other genres.

“River” uses a great variety of storytelling techniques including: anecdote, imagery, metaphor, and repetition to convey the poet’s journey to finding God and being baptized. The song has a positive message about relying on God and starting over.

The song begins with, 

Been traveling these wide roads 

For so long

My heart’s been far from you

Ten thousand miles gone

The speaker of this song has been struggling for a long time, they haven’t been their true self and they’ve made mistakes. Bridges’ uses metaphor in this first verse. The “wide roads” are the blocks that are in the way of the speaker being able to connect with God and find purpose. He/she’s whole life has been a “wide road”. The speaker continues to use metaphor by inferring that the “you” is God. They have been searching to find themselves but they are “ten thousand miles gone”. In the literal sense, the speaker is ten thousand miles away from home. In the metaphorical sense, the speaker is incredibly far away from his relationship with God and the Bible.

In verse 2 the speaker states,

Momma’s word reoccur to me 

“Surrender to the good Lord

And he’ll wipe your slate clean”

Through this verse, as the reader, we understand that the speaker is either a son or a daughter that is going through the journey to find purpose in their life with God. The word “reoccur” mentions that religion may have been a part of the speaker’s childhood but they moved away from it. Leon Bridges uses an anecdote by mentioning a quote that the speaker’s mother once said. The word “surrender” implies that the speaker must give all of themselves to the Lord in order for the relationship to be fulfilling. In return, God will “wipe your slate clean”. The speaker’s mother means that the Lord will forgive you for your past sins and you may start clean. This also is referring to being baptized because your new life with God begins.

The chorus begins with, 

Take me to your river 

I wanna go

The speaker is now not lost traveling the “wide roads” after remembering their mother’s words. They now want a relationship with God by saying “take me”. The “your” in the chorus refers to God and the “river” represents the water that the speaker wishes to be baptized with.

Finally, in verse 3, the speaker describes,

Dip me in your smooth water

As I go in 

As a man with many crimes, come up for air

As my sins flow down the Jordan

The song once again continues to refer to God and baptism. Bridges uses imagery in this verse to describe the speaker’s baptism. He starts by saying, “dip me in your smooth water”, the speaker is mentioning the aspect of baptism when the priest pours holy water over the persons’ head. This phrase says, “my sins flow down”, the speaker is mentioning that when baptised you are released of all past sins by God and can start over again. Finally, the speaker mentions the Jordan River which flows through the Middle East and is referred to in the Bible. 

Overall, Leon Bridges creates an excellent story that describes the pain of being lost and the happiness in finding yourself with God.

“Big Plans” By Why Don’t We

This is a song called “Big Plans” it is about taking risks and trusting those around you. It is mainly focused on a guy who wants his girlfriend to take a chance on him and to give him a year to show her all that he has to offer. This song is poetry because it has meaning behind it and has a purpose. This song also has a specific audience and speaker.

I got real big plans, baby, for you and me

So love me for who I am and for who I’m gonna be

Ain’t got everything you want, but got everything you need

So take a chance, take a chance on me

This is the chorus to the song and I think this is the part that stands out to me the most. It really digs deep at the fact that through time anything is possible and success and love and opportunity can come if you put in the effort and time into it. The song writer is likely writing this song to attract his significant other. The language used is also very important in this song. Words like “baby” and the phase “Ain’t got everything you want, but got everything you need” I feel are eye catching words that really show emotion and help get the speakers point across.

Not only is this one of my favorite songs to listen to when I am in a chill vibe but, it also a great hype song and almost builds your ego. This song gives me inspiration during hard times and gives me even more joy when jamming out to the song especially since it has such great flow and rhythm. Overall, this song touches you no matter what mood your in and has all of the significance and factors that poetry includes in it. In my opinion every song is poetry in one way or another but “Big Plans” definitely solidifies itself as poetry.

Once Upon a Time

John Cage is perhaps most famous in popular culture as the poster child of the avant-garde music movement, with his piece 4’33” — which consists of 4 minutes and 33 seconds of silence — reaching particular notoriety. While his style of challenging common notions of aesthetics is a fun novelty for most listeners, Cage put a lot of thought and work into building a considerable repertoire of cutting edge musical ideas. After earning his chops as a traditional composer early in his career, he shifted his focus to the avant-garde, including pioneering the concept of Aleatoric Music, or music with some sort of chance-based component. Aleatoric music has quickly grown in popularity and deployment since Cage’s time, particularly in video game and film music.

One of the pieces Cage composed pretty early in his career, Living Room Music, exemplifies his transition from more common styles of performance to avant-garde ideas. The piece consists of four movements, though the third is optional. The first, third, and fourth movements all have players selects items that might be found in a typical living room (cups, tables, papers; the particular items are at the players’ discretion) and use them to create a certain rhythmic pattern. The third movement also pairs this rhythm making with a melody to be performed on a suitable pitch inducing instrument.

The second movement, however, stands out. Unlike the other movements, this one can be performed without any auxiliary items. That’s because it consists of four individuals repeating a certain set of words with a particular rhythmic pattern and occasionally pitch bend. The words are a deconstruction, reordering, and layering of the first few lines of a lesser known Gertrude Stein children’s book called The World Is Round. The way cage deconstructs and re-arranges the words has much intrigue and meaning, and even begs the question about how lyrics that are part rhythmic and part message based and spread across multiple parts should be conveyed in non-musical writing, but alas this is after all an assignment for which I will be graded and looking at those things entails a tangent this post can not afford. So for the purposes of this post, I will analyze the base set of lines Cage uses to construct the work, as he conveniently includes them at the beginning of they score for the movement (linked above):

Once upon a time the world

was round and you could go on

it around and around.

So, what is this excerpt about? Some hint could come from the content of Stein’s book itself; through the book’s main character, Rose, it highlights the importance of asking questions and feeling a connection to the world. But it’s notable that Cage choses only to focus on this opening sentence from the book when he had ample musical “space” to include additional lyrics. What’s also telling is this particular movement’s title: “Story.” Much in the same way that the other movements of Living Room Music invert traditional conceptions of music by embracing the every day rhythms one might make with objects in their living room, “Story” takes the idea of a story at it’s very core, at it’s simplest form, and transmutes it into something that is halfway between narrative and song. Cage’s purpose, then, is to convey the non-story story — the archetypal stand in that captures infinite possibility because it embodies the very concept of a story.

A further examination of the phrasing in the excerpt Cage uses makes this point patently clear. Starting at the very beginning, the lyric opens with the phrase “Once upon a time.” On the one hand, this clause is serving a literal purpose — by placing the sentence in the past tense it set’s up a narrative trope of “retelling” that fits more naturally with the archetypal narrative of a story (as opposed to stories which are told in present tense, and therefore feel more like they are unfolding live than being retold). At the same time, “Once upon a time” holds an important place in popular culture as the classic opening to many children’s tales, so parroting this language here not only sets a tone of retelling but also places that tone specifically in the childhood story milieu. Finally, because the phrase does not specify a particular time beyond the ambiguous “once,” the sentence takes on a sense of timelessness (in the very same way the aforementioned children’s tales often seem timeless), allowing it to further invoke the archetypal concept of a story.

The next line is also notable in creating the sense of an archetypal story, but in a more innovative way. The use of the 2nd person in storytelling and especially children’s books is quite rare with perhaps If You Give a Mouse a Cookie being the only notable example. Yet here the use of the word “you” in “you could go on it” does not stand out as odd. This is because the “you” portrays a sort of “place holder” or “filler function” — it serves a similar purpose meaning-wise in the sentence as “one could go on it.” That is to say, it is not important who is going as much as that going can occur. However, the use of the word “you” does serve some sort of personalizing function as well by forcing the reader to place themselves in the sentence. Though the reader understands the generic function of the word “you” outlined above, the reader also can’t help but imagine themselves “going on [the world].” This serves to facilitate the reader’s understanding and relation to the story even though the story itself is fairly straightforward and uncomplicated.

Finally, the repetition of the word “around” in the last line secures the sentence’s meaning. In a literal way, the word points to the circular nature of storytelling: much like this particular story never ends but instead simply lands on the observation that one could go around, the archetypal story does not end in spirit even if it has a literal ending because it is perpetually repeated ad infinitum. Additionally, the vowel heavy sounds of the words “around and around” not only make this repetition literal (since the word around is repeated), but also by give this idea a more physical character as the round shape of one’s mouth when saying “around” and the lack of sharp stop constantans like t or p (except at the very end) give the word a circular feeling. By recognizing this innovative word construction, John Cage uses his work to convey broader ideas about not just the content but the form of stories.

Dickens Walks The Streets of London

Perhaps the greatest ballad singer of the last century, Liam Clancy’s rendition of The Streets of London remains his most popular song. Originally written by Ralph McTell, the song has been covered by many different artists. Each are echoes of the same universal sorrows every person fears to wade through. The Streets of London, like any great poetry, brings this fundamentally human experience to life. How then does it yield a sort of transcendence? Simply spoken, it warns of the dangers and pitfalls of life in a way as powerful as any literature. It highlights our privileges, exposes our fears, and knocks us back into reality with a greater understanding of ourselves. It’s a bit like the old saying, “I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.” Mirroring this, the chorus goes as follows:

And then how can you tell me you’re lonely

Or say that for you the sun won’t shine?

Let me take you by the hand and

Lead you through the streets of London

I will show you something to make you change your mind.

The chorus welcomes the reader into the story, and figuratively taken by the hand, we are led through portraits of people embodying the many dimensions of sadness. In a way, the speaker feels like a gentler version of Dickens’ Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, guiding us through a gloomy vision, foreshadowing what we fear to eventually be.

Following this comparison, it’s fitting that each portrait tells the story of someone weathered into age. McTell’s first image poignantly portrays an old man who has lost his purpose in life; a man who has become as valued as the outdated newspaper he holds. His second is of an old woman, “Carrying her home in two carrier bags,” too long adrift to engage with the world around her. His third portrait plays like a still life image.

In the all night cafe at quarter past eleven

Same old man sitting there on his own.

Looking at the world over the rim of his teacup.

Each tea lasts an hour and he wanders home alone.

McTell’s language describes a life lived over and over again, each day the same as the last, and each ending just as lonely. His final portrait hints at the end these people will meet.

Have you seen the old man outside the seaman’s mission,

his memory fading like the ribbons that he wears?

And in this winter city the rain cries a little pity

for one more forgotten hero in a world that doesn’t care.

Tragically, this last old man forgets himself in a world that has already forgotten him.

By this point, our Dickens ghost has shown us who we may fear to become, but also who we are not yet. Like Scrooge’s grave, a grim future where we find ourselves purposeless, impoverished, forgotten and alone is possible, and like Tiny Tim’s grave, it may also happen to others. This may be frightening, but it is also comforting. We, like Scrooge, are still endowed with the time and power to make our own decisions, shape the course of our lives, and ultimately lead it somewhere better. Likewise, we must also feel pity for Tiny Tim. The broken people around us are really not much different from ourselves, and we could easily become them. Consider, is it not a triumph of literature that Dickens could reveal these truths to us? It is the same with this song. It’s The Streets of London‘s ability to convey this message in much fewer words that earns it its distinction as poetry. Yes, McTell’s lines rhyme with rhythm. His stanzas realize themselves in repetition. But it is his ability to resonate so soundly with something profoundly human, to uplift and restore fragile spirits, that makes this song a timeless masterpiece.

White Ferraris Turned Poetic

White Ferrari” from the 2016 album Blonde by Frank Ocean describes an experience in which two lovers go on a car ride. To me, the car ride is a metaphor for a relationship in which each person has differing views but how none of it matters to them because the journey makes it all worth it. Songs, just like poetry illustrate an experience for the reader. The way Ocean constructs his song through diction and syntax can help deepen the readers experience if they have been in love with someone who had different values and thought about life differently or broaden their experience by making them feel that they are in the relationship, understanding how Ocean feels throughout it.

The song stars by setting the scene and describing how the lovers used to be.

Sweet sixteen, how was I supposed to know anything? 
We're both so familiar. 

In just the first couple of lines, Ocean is able to convey both their innocence and their relationship towards one another. The mention of the sweet 16 indicates that he was naive, not knowing of everything yet. The line about their familiarity suggests that they fell in love at a young age, or at least were close in their teenage years. The song continues to acknowledge their growing relationship.

I care for you still and I will forever
That was my part of the deal, honest
We got so familiar
Spending each day of the year, White Ferrari
Good times

The two have blossomed together, still remaining very close and he makes it clear that he is in it for the long run. They begin to hang out every day and he wants it to last forever, and plans on being there for her. The “White Ferrari” that is implemented into this verse, as in many other parts of the song, continues the metaphor. They are driving in a White Ferrari, almost watching their relationship as they drive. The relationship is good and happy, just like a nice car ride through a scenic place. Finally, the song talks about how they view both their relationship and the world differently.

I'm sure we're taller in another dimension
You say we're small and not worth the mention

These lines hold lots of meaning, just as lines in a traditional poem do. Ocean himself believes that somewhere, not in reality, they are greater. Himself, her, and their love together is even bigger. She disagrees and thinks that their love and themselves as people are minuscule and not anything great. These lines conveys an importance greater then themselves as people and speaks to their views on their potential and the world. This creates a divide between them, another similar line being, “You dream of walls that hold us in prison.” They have different views of the world and what they can become. The song ends with Ocean’s own opinion on this difference.

Clearly this isn't all that there is 
Can't take what's been given
But we're so okay here, we're doing fine

Through these lines it is clear that Ocean craves something more in life. He is in denial that “this is it” and he wants more. He then acknowledges the relationship once more and states that they are good and that it is good enough for him. He knows she thinks differently then he does and this life is good enough for her. While it isn’t for him, she is good enough for him. Throughout the song the reader is able to see that she means a lot to him, and their relationship has evolved from a very young age. Through Ocean’s poetic syntax and diction, the reader comes to understand their relationship, the similarities, the differences, the good and the bad throughout the duration of the car ride in a White Ferrari.

Time Is Our Worst Enemy

The ice age was a period long ago melted and washed away with the passage in time. In their song, “Ice Age“, How To Destroy Angels references this period in comparison to the human experience. “Ice age” is apart of the Welcome Oblivion album, which creates an atmosphere of despair and a lack of purpose. The subtle, deep electronic yet complex beat strings the album together. “Ice Age’s” central message is that everything is temporary, and no matter how much you try, people or things in your life will eventually fade away. Like a once frozen solid world, slowly melting away. This is an unavoidable truth that we all must accept.

“Ice Age” is the perfect example of a “Song-Poem” despite it’s few words. The song is nearly seven minutes long yet only consists of seven short stanzas. The time to stanza ratio adds to the poems meaning by drawing the listener further into the stanzas.

The poetic nature of the stanzas can be found immediately in the opening verse:

I find it looks the same but everything has changed
I find remembering gets harder every day
Sometimes I still believe who I pretend to be
Sometimes well everything’s exactly how it seems

The first stanza establishes poetic elements through it’s structure. The four line stanza follows an “AABB” format, common among more traditional poetry. The “I, I, Sometimes, Sometimes” verse design serve primarily to illustrate to the listener the band’s uncertainty in the past and what lies ahead. The first two lines of every verse establish what the vocalist sees in the present, and “sometimes” is reflecting on what once was. The same format can be found in every verse stanza, only broken by the chorus with it’s own, “ABAB” style.

In the following stanza, the feelings of despair continue:

I see the color of your eyes has turned to grey
I feel the wind is growing colder every day
Sometimes I open up the walls and disappear
Sometimes the crashing of the waves is all I hear

In the present, “eyes has turned to grey” and “growing colder every day” connote a feeling of lost time that can not be regained. This gives the listener the impression that what has already happened can not be reversed or prevented. The second half of the stanza continues this feeling with “disappear” and “crashing of the waves” suggesting the artist is fading away and slowly beginning to accept the situation. This strong image connects back to a feeling of hopelessness against a strong tide.

Ocean
Help me find a way
Ocean
Wash us all away

It is the chorus that completes the poem’s image perfectly. Throughout the poem, How To Destroy Angels uses words like “grey,” “colder,” “ice,” “waves,” and finally: “Ocean”. These are the words that make the listener feel the past melting away. The once great iceberg melts away into the larger ocean. Until the chorus, they resist the change, or rising tide. Once the listener reaches the chorus the mood shifts from one of resistance to acceptance. The lines “Ocean Help me find a way” brings acceptance and the hope of a new beginning.

That all things come to an end is a truth of life for all people, and this poem grapples with this struggle through poetic expression. The poem puts the image of an individual resisting the changing tide, until they finally accept the inevitable.

“My Heart is Buried in Venice…” ok Ricky, I’m on my way to get it

(contains mentions of suicide)

I believe that every single song off of Ricky Montgomery’s album Montgomery Ricky is poetic in its own way, but I am going to focus on the song “My Heart is Buried in Venice,” which is a very sad song full of deep and profound emotion. At first glance, this song seems to simply be about a broken heart that needs to be fixed. I believe this is what the song is about, but that there is a deeper and sadder specific story that becomes apparent to me when I analyze it further.

I think this song is about someone who has lost their lover to suicide. This might seem like a stretch, but let me take you through why I think this. First of all, the tone becomes increasingly more desperate as the song goes on, and it seems like he is begging his lover to come back, even though they are definitely gone. At the beginning, he makes it clear that his lover has issues/ past trauma and he wants to help them heal. He is asking them to come back so that he can fix them and stop what really happened from happening. He is in definite denial.

Come rest your bones next to me
And toss all your thoughts to the sea
I’ll pull up each of our anchors
So we can get lost you and me

The 3rd line of this stanza is my favorite in the whole song because it shows very clear imagery of what it feels like to try to pull someone out of the hole they are in while also trying to do the same for yourself. This shows that he was struggling too, and he feels like he didn’t do enough to help them, but he wants to now. It’s clear the person he is talking to has issues and he wants to escape the sadness of reality with them.

In the chorus, which is repeated multiple times, he changes from speaking to this person directly to speaking to no one in particular. He says:

My heart is buried in Venice
Waiting for someone to take it home

This is a major change from the first part of the song, which seemed rather hopeful and loving. Here, he seems alone and is saying he has no one to fix his broken heart, and he is either waiting for his lover to come back or he is just waiting for the help of anyone at all. The chorus of the song shows acceptance of the terrible event rather than denial and hope.

In the middle of the song, he says:

I never thought that I would have to say I’m sorry
For anyone but me

This line tells me that he had to apologize for his lover, and what I picture is him having to apologize to other people because he feels responsible for what they did. This is a very heartbreaking scene that I picture in my mind.

In the next verse is where the tone is very desperate and he is pleading for them to come back to him.

Don’t leave me to breathe

Don’t leave me to bleed

For someone who chose to leave me

This is what solidifies the story for me. When he says “don’t leave me to breathe” this implies that they themselves are not breathing, while he is. And when he says “don’t leave me to bleed” I believe it is his heart that is bleeding because they “chose to leave” him. There is another tone shift here where he switches the blame from himself to his lover and he changes stages of grief from denial into anger that they left him alone.

Finally, he ends with the chorus, showing acceptance for what has happened, rather than ending with a verse full of denial. The song also gets softer and slower at this point, which shows that he has no hope left and he can’t change what happened.

In conclusion, I love Ricky Montgomery very much and this song always makes me cry. Go stream his whole album, it’s not all depressing I promise!

Just Listen

The Doobie Brothers was a rock band formed in 1970 in San Jose California. Their most widely known song “Listen to the Music” was released in 1972 on their beloved album Toulouse Street. It’s peak position on the billboard hot 100 was 11 and for some odd reason reaches number 3 on the Canada billboard. The song was written by Tim Johnston in 1971 and was a true hit. The song is about finding happiness and coming together through the art of music. Not only is this song a true piece of art but it is also true poetry.

Don't you feel it growing, day by day

When the song came out in 1972 the Vietnam War was in full swing and the Cold War was boiling. There was so much conflict going on in the world and the hippie band known as The Doobie Brothers had a perfect remedy to bring everyone together. The first Lyric “Don’t you feel it growing, day by day” talks about the rising tensions in the world simmering into a full boil with all that is going on. But the songs happy vibe produces a sort of utopian alternate reality where life’s problems are truly solved by music. The happy upbeat rhythm in the background creates imagery of a California like beach and people dancing through the music.

Gotta get a message, get on through.

This lyric is about the song itself getting through to the masses of people. It is said that the best way to get a message out to lots of people is through a popular song so that’s what the band is trying to do. The song has a clear message about how they want to solve all of the violence and hate in the world and in itself says what their plan is. We learn of the happy motives of the band and in itself The Doobie Brothers, you can imagine how peaceful they are.

Oh, oh, oh listen to the music
Oh, oh, oh listen to the music

That lyric is the chorus of the song and is said multiple times to get the point across. The Doobie brothers use refrain here to show the listeners their solution to the hate going around during the time. They also us repetition multiple times with this lyric to again, get the point across. The band does realize that this song us more of a utopian society as not everyone likes music that much and music won’t stop violence as that is just an outrageous thought. But in their minds and in their imagination if everyone would just stop and appreciate something together then maybe we would be more united.

“this is me trying” to Get an A from Mr. Heidkamp

Taylor Swift entered a new era with her first Indie/Alternative album Folklore, released in July 2020, just eleven months after her hit pop album Lover. Up until the release of her newest album Evermore, Folklore was arguably Swift’s most lyrical album. Folklore’s 9th track “this is me trying” exemplifies this well through Swift’s masterful language and story telling abilities.

“this is me trying” utilizes a variety of literary techniques including metaphor, double entendre, hyperbole, anecdote, and repetition in order to embody a feeling of helplessness and struggle. However, it also has an underlying uplifting message: despite the struggles the speaker has undergone, he/she continues to try.

While it is unclear who the speaker of “this is me trying” is, it is clear that the song embodies the feeling of trying as hard as possible and yet still appearing to fail. The song opens with the metaphorical lines, “I’ve been having a hard time adjusting/I had the shiniest wheels now they’re rusting,” indicating that the speaker is someone who is not only going through an adjustment period, but also has fallen a long way from who they used to be. The speaker again references his/her past glory with the double entendre 2nd stanza line “So I got wasted like all my potential,” and the 2nd stanza hyperbole, “I was so ahead of the curve, the curve became a sphere.” Thus, Swift paints a picture of a speaker who, in the past, had been a successful high achiever, but after a shift in his/her life, falls from the pedestal he/she had once been on.

Then, “this is me trying” continues on, referencing an audience that the speaker refers to exclusively as “you” throughout the song. The audience is first referenced as the speaker explores the imagery of pulling his/her car off to the side of the road and contemplating following his/her “fears all the way down,” indicating that the speaker was considering suicide. However, the speaker then states, “And maybe I don’t quite know what to say/But I’m here in your doorway.” Thus, the audience is someone the speaker turns to in a dark period in his/her life. The audience is referenced again in the 3rd stanza as the speaker utilizes metaphorical language, “All I want is you/You’re a flashback in a film reel/On the one screen in my town.” This further develops the audience as someone who is no longer in the speaker’s life, though the speaker cannot stop remembering him/her. The words, “one screen” indicate that the speaker is forced to watch the audience as there is nothing else to watch on the only one screen in the town that is the speaker’s mind. The word “flashback” furthers this but also adds that the audience disrupts the speaker’s life, despite being gone, as flashbacks are sudden and disruptive to a person. Finally, the image of a film reel gives the indication that the speaker is trapped in the spherical film reel, his/her thoughts of the audience repeating over and over again. This also parallels Swift’s earlier line, “The curve became a sphere.” Therefore, the speaker may feel trapped and helpless to the audience, just as he/she did to the achievement curve of academia.

Given the extended metaphor of the audience being a flashback the speaker is forced to watch, it is also possible that the first stanza is a flashback, rather than an actual event in the song.

The 2nd stanza is primarily anecdotal, telling readers about the speaker’s past life. It tells readers more about the audience as we learn that the speaker was told the reason for his/her failures was entirely mental, that the speaker struggles with anger and feels regret for his/her anger, and that the speaker previously turned to alcohol to cope with issues in his/her life. The 2nd stanza includes 2 double entendres that further emphasize the speaker’s alcoholism. The first, “So I got wasted like all my potential” is likely a play on the phrase, “you’re wasting your potential.” Therefore indicating that the speaker turned to alcoholism after “falling behind the curve.” The second, “Pouring my heart out to a stranger/But I didn’t pour the whiskey” is a little different. This double entendre is the speaker telling the audience that though he/she is upset, he/she didn’t succumb to alcohol, talking to a stranger instead. This furthers the speaker and the audience’s relationship as the audience is clearly aware of the speaker’s alcoholism and might have attempted to help. The 2nd stanza is also the only one that doesn’t directly mention the audience, mentioning a stranger instead. It is possible that the 2nd stanza is a flashback, like the first, and the stranger is the audience before the speaker met him/her. Thus, the 3rd stanza is the only one that occurs in real time.

To summarize a bit, the 1st stanza is the speaker turning to the audience to cope with suicidal ideation, the 2nd stanza is how the speaker and the audience met, the audience helping the speaker through his/her past that influenced his/her alcoholism. The 3rd stanza is the only stanza that is not a flashback. It references the damage done to the speaker by the audience leaving.

Now, the chorus of the song is what changes tone. While all this is happening, the chorus sings,

I just wanted you to know
That this is me trying
I just wanted you to know
That this is me trying

At least I'm trying

The line, “At least I’m trying” occurs first after the speaker doesn’t pour the whiskey and then repeats again after the speaker reminisces about the audience. Not pouring the whiskey felt, to the speaker, like a small victory. Thus, the speaker begins to take pride in trying.

After overcoming suicidal ideation and alcoholism, the speaker reassures him/herself that he/she will overcome his/her longing for the audience as well. Thus, the song ends on an optimistic note, that even though trying is sometimes all one can do, trying is something anyone can do.

Therefore, Swift utilizes figurative language and story-telling to both deepen the experiences of readers as well as expand them. Readers begin to understand, on a more three-dimensional level, the feeling that trying is all someone can do. But, readers also delve into new experiences as Swift creates two characters and tells a story between them that brings readers into a new reality.

J. Cole vs Social Justice

New York born and raised artist J. Cole’s 2016 album 4 Your Eyez Only, featured song “Immortal” is one of many poetic songs in the album.  The album is inscripted with stories about the stars coming up and a close friend he’s lost which he formally calls James for the sake of his privacy.  Coming from the projects of New York, growing up wasn’t easy and J. Cole wrote about the constant experiences he withstood during his young life through illegal hussle and activity.  The song Immortal comes from the perspective of Cole at the age of 17, a quite optimistic child, but only because he sells crack to escape poverty even though the risks accumulate when dealing is your side hustle.  He talks about how African Americans are given 3 options from where he’s from to make ends meet in order to succeed and flee from the projects and how black men are only legends for drug dealing, sports, and music.  Cole resents the way this idea and perspective is enforced on society for a young black male.  This resentment was to primarily tackle the social justice system and the issues inside of it coming from the point of view of a black male.

J. Cole turns the underlying theme of the deepening song into a form of poetry, enhancing appeal towards his audience with his usage of eye catching diction and sensual feeling from the explicit song.  He’s own questioning as he reminisces and looks back on what he’s witnessed engages the listener who listens to his cleverness carefully, the contrast he makes when he states, 

Have you ever seen a fiend cook crack on the spoon? 
Have you ever seen a n***a that was black on the moon?

This really makes a listener who hasn’t seen the same question the unjust perspective a young black male has to go through in order to hustle to survive and escape from poverty.  The word “fiend” can be seen as a daily person in the street for some, or it can be used as an addict who has a wicked personality, emphasizing a contradiction between areas and multidimensional language. In addition the first verse right off the bat stating

Now I was barely seventeen with a pocket full of hope.  
Screamin' "dollar and a dream" with my closet lookin' broke.

And my ni***s lookin’ clean, gettin’ caught up with that dope. Have you ever served a fiend with a pocket full of soap?

With this, this exemplifies a setting, in a place where a broke young male fears poverty so much illegal activity is irrelevant, as nothing matches a broke man or a dead man in the projects which turns his diction into poetry, as he can tie his thematic concept into his own perspectives throughout his life.  The imagery J. Cole can paint all in all explains why rapping is poetry as you can clearly picture his facial expressions, his fatigue, and his situation in the projects in his last bar when he states,

And so I hustle like my ni***s in Virgini-A, 
They tellin' ni***s, "sell dope, rap or go to NBA.”
In that order, it's that sort of thinkin'
That been keepin' ni***s chained at the bottom and hanged.
The strangest fruit that you ever seen, ripe with pain, listen.”

The word “chained” can be seen as a confinement of being chained from the life of dealing drugs Cole lived, or as security in the social justice system he as a black man can’t escape from, exemplifying multidimensional language as a poet.  All in all emphasizing that J. Cole is a poet due to his intellectual diction, and the sensual and emotional connection listeners get from the imagery his music paints.

Death is not the End of Life

The song “Year of the Young” by Smith & Thell was not made as a part of any album, but rather as a single ode to those the band had lost. The band has publicly stated,  “Last year, we and those close to us lost several young friends and loved ones due to tragic circumstances. Our private lives were hit by one sadness after another.” This happened at the same time their music was gaining popularity and their careers started taking off. They were experiencing success after success, but at the same time losing those they loved. As the band was preparing to celebrate the new year, they felt they needed to write a song to mark the end of 2019, or as they called it, “The year where we got all we ever wanted, but felt we lost all that we ever had.”

The theme of this extremely poignant song is that a person is kept alive after death by those they leave behind; they are kept alive by those who remember them, perceive their spirit in the world, and honor their beliefs. This song speaks to every person who has ever lost a loved one, telling them that just because that person is dead, does not mean they are truly gone. The words of the song itself greatly enhance the power of this message.

Oh, this was the year of the young.

This is the title line of the song, and it ends every chorus with a bang. It is a powerfully written line, every one-syllable word fitting together, with alliteration connecting the words even further. However, the true power of the line comes from the meaning of the title phrase. The song is about the loss of not just loved ones, but of young loved ones, of people who have barely lived. The phrasing of “year of the young”, rather than “year of the dead”, not only indicates that the people the band lost were in their youth, but serves as a way to commemorate their youth, so that they would never be forgotten. To me, it seems similar to the Chinese naming of each year after an animal, such as the “Year of the Dragon”, in that the band is marking the year for all time and giving it meaning.

I’m the trees, I’m the birds
I’m the soft stars that shine at night

These lines have a lot going on. The use of first person in the context of the song refers to the person who died, making them the temporary speaker. In these lines, this person is telling those they left behind to look for them in nature, to keep them alive by seeing them as a part of the world. This fits with the message of the song by implying a form of reincarnation; it says that the dead come back to life in their loved ones’ perception of the world.

I won’t remember you died
I will remember you lived

In these lines, the speaker is speaking to those they lost. It implies selective memory, but in a deeper sense refers to what the speaker is choosing to focus on. The interesting thing about these lines is they say that the fact someone has died is not really important. It fits with the message of the song because it relates remembrance to life, and that memory is what keeps a person alive, even after they have died.

Imagine…

With our last year at OPRF coming to an unusual end, I’d like to add one last song to our playlist. Imagine by John Lennon, is a musical piece I would argue is poetic and a good listen during these times.

Within the lyrics, John envisions a world without borders, religion, and material possessions. Only with the elimination of these three can there finally be a “real” world peace. The elimination of nationalities, religion, and one’s economic class would create a unified Earth in Lennon’s mind.

Instead of focusing on John’s powerful vision of world peace, I would like you to utilize the difficult but not impossible tool Lennon encourages. Lennon guides the listener to use their imagination to envision a world without social constructs that divide us from one another. I on the other hand, encourage you to use this song to escape the confinements of your couch, bedroom, floor, wherever you are currently sitting during this lovely quarantine.

You may say I’m a dreamer

But I’m not the only one

I hope someday you’ll join us

And the world will be as one

The above stanza is the hook for “Imagine.” It appeals to the sensuous dimension of poetry with Lennon speaking of the sensation of unity with the words “one” and “us.” The use of “one” creates a sensation of a single entity, with the choice of “us” creating a feeling of a single united entity. Lennon furthermore connects with the emotional dimension with the usage of “hope.” By using “hope,” Lennon inspires the listener making an emotional connection. Finally, Lennon continues into the imaginative dimension with the use of “dreamer.” A dreamer uses his/her imagination, and in this context Lennon is a “dreamer.” By labeling himself as a “dreamer” he inspires his listeners and followers to become like him, a dreamer.

Whether you listen to the song with focus specific to Lennon’s vision, or you utilize his lyrics to liberate yourself from quarantine and venture into the depths of possibility, Lennon’s work “Imagine” is a piece of poetry.

My Way

“My Way” is one of Frank Sinatra’s more famous songs and was released on the album titled My Way. Although Sinatra did not write the lyrics, the song was immensely popularized after his rendition was released. “My Way” is a song about determination and life reflection. Here is the link to the lyrics My Way.

The song is as close to poetry as any song I’ve listened to. The song is emotional, uplifting, and has a consistent, clear rhyme scheme. The song is about someone on their death bed looking back on their life. The speaker is satisfied with his life and reflects on living it to the fullest in his own way. The speaker states he’s made mistakes and has some regrets but not too many to worry about. He reminisces on when he had to face adversity and fight through it. The song ends with some emotional lines about times he’s laughed and cried and expresses his pride in the way he lived his life.

The speaker conveys this message to the audience through the use of metaphors and emotional imagery. The poetic devices are employed to make the audience connect to the speaker and emotionally uplifts them.

And now, the end is near

And so I face the final curtain.

These are the first two lines of the song and the metaphor makes the song emotional from the start. He compares his dying days as the curtain being closed on the last part of his life.

I’ve lived a life that’s full

I’ve traveled each and every highway.

This metaphor is the speaker saying he’s ‘been there, done that’. He hasn’t traveled on every highway but he has so much life experience.

Yes there were times, I’m sure you knew

when I bit off more than I could chew

But through it all, when there was doubt

I ate it up and spit it out

I faced it all, and I stood tall

And did it my way

I think this is the most powerful stanza of the song because the speaker has gone away from the sad parts of the song and now he’s reflecting on his proudest moments. He employs metaphors to describe how he handled adversity and overcame some of the struggles he’s been through.

“Love You Too Much”

Released as the only single on his debut album Painted, in April 2019, “Love You Too Much“, Lucky Daye’s near-8 minute single details the pain one goes through when their love is not reciprocated. “Love You Too Much” is a song that has various interpretations and can be applied to life in more than one area.

Image result for love you too much lucky daye meaning"

The song begins with a minute and 30 second intro of the artist speaking; admitting that he has been hurt and is currently in a pain that has been messing with his head and is inescapable. As the song begins, its meaning is revealed, Lucky Daye is feeling regret for even allowing someone into his heart to the point where they could hurt him.

You make my heart beat for you

I almost cry too often (Too often)

But I put too much in your hands

So much regret in the end

During the chorus Lucky Daye discloses this meaning and the listener is left to picture his situation. Often he ends up crying because he has reached a point where he has given his all to someone, even his heart, and now it’s too late for him to change it. He regrets leading with his heart and believing he could never get hurt. Through the song’s slow but intense rhythm and Lucky Daye’s passionate sing and strong diction portraying his emotions, we are left to picture a time in our lives when we gave something or someone our all, and ended up in a place of regret.

In the third verse, Lucky Daye asks two rhetorical questions, aimed towards whoever hurt him.

How you f***in’ lie with a straight face?

How can you and I find a safe place?

By, raising these questions, he invokes emotions in the listener that they once again can relate to. He is torn because his trust in who is speaking to has been lost, and he does not know how they will recover from this.

It’s a shame for you, it’s a shame for me

Is the blame on you? I can say the same for me

Finally, through his use of another rhetorical question and rhyme, Lucky Daye establishes that all of this is a shame, and he primarily blames himself for allowing this to happen. If he did not give so much of himself, he would not be in the same position. He trusted that love would not hurt him, but now regrets his choice.

Will it “Be Alright”

Be Alright by Dean Lewis (Single) To find the full set of Lyrics : Be Alright

Poetry and Music and very similar these days, both are striving to make the reader or speaker often times feel some type of emotion or feeling. In Dean Lewis’s song “Be Alright” he is trying to do just that.

The Main theme of the song is that we can always rely on our friends or family to help us when we are disappointed or unhappy. The Main set of Lyrics that are repeated throughout are:

And my Friend said

“I know you love her, but it’s over, mate

It doesn’t matter, put the phone away

It’s never easy to walk away, let her go

It’ll be alright”

Similar to Poetry in the neoclassical period that often focused on romantic love. This song talks about how the speakers friends in this case know that the speaker is struggling and expressing that it is not easy, but you will get past it.

The Song talks about lessons that the speaker knows but still does not want to like how time heals all wounds. This is similar the the lesson or what of a poem, that eventually everything will be ok, and it just takes time. The speaker is talking to his friends the audience about his break up. Although the song does not use a lot of language devices, becised repetition the main goal of the song is to show the emotions that the speaker is feeling. The music adds to the message because it is a mix of minor chords however, there are major chords used when the speaker talks about growing and healing.

At the end of the song the repetition used is important:

It’ll be alright

It’ll be alright

It’ll be alright

It’ll be alright

It’ll be alright

The repetition used here helps to further the message that It will be alright, something that the song has been explaining the whole time.

A Perfect Miracle

The cover of Spiritualized’s 2018 album And Nothing Hurt.

When Jason Pierce left Spaceman 3 in 1991 he had bigger and more ambitious plans with his musical career.

In his last album with the Spaceman 3, Recurring, Pierce showed some poetic ability but it was not until he began his solo project, Spiritualized, that Pierce truly achieved poetic justice.

While Spiritualized is mainly known for their orchestric, psychedelic melodies, something Pierce took with him from Spaceman 3, the lyrics get substantially more sophisticated each album.

If you’ve listened to any of Pierce’s works you would know that his main theme is love. This is the case in Spiritualized’s first album, Lazer Guided Melodies, and in their eighth and most recent album And Nothing Hurt.

However, over time, Pierce takes love and makes it something more.

This is a verse from ‘Angel Sigh,’ a song on Spiritualized’s first album:

Girl it’s like an angels’ sigh

When I see you walkin’ by

Girl y’know the reason why

Girl y’know the reason why

While Pierce does incorporate an a-b-a-a rhyme scheme and even adds simile into his verse, the reader/listener knows exactly what he is talking about as it stated clearly. A good poet makes a reader think.

On ‘A Perfect Miracle,’ the first song of his 2018 masterpiece And Nothing Hurt shares the same theme as ‘Angel Sigh,’ love, but the lyrics are much more sophisticated and reading or hearing them may transport you to the world Pierce is imagining.

See the difference:

I’d like to sit around and dream you up a perfect miracle

Then take the clouds and have the sun proudly shining on you

Take the stars as well and line them up to spell “Darling, I love you”

And little by little watch it all come true

These lyrics invoke a warm and refreshing feeling. A feeling of hopefulness and loving. A feeling many novelists have tried so hard to transfer to their reader.

If a poem is a compressed novel, than ‘A Perfect Miracle’ is absolutely a poem because of its ability to capture Pierce’s mind and transfer it to the reader/listener who can then connect it to his or her’s own life.

Pierce’s poetic ability in And Nothing Hurt solidifies himself as one of the best songwriters in the world and sets the album apart from any other album of his career.

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.