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Songs Can Be Considered A Form Of Modern Day Poetry

1502 words - 6 pages

Can Songs be Considered A Form of Modern Day Poetry? Yes.

The youth of today are more likely to have a favourite song rather than a favourite poem. Although the feelings and hidden meanings expressed in songs are often unacknowledged by the listener, they often have qualities that resemble those of a typical poem. These qualities include word choice, mood, hidden meanings and imagery. Using the songs “Luka” by Suzanne Vega, and “April Come She Will” by Simon and Garfunkle, I am going to prove that songs can be considered a form of modern day poetry.

To indulge the reader, poets can use contradictory language and specific word choice to contrast the themes of the poem thus creating a particular mood. Suzanne Vega demonstrates this in the song “Luka”:

Verse 1
My name is Luka
I live on the second floor
I live upstairs from you
Yes I think you’ve seen me before

The impression created in verse 1 is that of a typical “boy meets girl” theme. This is motivated by the pleasant, happy music and the lyrics indicating a girl meeting a boy. As the song continues, verse 2 indicates that their initial impression was incorrect:

Verse 2
If you hear something late at night
Some kind of trouble, some kind of fight
Just don’t ask me what it was
Just don’t ask me what it was
Just don’t ask me what it was

The music continues to be pleasant, which contrasts to the bad vibe given off by the lyrics in verse 2. The songwriter is using contrasting themes which is a technique often used in poems. The repetition of “Just don’t ask me what it was” encourages familiarity for the listener as, because it is repeated, it is what the listener remembers about the song. Furthermore, it adds more emphasis to the indication that something is wrong by reinforcing how strongly she feels about someone asking her what is going on. The words “Fight” and “late at night” suggests domestic abuse towards the main character. Who the main character is in terms of age is unclear, however the opening verse references to “I” in contrast to us, which suggests an isolated individual i.e. a child, rather than a woman in an abusive relationship. If it was a woman being domestically abused, the opening verse may say “we live on the second floor” and “we live upstairs from you” indicating that she is in a relationship since abused woman tend to protect the abuser. The specific word choice in this verse is also a typical trait of a poem.
Verse 3 demonstrates how the victim blames herself as a result of her abuse:

Verse 3
I think it’s because I’m clumsy
I try not to talk too loud
Maybe it’s because I’m crazy
I try not to act too proud

These lines suggest that the victim blames herself and additionally demonstrates confusion as to why she is abused. This causes the listener to react sympathetically to the child. The music carries on being cheerful, so the upsetting nature of the lyrics is more hard-hitting to the listener as they react, going from...

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