Solo – Reading update

Solo by Kwane Alexander has main character Blade Morrison in a tough spot. After his rock and roll star dad, Rutherford Morrison embraces Blade at his graduation as Blade was about to give a speech. This puts Blade in an already broken relationship with his dad. But during a party thrown by Blade’s older sister, Blade shuts down the party after it gets too crazy. His sister then in a fit of rage tells Blade that he’s actually adopted! Blade then is in search of his biological mother in Ghana, Africa. Before he leaves for Africa he tattoos his girlfriend’s name on his arm, only when he sees her one last time before his flight he catches her cheating on him with her ex. In shock he leaves in hopes of never coming back to Hollywood. The book is in the format of a series of poems that tie to the larger story. similar to Crossover, or Rebound (Also written by Kwane Alexander). The book is amazing and I highly recommend if you enjoy music.

Dynamic or Static- an analysis

In Daniel Jose Older’s short story A Stranger at the Bochinche, the main character Ramses is a static character. This is shown through Ramese’s devotion to Rosie, his girlfriend. A ‘stranger’ from a rival group causes mischief and steals Rosie’s notebook. Daniel says, right after the stranger does this, “Ramses hadn’t said a word in as long as anyone had known him. Rosie knew how to read the tiny details of his face like it was a language of its own.” As stated before, Rosie and Ramses seem to have a solid relationship. After this, Rosie and Ramses chase down the stranger to get back Rosie’s notebook. When they find it they say, “You have my notebook?” Rosie whispered. Ramses nodded, barely suppressing his smile. He knew what to do.“Then let’s go,” Rosie said, clutching him tightly. Though this is an isolated incident and probably not the best story to fit the prompt, I do feel like Rosie and Ramses’ relationship is a strong example of a static character.

Music Poetry – “Sarah” by Alex G

Sarah is the 15th song on Alex G’s 2012 album Trick. This song seems to be about feeling guilty about an ex. Lyrics like “Every day I’ll make promises that plague Sarah’s heart” and “Did I make a mistake?” make it feel very regretful. That first line feels like an especially regretful reflective statement about the empty promises he wishes he hadn’t made. In the opening verses, he paints a very abstract but evocative picture of Sarah and his memory of her. The metaphors used are very powerful while remaining interesting and fresh from a lyrical perspective, but also in their own context as poetry.

Be Cool for Once

In “Be Cool for Once” the character Shirin is a dynamic character. She starts off not being brave. She likes a guy but she’s never made moves on him. Occasionally she’d ask for a protractor or a sharpie in order to talk to him but she was awkward and still shy about telling him how she felt. She sees him at a concert by artists she enjoys and questions it because he didn’t like those artists. She’s under the impression that he is waiting for a girl. “She didn’t know how to be brave and be herself.” Later on she gets more comfortable and has real conversations with him. According to the text “I can kiss my elbow.” Shirin explains that’s something she can do but Jeffery ended up being the one not being able to. She thought he was perfect but him not being able to do that changed her opinion a little.

Additionally, she had a strong opinion about a movie about car chases but she did end up watching it because he liked it.”Bullshit, asshole. No one likes the tuna here.” She said that to grab his attention while he walked about to let him know she was interested in him, to let herself and him know that now she was brave and an adventurer. He decided to go somewhere hes never been just to see her and spend time with her while listening to her favorite band. “You came to see a band you’ve never heard.” He did this because he liked her and he knew it was her favourite band and that was the time he could be alone with her and cherish this moment. They kissed and held hands to the car they were going to leave in. She goes from being a shy, observer to someone who is adventurous and takes risks. The first time she goes to a concert by herself she gets a boyfriend. When growing up sometimes it’s okay to take risks, hiding in the shadows can cause you to miss out on things that can make you happy.

The Moment You Realize You´re Growing Up- Getting Older by Billie Eilish

This song represents the feeling of realizing that you are actually growing up. I feel like this song can relate to anyone in high school because high school is a time in life where you should enjoy every moment because it will go away very fast.

I’m getting older, I’ve got more on my shoulders
But I’m getting better at admitting when I’m wrong
I’m happier than ever, at least that’s my endeavor

This verse is a very important part of the song because growing up comes with a lot of pressure and there is a lot of responsibilities that you need to take care of. The realization of growing up is a very scary thing because you’re not going to be that little kid on the playground throwing snowballs to each other with no stress in life anymore.

A Poetic Song About Being Happy: “Walk of life” by Dire Straights

The song “Walk of Life” by Dire Straights in their 1985 album, Brothers in Arms is a very upbeat song that talks about a street musician that is happy with his life despite his seemingly poor circumstances. This song teaches us a lot about being content with our lives and just to be happy. Some lines related to these themes are:

"And after all the violence and double talk
There's just a song in all the trouble and the strife"

"Dedication, devotion
Turning all the night time into the day"

"And after all the violence and double talk
There's just a song in all the trouble and the strife"

To me these lines convey a sense of happiness and joy surrounding Johnny even though he is struggling to “make it pay.” I think the overall message that this song is trying to show us is to be happy with what we have and enjoy life more.

Music Poetry: Riptide

“Riptide” by Vance Joy is a song about a guy who likes a girl and thinks about her a lot. While the guy likes her, he thinks that she’ll head down a bad path. When he sings,

“Lady, running down to the riptide
Taken away to the dark side
I wanna be your left-hand man”

it basically means that he’s worried that she’ll go down the wrong path and mess up her life. He wants to be there with her not only because he likes her but because he thinks he can keep her from messing up her life. Unfortunately, his love for her seems to become obsessive when he sings,

“I just wanna, I just wanna know
If you’re gonna, if you’re gonna stay
I just gotta, I just gotta know
I can’t have it, I can’t have it any other way”

He also seems to blame most of their relationship’s problems on the girl because of the bad choices she makes, and this convinces him that she’ll always make the wrong choice no matter what. I like how this song progresses because it shows how liking someone can become something toxic, without the person even realizing it.

Mortal Man

“Mortal man” by Kendrick Lamar off of the album To Pimp a Butterfly is a story between Kendrick and Tupac about racism and how Tupac was a voice for the black community similar to how Kendrick believes he is a symbol and a new generation voice for black people while also references Nelson Mandela being a voice for anti-racism similar to how Kendrick views himself. In the first few lines it says, 

“The ghost of Mandela, hope my flows they propel it

Let these words be your earth and moon

You consume every message

As I lead this army make room for mistakes and depression

And with that being said my n****, let me ask this question:”

which Kendrick uses “The ghost of Mandela, hope my flow they propel it.” as a metaphor for Kendricks “flows” being his raps and his songs being similar to his own voice for anti-racism like Mandela. Mandela’s views of racism play into Kendricks raps and songs showing that Kendrick is an anti-racism activist like Mandela but with his rap music instead. In the following lines, 

“You consume every message

As I lead this army make room for mistakes and depression”

Showing that Kendricks followers and fans consume his music to the fullest extent and with having that many fans and followers it causes him to make mistakes.

The Heavy Song of a Heavy Heart

The song is “Brutus” by The Buttress, from the album “My Name Means Heavy (demo version)”. It is inspired by the play “The Tragedy of Julius Caesar” by Shakespeare, in which the character Brutus, a friend of Caesar, conspires to kill him with others. The lyrics portray the thoughts of Brutus, his inner turmoil about what he is plotting. One of the overarching, subtle themes in the song is the concept of heavy. The beat is heavy, and the words seem to flow with it, emphasizing in lines like “I hate the air he breathes,” “This death will be art,” “I don’t want what you had, I wanna be you,”. It also ties into the heaviness of Brutus’ thoughts, of murdering his life long friend and his own raw desperation, as in the line “so with a heavy heart I’ll guide this dagger into the heart of my enemy,”. And it all comes together with his name, Brutus, which he states means heavy. This feeling of heavy is intensified by the slow rise in volume over the course of the song.

Music Poetry (Citizen of the Planet) by Alanis Morisstette

Album name: Flavors of Entanglement 

Overall I like how Alanis makes this song about how she experiences the world and sings us about how she feels different being exposed to new culture one after another.

(little context this album which was made in 2008 is filled with a pop and rock/sad and anger like energy with songs like Citizen of the Planet, Straitjacket, Versions of Violence as the rock/anger segment and Not as we,Torch, Incomplete as the pop/sad segment of the album during her break up in engagement that lasted three years)

Link if you’re interested: 

I think the central idea of this song is about how Alanis moves to America and explores what is different compared to Canada as she sang in one line, “Then I move across the sea  To European bliss  To language of poets  As I cut the cord of home I kiss my mother’s mother  Look to the horizon  Wide eyed, new ground  Humbled by my surroundings”  

Personification:  2:36 “Democracy’s kids are sovereign  Where the teachers are sages  And pedestals filled with every parent ”

The personification is that she is comparing people to control the government and compares teachers as leaders and wise she also compares parent’s as pedestals meaning that children look up to them and glorify them.

Imagery: 1:02 

“Then I fly back to my nest  I fly back with my nuclear.  But everything is different”

She gives the image of seeing how she feels different after coming back from America when she first left Canada.

alliteration:  0:38

“Then I move across the sea  To European bliss  To language of poets” 

She makes the alliteration of this because of poetry originating in Europe and from her having to move across Canada to Europe overseas. 

Poetry in Music-Mr Blue Sky and The People we Should Be

Mr Blue Sky by Electric Light Orchestra is one example of poetry in music, telling a short story about how much people love nice weather, but with a deeper hidden meaning of the joy of being around those who make us happy. As the chorus goes: Hey there Mr.Blue/We’re so pleased to be with you/look around see what you do/everybody’s watching you.” On the surface, it seems the lyrics are speaking directly to the sky, about how the nice weather is making everyone happy, but another interpretation is of a relative person, someone who makes us and other people happy by being kind and supportive, and is sort of a narrative of what kind of person we should be.

Another point when the song expresses this is during one of the verses, describing Mr.Night sneaking up behind Mr. Blue and taking his place, followed by the lyrics talking about “remembering” Mr. Blue, as though he has disappeared. On the surface, it appears to simply talk about the change from day to night, but deeper it could reflect people attempting to take over the lives of others, such as bullies or manipulative acquaintances.

In the end, the song is about the kind of people that we should be, people who help others and bring joy into their lives, told through the perspective of the sky.

Music Poetry: “Toms Diner”

In “Tom’s Diner” by Suzanne Vega and in the Taste This album. This song tells the story of someone in a diner called Tom’s Diner through their point of view as they go through their morning having coffee. If this was a poem it would have imagery all throughout it as the artist does a good job at describing the scenario and the environment indirectly. This makes the song easy to understand as if you are there. Suzanne Vega uses imagery at lines one, two, three and four the lyrics for these lines are,

I am sitting / In the morning / At the diner / At the corner

This use of language lets the listener or reader know where and when the song takes place by using the words “morning” and “corner” as these words describe when and where. Another example of imagery is at thirteen, fourteen, fifteen and sixteen

He is looking / Out the window / At somebody / Coming in

Here you can picture someone looking at a customer walking into the diner as the person at the counter looks at them.

Greed vs Pride: – “Biggering” by The 88

Biggering by The 88, a song from the album Dr Suess’ The Lorax, was one of the original songs that was suggested to the soundtrack. In the end, “Biggering” was passed over in favor of How Bad Can I Be, the more upbeat version. The song was created as a way for the Onceler to express his justification for the creation of his corporate empire at the cost of the environment. The reason for this switch is due to the fact that “Biggering” goes much, much deeper into creating a theme about greed and its cause, pride. 

The story goes that the Onceler started out content with what he had, but as business grew, he began expanding, he slowly gave into greed. The Onceler justifies it as “Pride,” but the Lorax responds:

I’m going to say this once, and I’m not gonna repeat it

Greed ya see, it’s like a little pet, alright?

And the more and more and more that you go and feed it

The more hungry it’ll get

The usage of both simile and personification in this shows that the Lorax believes that the Onceler can not solely blame greed for his increasingly rash actions, because the Onceler was the one who “fed it,” which has caused that feeling to grow stronger. It builds the idea that greed is a cycle that can’t stop unless the person stops giving in, which the Onceler did not.

The Lorax says that greed isn’t the root of why the Onceler is biggering. Instead, he blames pride:

You see, it’s gotta worm inside

Oh yeah, that’s right

It’s one that always needs to feed

And it is never satisfied

You get it?

But the more you try to find it

The more it likes to hide

Now listen that is nasty little worm

And I like to call it pride.

The “worm” hidden inside of the feeling of greed is pride. The Lorax shows that the reason greed is so powerful is because it’s hidden, so you can never see what is truly powering your actions. The way pride and greed are continuously referred to as living things is the Lorax’s way of saying how they can shift and grow, and how they almost seem to think for themselves.

The Onceler, however, tries very hard to justify his actions without calling himself negative things like “greedy.” At the very start of the song, he talks about how he was content as he was. 

I had a little cottage

And that cottage was enough

A place where I could sit and knit

A place where I could sell my Thneeds

But now I’ve had a little time

To re-assess my needs

The lyrics here show that very quickly his opinions on how his business should be run changed. The line about “reassessing his needs” was likely the very start of when he began to get greedy, although later he justified it as:

A company’s an animal

That’s trying to survive (survive)

It’s struggling, and fighting

Just to keep itself alive

The Onceler is comparing his company to an animal, yet again bringing in the same level of personification that the Lorax uses, but this time, the Onceler is saying that his company needs to keep growing to stay afloat. He calls it “survival of the fittest” in his own way of saying that his actions were reasonable. (They were not.)

Throughout the song, personification is used over and over to show how feelings are always changing and growing, and not always in positive ways. The metaphors are there to show how similar things like companies can be to those changing emotions. The song “Biggering” is meant to show how it’s so easy to slip into actions beyond what you can reasonably justify.

“House of Gold” by Twenty-One Pilots

Poetry is used everywhere throughout the world and in media. Almost every book, film, show, piece of art, etc. have hidden meanings placed into them. However, the piece that is constantly using key elements of poetry is music. While music may have all of these hidden meanings, people do not usually pay attention to these meanings behind the lyrics and even the instrumentals themselves. There are many bands that are able to use their lyrics for multiple meanings, although the duo, Twenty One Pilots are able to create entire albums based on a single story. This includes their song “House of Gold” from their 3rd album Vessel. In the song, there are many complex structures of sayings that can be analyzed much more closely. Twenty One Pilots’ “House of Gold” is a piece of poetry.

       There are many strong lines that are used throughout the 2013 hit, but only three will be presented. The first lyric to be analyzed is the title of the song.

She asked me, 'Son, when I grow old,
Will you buy me a house of gold?'

This line in the song explains how a mother figure asks her son if he would buy her a “House of Gold”. Poetry is able to make a strange sentence seem very deep and emotional when thought about. This lyric can be thought of as a mother wanting her son to become a successful person in life, which is indicated by the use of “House of Gold” which can be interpreted as making a lot of money and becoming wealthy. This is able to unlock the fact that even though the sentence at first sounded strange, it was able to be understood if it was looked at as poetry. Another lyric from the song is,

‘And when your father turns to stone,

Will you take care of me?’

This line explains how when the father is frozen in stone, the son will take care of the mother. This can indicate that the mother wants her son to take care of her when her husband dies. The meaning of these lyrics is able to completely change the tone of the song, from making it sound gleeful and innocent to dark and depressing. Lastly, the lyrics are,

And since we know that dreams are dead,

And life turns plans up on their head,

I will plan to be a bum,

So I just might become someone.

This line says that the speaker says that their dreams are dead and that they plan to be bum. This is able to be deciphered as the speaker explains how they became a failure. This ties to the previous lyrics, because the speaker now knows that they will have disappointed their mother by not being successful. They regret it so much that they even want to crawl out of their own skin. The usage of metaphors and sentence structures is able to make the listener completely change their perception of the song. Overall “House of Gold” by Twenty One Pilots is able to be considered poetry if looked at carefully.

Miss Missing You: Music Poetry

The song “Miss Missing You” by Fall Out Boy (lyrics here) is a poetic song because it utilizes poetic language. It compares ‘you’ (as in the person the singer is singing to) to “a picket fence,” showing that this person’s partner was their symbol of normalcy. It has a striking line as well, saying “the person you’d take a bullet for is behind the trigger.” This emphasizes a feeling of betrayal typically associated with breakups. The final example of an interesting line is “cue all the love to leave my heart,” which comes across as the subject sarcastically saying that all the feeling will simply vanish, perhaps comparing to the way the breakup seemed sudden and irrational. The main line and the title, “miss missing you” implies that the person singing the song does not miss the person they were in a relationship with, but misses the feeling of being in a relationship. The concept of this song is fitted around the idea of getting out of a relationship, but missing the feeling of loving someone rather than the person themselves.

“The Drugs Don’t Work” – Music Poetry

The song is named “The Drugs Don’t Work”, it is sung by the 90s British band named The Verve, and it is featured on their album called Urban Hymns from 1997 (The Drugs Don’t Work). Richard Ashcroft, vocalist and author of the song, claims that he wrote it for a loved one. He goes on further to say that the song was about how one’s love is predestined and if one of them dies, then they shall meet again eventually. The Drugs Don’t Work is certainly open to interpretation, but most that resonate with it state the song reminds them of a loved one that struggled with substance abuse.

The idea of meeting a loved one again is strongly represented in the following lines: “Now the drugs don’t work. / They just make you worse / But I know I’ll see your face again,” “If heaven falls, I’m coming too,” and in “You leave my life, I’m better off dead” The lines express a balance between melancholy and hope. The melancholia being the fact that they have died and the hope being the thought of seeing them again. The Drugs Don’t Work is like poetry since it is able to convey the mixture of opposite emotions without necessarily comparing them. That is what humanity is all about, ambivalence.  

Poetically Dealing With Loss: “champagne problems” by Taylor Swift

I think an example of music poetry is the song “champagne problems” by Taylor Swift from her evermore album. The whole album has a calmer tone than her other albums because I think the songs are more about processing different problems. “Champagne problems” for example, paints a picture of someone trying to deal with a loss but being conflicted about it, how much help they should get, etc.

In the beginning of the song, she sings,

Your mom's ring in your pocket
My picture in your wallet
Your heart was glass, I dropped it

I think the last line is similar to a metaphor or simile because she is comparing her someones heart to something she can/did shatter. The line helps get introduced to the problem and how she feels responsible for part of it. Another line say,

And soon they'll have the nerve to deck the halls
That we once walked through

She is referring to ex friends in this verse, but I think it can be related to more than that. I don’t know if she is using a specific poetic device, but the clever wording shows how much the situation impacted her, even if we don’t know what it’s about exactly. The deck the halls lyric sounds like poetry to me. Finally, the last verse of the song says-

You won't remember all my
Champagne problems

I think that this is a very powerful last line because even though it doesn’t use much figurative language or poetic devices the simplicity of it after such a powerful complicated song stands out. I think it shows that after all the experience and thoughts the person just went through, it can still be put into another perspective and invalidated in a way. I think that’s also why this song goes through a lot of complications that come with loss and how you can tell how conflicted the person is.

Overall, lyrics that portray this deep of a message and story can easily be compared to the way poetry communicates different themes.

Music Poetry(Clouds)

The song "Clouds" by NF is a quintessential example of a poem, proving that some songs do have a deeper meaning than you may think. To start the song, a line that appears to be nonsense plays, but in reality it is the phrase "Head's in the clouds" played pitch down in reverse. This hints that unlike other popular rappers, NF has kept his head down to earth and taken nothing for granted. 

As the song continues, NF provides several unique metaphors and similes to describe himself, including:
I'm Bruce Willis in a train wreck
I'm like trading in your car for a new jet  
I'm like having a boss getting upset
'Cause you asked him for less on your paycheck 
By using these poetic devices, he implies that he is different from others, by describing several other ludicrous and seemingly impossible acts. 

Later in the song, he sings: How could you doubt me? I've always delivered Ripping the teeth out of my mouth's the closest you get to my wisdom, which is a clever double entendre. In the next verse, he uses a hyperbole, overexaggerating and saying ("I pick up your body and throw it a block/Okay, I admit it, that's over the top, not!"). In conclusion, this song it more than just a song, using several poetic devices and demonstrating a work of poetry.

Balling After Heartbreak

21 Savage’s “ball w/o you” from his album “I Am>I Was” is more than a song, it is poetry. The album “I Am>I Was” is about 21’s progression in life and explains how he is now a better person that he used to be. The poem/song projects his feelings onto you and leaves you with a lasting impression. The purpose of “ball w/o you” is to express his strong feelings about a past relationship. He felt betrayed and left. 

The lines,

I'd rather have loyalty than love 
'Cause love really don't mean jack (Straight up)
See love is just a feeling
You can love somebody and still stab them in the back

use line breaks and vivid imagery to progress his story and extreme feelings about betrayal. He is showing that he is still getting over things, but constantly progressing to get better and better, which goes with the theme of his album.

The lines,

Valentines Day she ripped the card
And urinated on the rose petals (Damn)

are used to show the betrayal 21 endured in his past relationship. The line/s are not literal, he uses a hyperbole in order for listeners to lively imagine the love he gave out, and the falcity he received in return. 

The lines,

Middle school got my heart broke
Stop writin' love letters (21)

are used with imagery. Listeners can imagine 21 destroying or putting away all of his love letters and feelings after being heartbroken. The line connects back to the album by showing how 21 Savage felt like he could never love again, but eventually grows and becomes a better person by the and of the album.

Music Poetry (Hall of Fame)

The song “Hall of Fame” by the Script in their album #3 is a very poetic and heavy song in the way of getting someone to feel something more than just the song itself. The song is about it being possible for you or anyone to do anything, you could be anything you wanted to be and do whatever you wanted to do. This song is full of deeper meanings than the ones clear as day on the surface of the song. One lyric “Cause you burn with the brightest flame” is a metaphor because you obviously aren’t on fire but the song makes it seem that you would stand out, people would notice you. Another lyric “You can walk straight through hell with a smile” this is also a metaphor and has the deeper meaning that you can walk through your terrifying obstacles with a smile on your face on your way to your goal, the Hall of Fame. The last lyric that is a reference to this song being poetic is “You can move a mountain” I don’t know anyone who can move a mountain which means that this is probably a metaphor for being able to do anything that would seem impossible. The song “Hall of Fame” by the Script can be considered a poetic song due to it’s multidimensional language.