Poetry Wednesday: Music

I started Poetry Wednesday for a couple of reasons.  One, selfishly, was to get me reading more poetry on a weekly basis and I have loved it.  Sometimes I read one poem and know that it is the one I am going to post.  Sometimes I weed through ten or twenty poems trying to find exactly the right one to post and talk about.  While Poetry Wednesday is neither the most popular nor the most commented on of my posts during any given week, it’s one of my favorite posts to share with you.  I hope that it has brought just a little bit of poetry into your life and made the whole form a little less scary, if you’re one to think poetry is scary.  If not, I hope I have shared with you a poem or two that you haven’t read before.

I hope that poetry seems a little less scary now.  Like any form, poetry is a broad term that can encompass so many things.  Not all poetry is difficult, not all poetry is hard to understand, not all poetry is pretentious (all complaints I have heard about the form), just like not all novels are any one thing either.  In fact, I guarantee you that you are exposed to poetry every single day of your life, whether you realize it or not.  There are some folks out there who would argue that I am too inclusive when it comes to what poetry is — after all, not everything can be art, right?  Meh.  I don’t know about that.  I have a very loose definition of poetry.  If you tied me down and asked me to define it, I guess I would say that it is anything that pays special attention to the sound of words to create imagery and/or convey emotion.  That is very broad and, yes, there are novels that would then fit into that definition.  But right now, I’m in an inclusive mood so, heck, those are poetry too.

The whole point of the above paragraphs (summary for you skimmers out there: poetry is awesome, poetry isn’t scary, poetry is everywhere!) is to introduce you to some poetry that you probably are familiar with.  Music is absolutely, positively poetry set to song.  Are there things that set song apart from poetry?  Sort of, but not really.  Song has music, first of all.  You usually hear it rather than read it.  Songs have choruses and refrains.  (But poems can be put to music, you should really listen/read out loud all the poems you read, some poems can have choruses and refrains.)  So you see my point?  It’s certainly poetry.

Evidence a: Mumford and Sons

This whole post is based on a realization that I had while listening to Mumford & Sons on Monday — these guys are poets, man!  This is the song that started it all: Winter Winds


As the winter winds litter London with lonely hearts
oh the warmth in your eyes swept me into your arms
was it love or fear of the cold that led us through the night?
For every kiss your beauty trumped my doubt

And my head told my heart
Let love grow
But my heart told my head
This time no,
This time no

We’ll be washed and buried one day, my girl
And the time we were given will be left for the world
The flesh that lived and loved will be eaten by plague
So let the memories be good for those who stay

And my head told my heart
Let love grow
But my heart told my head
This time no
Yes, my heart told my head
This time no
This time no

Oh the shame that sent me off from the God that I once loved
Was the same that sent me into your arms
Oh and pestilence is won when you are lost and I am gone
And no hope, no hope will overcome

And if your strife strikes at your sleep
Remember spring swaps snow for leaves
You’ll be happy and wholesome again
When the city clears and sun ascends

And my head told my heart
Let love grow
But my heart told my head
This time no

And my head told my heart
Let love grow
But my heart told my head
This time no
This time no


Really, the whole line that inspired this post is “And if your strife strikes at your sleep/Remember spring swaps snow for leaves” because it is amazing.  It is a perfect combination of sound and meaning, and if maybe it is obvious, it is still beautiful.  Also, it is unique, because we associate leaves with fall, but really that’s what Spring is all about as well, the new green where once there was none.  I have to tell you that I am a sucker for slant rhymes that sound amazing, such as again/ascends, sleep/leaves, girl/world.   The combination here of words and music is gorgeous and is matched perfectly.

Like I said, this is certainly poetry.

For the next couple weeks, I will be finding songs that I believe are pure poetry.  Next week I will be featuring K-OS.

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5 thoughts on “Poetry Wednesday: Music

  1. I really enjoy your Poetry Wednesdays, even though I don’t always comment, they often give me something to think about.

    I appreciated being able to read the lyrics along with the song —

    The lines

    ” And my head told my heart
    Let love grow
    But my heart told my head
    This time no
    This time no”

    really describes so well when there’s a struggle between the head and the heart regarding love.

  2. I love Mumford & Sons’ lyrics too 😀

    It’s funny – rationally I agree with every single thing you said, and yet I STILL let poetry intimidate me. Funny that 😛

  3. Poetry is so…. personal? It puts me into solemn thought mode. Tells me to slow down. and so sometimes poetry and blog-hopping just clash?? if that makes sense.
    I do so need to read more poetry. I DO read many of your posted poems but usually just don’t know how to respond other than,
    “nice. very nice.”

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