Have you ever thought about the similarities between songs and poetry? Music often feels more accessible because it is part of our daily lives, but poetry can be just as accessible with practice!
There are countless genres of music, which means each individual has different variations of genres and artists. Similarly, people have favorite poets and forms of poetry that connect with them.
Music also uses figurative language, rhyme schemes, and different forms that listeners may not think about when listening to a playlist. Music and poetry seem contradictory, but many of these elements are prominent in both mediums.
Storytelling is a key part of both of these forms. Songs and poems both tell stories in a different way from novels or movies. Songwriters or poets pack their stories into several minutes of listening or reading. Fans often interact with a song or poem multiple times before the meaning and rhythm become clear.
Sometimes songs are inspired by poetry or have similar lyrics. The Lighthouse by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and the song The Lighthouse’s Tale by Nickel Creek both tell the story of a lighthouse and use imagery associated with the sea and lighthouses. These two pieces provide different perspectives: one reflecting on the lighthouse and one from the vantage of the lighthouse.
Print out your favorite song right, contemporary or classic, and read the words. You may be surprised by the ways poetry is already incorporated into your daily life!