Last Updated 20 Apr 2022

Poetry Analysis Between Taylor Swift and William Blake

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‘What connections did you find between poems studied this year and what links can you make between the world of your poets and your world? ’ Love and the breakdown of love or relationships is a theme explored in many poems. The songs Long Live by Taylor Swift and the poems The Sick Rose and The Garden of Love by William Blake all question and explore the theme of love. The song, Long Live, by Taylor Swift, was written in 2010. At first listening to the song, we hear a fun, buoyant song about love, friendship and loss.

However, careful analysis reveals a complex piece of poetry that relies on its strong imagery and upbeat tune to convey strong meaning to the audience. Essentially, the song is about love or friendship and the loss of it. These themes are made known to the listener throughout the whole song. However, even though Swift is talking about the loss of love or friendship she does not sing about it in a sad, grim sort of way. She sings about it in a reminiscing way, saying that ‘I had the time of my life with you’ and she sings about all the idiosyncrasies she enjoyed throughout the relationship, rather than looking at the regret of lost love.

Swift uses several poetic techniques to convey the message of the song to the listeners. She powerfully uses techniques such as repetition and rhyme. Repetition is used throughout the song. ‘Long live The walls we crashed through All the kingdom lights shined Just for me and you. ’ The word ‘remember’ is also repeated throughout the song. This word is significant as it shows the audience that although the song sounds happy and is upbeat, Swift is actually reminiscing about memories and the feeling of love which have now passed and are now gone. Rhyme is used to create rhythm throughout the song. The rhyming throughout the song is consistent.

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In the second and third stanza Swift uses a rhyme scheme of ‘ABCB’; ‘We were the kings and the queens And they read off our names The night you danced like you knew Our lives would never be the same’ With other parts of the song such as in; ‘I said, "Remember this moment" In the back of my mind The time we stood with our shaking hands The crowds in stands went wild’ Sight rhyme is used frequently used by Swift. The use of the words ‘mind’ and ‘wild’ in the second stanza highlight this technique. Like Taylor Swift’s song Long Live, William Blake’s poem The Sick Rose is also about the breakdown of love and about how love has fled.

The Sick Rose is from a collection of his poems known as Poems of Experience that were published in 1794. Blake tells the story of a rose and how a worm came and slowly destroyed it. The rose and the worm in this poem are both used as metaphors to convey the actual meaning of the poem to the reader. The rose is a metaphor for love where the worm is a metaphor for something such as jealousy or infidelity that destroyed the relationship. The rose and the worm are both used as strong, contrasting images. We associate the picture of a rose with love and beauty where a worm is seen as disgusting and as some sort of infestation.

These two powerful images are keys to the vitality of Blake’s message. Blake also uses a strict rhyme scheme of ‘ABCB’ throughout the poem; ‘O Rose, thou art sick! The invisible worm That flies in the night, In the howling storm,’ The Garden of Love, also written by William Blake and contained in his collection, Poems of Experience, is also a poem about loss. Like both Long Live and The sick Rose, The Garden of Love talks about the loss of something beautiful, in this case it is the loss of a garden he used to play in called The Garden of Love. Blake tells the story of how he has gone back to The Garden of Love but everything had changed.

Instead of the green grass he used to play on stood a chapel and where flowers should have been growing were instead tombstones. Blake also uses strong contrasting images in this poem with the flowers and tombstones. Flowers are seen as beautiful and happy where gravestones are seen as the exact opposite, ugly and grim. These two powerful images are important to get across Blake’s message to the audience of losing something so beautiful. The Garden of Love also follows a strict rhyme scheme of ‘ABCB’; ‘I went to the Garden of Love, And saw what I never had seen: A Chapel was built in the midst,

Where I used to play on the green’ The last stanza however, does not follow this rhyme scheme. Instead Blake uses internal rhyme in the last line with the words ‘briers’ and ‘desires’; ‘And binding with briers my joys and desires’ The three pieces of poetry are all connected through their meaning of the loss of something. Unlike Blake, Swift sings about the loss of love in as experiential. Instead of looking at the breakdown of the relationship in a depressed manner, she instead sings about it in a cheerful way about the positive things that happened throughout the relationship.

Swift and Blake both use the technique of sight rhyme in their poems. Swift uses it with the words ‘mind’ and ‘wild’ and Blake with ‘storm’ and ‘worm’ in The Sick Rose and ‘love’ and ‘bore’ in The Garden of Love. Even though Taylor Swift and William Blake lived centuries apart, they both talked about loss in similar ways. Both poets use strong rhythms and images to convey the message of the poems. Above all else, the three poems are connected through their meaning of loss which is a part of life everyone experiences. Word Count: 987

Poetry Analysis Between Taylor Swift and William Blake essay

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