Songs As Poetry Project

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At least five songs must be included in your project. Each song’s title and artist should be listed with a link to its lyrics page. List and describe at least three poetic devices used in each song. Simply typing a specific line is usually sufficient, but if you’re describing a metaphor, you must specifically explain what two objects are compared and how (if this is not apparent in the song). Try not to use the same three devices in every song.

Here’s my poetry challenge to you: pick a project for each week of April, gather your supplies, and have some fun with poetry! This post was originally published on March 21, 2012, and was updated in March 2016. Familiar songs (e.g., current hits, famous movie-musical songs) with broad, relatable themes (belonging, change, friendship) will work best. Introduce the lesson by explaining that you're going to explore the question of whether song lyrics can be considered poetry. Invite the students to listen closely to the song as you play it for the class.

1. “Grenade” by Bruno Mars: lyrics

  • Poetic Devices: metaphor, alliteration, repetition
  • Metaphor: Catching a grenade is compared to experiencing pain, both physically and emotionally, in order to prove your love for someone.
  • Alliteration: “Black, black, black and blue. Beat me til I’m numb.”
  • Repetition: “Oh, take, take, take it all.”

Sims 4 mc command center woohoo. 2. “Dog Days are Over” by Florence and the Machine: lyrics

  • Poetic Devices: simile, alliteration, metaphor
  • Simile: “Happiness hit her like a train on a track.”
  • Alliteration: “Leave all your love and your longing behind.”
  • Metaphor: The line “the horses are coming, so you better run” is a metaphor for the inevitable occuring and trying to prolong it as long as possible.

3. “Winter Winds” by Mumford and Sons: lyrics

Songs As Poetry Projector

Popular songs that are poems
  • Poetic Devices: alliteration, personification, rhyming couplet
  • Alliteration: “And if your strife strikes at your sleep / Remember spring swaps snow for leaves.”
  • Personification: “But my heart told my head / ‘This time no.'”
  • Rhyming Couplet: “You’ll be happy and wholesome again / When the city clears and the sun ascends.”

4. “The Trolley Song” sung by Judy Garland: lyrics

  • Poetic Devices: onamonapia, alliteration, rhyming couplet
  • Onamonapia: “Clang, clang, clang went the trolley / Ding, ding, ding went the bell.”
  • Alliteration: “With my high-starched collar and my high-topped shoes / and my hair piled high up on my head”
  • Rhyming Couplet: “The day was bright, the air was sweet / The smell of honeysuckle charmed you off your feet.”

5. “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen: lyrics


Songs As Poetry Project

  • Poetic Devices: repetition, allusion, metaphor
  • Repetition: “Hallelujah” is repeated several times throughout the song.
  • Allusion: The song references biblical characters.
  • Metaphor: “Love is not a victory march / it’s a cold, and it’s a broken Hallelujah.”