Metaphors In Song Lyrics: Katy Perry’s Firework

As soon as you read the headline of this article, you probably already started singing the phrase in your head. One of Katy Perry’s most popular songs from her Teenage Dream album is a great example of a metaphor in song lyrics.

Last I checked, I didn’t know anyone who was physically or literally a firework. So what does Katy Perry mean when she says the following lyrics:

Cause baby you’re a firework
Come on show them what you’re worth
Make them go oh, oh, oh
As you shoot across the sky

A firework is a big burst of colored flames that as Perry so eloquently put it, burst across the sky. They are loud, dynamic, full of energy, colorful, etc. In this metaphor, Perry encourages her listeners to be all of these things.

Music Video for Katy Perry’s Fireworks

A copy of her lyrics also show that the entire song is riddled with metaphors. What other metaphors can you pick out and what do they mean to you?

Do you ever feel like a plastic bag
Drifting thought the wind
Wanting to start again
Do you ever feel, feel so paper thin
Like a house of cards
One blow from caving in
Do you ever feel already buried deep
Six feet under scream
But no one seems to hear a thing
Do you know that there’s still a chance for you
‘Cause there’s a spark in you
You just gotta ignite the light
And let it shine
Just own the night
Like the Fourth of July
‘Cause baby you’re a firework
Come on show ’em what your worth
Make ’em go “Oh, oh, oh!”
As you shoot across the sky-y-y
Baby you’re a firework
Come on let your colors burst
Make ’em go “Oh, oh, oh!”
You’re gonna leave ’em fallin’ down down down
You don’t have to feel like a waste of space
You’re original, cannot be replaced
If you only knew what the future holds
After a hurricane comes a rainbow
Maybe a reason why all the doors are closed
So you can open one that leads you to the perfect road
Like a lightning bolt, your heart will glow
And when it’s time, you’ll know
You just gotta ignite the light
And let it shine
Just own the night
Like the Fourth of July
‘Cause baby you’re a firework
Come on show ’em what your worth
Make ’em go “Oh, oh, oh!”
As you shoot across the sky-y-y
Baby you’re a firework
Come on let your colors burst
Make ’em go “Oh, oh, oh!”
You’re gonna leave ’em fallin’ down down down
Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon
It’s always been inside of you, you, you
And now it’s time to let it through
‘Cause baby you’re a firework
Come on show ’em what your worth
Make ’em go “Oh, oh, oh!”
As you shoot across the sky-y-y
Baby you’re a firework
Come on let your colors burst
Make ’em go “Oh, oh, oh!”
You’re gonna leave ’em fallin’ down down down
Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon
Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon

Exploring the Poetry Resurgence Under The Trump Administration

Probably no one will find this surprising, but the number of new poems seems to have skyrocketed under the Trump Administration, which seems hell-bent on destroying everything it touches — especially if it was penned by the Obama Administration. If you’re as disgusted as we are, here’s a good poem to explore those feelings. It’s called Revenge by Elisa Chavez.

“Since you mention it, I think I will start that race war.

I could’ve swung either way? But now I’m definitely spending

the next 4 years converting your daughters to lesbianism;

I’m gonna eat all your guns. Swallow them lock stock and barrel

and spit bullet casings onto the dinner table;

I’ll give birth to an army of mixed-race babies.

With fathers from every continent and genders to outnumber the stars,

my legion of multiracial babies will be intersectional as fuck

and your swastikas will not be enough to save you,

because real talk, you didn’t stop the future from coming.

You just delayed our coronation.

We have the same deviant haircuts we had yesterday;

we are still getting gay-married like nobody’s business

because it’s still nobody’s business;

there’s a Muslim kid in Kansas who has already written the schematic

for the robot that will steal your job in manufacturing,

and that robot? Will also be gay, so get used to it:

we didn’t manifest the mountain by speaking its name,

the buildings here are not on your side just because

you make them spray-painted accomplices.

These walls do not have genders and they all think you suck.

Even the earth found common cause with us

the way you trample us both,

oh yeah: there will be signs, and rainbow-colored drum circles,

and folks arguing ideology until even I want to punch them 

but I won’t, because they’re my family,

in that blood-of-the-covenant sense.

If you’ve never loved someone like that

you cannot outwaltz us, we have all the good dancers anyway.

I’ll confess I don’t know if I’m alive right now;

I haven’t heard my heart beat in days,

I keep holding my breath for the moment the plane goes down

and I have to save enough oxygen to get my friends through.

But I finally found the argument against suicide and it’s us.

We’re the effigies that haunt America’s nights harder

the longer they spend burning us,

we are scaring the shit out of people by spreading, 

by refusing to die: what are we but a fire?

We know everything we do is so the kids after us

will be able to follow something towards safety;

what can I call us but lighthouse,

of course I’m terrified. Of course I’m a shroud.

And of course it’s not fair but rest assured,

anxious America, you brought your fists to a glitter fight.

This is a taco truck rally and all you have is cole slaw.

You cannot deport our minds; we won’t

hold funerals for our potential. We have always been

what makes America great.”

Were you the victim of a hate crime in the Miami area? Help is available from Valiente Law, so visit their website.

3 Reasons To Teach Poetry In The Classroom

Poetry is either hit or miss when it comes to children and adults. Some people love it, some people hate it and most people don’t really have an opinion. Despite whether or not you love or hate poetry, teaching poetry to children is very important and can provide a variety of benefits for children in elementary school during their formative years.

Builds Reading, Speaking and Listening Skills 

Poetry is different than other types of writing because poetry has rhythm and rhyme. Having children listen to the poem and then having them repeat the poem out loud helps them connect the dots between what they hear, what they see and what they say.

Expands Language and Vocabulary 

Teaching phonics goes hand in hand with poetry due to their rhymes. Children can listen for and locate rhyming words. The way poems are structured can also be taught to help teach other basic grammar skills such as subject, predicate, and parts of speech. Also, many poems contain words that the children might not have heard before but they might be able to understand what they mean based on the context of the poem.

Inspires Writing 

There are several different types of poems from acrostic to sonnets. Different types of poems can inspire kids to participate in writing while also showing them how to form sentences and put words in a coherent order. But it also allows them to participate in creative writing while providing a structure.

There are several famous children’s poets that have written poetry that is appropriate for children; Shel Silverstein, A.A. Milne, Robert Louis Stevenson and Dr. Seuss just to name a few. The more exposure children have at an early age to poetry the more likely they are to enjoy it in the future. They will also have better grammar and literacy skills.

The Most Erotic Poems Ever Written

Poetry has long been a medium for which to direct our innermost thoughts to others who might be feeling something similar–or something different. Pen to paper is one of the greatest ways of exploring the taboo, the unthinkable, or the things we most want to have but can’t. Some of these poems are violent, some are sensual, some are erotic or sexual, tantalizing, dirty or timid. Here are a few of the most erotic poems ever written!

  1. Anne Carson told The Autobiography of Red, an unusual love story based on mythology. The story follows the “monster” Geryon who was sexually abused by an older brother. Geryon finally finds release through Herakles, although the love affair is not without its ups and downs. Who doesn’t love a good homoerotic romance with ambiguous literal or figurative monsters thrown in for good measure?
  2. Pablo Neruda was a Chilean poet known for his love poems, including “Every Day You Play.” This poem is savage and sensual, and blatantly erotic. It’s also one of the most beautiful and well-written poems you’ll ever read. “The rain takes off her clothes. / The birds go by, fleeing. / The wind. The wind.” This one is well worth the adventure.
  3. Anne Reeve Aldrich was a talented American poet, who wrote “Servitude.” It’s worth a read, as are her other works in The Rose of Flame. Like many popular poets, she found greater prominence after an early death at the age of 26.
  4. To a Dark Moses” was written by African American Lucille Clifton, a poet and writer. She gained much renown during her 73 year life, and almost won two Pulitzer Prizes in poetry. Her publication of “homage to my hips” was a rare work of art that helped women–and African American women in particular–find freedom in sexual expression through power and understanding.
  5. Audre Lorde was known as a source of pride for lesbian feminism as an activist and writer. She gave us “Recreation,” sensual and sexual as it is. She’s also well known for her common expression of outrage at the state of civil rights during her life. She grew up in the 30s and 40s and passed away in 1992. She identified as a poet, mother, feminist, African American, and lesbian, although she was careful not to allow any one identity overtake another. She wanted to use those parts of herself to bring others together in celebration of differences.

The Risk Of Suicide In Poets And Their Works

Poetry has always been a medium for the subjects we least like to discuss. It’s a way to describe our innermost thoughts without saying exactly what we mean, and that’s why it’s so special. A poem is always open to interpretation, and that means that many readers will never truly understand the mind of the poet. But that’s okay. This style of writing is meant to be fluid.

Many readers believe that a number of writers who have committed suicide left clues in their poems–Sylvia Plath chief among them. According to research on the subject, writers who have committed suicide veer toward subjects of social detachment and narcissism, in stark contrast with writers who lived to a ripe old age or died naturally.

Writers are known to commit suicide at a greater rate than average, poets in particular, so it might not come as too much of a surprise that depressed writers tend to choose darker words and explore darker subjects than happy writers. According to the same research, struggling writers often stick to the first-person point of view, using the word “I” at higher rates.

Today, poetry is used as a medium in order to prevent suicide. It is used to explore our feelings of grief after a loss or teach others about options to cope with depression.

There are those who believe it’s the nature of poetry that causes depression among poets. When you write, you most often do it alone. As a species, we most often focus on the negative over the positive. Poetry is a means of personal expression, and therefore it focuses on the bad over the good. Then again, poets also have increased rates of mental illness. Is creativity a predictor of depression or other mental illness?

Poets tend to die an average of six years earlier than those in other professions. This is due to increased rates of alcohol and drug abuse, suicide, and all the health concerns that result. Whether or not this is causative is open to debate. Perhaps those who are depressed are simply more likely to turn to poetry as a means of coping.

The Best Underrated Poets

Not everyone can get into poetry, and that’s okay. Sometimes a concrete narrative you don’t have to interpret is easier on the mind, and sometimes a visual narrative is easiest of all. Then there are those who turn to the interactively visual narratives of video games. All of these represent different artforms, and yet even today poetry seems the most underrated. Who are the most underrated modern-day poets? Here are just a few who deserve a more in-depth look!

Michael Hettich’s work is an inspiration. It’s a nice change of pace for those who prefer the narrative approach to storytelling, and it’s easy to read. You’ll find yourself thrown back in time with poems like First Day of Class or And We Were Nearly Children. These works are simple yet subtle, and that’s what we like.

Ars Poetica, written by Archibald Macleish, represents quite the opposite. It’s short and sweet, but it’ll put your mind to work. It’s not necessarily about inherent meaning; what it means to you will be different from what it means to anyone else. We each have our own unique memories and this poem is a great way to stir them up.

Here’s an excerpt:

“Leaving, as the moon behind the winter leaves,
Memory by memory the mind–”

Give it a try!

Ross Gay’s Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude is another deserving title on our list. He speaks to his audience directly, spurring fantastically colorful imagery, sounds, and smells in our imaginations. Not only will this poem elicit many outdoor memories, but it can coerce some dark thoughts as well.

An excerpt:

“I mean tons — of cowshit
And stood ankle deep in swales of maggots
Swirling the spent beer grains
The brewery man was good enough to dump off…”

Karen Head studied at the School of Literature, Media, and Communication of Georgia Tech but her imagination might have you believing she’s a product of Harvard. She writes about mature topics, as this excerpt from Listen O daughters turn turn shows:

“You don’t need your daddy to string you up in a barn to beat the sin out of you because the sin swirls like a spring tornado from the moment you gasp into this world…”

It’s true, this list is by no means comprehensive. One person’s underrated is another’s overrated, because we all have our own opinions. Who would you like to see added to the list?

Famous Phrases By Shakespeare

In The United States, we have a love-hate relationship with Shakespeare. While many of us dreaded reading his plays in high school due to the sophistication of the language, theatre lovers consider it a privilege to present his works. But without Shakespeare, the English language would not be where it is today because not only did he invent words that we use today, he invented common phrases that are used all the time. Here are some famous phrases that have been attributed to Shakespeare. This is not the same thing as famous quotes such as “star-crossed lovers” or “to be or not to be” or “shall I compare thee to a summer’s day” – these are phrases that we use in our everyday vernacular that were first introduced to us by Shakespeare.

Bated Breath – Merchant of Venice

This phrase refers to breathing that is subdued because of some emotion and/or difficulty. Shakespeare used “bated” as an abbreviation for the word “abated” which means to bring down or lower. In 1933, the phrase was featured  in the poem Clever Cruel Cat but was misspelled as “baited.”

Fancy-Free – Midsummer Nights Dream

This phrase describes the feeling of being without any ties or commitment. The word fancy in Tudor England meant “amorous inclination” or in today’s vernacular enormous enthusiasm.

Forever And A Day – The Taming Of The Shrew

This term means exactly as it sounds and cannot actually exist. Forever is ever and therefore you cannot add days to it. Shakespeare used this as a dramatic emphasis.

Good Riddance – Troilus and Cressida

This expression refers to the pleasure of getting rid of something, usually a person. The term “riddance” was first used in a poem Away Mourning in 1525 and simply met getting rid of. Shakespeare coined “good riddance” to describe the positivity that can come from getting rid of something.

In A Pickle – The Tempest 

In a pickle simply refers to being in a difficult situation. The word “pickle” refers to being disoriented or mixed up as the stewed vegetables that were used in original pickles (spicy sauces used to accompany meat). Similar to the phrase “in a jam” where instead of vegetables, it is the fruits that are mixed up and disoriented.

Wild Goose Chase – Romeo and Juliet 

This phrase refers to searching for something but never finding it or pursuing something that is futile. A “wild goose chase” however is not running after a wild goose and chasing it. It refers to a terminology in horse racing where the lead horse is at a set distance which mimics wild geese flying in formation.

For more clever phrases written by Shakespeare, please feel free to visit their website.

 

 

THE SYLVIA PLATH EFFECT ON POETRY

It is generally admitted that poetry is one of the great art forms in the world, as it is painting with words. And some of the best word painters have been men – but only because their careers are longer and thus their portfolios thicker.

Turns out, this is not a sexism thing nor is it something having to do with the “patriarchy.” There is apparently a mental pathology that seems to dictate that female poets – for all their equal brilliance with the written word – will generally have a shorter career in poetry, and life as a whole.

Sylvia Plath was one of the great young female poets of her time but had her life cut short by depression, as she committed suicide in 1963 at the age of 30 by putting her head inside an oven and dying of carbon monoxide poisoning while her children slept in nearby bedrooms.

A number of studies look at writers and poets of both genders, and even prominent women in various career fields, to determine if there was something to the curious case of a number of female poets who died or were committed to mental institutions for various disorders. The research in the several studies all came to pretty profound conclusions – female poets or creative writers actually had a higher likelihood of mental illness than male counterparts or even women in other career fields. And frankly, it wasn’t even close, which was all the more remarkable.

In 2001, a psychologist by the name of James Kaufman developed the phrase “Sylvia Plath effect” to describe this phenomenon of female creative writers falling victim to mental illness at a higher rate than other women and male creative writers.  There has been some pathological research that seems to locate some indicators of those who have higher risks of mental illness, but so far there is no real determination as to whether the mental illness creates the poets, or whether being a woman and what happens to bring about the mental illness. The “chicken or egg” dilemma is still being discovered and researched.

It is unfortunate that the Sylvia Plath effect is not based on a phenomenon of great female poets coming out of the classes from which Sylvia Plath is taught – but instead, it describes the odd phenomenon of the high mortality rates of female creative writers (which an exception being the long and storied career of modern poet Maya Angelou). If your daughter has aspirations of becoming a poet or creative writer, it might be a good idea to take her in for a psychological evaluation, just to make sure she’s not susceptible to the Sylvia Plath effect.

Analysis of Whitman’s Famous Poetry

O Captain! my Captain! These famous words have been uttered countless times around the globe, becoming nearly commonplace. However, many do not know their origin — Walt Whitman’s beautiful poem published in his book, Leaves of Grass:

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
                         But O heart! heart! heart!
                            O the bleeding drops of red,
                               Where on the deck my Captain lies,
                                  Fallen cold and dead.
O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
                         Here Captain! dear father!
                            This arm beneath your head!
                               It is some dream that on the deck,
                                 You’ve fallen cold and dead.
My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
                         Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
                            But I with mournful tread,
                               Walk the deck my Captain lies,
                                  Fallen cold and dead.

As well written as this poem may be, it can only be truly appreciated after understanding its meaning. The poem itself is an elegy, or a somber poem reflecting and lamenting on the dead. In this case, it is an elegy to a Captain who recently passed away. Further, it is celebrating the safe return of their ship to its home port. Whitman starts off by describing the hardships at sea, but contrasts this with the cheers of the people on the mainland — celebrating their return. Unfortunately, he then goes on to reveal that the captain lies on the deck, “fallen cold and dead.” In the following stanza, Whitman begs the captain to rise again and witness this splendid scene of joy, joy induced by their successful return. Further, he states that the captain is loved by the masses: “For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning.” Yet, this matters not, as the captain remains dead, albeit it all just feels like “some dream.”

In addition to the aforementioned analysis, many feel that Whitman intended this poem to have a much larger meaning. The poem was written shortly after President Abraham Lincoln’s untimely death, as he was assassinated in a theater by John Wilkes Booth. Thus, it is believed that the captain is a metaphor for Lincoln, who was adored by many. The ship then represents the war-plagued nation, finally freed from the woes of the Civil War. Knowing this, the poem takes on an entirely new, righteous significance. As with many other poets, Whitman’s poetry is best appreciated after an in-depth look.

Who Is R.M. Broderick?

If you’re a fan of poetry, you may have heard the name R.M. Broderick at one point or another. You may have a few questions about this poet. Who is he? Why is his poetry significant? Here are a few things you should know about R.M. Broderick.

Broderick Is A Modern Poet

When people hear about Broderick, they often assume that he’s a poet of the past. However, Broderick is actually a modern poet. He’s alive today and is still producing poetry.

A lot of people prefer modern poetry to the poetry of the past. They like the simpler, more direct lines that appear in newer poems. If this is true of you, you’ll definitely enjoy reading Broderick’s poetry.

It’s okay if you’re not a fan of older poetry. There are newer poets like Broderick producing new styles of poetry. His poems might be right in line with your tastes.

Many Of His Poems Are About Love

A lot of Broderick’s poems are focused on the subject of love. If you enjoy poetry that’s romantic in nature, you’ll definitely enjoy reading some of these poems.

Poems that are about love and romance tend to withstand the test of time. Love is an emotion that people are always going to experience. If you like poems about love, you should check out some of Broderick’s poems.

If romantic poems aren’t really your thing, Broderick’s poems are still something you’ll want to take a look at. Even though he writes about love, he writes about other subjects as well.

He Writes Poetry That People Can Relate To

Broderick’s poems aren’t obscure and difficult to relate to. He writes about subjects that anyone can relate to. If you’re put off by a lot of the poetry that you read, you may find that Broderick’s poetry appeals to you.

At the end of the day, the best poetry is all about the human experience. Whether poems are about love or other subjects, you’ll appreciate poems that relate to various aspects of life. You may find that the poems of R.M. Broderick will provide you with inspiration when you need it the most. Broderick’s Instagram comments are filled with testimonials from readers he has helped get through tough times.

If you’re interested in R.M Broderick, you’ll want to take the time to learn more about his poetry. You may want to follow him on Instagram or read his book, Tales of a Time Traveler. See if his poetry resonates with you.