Linda Studley

Can't Put the Pen Down…

Poems vs. Lyrics – Musings


Lately I’ve been writing more songs than poems. I never have much trouble distinguishing one from the other because  songs ususally come with a melody. There has been the occasional time when a poem has crossed over and become a song, but not often (for me anyway).  The way poetry and songs are presented seems to me to create a definite distinction in how they’re written. Songs are written to be listened to, poems are written to be read. Poems can be longer, can be lingered over, and can impart impact through line enjambment and other more visual effects. Songs, with some exceptions, are usually within the two and a half to four minute presentation, must grab the listener’s attention, and are supported by the musical accompaniment, the vocalist’s inflections, etc…  So two very different forms. And yet sometimes they merge. I find poems more challenging to write; possibly because of the ‘stand alone’ nature of the beast; the words must carry the message on their own. Lyrics share the burden with music and vocal interpretation and that presents another set of challenges.
PS. After a little more research, I find that I am NOT the originator of the anagram poem. In fact there are people so masochistic out there that they have not only written anagrammatic poems, the poems even rhyme. That’s a challenge for another day, I think. 
I like challenges.

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