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The Poetics of American Song Lyrics is the first collection of academic essays that regards songs as literature and that identifies intersections between the literary histories of poems and songs. The essays by well-known poets and scholars including Pulitzer Prize winner Claudia Emerson, Peter Guralnick, Adam Bradley, David Kirby, Kevin Young, and many others, locate poin The Poetics of American Song Lyrics is the first collection of academic essays that regards songs as literature and that identifies intersections between the literary histories of poems and songs. The essays by well-known poets and scholars including Pulitzer Prize winner Claudia Emerson, Peter Guralnick, Adam Bradley, David Kirby, Kevin Young, and many others, locate points of synthesis and separation so as to better understand both genres and their crafts. The essayists share a desire to write on lyrics in a way that moves beyond sociological, historical, and autobiographical approaches and explicates songs in relation to poetics. Unique to this volume, the essays focus not on a single genre but on folk, rap, hip hop, country, rock, indie, soul, and blues.The first section of the book provides a variety of perspectives on the poetic history and techniques within songs and poems, and the second section focuses on a few prominent American songwriters such as Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, and Michael Stipe. Through conversational yet in-depth analyses of songs, the essays discuss sonnet forms, dramatic monologues, Modernism, ballads, blues poems, confessionalism, Language poetry, Keatsian odes, unreliable narrators, personas, poetic sequences, rhythm, rhyme, transcription methods, the writing process, and more. While the strategies of explication differ from essay to essay, the nexus of each piece is an unveiling of the poetic history and poetic techniques within songs.


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The Poetics of American Song Lyrics is the first collection of academic essays that regards songs as literature and that identifies intersections between the literary histories of poems and songs. The essays by well-known poets and scholars including Pulitzer Prize winner Claudia Emerson, Peter Guralnick, Adam Bradley, David Kirby, Kevin Young, and many others, locate poin The Poetics of American Song Lyrics is the first collection of academic essays that regards songs as literature and that identifies intersections between the literary histories of poems and songs. The essays by well-known poets and scholars including Pulitzer Prize winner Claudia Emerson, Peter Guralnick, Adam Bradley, David Kirby, Kevin Young, and many others, locate points of synthesis and separation so as to better understand both genres and their crafts. The essayists share a desire to write on lyrics in a way that moves beyond sociological, historical, and autobiographical approaches and explicates songs in relation to poetics. Unique to this volume, the essays focus not on a single genre but on folk, rap, hip hop, country, rock, indie, soul, and blues.The first section of the book provides a variety of perspectives on the poetic history and techniques within songs and poems, and the second section focuses on a few prominent American songwriters such as Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, and Michael Stipe. Through conversational yet in-depth analyses of songs, the essays discuss sonnet forms, dramatic monologues, Modernism, ballads, blues poems, confessionalism, Language poetry, Keatsian odes, unreliable narrators, personas, poetic sequences, rhythm, rhyme, transcription methods, the writing process, and more. While the strategies of explication differ from essay to essay, the nexus of each piece is an unveiling of the poetic history and poetic techniques within songs.

44 review for The Poetics of American Song Lyrics (American Made Music)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Patrice Thomas

    I am glad to have participated in this book with so many insightful writers. Charlotte has provided a public service as editor by bringing us together for this informative and thoughtful volume... and she is a fine poet as well.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    In academia there has been a certain amount of disagreement about whether song lyrics should be considered poetry. Recently the awarding of the Nobel prize for literature to songwriter/performer, Bob Dylan, has brought it up again. In the first part of this book, this is discussed - particularly relating the "blues," "rap," and "country" music. the second part of the book deals with particular songwriters and/or specific songs. This is a fascinating book, but only for persons who are interested In academia there has been a certain amount of disagreement about whether song lyrics should be considered poetry. Recently the awarding of the Nobel prize for literature to songwriter/performer, Bob Dylan, has brought it up again. In the first part of this book, this is discussed - particularly relating the "blues," "rap," and "country" music. the second part of the book deals with particular songwriters and/or specific songs. This is a fascinating book, but only for persons who are interested in poetry/lyrics discussion.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Alison Law

    Studying The Poetics of American Song Lyrics: An Interview with Charlotte Pence | Southern Spines: http://bit.ly/183ePEF Studying The Poetics of American Song Lyrics: An Interview with Charlotte Pence | Southern Spines: http://bit.ly/183ePEF

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jon

    Pence has taken on a major task, in editing this collection, and done it well. Still, it is intimidating to think of tackling a subject so vast, and comprised of so much material. The essays ran widely in style and content, and cover a huge amount of territory in the American musical canon. African-American music, punk, rap, Country-Western, all get in-depth treatment, and Rock gets allot of billing. And there are gaps as well. But how could there not be. This is not light reading, but scholarly Pence has taken on a major task, in editing this collection, and done it well. Still, it is intimidating to think of tackling a subject so vast, and comprised of so much material. The essays ran widely in style and content, and cover a huge amount of territory in the American musical canon. African-American music, punk, rap, Country-Western, all get in-depth treatment, and Rock gets allot of billing. And there are gaps as well. But how could there not be. This is not light reading, but scholarly work for both students of the musical world and practitioners, and I found it insightful and enjoyable.

  5. 5 out of 5

    David Arroyo

  6. 5 out of 5

    Douglas Cunningham

  7. 4 out of 5

    Bob Cat

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  9. 4 out of 5

    HÃ¥vard Bamle

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jess

  11. 5 out of 5

    Michael Wilshire

  12. 4 out of 5

    anjeee

  13. 5 out of 5

    Roy Beckemeyer

  14. 4 out of 5

    aiee-lee

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ernest Hilbert

  16. 5 out of 5

    Shirley Diamond

  17. 4 out of 5

    jennet wheatstonelllsl Proc

  18. 5 out of 5

    Heather Olivier

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mary

  20. 5 out of 5

    Collection

  21. 4 out of 5

    Scott Pinkmountain

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  23. 4 out of 5

    Amber

  24. 4 out of 5

    Maaian Arditi

  25. 4 out of 5

    Heather Pence

  26. 4 out of 5

    Steven Grant

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mark Allen Jenkins

  28. 4 out of 5

    Angela

  29. 5 out of 5

    Bobby

  30. 4 out of 5

    Linton

  31. 5 out of 5

    Mabb

  32. 5 out of 5

    Justin

  33. 5 out of 5

    Tim Goebel

  34. 5 out of 5

    David Glenn Dixon

  35. 4 out of 5

    Heather

  36. 5 out of 5

    Virginio Renato

  37. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Dougherty

  38. 5 out of 5

    Y.

  39. 5 out of 5

    Dolores

  40. 4 out of 5

    McKenzie Dial

  41. 4 out of 5

    Andy Mckinney

  42. 4 out of 5

    Ready McReaderton

  43. 4 out of 5

    Sonia

  44. 4 out of 5

    Emily

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