The Chicken or the Words

In keeping with the theme of this month’s prompt, I present to you the lyrics of one of my favorite songs, ‘Stellar’ by Incubus.

Meet me in outerspace,
We could spend the night, watch the earth come up.
I’ve grown tired of that place, won’t you come with me?
We could start again.

How do you do it, make me feel like I do?
How do you do it, its better than I ever knew.

Meet me in outerspace,
I will hold you close, if you’re afraid of heights.
I need you to see this place, it might be the only way,
that I can show you how, it feels to be inside of you.

How do you it, make me feel like I do?
How do you do it, its better than I ever knew.

You are stellar.

I share these lyrics with you, not merely because they are “space related”, but because I am interested in your thoughts on the ability of song lyrics to stand alone as poetry. I present ‘Stellar’ as a study tool. If you’ve never heard the song, can you credit it as poetry, or do you find yourself wishing for a melody?

I am not a poet. I am a lot of things, but a poet is not one of them. Oh, I can make something rhyme. I can make sure it has a consistent rhythm. But we’re talking Dr. Seuss. Rhyming fables. Not Sylvia Plath. Maya Angelou. I don’t know how to write poetry. Just words that sound the same every other line.

There was a time when I thought my inability to truly write poetry meant I’d never be able to write song lyrics. The more time I spent comparing the two, however, the more I began to feel as though the two entities were drastically different, despite their similar cardinal rules. Exposing this thought process to friends gets a lot of the same response: “Well that’s because song lyrics are not as deep as poetry.”/”Well that’s because song lyrics are meant to be put to music and poetry isn’t.”

Wait a minute. But don’t a lot of songs start off as poetry? Just rhyming words set to music? Nope! Some years ago I learned, to my severe confusion, that a great deal of songs start out as music with lyrics added later to fit the beat. What!? Alright, fine. Then what comes first, the chicken or the words?

This one’s on you guys. Poets in the house say what?

Are poetry and song lyrics two different animals? Do they fall within the same genus, or does one have scales and the other a thick, woolen coat? Do you consider them interchangeable, or would you say they are not meant to mix?

The September Contest information is behind this here link! Happy Monday!


About RicoChey

I'm just an unmarried, childless, thirty-something high school dropout with big ideas and a small attention span. Weave drunkenly behind me as I meander through my own life: a winding path of musings on life, relationships, food, the few politics I can stomach discussing, and probably really dumb stuff like the ratio of Sex and the City episodes wherein Carrie does and does not appear to be wearing extensions.
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One Response to The Chicken or the Words

  1. Pingback: Reading and Writing Poetry | Brigit's Flame Writing Community

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