Poems, Prayers, and Promises

Poems, Prayers and Promises: March 2021

Hello everyone,

I picked up some extra hours at work last Monday, and it threw my day a bit off. I am so sorry. Plus, I deleted the Instagram app for over a week now, and I didn’t feel like getting back on for blogging. I know. I know. I still should give an update. I am truly sorry, and I am here again on this Monday!

I am here for Poems, Prayers, and Promises again!

Poems

This month I hope you guys enjoy some works by the legendary Lucille Clifton.

won’t you celebrate with me

won’t you celebrate with me

what i have shaped into

a kind of life? i had no model.

born in babylon

both nonwhite and woman

what did i see to be except myself?

i made it up

here on this bridge between

starshine and clay,

my one hand holding tight

my other hand; come celebrate

with me that everyday

something has tried to kill me

and has failed.

sorrows 

who would believe them winged

who would believe they could be

beautiful     who would believe

they could fall so in love with mortals

that they would attach themselves

as scars attach and ride the skin

sometimes we hear them in our dreams

rattling their skulls     clicking their bony fingers

envying our crackling hair

our spice filled flesh

they have heard me beseeching

as I whispered into my own

cupped hands     enough not me again

enough     but who can distinguish

one human voice

amid such choruses of desire

Prayers

My guinea pig had some irregular health issues this weekend. I am not sure how to go about it,  but it is clearing up. This has been a trial of trust. This is a struggle I have no control over. I have been praying for abundant trust in Jesus. 

This is a consistent issue I have. I have to learn to let go of my grip on multiple things in my life. I have learned that giving up control is sometimes not being lazy but admitting defeat or a need. I sure need a lot of help constantly! I hope you all are comforted by the verse below.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart

    and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways submit to him,

    and he will make your paths straight.

Do not be wise in your own eyes;

    fear the Lord and shun evil.

Proverbs 3:5-7

Promises

Okay…so…I didn’t watch Two Popes. Yep, I procrastinate.

Folklore by Taylor Swift is living proof that something simple is not always lazy or uncreative. Sometimes simplicity highlights something that can’t be overcrowded with complexity. 

I heard that Taylor Swift is known for her writing and now I see why. Before listening to this album, I probably knew 5 songs by her. I went in with a very small view of her musicality. 

Folklore surprised me in many ways by how adventurous this was for her but how true it seemed to be. 

I love folk music for its simplicity and storytelling aspects. Folk music highlights a lot of the human condition through the words sung because it tends not to be overcrowded with melodies. 

Now folk music traditionally is music passed on within a culture by word of mouth. Songs that are sung over the years and continue to stick around. From Mary Had a Little Lamb to Negro spirituals sung on plantations and in churches today.

And of course, now we have the genre called folk, which uses stringed instruments, relies on writing and storytelling, and/or makes songs simple but still powerful. Folk as a genre still has the idea of others being able to play/repeat these songs. Songs like Pete Seeger’s If I Had a Hammer, John Denver’s Leaving on a Jet Plane, or Tracy Chapman’s Fast Car, are remembered for either the moment in history they were for or the writer’s ability to create a human reality for the masses in song.

Swift continues the tradition of storytelling and highlighting our humanity through song. Even if you don’t enjoy every song, each one seems purposeful. 

I decided not to look up commentary, videos, and articles on the album and keep this review as unbiased as possible. 

There are recurring themes throughout the album. Since the songwriting is what makes this album stand out, I will focus on that for my review. 

I want to breakdown each song, so I decided to write a full review in a separate post. This separate post will come later! 🙂

Some of the stories like the last great american dynasty and mad woman share perspectives outside of a relationship. But most of the songs are narrated by people in the relationship. Tall tales and stories passed on are what create folklore. A lot of the album varies in perspective in a relationship. An obvious example would be exile, which is a duet. The man and woman see their crumbling relationship so differently. Many times the stories show one or two perspectives in a relationship that could both be true. It gives this illusion of folklore since folklore is based on truth and fantasy. Some believe King Arthur was real and others find it a tall tale. The song this is me trying has the narrator defend herself saying her actions aren’t failures but an effort towards something. So again, the theme is someone sees her failing, but she sees herself as trying. These are two perspectives that could both be true. This also brings the idea up that the narrator affects how the viewer sees the story. One person could love more than the other person does (august is a clear example). Or someone loved more than they said in the beginning (my tears ricochet). 

In her song seven, she sings the line, “Passed down like folk songs // The love lasts so long.” This is another theme that recurs. One person in a relationship wants to carry or pass on enough love for both of them. mirrorball, seven, and peace are key examples of this theme. She has some piercing lyrics in peace, “But I’m a fire, and I’ll keep your brittle heart warm // If your cascade ocean wave blues home // All these people think love’s for show // But I would die for you in secret // The devil’s in the details but you got a friend in me // Would it be enough if I could never give you peace?” Sometimes carrying love for two is sweet, but also it can be toxic. 

These are not the only themes she sings about, and maybe I am embellishing and overanalyzing. 🙂

The album starts with the 1 and ends with hoax. Both songs have a similar melody and connection (in my opinion). Again, folklore is not the truth. the 1 is a song reminiscing over a person who wasn’t her true love, but she says, “But it would’ve been fun // If you would’ve been the one.” She recuperated from that relationship and is doing well on her own. She knows they weren’t going to stay, but she can’t help herself from asking, “If one thing had been different // Would everything be different today?” In the song hoax, she says, “my only one.” She seemed to believe in the hoax of their love. She sings, “Stood on the cliffside screaming “Give me a reason” // Your faithless love’s the only hoax I believe in.” It seems like this is the story of her relationship before the 1. She reiterates in hoax that this guy was her everything, her “only one.” The theme of one loving too little or too much in a relationship due to clashing perspectives comes back. Like folklore, it is a hoax or truth depending on who you ask. 

Well, that is the gist of my review! If you love stories put to music and believable songwriting, this is the album for you. I understand that not everyone goes to music for these points and that is okay. 

I wouldn’t classify this album as folk, but it definitely centers itself around authenticity, simplicity, and storytelling which are a part of folk music. 

If this is what she likes to create, I hope Taylor Swift continues to make more music like this.

This album is not perfect but I was delightfully surprised by its qualities so I’ll rate it…

Rating: 8/10

My favorite songs: seven, peace, and invisible string

Thank you dear friend, who suggested this album for Poems, Prayers and Promises!

Now for April…

Since I asked you all on Instagram for suggestions, this one is just the next one suggested.

I will listen to and review Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon

Happy Monday everyone! And if you want to send me suggestions of music, movies, drinks, food, TV shows, and books to review, comment below or send me a private message in my contact page. Or send it to me on Instagram or Facebook!

~ Kenedy M. 

One thought on “Poems, Prayers and Promises: March 2021

  1. As Lucille Clifton says so we’ll, “Come celebrate with me’…I celebrate everything that has tried to kill me, but GOD has redeemed me!! I really love this poem…you Dad quotes it all the time.,😃 Also, folk music has always been enjoyable to me…I love the storytelling in most songs. Thank you for this post Kenedy.

    Like

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