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The Poetics of American Song Lyrics - University Press of Mississippi
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The Poetics of American Song Lyrics

Charlotte Pence


This is a 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 poetic ... More

Keywords: lyrics, songs, poems, blues, songwriters, ballads, literature, rhyme, transcription, monologues

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9781617031564
Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014 DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781617031564.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Charlotte Pence, editor

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Part One Poetic History and Techniques Within Poems and Songs

The Day Johnny Cash Died

Lamar Alexander

Rap Poetry 101

Adam Bradley

Part Two Analysis of Twentieth‐Century Songwriters

The Joe Blow Version

David Kirby

A Nobel For Dylan?

Gordon Ball