Excited About Taylor Swift’s Tortured Poets Department? Read Poets From the Library’s Collection!

Swifties are well aware that Taylor Swift is a mastermind—so it’s no coincidence that her upcoming album, The Tortured Poets Department, is releasing smack-dab in the middle of National Poetry Month.

As you await April 19, why not check out some poets (tortured or not) from our collection?

Have a Poetry-Themed Movie Night

For a second there, we thought Taylor Swift was making a reference to the similarly-named Dead Poets Society. And if you ask us, now is the perfect time to rewatch the movie, not just for TTPD, but to celebrate the magic of poetry.

Released in 1989, Dead Poets Society follows a group of boys and their English teacher at an old-fashioned New England boarding school.

Rich in atmosphere and emotion, if you told me Swift’s “the lakes” was written about these friends, I’d believe you. And if you played “Bigger Than the Whole Sky” to Dead Poets Society clips, you might just have to mop my tears off the floor.

If you want to continue the poetry theme via movies, try beat-era Kill Your Darlings or Emily Dickinson biopic A Quiet Passion

Read Some Confessional Poets

Taylor Swift is known for sharing her life through music, which isn’t too far off from confessional poetry. The literary movement evolved in the 1950s and ’60s and was marked by poets using their own lives, feelings and perspective as subject matter.

One such poet is Sylvia Plath, a much-studied American writer known for her poetry and classic novel The Bell Jar. Check out Plath’s The Collected Poems from our catalog. This poetry collection was posthumously awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1982.

According to the American Writers Museum, Plath was “distinguished from her fellows for her intense imagery alongside her musicality.” and

Plath was a student of Robert Lowell, a founding member of the the confessional movement. Like Plath, Powell’s poems often explored his mental illness. Read about his life, work and lasting influence in Kay Redfield Jamison’s biography Robert Lowell, Setting the Rive on Fire

Another confessional poet you can find in our collection is Anne Sexton, who also studied with Lowell.

Poets Referenced by Swift

Robert Frost‘s famous poem “The Road Not Taken” has been referenced not once, but three times in Swift’s music catalog. In her debut album, she sang “I tried to take the road less traveled by/but nothing seems to work the first few times,” in “The Outside.” Years later, she evoked the poem again in “Illicit Affairs” and “‘Tis the Damn Season,” both on the woodsy Folklore.

Swift also evoked poet Pablo Neruda in her liner notes for Red, writing that she often quotes a line from his poem “Tonight I Can Write the Saddest Lines,” love is so short, forgetting is long. Sharp-eyed Swifties will also remember the quote as beginning the All Too Well: The Short Film.

And, of course, “the lakes” references the second-generation romantic writers known as the Lake Poets: Williams Wordworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey.

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We loved hearing the voices of MUSE Cincinnati Women’s Choir at last Friday's Arts & Culture Series! The series takes a bow this Friday at 7 pm for the third and final installment: The NKU String Project. Bring the whole family! Register: loom.ly/0loWtc4. ... See MoreSee Less

3 days ago
We loved hearing the voices of MUSE Cincinnati Women’s Choir at last Fridays Arts & Culture Series! The series takes a bow this Friday at 7 pm for the third and final installment: The NKU String Project. Bring the whole family! Register: https://loom.ly/0loWtc4.