When I heard about this assignment, my mind immediately jumped to Ed Sheeran's "The A Team" from the album +. I always thought the song was beautiful, but it wasn't until I really looked at the lyrics that I truly appreciated it as poetry. Ed Sheeran has said in interviews that he wrote the song after visiting a homeless shelter and talking to the people about their lives. From that, he compiled a song about the fall of angel. "The A Team" invites the listener to experience the life of a girl who just can't catch a break in life. While she is a prostitute and a cocaine addict, the main point of the song is that under all of that she is a good person. The girl wants to get out, and is not happy with her life, but she's trapped in the addiction. She is slowly killing herself, but she can't stop. I really like this song because it shows the many dimensions of a person's life. If we see a homeless person on the street, we judge them or at least expect in some way they have been mixed up with drugs. In this song, Ed Sheeran has created sympathy, and shown us their lives, goals, and fears. He successfully conveys that unfortunately, sometimes good people can be forced by circumstances to make bad decisions, and try as they might, they can't get out.
This theme is represented by many poetic devices, but perhaps most by the multidimensional use of cold imagery. The song opens with the line "White lips, pale face/ breathing in the snowflakes." In this line, the snowflakes represent cocaine, and the drug addiction. However, one of the main lines of the song, "Its too cold outside/ for angels to fly" uses cold in a different way. In this line, I interpret the cold to be the challenges that overwhelm and weigh down good people. These people are angels underneath, but this world does not permit them to "fly" because of bad decisions and circumstances. Ed Sheeran also uses irony to show how things never seem to go right in lines such as, "Dry house, wet clothes" and "Call girl, no phone." For some reason (perhaps a cocaine addiction) her life seems to always be in shambles. That being said, the girl realizes that she has made mistakes in life, and she wants to change. I think one of the most powerful lines in the song is, "And she don't want to go outside tonight." In this line, outside functions as both literally outside, and also the world of prostitution and drugs. She doesn't want to repeat the pattern of the prostitution, the high, and then the crash, but ultimately she will have to. She thinks that maybe if she can stay inside, her life will be okay. Another line describes, "Stuck in her daydream." She dreams of a better life, but can't achieve it because of the addiction. In the end, she is disappointed with her life, but can do nothing to change. The song ends, "An angel will die/ covered in white/ closed eyed/ hoping for a better life." Through this song, listeners understand sometimes good people get caught up in bad things, and they want help and an escape, but can't get it. The song tells a tragic story, but it has definitely left me with an enhanced experience and understanding of this poor girl's struggle.