Tuesday, December 11, 2018

He Can Only Hold Her: An Exploration of Lost Lovers

The song "He Can Only Hold Her" off Amy Winehouse's album Back to Black has always captivated me. Mainly because of how Amy was so open and raw about her pain, but also because while listening to the song I can hear a story. The song describes a relationship between a man and and a woman, unnamed and vaguely described. The entire song revolves around the emotions of the two people by describing their thoughts and actions.

         He can only hold her for so long
           The lights are on, but no one's home       
           She's so vacant          
           Her soul is taken          
           He thinks, What's she running from?
           Now, how can he have her heart

           When it got stole?
           So he tries to pacify her
          'Cause what's inside her never dies

This first lines of the song jump into the relationship without introduction, the audience is immediately drawn into another world with these two people.  Yet the descriptions aren't personal, we aren't getting to know each characters personality, we are getting to know them by seeing their interactions and thoughts towards each other. I believe that alone makes it poetry, it uses the method of showing and not telling to reveal an important message. Nothing is sugar coated, the pain is left out in the open for the reader to see and to feel in their own heart.

     Even if she's content in his warmth
      She is plagued with urgency
      Searching kisses
      The man she misses
      The man that he longs to be

As the song progresses, the audience can better piece together information about the characters. The woman is empty inside due to the last man who left her. She continues to search for him in every other man she's with but he can only hold her for so long until she realizes he isn't the man she desires. This story is told through poetry because it sets the reader out on an exploration of lost lovers they do not know, telling the audience their deepest secrets and pain. It's shares a piece of the human condition which I believe poetry does as well.

1 comment:

  1. I like how you point out that the song allows the audience to think about the story of two vague people in a relationship, because it means that they can better see themselves in the story and put themselves in the speaker's shoes.