The Similarities Between Poetry and Music

In the car today, I was listening to the music of Vienna Teng. She has a beautiful, haunting voice and her lyrics are incredibly poetic.

In fact, as someone who writes poetry, I have often felt that poetry and music are very similar. Both art forms have the ability to capture a single experience or moment in time in a very visceral way. Poetry and music are as close as humanity comes to a direct expression of the soul.

For example, Jack Kerouac, who was both a poet and fiction writer, adopted a sort of stream-of-consciousness style of writing in order to approximate just that. His writing was his soul in written form.

I feel, as well, that poetry and music share something in common with meditation. In meditation, we attempt to experience the present moment directly, filtering the experience through the lens of thought as little as possible. Poetry and music both strive to express experience as directly as possible. Narrative writing – which is of course incredibly valuable in other ways – removes that removes the reader from the experience of the writer’s reality because lived experience is not linear and does not neatly follow a narrative. Poetry and music, however, are non-narrative for the most part. The goal of a poet and a musician often involves channeling experience in a very immediate and visceral way.


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Val M.
Val M.3 years ago


JL A.3 years ago

lyrically correct

Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola3 years ago

Thanks for the information.

Shanti S.
S S.3 years ago

Thank you.

Duane B.
.3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Marianna B Molnar


Marianne Barto
MARIA B.4 years ago

Yes this is so tue. Thanks for the post

Paul I.
Paul Irvine4 years ago

This similarity has been recognized in Ireland for centuries. In ancient Ireland they did not differentiate. The 'old' Irish used the same word for both and could be translated as; "Why don't you sing a poem" or "why don't you say a song"! Songs are simply poems with music added. Ask the 'poet' Kris Kristofferson turned musician!

devon leonard
Devon Leonard4 years ago

Man/Woman cannot live by bread alone.... music, poetry, dance, and all the Art's are our "Food for the Soul"..... We could use more funding to restore the Art's and Humanities Programs(and Teachers) in all our schools across the Nation.........

Terry Vanderbush
Terry V.4 years ago