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How Tortured Exactly is The Tortured Poets Department

Taylor Swift, often likened to the Shakespeare of the 21st century, returns with yet another sensational album. In this release, she beckons to her fans not in her classic heartbroken manner, but rather in a more "tortured" vein. This time, she has curated a collection that speaks to the souls of all the tortured poets who yearn to express themselves but find themselves faltering in the attempt.

The Tortured Poets Department, Taylor Swift’s latest  album is definitely a call out from Swift to all the tortured poets, struggling to express there vivid emotions unapologetically.

As Henri Matisse aptly stated, "We ought to view ourselves with the same curiosity and openness with which we study a tree, the sky, or a thought, because we too are linked to the entire universe.

In this album, Taylor Swift not only addresses her broken heart and relationships but also delves into the downside of fame, fearlessly calling out various situations and people—a classic style of hers. She embodies more of a poet than a fame-driven singer, unconcerned whether her music resonates with everyone or no one but herself.

When Taylor Swift creates music, she orchestrates her surroundings entirely. It's akin to a literal tailor meticulously crafting a garment—each thread sewn in perfect harmony, complementing those before and after. Every song finds its place on the album tracklist with precision, the color scheme mirroring the stages of grief, and the vocals harmonizing seamlessly with the music. Of course, the lyrics play a pivotal role, sometimes even connecting to themes from her earlier albums, showcasing her growth as a person and the evolution of her perspectives on various situations.

"Tortured Poets" is the culmination of a catalog replete with songs where Swift has guided us into the bedrooms where men either delighted or deceived her, the bars where they charmed her, and the empty playgrounds where they sat on swings, making promises they couldn't keep.

Swift has courageously addressed gaslighting, belittlement, neglect, and false promises—illuminating all the concealed wounds lovers can inflict upon each other. She allows the details to unfold naturally, akin to a candid confession session among close friends.

Many of the songs on "The Tutored Poets Department" delve into the theme of heartbreak or loss, using metaphors to illustrate these experiences. For instance, in "Down Bad," there's a metaphorical exploration of being love bombed, where someone enters your life, dazzles you, then abruptly leaves, despite the allure of their presence. It's a strange yet captivating experience. The character in the song feels as though they've been introduced to an entirely new galaxy and universe, only to find themselves back where they started, which, of course, is torment for the human heart.

The line "crying at the gym" resonates deeply, evoking memories of those near-breakdown moments experienced during mundane tasks—like standing in the fruit aisle or doing dishes—where domestic routines are suddenly tinged with profound emotion.

In her songs, Swift also captures the denial she grapples with, attempting to convince herself, as well as friends and family, that "he runs because he loves me." She employs imagery of a doll with a string in its back, a mechanical repetition of the same words, illustrating the stark reality of a loveless relationship. It's a vivid portrayal she paints, pulling at the heartstrings with its raw authenticity.

It also prompts reflection on how it could resonate with anyone who has experienced domestic violence, even if it's not Swift's personal experience. How many victims find themselves repeating the narrative that their abuser's actions are rooted in love?

In her song "My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys," the use of "toys," "dolls," and "play pretend" symbolizes a child-like innocence. However, akin to a bully or a misbehaving child, the subject of the song destroys the "sandcastles" the narrator painstakingly constructs.

From what I gather, Taylor is illustrating a relationship she believed to be innocent, investing considerable effort in building it up, only to be repeatedly knocked down—much like the sandcastles she constructs. If she attempts to rebuild, it will never be the same as before. "The Manuscript" depicts a woman revisiting her own scripted narrative of a "torrid love affair.""

We could continue dissecting the metaphors and references, the Easter Eggs she strategically placed throughout all 31 tracks, but that's not the extent of the torment she's imparted through this album. Beyond mere suffering, "tortured" for me also symbolizes the artistic process itself. Writing poetry can be both cathartic and agonizing, as poets pour their souls onto the page, revisiting memories, both good and bad, and lamenting the times that can never return. The process of creation—carefully selecting words to articulate the most complex of emotions ever known to mankind—is a form of torment in itself.

This album is undoubtedly a work of art. If there were a museum dedicated to poetry, it would unquestionably deserve a place there. Each listener may interpret the themes differently, drawing personal connections based on their own experiences. So, like I have, immerse yourself in the music, delve into the lyrics, and allow your emotions to guide you through this poetic journey. Just as any other piece of art has the power to stir your soul, let this album extract both the bitter and sweet memories. Perhaps, in doing so, you might find yourself proudly joining the ranks of The Tortured Poets Department. Tortured poets department tortured poets department


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