Vogue Seems to Have Accidentally Published Taylor Swift’s Tumblr Poetry

Taylor Swift, poet. Photo: Steve Jennings/WireImage

Cover star Taylor Swift seems to have accidentally published a poem in British Vogue’s January issue instead of posting it at 1 a.m. on Tumblr and regretting it in the morning, as was intended. The budding poet, who also provided some verses alongside Reputation in those exclusive magazines, has written a new work entitled “The Trick to Holding On.” It contains four stanzas, each seven to eight lines long. Occasionally, she repeats words or ideas for emphasis, e.g., “The only thing cut and dry / In this hedge-maze life / Is the fact that their words will cut but / your tears will dry.” The poem is otherwise free of organizing principles — i.e., rhyme, meter, or a central metaphor.

A close reading of the work reveals that it is about taking control of heartbreak. It begins with anaphora.

Let go of the ones who hurt you

Let go of the ones you outgrow

Let go of the words they hurl your way

The second stanza finds solace within heartbreak and reveals that the poem is also a coming-of-age story, as it entwines the notion of the development of the self with the ability to sustain loss.

They don’t tell you this when you are young

You can’t hold on to everything

Can’t show up for everyone

You pick your poison

Or your cure

If this were a sonnet, the key turn of the volta would come when Swift turns outward to the audience and provides advice. (The tip mostly is about finding a Joe Alwyn of your own.)

Hold on to the faint recognition in

the eye of a stranger

As it catches you in its lustrous net

How quickly we become intertwined

How wonderful it is to forget

As the poem concludes, Swift ties her message to her musical work, referencing “all the times / Life nearly ran you off the road” (an echo of “All I know is that you drove us off the road” in “All You Had to Do Was Stay”) and concludes with a beguiling paradox.

Suddenly you’ll know

The trick to holding on

Was all that letting go


Vogue Has Published Taylor Swift’s Tumblr-Ready Poem