Chords | Poetry Breakdown

Hello everyone,

I’ve missed writing poems! Well, I’m back at it again and I’m going to try my best to keep it up!


Whole chords
feeling like my steps echo in the dark hallway
and each steps turn on the light
Gentle and light
feeling like a brush against my cheek
caressing my smile
and keeping it safe
Heavy and strong
feeling like my heart could escape
like a convict, never wanting to be held to a cage
ever again
never again
Soft and quiet
feeling like my heart could ooze golden warmth
until I lack none to donate
until I’m empty
until a need for whole chords
comes again.

On the first read, it’s evident that this piece has two layers where the first layer is about the musical part and the second layer is about life. My life has always had a strong musical presence in it. When I was little, I first learned to play piano and then violin. A little while later, I learned some cello and fell in love with it. I also taught myself how to play two percussion instruments, the cajon and djembe. I tried to learn how to play the guitar, but it just wasn’t doing it for me. I also enjoy listening to various genres of music from indie pop to EDM. On the bus to main campus, I’m plugged into my ipod and depending on my mood, I enjoy listening to either EDM or indie pop. Lately, this EDM song has been on repeat for the past couple of days and even if I haven’t been listening to it, it constantly repeats in my head. I can’t get enough of it! The song has a lot of base chords that really structure the piece around them. I decided to write this piece based on this song and link it to life.

This piece is broken up into four parts: whole, gently and light, heavy and strong,  and soft and quiet. Each of these segments are about different types of chords I noticed and how they invoked feeling in me as well as various walks of life. With each “chord image”, is an analogy, expanding on how I feel. For example, for whole, I’m writing about how I feel practically invincible and fearless hence the image of my steps turning on lights. In the next “chord image”, it’s a soft chord and the happier and better part of life. I feel like that in these moments, you’ll be able to find comfort with yourself.

In the next part about heavy and strong, I talk about wanting for an escape from a cage, which means that I want to break free from all the burdens I’ve carried. By breaking free, you become stronger since you’re pushing away from what you’re confined in with a promise to not wanting to be stuck. The final image talks is related with the first image in the sense that they’re both for good and we all need something, someone or a moment to solidify our lives.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s Poetry Breakdown!

Alice Chen

PS. This was written in two classes 😉


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