Can You Guess If It’s a Taylor Swift Lyric or a Line of Poetry?


By: Beth Hendricks

6 Min Quiz

Image: Big Machine

About This Quiz

If a songwriter can pen a catchy tune, couldn't they author some pretty great poetry? One A-lister who has is none other than singer-songwriter Taylor Swift. Sure, she's known for delving into her personal life in song, but she has also parlayed her creative talents into other forms of writing. 

For example, in 2017, as she was set to appear on the cover of British Vogue, instead of granting an accompanying interview, T. Swift chose to write a poem she titled, "The Trick to Holding On." Here's an excerpt: "They don't tell you this when you are young/You can't hold on to everything/Can't show up for everyone." Will she turn it into a song? Is she trying her hand at being a more formal writer? The world may never know! The fact is, though, that songwriting and poem writing are easily cut from the same cloth.

It got us wondering: Could you tell the difference between a Taylor Swift song and a line of poetry (and not just the T. Swift variety)? Are these lyrics and lines from the music superstar, or poet E. E. Cummings? Sort the lyrics from the literary in this writing mash-up!

"So I sneak out to the garden to see you/We keep quiet, 'cause we're dead if they knew," belongs to which of these choices?

"Love Story" by Taylor Swift was released in 2008, the first single from her second album, "Fearless." Swift was said to have drawn inspiration for the song from the fictional story of Romeo and Juliet.


Are these words, "I love thee to the depth and breadth and height/My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight," from a Swift song or a poem?

Elizabeth Barrett Browning's "How Do I Love Thee?" was a sonnet written for her husband and fellow poet, Robert Browning. Their relationship was frowned upon by Elizabeth's father, but her feelings were made clear in this work.


Does "If suddenly/You forget me/Do not look for me,/For I shall already have forgotten you," come from T. Swift or poetry?

The poem, "If You Forget Me," was written by Pablo Neruda. At the time of its writing, Neruda, who won the Nobel Prize, had been exiled from his native Chile. Most people believe Neruda wrote this poem for his third wife, Matilde Urrutia.


"Red lips and rosy cheeks/Say you'll see me again even if it's just pretend." Can you figure out which it is?

Taylor Swift released "Wildest Dreams" in 2015 as part of the album, "1989." It achieved commercial success, rising to the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, one of multiple tracks from the album to do so.


Where are you likely to find this phrase? "You learn my secrets and you figure out why I'm guarded/You say we'll never make my parents' mistakes."

"Mine," a recording from Swift's 2010 album, "Speak Now," was written about a secret crush the singer once had. She has said in interviews that parts of the song are about letting her guard down in love.


Are these words, "Wine comes in at the mouth/And love comes in at the eye;/That’s all we shall know for truth/Before we grow old and die," from a poem or a Taylor Swift song?

"A Drinking Song" sounds like it should be, well, a song, right? But it's not. It is a poem written by William Butler Yeats. The poem continues: "I lift the glass to my mouth,/I look at you, and I sigh."


"I loved you first: but afterwards your love/Outsoaring mine, sang such a loftier song/As drowned the friendly cooings of my dove," belongs in which of these categories?

"I loved you first: but afterwards your love" is a poem authored by English poet Christina Rossetti. The poem continues, "Which owes the other most? my love was long,/And yours one moment seemed to wax more strong;"


Where would you find these lines? "And there he goes so perfectly/The kind of flawless I wish I could be."

"Teardrops on My Guitar" was a 2007 hit for Swift, who released it as the second single from her self-titled debut album. Like many of Swift's songs, she wrote it about a personal experience with a friend for whom she had feelings.


Do these lyrics, "To be in love/Is to touch with a lighter hand./You look at things/Through his eyes," belong to Taylor Swift or a poem?

"To Be In Love" by Gwendolyn Brooks channels many of Taylor Swift's favorite topics, including love, relationships and both the good and bad that can occur as a result. Brooks was a Pulitzer Prize-winning author.


Which one says, "He said the way my blue eyes shined/Put those Georgia stars to shame that night"?

"Tim McGraw" was the very first song debuted by a young Taylor Swift in 2006. Swift was only a freshman when she penned the lyrics to the song about a high school boyfriend.


"I am not yours, not lost in you,/Not lost, although I long to be/Lost as a candle lit at noon," comes from which of these?

Sara Teasdale authored the poem, "I Am Not Yours," a poem about her desire for a deep love. Teasdale was a poet who was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and lived during the late 1800s and early 1900s.


Where would you find these words? "I could show you incredible things/Magic, madness, heaven sin."

"Blank Space" by Taylor Swift reached No. 1 just three weeks after it was released in 2014. It was included on the album, "1989," which sold more than 1.2 million copies its first week alone.


Poem or song? Which one includes the line, "I carry your heart with me/I am never without it"?

"I Carry Your Heart With Me (I Carry It In)" is a poem written by American poet Edward Estlin "E. E." Cummings. Cummings' poetry is well-known for being stylized in lowercase lettering, including that of his name — e e cummings.


Which category do these words fall into? "It's been a while since I have even heard from you/And I should just tell you to leave 'cause I/Know exactly where it leads but I/Watch it go round and round each time."

Taylor Swift's song, "Style," was a part of the singer-songwriter's fifth album, "1989," released in 2014. The song made its first appearance as part of a commercial for the retailer, Target.


"Wild nights! Wild nights!/Were I with thee,/Wild nights should be/Our luxury!" comes from which of these?

You didn't think T. Swift was the only one who could produce something called "Wild Nights," did you? This is a poem from Emily Dickinson, whose image would certainly not seem to fit the idea of "Wild Nights."


Where would you find these words? "But one of these things is not like the others/Like a rainbow with all of the colors."

Swift's song, "Me!," was the first song from her seventh album, "Lover." The song's lyrics continue, "Baby doll, when it comes to a lover/I promise that you'll never find another like/Me-e-e, ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh."


Where are these lines from? "Love is you and love is me/Love is prison and love is free/Love’s what’s there when you are away from me."

Adrian Henri wrote the poem, "Love Is," in the late 1960s. Henri, who hailed from Liverpool, England, died in 2000, but not before he became famous for this poem, which was included in the anthology, "The Mersey Sound."


Where would you classify this one? "Now everything is like my heart,/a color at the edge of blood:/the grey of your absence, the color of poison, of thorns."

The poem, "Before You Came," is the work of a poet named Faiz Ahmed Faiz, who died in 1984. Faiz was a poet of Indian descent who was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature.


"We're getting stronger now/Find things they never found/They might be bigger/But we're faster and never scared," comes from which of these?

These lyrics come from the 2008 Taylor Swift song, "Change." This song also served as a theme song of sorts to the 2008 Summer Olympics, and proceeds from the song benefited the U.S. Olympic Team.


Song or poem? Which one says, "Just close your eyes, the sun is going down/You'll be alright, no one can hurt you now?"

Taylor Swift's "Safe & Sound" appeared on the soundtrack for the blockbuster movie, "The Hunger Games." The song also features vocals from The Civil Wars, an alternative country group.


Does "And realized I'd loved you in the fall/And then the cold came, the dark days when fear crept into my mind/You gave me all your love," come from Swift or a poem?

These are lyrics from Taylor Swift's "Back to December," a single from her "Speak Now" album in 2010. In this song, Swift delves into asking for forgiveness from a former flame.


"Looking at it now/Last December/We were built to fall apart/Then fall back together." Is this part of a song or a poem?

Are we "Out of the Woods?" Swift was, with this 2006 single that was part of the "1989" album. Swift has alluded to the song being about a relationship she was in at the time and wondering what would happen next.


Where would you find these words? "Then there's the two of us./This word is far too short for us, it has only four letters/Too sparse to fill those deep bare vacuums between the stars."

Have you ever considered what the word "love" means? Margaret Atwood's "Variations on the Word Love" goes into detail on this matter. Atwood is perhaps best known for her work, "The Handmaid's Tale."


"You have changed me already. I am a fireball/That is hurtling towards the sky to where you are/You can choose not to look up but I am a giant orange ball/That is throwing sparks upon your face" can be found in which of these writings?

Dorothea Lasky's "Poem to an Unnameable Man" sounds like it could've been written by Swift, but it wasn't. The poem's next line, "Oh look at them shake," sounds straight off a Swift album, doesn't it?


Is this one a poem or a song? "Where have you been? they ask./And what has taken you so long?/That night after eating, singing, and dancing/We lay together under the stars."

Joy Harjo wrote "For Keeps" in 2013, six years before she was named the U.S. poet laureate. She is the 23rd person appointed to that position and the first Native American to hold the title.


Which category claims these words? "And all I feel/In my stomach, is butterflies/The beautiful kind, making up for lost time/Taking flight."

Swift's "Everything Has Changed" features a vocal appearance by Ed Sheeran as part of her fourth album, "Red." Swift and Sheeran teamed up on writing this tune, which is said to have occurred in the songstress' backyard.


"I've been the archer/I've been the prey/Who could ever leave me, darling?/But who could stay?" Where do these lines fit?

"The Archer," released in July 2019, is part of Swift's album, "Lover." This song is yet another sneak peek into Swift's relationships and their ups and downs in the public eye.


Can you guess where this one fits? "I go from loving to not loving you,/From waiting to not waiting for you/My heart moves from cold to fire."

"I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You" is a poem authored by Pablo Neruda, a writer born in Chile in 1904. Neruda was known to write solely in green ink because of its symbolism of love and desire.


Where can you find, "I love your lips when they’re wet with wine/And red with a wild desire;/I love your eyes when the lovelight lies"?

Ella Wheeler Wilcox authored a poem she titled, simply, "I Love You." The words in this question are part of that poem. Wilcox is believed to have started writing poetry when she was just 7 years old.


Where would you find, "Windows swung right open, autumn air/Jacket 'round my shoulders is yours"?

Perhaps a lesser-known Taylor Swift title, "Cornelia Street" was named after a location where Swift once rented an apartment. It is featured on her 2019 album release, "Lover."


Song or poem? "You should think about the consequence/Of your magnetic field being a little too strong."

We think this song is gorgeous - just like its title, "Gorgeous," by Taylor Swift. The song, which continues, "And I got a boyfriend, he's older than us/He's in the club doing, I don't know what/You're so cool, it makes me hate you so much," was part of Swift's "Reputation" album.


"The paper is full of every kind of blooming horror/And you sit wondering what you're gonna do./I got it./Come. And be my baby," comes from which of these sources?

Contemporary poet and author Maya Angelou, who died in 2014, authored "Come, And Be My Baby." Angelou was an acclaimed American writer who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2010.


"Still, I feel it inside its cage sounding a dull tattoo:/I want, I want — but I can’t open it: there’s no key," is attributed to which of these?

Poet Rita Dove wrote "Heart to Heart" in 2004, 10 years after she served as the U.S. poet laureate. The poem continues, "I can’t wear it on my sleeve, or tell you from the bottom of it how I feel./Here, it’s all yours, now — but you’ll have to take me, too."


"I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;/I lift my lids and all is born again./(I think I made you up inside my head.)" belongs to which of these?

Taylor Swift might totally have written a song called "Mad Girl's Love Song," but noted author Sylvia Plath beat her to it. The poem was first published in 1953, roughly a decade before Plath's death.


Poem or song? Where would you find, "Holy orange bottles, each night I pray to you/Desperate people find faith, so now I pray to Jesus too"?

"Soon You'll Get Better" is a song from Swift's 2019 release, "Lover." The Dixie Chicks are featured on background vocals in the song, which pays tribute to Swift's mother and her fight against cancer.


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