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Boygenius - Letter to an Old Poet Meaning and Review

Updated: Mar 8

Letter To An Old is a callback to Boygenius' Me & My Dog

Boygenius - Letter To An Old Poet Review and Album Cover

The last track on The Record, Letter to an Old Poet by Boygenius, interpolates their own track from the self-titled EP “Me & My Dog” and references it throughout.

Phoebe Bridgers Boygenius Closer

Letter To An Old Poet makes a perfect album closer as Phoebe Bridgers makes sure it’s a testament to moving on, something cathartic that’s charged with raw emotion. The song title is taken from Rainer Maria Rilke’s book of the same name.

The Me and My Dog References In Letter To An Old Poet

This time around on Letter To An Old Poet, Phoebe Bridgers is more hopeful than sullen as she was on Me and My Dog. Such as “I wanna hear one song without thinking of you” being now “I'm ready to walk into my room without lookin' for you” showing that she is ready to move on and has grown from this.

The lyric “And remember my dog when I see the full moon” is also a call back to “Just me and my dog and an impossible view”.

Letter To An Old Poet is a great track and you need to check out The Record if you haven’t already. Especially if you're a fan of the older self titled record then Letter To An Old Poet has so many Me And My Dog references.

Me and My Dog and Letter to an Old Poet by Boygenius sync up perfectly if you listen back to back it's as if you're going on a journey through Phoebes rage and emotional state trying to find the meaning of Letter To An Old Poet.

Who is Letter To An Old Poet About?

Phoebe Bridgers and her dog max who she sings about on Me And My Dog and Letter To An Old Poet

Whilst Letter To An Old Poet by Boygeniusis alluded to be about a person, if we take the clues from Me & My Dog, The song is more about wanting to run home to Phoebes then dog who passed away.

The meaning of Letter To An Old Poet is about the all-encompassing nature of a toxic relationship and how her dog Max used to comfort her "I'll go up to the top of our building, And remember my dog when I see the full moon"

Listen To Letter To An Old Poet By Boygenius

Listen to Letter To An Old Poet below on Youtube:

Letter To An Old Poet by Boygenius is available to stream and listen to on all major streaming platforms such as Spotify or Apple Music.

Letter To An Old Poet Lyrics

Let's look into the lyrics of Letter To An Old Poet by Boygenius and the meaning of the song and how they compare to Me and My Dog:

[Verse 1: Bridgers]

And I kissed you hard

In the dark, in the closet

Maybe I'm just exhausted

[Pre-Chorus: Bridgers, All]

And I love you

I just do, ooh, but

[Chorus: All]

Boygenius - Letter To An Old Poet Lyric Interpretation

These lyrics of Letter To An Old Poet depict a complex and emotionally charged relationship. Phoebe Bridgers expresses conflicting emotions towards the person they are addressing, highlighting both love and resentment. Let's analyze the Letter to an Old Poets lyrics line by line:

"I said I think that you're special You told me once that I'm selfish"

Bridgers acknowledges that they believe the addressee is special or unique in some way. However, the addressee accuses the speaker of being selfish, indicating a potential conflict or disagreement between them.

"And I kissed you hard In the dark In the closet"

This line in Letter To An Old Poet suggests a passionate moment shared between Phoebe and the addressee, possibly in secrecy or hiding. The darkness and the closet could symbolize a clandestine or secretive aspect of their relationship.

"You said my music is mellow Maybe I'm just exhausted"

The addressee comments on Bridgers music, describing it as mellow. Phoebe reflects on this, wondering if their exhaustion is contributing to the perceived mellowness or lack of energy in their music.

"You think you're a good person Because you won't punch me in the stomach"

Here, Bridgers implies that the addressee believes they are morally superior because they refrain from physically harming the speaker. It suggests a dysfunctional dynamic where the absence of physical violence is seen as a measure of the addressee's goodness.

"And I love you I don't know why I just do"

Despite the tensions and conflicting emotions, Phoebe Bridgers admits their love for the addressee. They acknowledge that they don't fully understand the reasons behind their love, suggesting a sense of uncertainty or confusion.

"But you're not special, you're evil You don't get to tell me to calm down"

In a sudden shift, Bridgers now challenges the addressee's perceived specialness, labeling them as evil. They reject the addressee's authority to dictate their emotions, asserting their autonomy and refusing to be controlled.

"You made me feel like an equal But I'm better than you and you should know that by now"

Phoebe reflects on a time when the addressee made them feel equal in the relationship. However, they now assert their superiority over the addressee, believing themselves to be better. This line suggests a power dynamic and a lack of genuine equality in the relationship.

"When you fell down the stairs It looked like it hurt and I wasn't sorry"

Phoebe Bridgers describes in Letter To An Old Poet a scene where the addressee falls down the stairs, resulting in pain. Despite witnessing this, the speaker admits to feeling no remorse or sympathy for the addressee's suffering, indicating their growing detachment or lack of empathy.

"I should've left you right there With your hostages, my heart and my car keys"

Phoebe Bridgers expresses regret over not leaving the addressee in their moment of vulnerability, metaphorically comparing the addressee's hold on their emotions and possessions to that of a hostage-taker. This suggests feelings of being trapped or controlled within the relationship.

"You don't know me I wanna be happy I'm ready"

Phoebe Bridgers asserts that the addressee doesn't truly understand them in this section of Letter To An Old Poet, suggesting a lack of deep connection or mutual understanding. They express a desire for happiness and claim readiness for change or moving on from the current situation.

"To walk into my room without looking for you I'll go up to the top of our building And remember my dog when I see the full moon"

Phoebe Bridgers yearns for independence and the ability to enter their own space without the constant presence or influence of the addressee. They also mention going to the top of a building, possibly as a metaphorical act of gaining perspective or distance and also ties Letter To An Old Poet closer to Me And My Dog

Boygenius Letter To An Old Poet Meaning

"Letter To An Old Poet" explores a toxic relationship marked by manipulation, resentment, and an imbalance of power. The song reveals a speaker struggling with the complexities of unhealthy love, but it also expresses their growing self-awareness and desire to break free. From initial conflict to a lack of compassion and the ultimate assertion of self, the lyrics chart a journey from confusion and pain towards the liberation of independence.

The song offers multiple interpretations. It could represent a story of emotional abuse, a commentary on internalized misogyny, or symbolize the process of healing and recovery. The identity of the "Old Poet" remains ambiguous, adding another layer of meaning and allowing listeners to connect with the song on a personal level.

Check out our review of Boygenius- Not Strong Enough

Letter to an Old Poet Review

Letter To An Old Poet is an amazing track that's peppered with references to Me And My Dog. This is one of Phoebe Bridgers most emotional tracks and it pays off in such a heart wrenching way. The meaning behind Letter To An Old Poet is one of heartbreak and great storytelling.

I can not recommend this Letter To An Old Poet enough or the Boygenius album The Record for that matter.

Who are Boygenius?

Boygenius is not just a band; it is a supergroup consisting of three talented singer-songwriters: Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus. They joined forces in 2018 to create a self-titled EP that gained widespread critical acclaim. Boygenius is known for their heartfelt and introspective lyrics, haunting harmonies, and raw musicality and that can definitely be heard on Letter To An Old Poet.

How did Boygenius form?

The formation of Boygenius can be traced back to a tour in 2017 where Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus became friends while performing together. Recognizing their shared musical sensibilities and creative chemistry, they decided to come together and create music as a collective.

The Boygenius Self Titled EP

In 2018, Boygenius released their self-titled EP, which showcases their collective songwriting skills, mesmerizing harmonies, and emotional depth. The EP was met with critical acclaim, and its release was followed by a series of highly anticipated live performances.

The music of Boygenius is known for its intimate and introspective nature, tackling themes of love, loss, vulnerability, and personal growth especially within Letter To An Old Poet. Each member brings their unique voice and perspective to the table, resulting in a rich tapestry of emotions and musical styles.

Despite their busy solo careers, the members of Boygenius have expressed their desire to continue collaborating in the future.

The impact of Boygenius beyond Letter To An Old Poet

The impact of Boygenius extends beyond their music such as the track Letter To An Old Poet. The formation of the supergroup has been celebrated as a symbol of camaraderie and mutual support among women in the music industry. Their collaboration has helped foster a sense of solidarity and empowerment, inspiring other artists and fans alike.

Overall, Boygenius is a remarkable collective that has captivated listeners with their heartfelt lyrics, haunting melodies, and the sheer talent and authenticity of its members. Their music continues to resonate with audiences

Other popular songs by Boygenius

Some popular songs by Boygenius include "Bite the Hand," "Me & My Dog," "Souvenir," "Salt in the Wound," "Stay Down," and "Ketchum, ID."

Our favourite of these is Me & My Dog which captures the heartfelt essence of this track.

Are there any collaborations between Boygenius and other artists?

While Boygenius primarily focuses on their collective work, members of the group have individually collaborated with other artists on various projects. Examples include Julien Baker's collaboration with Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus on the song "Graceland Too," featured on Julien Baker's album "Little Oblivions."

Check out Letter To An Old Poet to hear Boygenius at their best.

Where did Boygenius get their big break?

While on the road to The Record and Letter To An Old Poet Boygenius is a collaborative project, each member also has a successful solo career.

Julien Baker:

Julien Baker gained recognition for her confessional songwriting and emotionally charged performances. She released her debut album, "Sprained Ankle," in 2015, followed by "Turn Out the Lights" in 2017. Her music often delves into themes of addiction, faith, and personal struggles.

Phoebe Bridgers:

Phoebe Bridgers emerged as a prominent indie folk artist with her debut album, "Stranger in the Alps" (2017). Her introspective and poetic songwriting, combined with her haunting vocals, garnered critical acclaim. In 2020, she released her highly anticipated second album, "Punisher."

Lucy Dacus:

Lucy Dacus gained attention with her debut album, "No Burden," in 2016, known for its introspective and insightful lyrics. She followed it up with "Historian" in 2018, solidifying her place as a talented singer-songwriter. Her music combines elements of indie rock, folk, and alternative.

Boygenius' music can be described as indie rock/folk with introspective and introspective lyrics and this is no different for Letter To An Old Poet. Each member brings their unique songwriting style and musical sensibilities to the group, resulting in a captivating and cohesive sound. Their songs often explore themes of vulnerability, relationships, self-reflection, and the complexities of human emotions

Boygenius Release The Rest

Boygenius recently followed up with their B sides on The Rest. Don't forget to also take a look at our review of Bite The Hand where we analyse the meaning of I can't love you how you want me to.

Related Reading for Boygenius and Phoebe Bridger Fans:

Don't forget to check out our deep dive into the meaning of Letter To An Old Poet and Bite The Hand.

There's also our review of Me & My Dog that we recommend giving a read and listening to too.

Because we're big fans we also have:


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