06th Dec 2017
When it comes to pop music in 2017, this is Taylor Swift’s world; we merely live in it. Her transformation from golden-curled country singer to bonafide superstar can never be questioned… Even the Editor of the UK’s most prestigious fashion bible lets the singer call the shots when it comes to its pages, or so it would seem.
Swift fronts the latest issue of British Vogue, but instead of giving an interview, the singer has pulled an almost-Beyoncé, refusing to even promote her latest album Reputation in so many words, and instead has penned a heartfelt poem titled “The Trick to Holding On.”
The short poem has been published on Vogue’s website and has raised questions (and a few eyebrows) surrounding the magazine’s decision to hand over what reportedly was full editorial control to their cover star regarding her profile. It’s quite a move for the newly appointed Edward Enninful and his only second issue of the publication.
Thank you @edward_enninful and @mertalas for your passion, spirit, and contagious laughter on set. Mert and Marcus took these photos for @britishvogue and my album photos for reputation, and it’s been such a bonding experience working together so closely and talking so much about what we wanted to make. It’s been a while since I’ve done a magazine cover. I’m really happy my first one back was with such wonderful people. #newvogue
The poem in question is all Swift; lyrics-wise, it could be mistaken for a track off her latest album – all moving on and letting go of past mistakes – apt considering her latest public reinvention. It’s ambivalent; quite unlike the Swift we used to know. Years in the spotlight and constant waves of criticism has seen her openness be replaced with an alluring, cool stare, but little else – she hasn’t given an interview since early last year. Is it that her PR machine is so now carefully controlled thanks to painstakingly curated social media a sign that even titles as prestigious as Vogue are willing to make editorial compromises in order to land high-profile cover stars who will clearly help sell copies? Or is it that they felt a traditional interview was just that, too traditional, too futile?
Or perhaps it was simply Swift’s preference; sick and tired of the public drama-drama (we know what happened the last time a public statement backfired) she wants to call the shots however she chooses to – and say as little as possible to claw some form of a private life back for herself. She is removing herself from the narrative – quite literally in this case – and we say all the more power to her for it.
It’s worked either way; the internet has spoken of almost nothing but the poem since it was published online but as for whether it’s up to the usual Vogue standard… well, we’ll let you decide.
Read the full poem in its entirety below:
The Trick to Holding On
Let go of the ones who hurt you
Let go of the ones you outgrow
Let go of the words they hurl your way
as you’re walking out the door
The only thing cut and dry
In this hedge-maze life
Is the fact that their words will cut
but your tears will dry
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
Phone numbers you know by heart
And the ones you don’t answer any more
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
All the times your intuition failed you
But it hasn’t killed you yet
Hold on to childlike whims and moonlight swims and your blazing self-respect
And if you drive the roads of this town
Ones you’ve gone down so many times before
Flashback to all the times
Life nearly ran you off the road
But tonight your hand is steady
Suddenly you’ll know
The trick to holding on
Was all that letting go
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