This exercise is about directly addressing inanimate objects or other things that cannot reply. This is a tool that is useful for a few reasons: 1) it often comes as a surprise, 2) it can reveal a certain emotion (like despair in not having anyone to talk to or attachment to a specific object), and 3) it forces us to use language to almost bring life to something that is lifeless.
Here are some example songs:
Thursday - Resuscitation of a Dead Man : This song directly addresses an ambulance through the verses and makes specific requests of the ambulance.
Willie Nelson - Hello Walls : In this song, the first verse addresses the walls. The second verse addresses the window. And the third addresses the ceiling. Basically, talking to the these things about a failed relationship.
Lisa Carver - Wake Up Older : In the second half of the first verse, she directly addresses a bottle of Jim Beam asking for insight.
Paul Simon - The Sound of Silence : The first line addresses darkness. This allows him to speak to the darkness as an old friend about why it is comforting after just having a dream.
These are quick summaries of the songs, there is a ton of meaning behind each one. But, for this exercise we are interested in the idea of addresses something that won’t respond. Many songs address diaries. I decided not to list those as examples because it is somewhat expected (many people begin each entry with something along the lines of “Dear Diary”). But a unique way of addressing that is also useful (the way Anne Frank calls her diary Kitty to treat it like a friend).
Exercise: Pick out something, an object, an emotion or feeling, a concept, and write a few lines to the thing you picked out. After you write a few lines, describe what you wanted to achieve. It can be simple like the above. But that will help us in reading them since we likely will not have a full song’s worth of context to go on.