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Karina asked in Arts & HumanitiesPoetry · 7 years ago

What is the meaning of Lou Reed's "Chelsea Girls" poem?

I have to analyze a poem and I have chosen Lou Reed's "Chelsea Girls"

I know it has to do with the residents of the hotel during the 1960's but what exactly do the lines of the poem mean.

I would really appreciate it if someone could help me analyze this poem, I am terrible with poetry and I have to write a compare and contrast paper about 2 poems :/

2 Answers

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  • ?
    Lv 7
    7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    The lyric relates to the issues prevalent

    to the era when in England, cross-dressing and

    homosexuality were frowned upon for some hypocritical reason

    as 1/3 of the upper stratum were not unacquainted with such!

    `Queen` is a euphemism both for a male, who is cross-dressing as a woman

    and for a transgendered(otherwise) adult male taking the passive role

    in a homosexual relationship.

    Due to the times, Reed rendered spectacular the `unacceptable` fact

    that `queens` tend to O.T.T. sequins - spangles and -feathers dressing,cosmetics,parfums galore,wigs and

    whatever finery kept `their man` from other `queens` add

    tantrums, jealousies, `secret` flirtations, room-sharings and you might imagine, from the lyrical poem.

    `Silk`, perhaps, refers to a lawyer /attorney,being `handsomely financially compromised`,

    regarding an untoward death & subsequent legal proceedings,

    ..though Lou Reed `s mischievous irony might instead,

    have been brought into play here, rather than

    any reference to historic fact.

    *The term,`silk` is a term for a lawyer/ attorney`, yet as

    `silks and satins` were/ are the glamour fabrics

    preferred at that in-the-closet ` ...`unannounced`, time by cross-dressers

    it might be a superbly -placed, triple-entendre.

    There is reference to seductions of youth (known as,

    `rent-boys` in the narrative.

    The Chelsea Hotel was a hotel often the choice of many

    stars of that 60`s /70`s/80`s,time and genre (s) ~

    (Leonard Cohen also refers nostalgically to it in a lyric

    of his to a female lover! ).

    I think you might find on youtube,Lou Reed`s, 1970`s lyric

    `Take a Walk on the Wild Side`,which refers

    throughout to men choosing to experiment with

    the accoutrements of women`s lives?

    This should be a goad to help you grasp the near -but -not -quite `noir` mood and the

    apt rendition of the extravagance of the times

    (It is a classic recording BTW!) to help you

    to make and to write your literary comparison as you then

    reinterpret in your words, the relationships in the `Chelsea Hotel` lyric

    (yet to suit the literary standard,of the tutors` academic expectations!).

    ATB...interesting theme!

  • ?
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Lou Reed Poems

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