Yahoo Answers is shutting down on May 4th, 2021 (Eastern Time) and the Yahoo Answers website is now in read-only mode. There will be no changes to other Yahoo properties or services, or your Yahoo account. You can find more information about the Yahoo Answers shutdown and how to download your data on this help page.

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

  • ?
    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

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.