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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 :/
- ?Lv 77 years agoFavorite 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!).