Both Sides Now – A Painting with Words

This writing exercise looks at the use of words in creating style, descriptions, and voice.

The objective of this lesson is to develop your awareness of how words can communicate complex ideas, moving stories and  persuasive arguments and through that awareness find some inspiration and perhaps courage to extend your writing skills.

Sometimes there is much to learn about writing from the experts. Let’s do that today.

Joni Mitchell

Let’s examine the writing of Joni Mitchell.  The song is Both Sides Now.

I don’t want to over analyze her work … but there is much to learn by looking at the way she uses words to paint pictures.

Look at her writing style from these perspectives.

  1. word combinations
  2. unusual adjectives
  3. repeated sentence pattern structures
  4. unity created through repeated words
  5. progression
  6. a conclusion

Part 1: Read

Read the lyrics for this Both Sides Now.

Part 2: Pair Work

Discuss with partner the six stylistic points above. Discus overall impressions.

Part 3: Listen

Listen to the music. Enjoy.

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