Taylor Swift name-drops Patti Smith and Dylan Thomas on new song. Here’s why 👇


Swift sings in “The Tortured Poets Department”: “I laughed in your face and said, ‘You’re not Dylan Thomas. I’m not Patti Smith. This ain’t the Chelsea Hotel. We’re modern idiots.”

Dylan Thomas is a Welsh poet and writer famous for “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night,” “Under Milk Wood” and “Fern Hill.” Thomas was 𝐛𝐨𝐫𝐧 in 1914 and died in 1953.

Patti Smith is a famous poet, author, songwriter, singer and painter 𝐛𝐨𝐫𝐧 in 1947. Her Instagram bio reads, “Writer. We are all alive together.” Smith is still an active writer. She did a book signing in New York City Thursday morning.

‘Tortured Poets’ release live updates:Taylor Swift’s new album has dropped

The Chelsea Hotel (or Hotel Chelsea or The Chelsea) is in Manhattan. Built in the late 19th century, the 12-story hotel is a New York designated landmark that has famously housed writers, painters, authors and the who’s who of fashionable socialites. And still does.

Stephanie Burt, a Harvard professor who teaches a class on Swift, explained the layers of the lyric.

“Swift is not only telling (the guy in the song), you’re not that talented,” Burt says. “She’s saying, let’s not be the kind of artists who make our self-destructive, tortured natures central to our art, which invites everyone to look at what a mess we are.”

Both Smith and Thomas lived in the hotel. According to John Brinnin’s 1955 biography, “Dylan Thomas in America,” Thomas was reputed to be a “roistering, drunken and doomed poet.” Smith went on to produce albums and tour the world. She sang and performed with Bruce Springsteen.

“Patti Smith is who you invoke if you want to talk about a woman onstage who is absolutely magnetic and a poet with a capital ‘P,’” Burt says. “Dylan Thomas is who you invoke if you want to talk about a romantic, self destructive poet who had the talent to back it up, but had absolutely no self-care s𝓀𝒾𝓁𝓁s who made everything too much.”

Swift is saying let’s not be self-destructive artists and let’s leave that to the “modern idiots.”

‘The Tortured Poets Department’

If you didn’t get the memo from the department’s Chairman, “Tortured Poets” is Swift’s 11th era album with 16 tracks and four bonus songs (four versions of the album each have a different bonus track).

Swift announced the project at the Grammys, when she won her 13th career Grammy for pop album of the year. Post Malone and Florence and The Machine are two contributors on the pop album.

Its track titles are brutal. Fans speculated the album was about Swift’s six-year relationship with English actor Joe Alwyn and their breakup. Both stars kept the relationship out of the public eye. The back of the first version of the album reads, “I love you, it’s ruining me,” serving as a dagger-to-the-chest harbinger.

The album was released during Swift’s two-month break from her massively popular and economically fruitful Eras Tour. “Tortured Poets” serves as an exclamation point to the behemoth success the billionaire has seen over the past year since the three-plus-hour show launched in Glendale, Arizona. Swift will return to the stage in Paris, France, on May 9. Fans anticipate that her newest era will be added to the show.