18-Jul-01 The song, Mercy Street, by Peter Gabriel, is this composer's attempt to delineate the mind of Anne Sexton, a troubled, yet brilliant poet; he does this with the assistance of the following devices: symbolism, repetition, and most importantly, general theme. This song, including its title, is entirely symbolic; it symbolizes the realm Anne Sexton searched for in her confessional poem, 45 Mercy Street. The symbols are significant; they are excerpts from the poem that are syntactically mutated to equate a tone of realism in the song, "All she can see, are the dreams all made solid, are the dreams made real."ÃÂ (l. 2,3) To help outline the symbolic character of the song, Peter Gabriel uses another alliterative device, repetition; this is used to create an impact on the audience, reinforcing Anne's feelings of inundation, "Nowhere in the corridors"ÃÂ¦nowhere in the suburbs."ÃÂ (l. 14,15) This effectively portrays her need to find "mercy"ÃÂ in the lonely and distorted world in which she lived, which converges upon the theme to this song.
Depression is a disease; it distorts one's perception of reality by extracting the color of humanity, leaving them in blackness. This desolation will conquer the human soul and inflict a need to find any way out of a cold, dark, and lonely world. The symbolic, repetitious, and thematic natures of this song create a sympathetic awareness for the victims of depression; however, to fully comprehend the meaning of, Mercy Street, one must read Anne Sexton's poem.