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In the dark alley of my youth,

light, it shone from the cloud-ladden sky.

I've been listening to the chirping in the trees.

Lately, I felt a bit more free.

I am wondering if this is acceptable. I am not sure if this is just called an inversion or there's a more specific technique involved here, but I was wondering if this is an awkward phrasing. I am also wondering if it's ok to put 3 almost unrelated sentences in the same verse in a song.

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Reading it aloud like a monologue might sound a bit unnatural, but if it’s going to be put to music I would say it’s completely acceptable and even a good thing to split up a line it that way. It holds tension, yet feels satisfying when we understand what’s being said.

But, if you eventually find you don’t like it, there is an alternative.

In the dark alley of my youth,

light shone from the cloud-ladden sky.

When singing the lyrics, one would just skip a small amount of time before starting that line, to make up for the missing syllable where the word “it” would have been.

As for putting in three unrelated sentences in the same verse, I would say that’s completely fine, as long as they are related to the subject of the song they don’t necessarily need to line up with each other. But ultimately, do whatever feels right, because it is art.

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I think the name for what you want to do is Hyperbaton

From a writing and English comprehension standpoint, I don't see a problem with it. The meaning of the sentence is perfectly clear, and unless you are working under some kind of constraint, there's really not much to stop you.

If you're worried about it being good, however, I would consider advice from an old professor I had-

"All remarkable writing has form and function, and form always must always serve a function."

I can't say I completely agree, but it's something to consider. What is the purpose of this structure?

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  • Are you sure your professor included poetry and song in that statement? – Andrey Jan 8 at 22:36
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In terms of meaning, emotional impact, etc. how is:

In the dark alley of my youth,
light, it shone from the cloud-laden sky.

different from:

In the dark alley of my youth,
light shone from the cloud-laden sky.

?

If the unusual wording isn't there to affect the audience in some specific way, it simply looks like awkward writing.

The same words could be used like this though:

In the dark alley of my youth: light.
It shone from the cloud-laden sky.

It makes sense and doesn't feel awkward.

If it no longer scans well with your music, well, handling that is what composing and writing are all about.

How about:

In the dark alley of my youth,
a light shone from the cloud-laden sky.
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