The Student News Site of St. Luke's School

The Sentinel

The Student News Site of St. Luke's School

The Sentinel

The Student News Site of St. Luke's School

The Sentinel

SLS on Instagram

“All’s fair in love and poetry”: What does Taylor Swift’s Upcoming Album Have in Store for Us?

Eva Rinaldi

The 66th Grammys held a lot in store for the 16.9 million Americans watching. However, an album announcement by the world’s most famous singer was an extremely pleasant surprise. Taylor Swift announced her eleventh studio album, The Tortured Poets Department (“Tortured Poets”), releasing Friday, April 19.

During Swift’s 2024 acceptance speech for Best Pop Vocal Album, the thirty-four-year-old songwriter teased her fans, “This is my 13th Grammy – which is my lucky number, I don’t know if I’ve ever told you that.” Swift continued, “I want to say thank you to the fans by telling you a secret that I’ve been keeping from you for the last two years, which is that my brand new album comes out April 19.” 

While touring in Melbourne in February, Swift explained to fans why the album was so special to her. She said, “It sort of reminded me of why songwriting is something that actually gets me through life, and I’ve never had an album where I’ve needed songwriting more than I needed it on Tortured Poets.” 

Swift’s fans are notorious for their often absurd theories regarding Swift, her life, and pending album releases, so, it was no surprise when Swifties immediately began speculating about the upcoming album.

Tortured Poets is rumored to be about Swift’s breakup with her boyfriend of six and a half years, Joe Alwyn. Alwyn, an English actor, starred in Conversations With Friends and The Favourite. Swift and Alwyn met at the 2016 Met Gala and dated publicly from September 2016 to April 2023. Alwyn co-wrote some of Swift’s songs, including “exile,” “champagne problems,” and “Sweet Nothing,” under the pseudonym William Bowery.  Swift revealed Alwyn’s identity as Bowery in the Disney documentary Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions

In Swift’s seventh studio album, Lover, she has a song called “London Boy.” Based on Alwyn’s nationality, the song is widely believed to be about him. On Tortured Poets, there is a song called “So Long, London.”

On April 13, 2018, Swift covered Earth, Wind & Fire’s song “September” for Spotify Singles. The original song opens with “Do you remember / the 21st night of September?” Swift changed the lyrics to “The 28th night of September” to reference her anniversary with Alwyn. Furthermore, the title “So Long, London” is an obvious nod to “London Boy” and Alwyn’s nationality. 

Additionally, Swift has announced four bonus tracks for the album, all with alternate album covers: “The Manuscript,” “The Bolter,” “The Albatross,” and “The Black Dog.” Swifties believe that “The Bolter” will be about her and Alwyn’s relationship as the title refers to when Swift and Alwyn bolted to their car after the 2022 MTV Music Video Awards after-party to avoid the paparazzi. 

An Albatross is “a large white ocean bird that has very long wings” or “something that causes persistent deep concern or anxiety.” Albatross birds also spend their first six years at sea, which many believe to be an allusion to the duration of Swift and Alwyn’s relationship. 

“The Black Dog” is a way to refer to depression, and may also allude to the omen of death common in English folklore. During her acceptance speech at the 2024 Grammys, Swift held up a peace sign, and after the announcement of “The Black Dog,” fans believe it was referring to the logo of the Black Dog Institute, a “not-for-profit facility for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mood disorders such as depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder.” Along with the darker tones featured on the cover of this album variant, many think this track will be reflecting intense feelings of depression. 

Taylor Swift’s Tortured Poets is shaping up to not be just a collection of songs, but a rich story that weaves together personal heartbreak and subtle acknowledgments of her past. 

As fans scour details for hidden meanings, it becomes clear that Swift’s ability to engage her audience goes beyond music itself—it’s in the stories she tells and the relationships she reflects on.

 This album seems to be a deep dive into the complexities of love and the poetic beauty found in the midst of it all, leaving Swifties and casual listeners alike eagerly awaiting the release of The Tortured Poets Department.


Note: this article was originally published on April 4, 2024 and was updated on April 24, 2024, after the album’s release. 

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Julia Coniglio '26
Julia Coniglio '26, Staff Writer
This is Julia Coniglio’s first year at St. Luke’s and she is currently a sophomore. This is her first year on the Sentinel staff and she is looking forward to writing articles for the community to enjoy. Outside of the Sentinel, Julia loves reading, horseback riding, and skiing.

Comments (0)

All The Sentinel Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *