Eminem's 'Stan' is poetry

As Giles Foden espressed it before, ‘Stan’ is a masterpiece of work. Mr Foden says that Stan has the depth of the Shakespeare verses. I totally agree with him on the fact that Stan is great poetry.

As a French citizen, I dare comparing Stan to Rimbaud’s ‘Le Dormeur du Val’. Even if the story is different, the structure of both works is similar. Rimbaud’s poem first pictures a sleeping man, lying down in the grass near a river.

Gradually the reader understands that the young man is a dead soldier: He’s white as a sheet and he’s got two holes on his right side.The pictures drawn in Stan’s story are similar. It’s the story of a fan writing to his favorite singer : he shares pains and sorrows with him, tells him that his girlfriend is pregnant.

Of course, he’s disappointed, because Eminem is late in answering his letters.


Gradually, the listener understands that Stan is sick (“sometimes I cut myself to see how much it bleeds, it’s like adrenaline, the pain is such a sudden rush for me”) and his passion for Eminem becomes more and more obsessional.

The last picture is terrifying : Stan driving his car off the bridge with his pregnant girlfriend inside….

Stan is also a warning for each fan and listener not to misinterpret Eminem’s words and this song really proves Eminem doesn’t want his words to be taken litterally.

For those who still think he’s a violent mysogynist, remember who ties his girlfriend up : it is Stan ,not Eminem. Eminem tells Stan to treat his girfriend better “I really think you and you girlfriend need each other/Or maybe you just need to treat her better”).

He never encourages him to act foolishly (“I’m glad I inspire you,but Stan why are you so mad,try to understand that I want you as a fan. I just don’t want you to do some crazy shit.”)


Who said Eminem is a bad influence?

42 thoughts on “Eminem's 'Stan' is poetry”

  1. couple years later,I still love this sone soo much. don’t know why just love it deeply,like Isabelle Esling said that this masterpiece was a poetry and more like a story which inspired me that much…

  2. I’m happy to know that “Stan” inspired you, Chyi.
    Eminem is my biggest source of inspiration. He totally masters his art, he really knows how to handle with words.
    Thanks for your contribution!

  3. I entirely agree with you. IMHO, Eminem is one of the greatest songwriters of all times. His masterly usage of aliterarions and assonances, puns and stylistic devices, his comparatively rich lexis and unforgettable puns have contributed a lot to modern poetry, and moreover, to the popularity of poetry as a genre of writing. He has done an increduble job and I guess all educators must be grateful to him. Plus, he has assisted in popularization of English!

  4. For me, the song is really a great masterpiece.

    Like the twist from the movie ‘Scream’, where people suddenly are talking about other movies, within the film.

    The song is a great personal story, expression and reflection on all that crazy fan-dom, hype and attention in the media.

    (I`m just wondering, how the artist got the inspiration for this song, and the real story about the creation of the song.)

  5. I think eminem is one of the best rappers of all time!! Stan is definitely my favorite song! I just wanna know if it’s a real story or if it’s just fiction…Thanx

  6. Perla

    STAN is based on a true story. Stanley Mitchell was stans real name and his girlfriends name was dido stevenson.

  7. Perla,
    Stan is a true story. It’s based on Eminem’s biggest fan, STANLEY MITCHELL. He really did drive his car off a bridge with his pregnant girlfrend in the trunk. YW

  8. Eminem has some great songs i think his writing is great he inspires me. I like to write and i he gives me some great ideas on songs and other things. Now when he heard about what Stan did over Him did he go out and vists stans mom or lil brother or did he just ignore it? If you know this how do you know this and where u get your info? If you could tell me these thing i would greatly appreciate it thx!!

  9. i think that EMINEM is the best rapper he does so inspier me in singing and trying to make up raps.

  10. was it true was it that he ran his car off an bridge with he pregnant wife in the trunk.

  11. wow, i just heard this song again for the first time in a long time..it really sucks that stanley did what he did but eminem is just always busy :-/

  12. does anyone have an article on the real Stan and his story? i dont know if anyone will read this anytime soon, but it would be great if someone could find me something on him.

  13. Eminem is really grea some kids in my school said he sucked so I punched one then I got punched by his friends the next day I brought it to music class and asked the teacher If i could put it on.he said yes i put it on so loud those kids who hated him beat me up again.O well.in the words of eminem, “I just dont give a fuck”

  14. Eminem is really grea some kids in my school said he sucked so I punched one then I got punched by his friends the next day I brought it to music class and asked the teacher If i could put it on.he said yes i put it on so loud those kids who hated him beat me up again.O well.in the words of eminem, “I just dont give a fuck”

  15. im a big eminem fan hav all his shit but i must say that this is one of the best i ever heard… and lok i don agree wid ya eminem is better than mozart and bettoven..

  16. Eminem totally kicks ass i have all his songs and if he comes out with a new one i download it within the first hour… But just a comment from what it said before about him not having a bad influence in this song, he SERIOUSLY dissed homosexuals with stan saying “we could have been together!”
    And eminem saying: “Thats what makes me think we shouldnt meet eachother”

  17. Slick: I don’t think he dissed homosexuals, I mean if someone (male OR female) that didn’t actually know me wrote me a letter saying that they wanted to be with me, I’d be scared to meet them too. Stan is sort of mental (well, obviously) and who knows what would happen in the case that they met. I mean…he’s just…mental.

  18. Eminem rox people! every1 should kno that sum people think that eminem is just a gangster wannabe but hes not. eminem is a great poet even if sum of u people dont think that i do! rock on eminem or in other words rap on!

  19. Does anyone have a link to a site with information about Stanley Mitchell, or could someone dig one up and post it here? Im have trouble finding one. Thanks.

  20. Well people usually just listen to the beat of Eminems songs but if you actually paid attention to the words he has deep meaning like he said in “Stan” (I respect you man what you say is real….) but hes a cool guy with a hard childhood trying to give his a children the one he wished he had. Some songs like Shake that and Loose yourself arent that deep of meaning but next time before hearing the song look at the lyrics then put the beat in youll find deep meaning and respect for most things.

  21. you guys are idiots, this is not a true story, eminem said so himself

    Eminem: No. Stan was just somebody completely made up, based on what could happen if you take my lyrics too seriously. I’m nice enough and courteous enough to tell the kids at the end of the day this is not how you want to be. You don’t want to grow up to be just like me. When I say, “Jump off a f*cking bridge or slit your wrists,” that’s not what I’m really trying to say. It’s tongue in cheek.

  22. A lot of times people think of rappers as stupid, cold, unfeeling… I think that Eminem’s a genious! I could never ever write something half as amazing as his song lyrics. He’s amazingly talented… his stuff just WORKS, it never sounds off or flawed. You can tell that he really has some deep emotions inside because of what he says in his songs.

  23. I totally agree, Eminem is truly a master of his art, he writes lyrics about truth and not an unrealistic “reality” like other “rappers” who sing about an unrealistic picture of sex and women, they make me sick, Eminem makes me think. “Stan” personally makes me cry, right now I’m listening to a song by Yin Yang Twins called “drop” it’s terrible. Ugh.

    Thank you for your post !

  24. Guys seriously. Eminem is the greattestt song writer to pick up a pencil. All this new shit like flow rider and soulja boy….pshh they should bow down to slim shady. he is a lyrical genious. Everyone get his new album called relapse and listen to every last word.

  25. Will, It’s done =)

    Eminem is sick in his writings, i love his music so i almoust get an emotional breakdown while listening to the songs. He is the best and will probably always be. These new peeps and their fucked up hip hop can blow em selfs. Akon and that shit, that’s just casual music, Em’s songs are so epic that you won’t belive it.

    Thank you Eminem !

  26. Eminem just won at life,

    So did the other rappers, by the way, they’re all richer than you.
    Sure, Eminem is the best, I agree, but he’s pretty much burned up if you ask me.

    Cheers,
    Jeff

  27. You forgot that Eminem is violent, seeings how in one of his songs he talks about killing his wife then it even says in Stan that Eminem slit his wifes throat (not true) but it still contradicts your point that he isn’t violent.

  28. eminem is the best rapper ever,when he raps about real life. no one can compare to him….if you say lil wayne is the best, he beat him in no love AND drop the world toe to toe, you say drake, he killed drake in Forever…eminem is the best but like he said “i probably never get the props i feel i ever deserve”

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