Taylor Swift‘s 11th studio album The Tortured Poets Department not only has a lot of songs, especially on the Anthology edition, there’s also a lot of references to other artists, bands, and poets. Below, you’ll find an explanation for all the name drops, and if the person / group mentioned has said anything about the album. The list does not include the names of characters, like Chloe, Sam, Sophia, Marcus, Peter (it has to be a specific person), or “aIMee.”

Patti Smith (and Dylan Thomas) in “The Tortured Poets Department”

“And who’s gonna hold you like me?
And who’s gonna know you, if not me?
I laughed in your face and said
‘You’re not Dylan Thomas, I’m not Patti Smith
This ain’t the Chelsea Hotel, we’rе modern idiots’
And who’s gonna hold you like me?”

On Instagram, Patti Smith shared a photo of herself reading Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog by Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, who was also name-checked in the title track. “This is / saying I was / moved to be / mentioned in / the company / of the great / Welsh poet / Dylan Thomas. / Thank you, Taylor,” she wrote as the caption. (It should be a requirement for all Swifties streaming The Tortured Poets Department to also listen to Smith’s Horses. You’ll love it.)

Charlie Puth in “The Tortured Poets Department”

“You smokеd, then ate seven bars of chocolate
We declared Charlie Puth should be a bigger artist”

Swift and Charlie Puth have been open about their admiration for each other, and now he’s been immortalized in one of her songs. Curiously, the “Attention” singer hasn’t commented on the most-discussed lyric on The Tortured Poets Department. He’s probably upset that she didn’t rhyme “Puth” with “truth.”

Lucy Dacus and Jack Antonoff in “The Tortured Poets Department”

“Sometimes, I wonder if you’re gonna screw this up with me
But you told Lucy you’d kill yourself if I ever leave
And I had said that to Jack about you, so I felt seen”

It’s suspected, although not confirmed, that the “Lucy” and “Jack” in “The Tortured Poets Department” are Lucy Dacus and Jack Antonoff. The Boygenius bandmate is ostensibly off social media, so she hasn’t said anything, but Antonoff, who co-wrote and co-produced much of the album, called it “my favorite work we have made together / made in the most wild unhinged moment. all the pain distilled in this album and all the laughter that came out of it. will hold those days in the studio forever as the most inspiring of my life. i adore this album and the way it came together. ttpd FOREVER.”

The Blue Nile in “Guilty As Sin?”

“Drownin’ in the Blue Nile
He sent me ‘Downtown Lights’
I hadn’t heard it in a while”

Swift’s former fling Matty Healy, who much of The Tortured Poets Department seems to be about, once said that The 1975 were inspired by The Blue Nile when writing the anthemic “Love It If We Made It.” The Scottish synth-pop group has yet to comment on “Downtown Lights” (a great song that came out in… 1989) popping up in album highlight “Guilty As Sin?”

Clara Bow in “Clara Bow”

“You look like Clara Bow
In this light, remarkable
All your life, did you know
You’d be picked like a rose?”

Clara Bow, the original “It girl” who successfully made the crossover from silent films to “talkies,” died in 1965, so it would be a little difficult for her to personally comment on The Tortured Poets Department. But her family did. “Both raw and amazingly talented artists,” her great-granddaughter Nicole Sisneros told People. “My family and I love the song and are thankful for Taylor connecting with Clara’s legacy through her songwriting.”

Stevie Nicks in “Clara Bow”

“You look like Stevie Nicks
In ’75, the hair and lips
Crowd goes wild at her fingertips
Half moonshine, a full eclipse”

Nicks once thanked Swift for writing “You’re On Your Own, Kid,” which helped her grieve the death of long-time Fleetwood Mac bandmate Christine McVie. She hasn’t directly commented on The Tortured Poets Department, but she did write an introductory poem that was included with the album. “He was in love with her/ Or at least she thought so,” it reads. “She was broken hearted/ Maybe he was too/ Neither of them knew.” You can read the full thing here.

The Starting Line in “The Black Dog”

“I just don’t understand
How you don’t miss me in The Black Dog
When someone plays The Starting Line
And you jump up, but she’s too young to know this song
That was intertwined in the magic fabric of our dreaming
Old habits die screaming”

Fans of early-2000s pop-punk rejoice. The Starting Line were as surprised as anyone that Swift mentioned them on the best song on The Tortured Poets Department. “I’m so glad that it seems to be used in a relatively positive light,” singer Kenny Vasoli told Variety. “It’s really been quite an unexpected showering of love, and a very grateful moment for the band, because it’s not something that we ever could have saw coming, especially not from someone of her magnitude. It’s a very sweet name-drop.” The Pennsylvania-based band also thanked Swift (who turned 13 (!) the year their best-known song, “Best Of Me,” came out) on social media.

Aristotle in “So High School”

“Truth, dare, spin bottles
You know how to ball, I know Aristotle
Brand-new, full throttle
Touch me while your bros play Grand Theft Auto

Aristotle’s silence is deafening.

The Tortured Poets Department is out now via Republic. Find more information here.

Posted in: Pop