Genius: Beyond The Lyrics

Students can use Genius to help when reading poetry and books


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Example of annotations and information that Genius provides.

A lot of people know the website “Genius,” ( for the site’s annotations and lyrics for just about any song, but the site has more than just lyrics to songs. For sophomores reading To Kill a Mockingbird  or freshmen reading A Tale of Two Cities , Genius supplies line by line annotations and summaries of several books.

When trying to decode the constant metaphors or catch the references in allusions, Genius is a helpful tool for doing so. Instead of stressing over analyzing every line, all it takes is a simple click on the line and Genius can bring insight into the author’s perspective and what he/she is trying to say in the line.

The best part about the website’s annotations is that they are user-friendly and can be easily edited or contributed to, meaning that if you catch a reference or have an intelligent analysis for a line or paragraph, it is easy to add your thoughts to the annotations. To be able to contribute to most annotations, all you need is a Genius account. Annotations can include quotes from other books that refer to the meaning of the line, pictures, videos or just an explanation, annotations are also reviewed and edited by the site’s editors.

Poetry is often covered in metaphors, similes and allusions, making it challenging at times to interpret what point the author is trying to say through the poem. Genius is also very helpful for this as well, supplying not only their interpretation of the poem but also background information on the poet which is crucial when trying to find the purpose of the poem.

Books, songs, poems and speeches, Genius is like an updated and improved version of Sparknotes. With daily articles, constant improvements to the site and always reviewed annotations to make sure they are intelligent and helpful to readers, the site is an overlooked tool when it comes to literature.