Ultimately, I’ll Be Your Mirror suffers from the same disjuncture that afflicts all volumes of collected song lyrics: the distance between poetry and songwriting. Good poetry sings on the page; even the greatest songs struggle to find their voice in print. The deft and seductive Walk on the Wild Side falls flat here – “Doo da doo da doo/ Doo da doo” anyone? Likewise the sense of nihilistic enervation that Reed evokes in the repeated line “And I guess that I just don’t know”, on Heroin. What you are left with is an echo of the song that plays in your head as you read the words. Without the surge and sway of the music and Reed’s drawled delivery, the poetry is drained from the lines.