Most song lyrics could be spoken as poetry just as easily as they can be sung as a song. As a result of this similarity, there are many characteristics shared by song lyrics and poems.
Both use symbols to convey meanings without specific words. Carter describes her first encounter with love as "bittersweet, Green on the vine Like strawberry wine." As the song continues, it becomes obvious that she has fond memories of this first lover and the time they shared - she returns to the location "year after year" to recall her "first taste of love."
The lyrics paint word pictures with use of simile - "We drifted away like leaves in the fall" - and analogy - "I was caught somewhere between a woman and a child." Carter doesn't directly say how old she was during this summer, although seventeen is mentioned in the chorus. More important is the point that she was at an age where she considered thirty to be "old."
As with poetry, the song lyrics make use of rhyme to tie some phrases together. Repetition of words, as the chorus in the song, lends a rhythmic pattern that can almost be described as being dactylic dimeter. "Green on the vine Like strawberry wine"