Questions tagged [poetry]

This tag should be used on questions about poetry in general or about any specific poem. Please use this tag with the appropriate author tag, and, if applicable, the language tag (such as [french-literature].

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8 views

Famous Poems about (racial, gender, and etc.) (in)justice

I was trying to find poems about (various types of) (in)justice by well-established authors; after looking through some random sources I thought asking a stack-exchange community would be the best ...
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69 views

Explain the third stanza of Donne's “A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning”?

This is the third stanza of John Donne's "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning": Moving of th' earth brings harms and fears, Men reckon what it did, and meant; But trepidation of the spheres, ...
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31 views

What is the meaning of Brodsky’s saying in the context of Sagan & Schneider’s book “Into the Cool”?

I came across this paragraph while reading Into the Cool by Sagan and Schneider and I was intrigued by a reference to Joseph Brodsky’s poetry but I can’t seem to understand what it means exactly: ...
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A slightly different interpretation in the poem “Boat Stealing” by Wordsworth

I have recently annotated this poem and when looking online, I have found that my interpretation of the poem in some aspects is a bit different to most others. I just want to make sure that my ...
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Meaning of “tally” in Whitman's “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d”

From "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d" by Walt Whitman: To the tally of my soul, Loud and strong kept up the gray-brown bird, With pure deliberate notes spreading filling the night. ...
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Meaning of “cloudless at dawn” and connection with Shakespeare's head?

I was reading one of the master-pieces by Stephen Spender, "An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum". Following are the starting lines of the second of four octaves: Our sour cream walls, ...
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58 views

What figure of speech does “alive enough to have strength to die” by Hardy contain?

The poem "Neutral Tones" by Thomas Hardy was written in 1867 and published in the 1898 collection Wessex Poems and Other Verses. It contains the stanza: The smile on your mouth was the deadest ...
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106 views

Theme of William Wordsworth's poem “We Are Seven”?

"We Are Seven" is a poem by William Wordsworth and this poem depicts the innocent nature of a child who just does not want to understand that her siblings have passed away of natural causes and ...
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What does Walt Whitman mean by “going in for my chances”?

From "Song of Myself" by Walt Whitman: What is commonest, cheapest, nearest, easiest, is Me, Me going in for my chances, spending for vast returns, Adorning myself to bestow myself on the first ...
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What John Ashbery books are more similar to “Self-portrait in a Convex Mirror”? [closed]

I loved the whole volume beyond words, so, hungry for more, I continued with “The Double Dream of Spring”, but apart from a few poems I really like, I’m having a harder time getting into it. I know ...
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Is Hemingway's poem entitled MITRAILLIATRICE or MITRAIGLIATRICE?

I read -- a few months ago -- Hemingway's juvenilia poetry & short-story collection stoically entitled Three Stories & Ten Poems. It was published in the early 1920s -- I think 1923, but I've ...
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Converting poetry to prose

The poem describes a situation when three witches (Old Goody Jones, Goody Price, and Madge Gray) and a man (Robin) stole into the vicarage's cellar and indulged in revelry. These thieves laughed so ...
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85 views

“inlooped flags” in Whitman's poem

What is the meaning of "inlooped flags" in a poem of Whitman (When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd)? He is describing the Lincoln funeral: Coffin that passes through lanes and streets, ...
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43 views

How can enjambment be used to enhance rhythm in a poem?

I was wondering how enjambment can be used to improve the rhythm in poetry. I have seen some innovative uses of it by e.e. cummings, such as by breaking a word and writing the ending on the next line....
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The meaning of the poem “Crucified” by Kahlil Gibran

I am a high school student, and my assignment was to find intertextuality of the crucifixion of Christ and write a reflection about it. I was surfing on the web, and found a poem called "Crucified" ...
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159 views

In “Howl”, what does “Blake-light tragedy” mean?

In the passage from Ginsberg's Howl: who passed through universities with radiant cool eyes hallucinating Arkansas and Blake-light tragedy among the scholars of war How does the hyphen in Blake-...
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What does A. E. C. denote in the poem about Edward Anti-Teller?

"Perils of Modern Living" is a poem written by the physicist Harold P. Furth inspired by a speech on antimatter by Edward Teller. (Hat-tip to our comrades at Worldbuilding SE for making me aware of ...
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81 views

What does T. S. Eliot mean in the poem The Hollow Men when he ended it with “This is the way the world ends/Not with a bang but a whimper”?

I once read a poem "The Hollow Men" by T. S. Eliot. The poet ended the verse like this: This is the way the world ends This is the way the world ends This is the way the world ends Not with a ...
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171 views

What does “ceremony of innocence” mean In “The Second Coming”?

The Second Coming by W.B. Yeats: Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,...
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What does “the cedars where our old ones sleep” mean here?

days pass easy over these ancient hills  i wander near a moccasin path overgrown with rusted cans and weeds i stand in the forest at sunset waiting for a song from the rising wind  it ...
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What is the meter of the poem “Snow” by Louis MacNeice?

I'm struggling to find the meter in which the poem "Snow" is written. I know that Shakespeare's poetry was written in iambic pentameter. So far, I've read that the poem "Snow" has a rough meter, and ...
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Who is the 'Immortal Hale' in William Cowper's The Task?

I was reading Book III of William Cowper's The Task today. Lines 252-260: Such was thy wisdom, Newton, childlike sage, Sagacious reader of the works of God, And in his word sagacious. ...
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Thomas Hardy’s “The Man He Killed”

This question is asking for open-ended interpretation of a poem. See here on meta for an explanation. Thomas Hardy’s ‘The Man He Killed’ (1902) was published in Time’s Laughingstocks (1909):     “...
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Are Lorca's “Gypsy Ballads” adapted from, or inspired by, traditional Romani songs?

Federico Garcia Lorca's Romancero Gitano, usually translated as Gypsy Ballads, is a collection of poems, about which Wikipedia says: All of the poems deal with the Romani people (gypsies) and their ...
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What does Neruda mean when he says ‘Maybe January light will consume My heart with its cruel Ray.’?

I’ve been a fan of Neruda for a while now. In his Sonnet LXVI: I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You, he says: Maybe January light will consume My heart with its cruel Ray, stealing my ...
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Repetition of “smile” in Kamala Surayya's 'My Mother at Sixty-six'

In the poem 'My Mother at Sixty-six' by Kamala Surayya, the poet ends the "prose" saying all I did was smile and smile and smile.... There are various critical interpretations as to what does the ...
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Is Wilfrid Scawen Blunt's poem 'The Camel Rider' really a translation?

I came across an interesting poem by Wilfrid Scawen Blunt in a forgotten old tome, The Faber Book of Twentieth Century Verse. Blunt's own note states it is 'From the Arabic'. Is this just a device, or ...
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258 views

Difference between “Ode to” and “Ode on”?

We sometimes see Ode to and sometimes Ode on. Do these both mean a poem written about something? I am a new literature student.
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140 views

Emily Jane Pfeiffer's “Evolution”

Emily Jane Pfeiffer’s poem ‘Evolution’ was first published in Poems (1876): Hunger that strivest in the restless arms     Of the sea-flower, that drivest rooted things     To break their ...
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Is there specific mythological significance to the Dingli Cliffs?

The poem "Cliffs" ("Irdumijiet") is part of a collection available online by the Maltese-Canadian writer, poet, and academic professor John P. Portelli. Written in 1973, and found on pages 40-41 (page ...
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John Betjeman’s “Suicide on Junction Road Station after Abstention from Evening Communion in North London”

John Betjeman’s poem ‘Suicide on Junction Road Station after Abstention from Evening Communion in North London’ was first published in the collection Continual Dew (1937). It’s short enough to quote ...
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Can anyone identify this parody of 'Consider the ant'?

Hoping you can help with this half-remembered poem that from what I can recall was written by someone who worked for the New Statesman or the Spectator in the 1970s. The opening part is: 'They say ...
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How was poetry born? [closed]

It is probably impossible to know how literature or music were born. However I would like what research says about how poetry was born. Perhaps some people claim that it came into existence after ...
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79 views

How can “Death be not proud” be related to the areas of exploration?

Here is the summary of the poem "Death Be Not Proud" by Jon Donne (Source - https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44107/holy-sonnets-death-be-not-proud)- “Death Be Not Proud” presents an argument ...
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Analysis of “Liberty Tree” by Thomas Paine

I am having some trouble comprehending a portion of "Liberty Tree" by Thomas Paine, and was unable to find a decent analysis of it. It is my understanding that this poem is about the Liberty Tree that ...
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Poem about moving beds

I remember a poem about a little girl who is with her mum and is trying to change the sleeping arrangements or something so that she can stay in her dad's bed. I remember something about the father ...
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79 views

Help understanding this quote/hymn by Isaac Watts

Recently heard this, and was trying to figure out what it means. It's by Isaac Watts and, I believe, from his book https://www.amazon.com/Arrangement-Psalms-Hymns-Spiritual-Songs/dp/024343913X Our ...
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118 views

What is the meaning of Samuel Butler's eulogy beginning “I fall asleep”?

I found this as a part of some frequently quoted poems in the eulogy (such as http://www.peopleinspirit.com/poems___quotes.html. I am not sure what exactly it tries to convey and how people use it, ...
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62 views

Meaning of “every dewdrop paints a bow” from In Memoriam, Section CXXII by Alfred lord Tennyson

And every dewdrop paints a bow A line by Alfred Lord Tennyson, from section CXXII of his poem In Memoriam. What is the poet actually trying to convey with this line? The verse in context: And all ...
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107 views

Why the capitalization of “Heavens” in Rudyard Kipling's “The Secret of the Machines”?

In Rudyard Kipling's poem The Secret of the Machines the last stanza goes as follows: Though our smoke may hide the Heavens from your eyes, It will vanish and the stars will shine again, ...
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What is the text Ivan refers to in the preface to the Grand Inquisitor

Before declaming the Grand Inquisitor in the Brothers Karamazov, Ivan refers to a poem with the virgin Marie visiting Hell and begging God for mercy for its inhabitants. Is this a real poem? If so, ...
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Is there some cultural significance in the “chhanna” or metal bowl?

The Punjabi poem "Chhanna, the Metal Bowl" is about a "flat-bottom metal bowl" which is apparently some kind of family heirloom, "filled with memories". What's so special about a metal bowl? Is it ...
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Source of “Immortalised in Prose, A God Among the Pages”

I'm pretty sure this comes from an English poem, referring a woman's beauty. The author suggests that roses fade and wither, and that by describing her in written word keeps her alive forever. That ...
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145 views

Why “all should cry, Beware! Beware!” in Coleridge's “Kubla Khan”?

Samuel Taylor Coleridge's incomplete poem "Kubla Khan" ends with a vision of a poet in an ecstatic state with "flashing eyes" and "floating hair". He is beyond the realm of mere mortals for he has ...
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Who is Pound's Hugh Selwyn Mauberley?

Who is Pound's Hugh Selwyn Mauberley? I get that he's a failure, but not if the modernist Pound thought that Mauberley was "wrong from the start". Should he, Mauberley or people like him, not have ...
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72 views

Who is “Luna” in Byron's “To Mary, On Receiving Her Picture”?

Here are the fourth and fifth stanzas of "To Mary, On Receiving Her Picture" by Lord Byron: Here, I behold its beauteous hue;     But where's the beam so sweetly straying, Which gave a lustre ...
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144 views

Looking for poem in which sleep is as great an equalizer as death

There was a poem on the 2015 AP English Literature and Composition exam multiple choice section that I only barely remember. The topic was along the lines of "sleep is as great an equalizer as death" ...
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106 views

What is the metre of this poem by Emily Bronte?

I really like the following poem by E. Bronte: High waving heather 'neath stormy blasts bending, Midnight and moonlight and bright shining stars, Darkness and glory rejoicingly blending, ...
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What do you call a break in rhyming in the middle of a book / poem for dramatic effect

Here's what I'm trying to say. I'm creating a children's book for a school project. I've been tasked to identify some literary devices used throughout the book. There is a section of the book which ...
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106 views

Poem with A's and T's representing Ford model A's and T's in traffic

I'm looking for an English poem, in fact I think it was at least two poems, that consisted of capital A's, representing the Ford Model A, moving as if in traffic, and another that had both A's and T's....