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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].

3
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2answers
83 views

What does it mean to peer from a dewball?

In Ted Hughes' "Crow and the Birds", the lines before the ending read: While the bullfinch plumped in the apple bud And the goldfinch bulbed in the sun And the wryneck crooked in the ...
2
votes
0answers
46 views

What does Browning's cloistered soliloquist mean by ‘Hy, Zy, Hine’?

Here’s the last stanza of Robert Browning’s ‘Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister’, first published in Dramatic Lyrics (1842): Or, there’s Satan!—one might venture     Pledge one’s soul to him, yet ...
3
votes
1answer
70 views

E E Cummings: [may i feel said he] What may parentheses signify?

In the poem [may i feel said he] by e.e. cummings, it is suggested to be a dialogue between a male and a female. My interpretation (an obvious one) is the dialogue spans for a period of time, and ...
4
votes
1answer
129 views

Confused about the meter and rhythm of Ulysses by Tennyson

Ulysses is written in iambic pentameter. There are a few spondees and trochees thrown in for good measure, but I'm confused in some places, like here: I cannot rest from travel: I will drink Life ...
4
votes
0answers
69 views

Who wrote the poem that begins, “The Yeti, experts will attest . . .”

The Yeti, experts will attest, is physically unkempt at best. And due to this may go for weeks, alone amidst the snowy steeps. (Goes on to tell how he is looking for his "yet unmet counterpart".)
1
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0answers
29 views

Poem Identification from a stanza(?) containing “the midnight train” repeatedly

And in the midnight train A cold wind blows through the rain A child laughs an adults cry Leads to pain and sacrifice Toward the tracks of the unknown The icy river icy cold flows Trapped ...
1
vote
1answer
130 views

What is the meaning of the poem “Praxis” by Wendy Xu?

This poem caught my eye a few days ago. I was strangely unable to find a single analysis piece, however. What is the meaning of Praxis by Wendy Xu?
3
votes
1answer
107 views

Question about the poem “Passing by” by Robert Herrick

I'm looking for an explanation of the first two lines of the third verse (see below) of the poem "Passing by" by Robbert Herrick I assume that "Cupid is winged" means that Cupid has wings, but what ...
3
votes
4answers
133 views

Who is the falcon, and who the falconer?

In Yeats' greatest of poems, he writes that "the falcon cannot hear the falconer." Who is the falcon and who is the falconer? Why might Yeats have chosen this metaphor? The Second Coming ...
3
votes
1answer
63 views

Who inspired Elizabeth Barrett Browning's poem “Mother and Poet”?

"Mother and Poet" is an emotional and moving poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning about a woman poet who loses both her sons in battles in Italy. The emotions seem so raw that one might assume it ...
1
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0answers
41 views

Significance of the name Annabel Lee?

"Annabel Lee" is one of many pieces of writing by Edgar Allan Poe which explore the theme of a beloved woman who died young. As with other such works, most famously "The Raven", critics have ...
4
votes
1answer
62 views

Paradise Lost pagan gods

In Paradise Lost, Milton depicts the Greek and Egyptian "gods" as among the fallen angels. It does not seem to matter whether the individual god had an evil or good character in its original myths. As ...
3
votes
1answer
45 views

In what literature does Rumi say “You are the Soul of the Soul of the Universe. And your name is Love?”

In what literature does Rumi say, "You are the Soul of the Soul of the Universe. And your name is Love?" Any slight modification of the verse, e.g. "The soul of the soul of the universe is love" can ...
2
votes
0answers
58 views

What is the metrical style of Hungarian poetry?

While reading about Hungarian poetry, I came across the claim that: pure syllabic/quantitative metre is very rare = Hungarian, Greco-Roman ‘időmértékes’ metre I don't know what "pure syllabic/...
5
votes
2answers
93 views

What does “toby” mean, in London slang of Orwell's time?

In the George Orwell poem "A Dressed Man and a Naked Man", two men are haggling for the clothes of one of them (the other is naked). After a little research into the pounds/shillings/pence system for ...
4
votes
1answer
41 views

Calvert curricular poem

Many moons ago, I used the Calvert curriculum for something like 3rd-8th grade. I remember reading a poem about two brothers who had very different philosophies about how to accomplish their goals; ...
2
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0answers
55 views

Meaning in Margaret Atwood's “My mother dwindles”

The second stanza of Margaret Atwood's "My mother dwindles", in which there is a boat metaphor, has gotten me a bit confused as I analyze this poem. If she were a boat, you’d say the moon shines ...
7
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0answers
72 views

Why did iambic pentameter become so 'standard' in classical English poetry?

Iambic pentameter is probably the most prevailing and widely used meter in classical English poetry, and it's the 'standard' form of verse in many forms of poetry such as sonnets. From Wikipedia (...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

What is the meaning of Georgian

I found this book titled, "The Book of Georgian Verse", by William Braithwaite. What is the meaning of Georgian? Search engine results provided nothing of use. Here is a link to the e-book on Google ...
1
vote
1answer
115 views

Opening lines of Gwendolyn Brooks' poem “Riot”

Please explain the following opening lines of Gwendolyn Brooks's poem "Riot": John Cabot, out of Wilma, once a Wycliffe, all whitebluerose below his golden hair, wrapped richly in right linen ...
1
vote
1answer
60 views

Significance of rising/falling meter

If I am analyzing a poem and I realize that it has rising meter, what does that say about the poem. Like do happy tone poems have rising meters whereas sad poems have falling meter?
5
votes
1answer
66 views

Why did Avicenna write his medical textbook in verse?

Avicenna (980-1037) was a Persian writer and scientist who is regarded as one of the founders of modern medicine. I found it interesting to discover that his textbook on medicine was written in the ...
1
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0answers
51 views

The House Was Quiet And The World Was Calm by Wallace Stevens quote interpretation

I'll give the whole poem for context, but I'm having trouble making complete sense of a line in the poem. What exactly does Stevens mean by the phrase "wanted much most to be / The scholar to whom ...
7
votes
1answer
104 views

Poem about bedtime story for witch's child

I read this poem in the 5th or 6th grade or so, so that'd be 2012-2014 (somewhere in there). It was out of some packet copied out of a book for this language arts extension thing (I remember the book ...
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0answers
20 views

What does Lorca mean by ‘the oppressed reds’ and ‘garnet violence’ in his poem ‘The King of Harlem’?

I've already asked one question on this poem and I did think to include this question along with it but decided against it as the poem is quite long, though of course not as long as some ancient epics ...
7
votes
1answer
104 views

What did Lorca mean by ‘crocodiles’ in his poem ‘The King of Harlem’?

The poet Federico García Lorca, when he was studying at Colombia University visited Harlem with a friend of his, Nella Larsen, a black novelist. It made a tremendous impression upon him and its ...
2
votes
0answers
46 views

Help finding poem about a red tide coming in which mentions “memory”

I'm trying to find a poem. I thought it was a Mary Oliver poem, but I can't find it when searching the few words I know along with her name. The poem talks about a red tide coming in. There is a part ...
0
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0answers
26 views

Help finding poem about a red tide coming in [duplicate]

I'm trying to find a poem. I thought it was a Mary Oliver poem, but I can't find it when searching the few words I know along with her name. The poem talks about a red tide coming in. There is a ...
2
votes
0answers
69 views

What is the effect of using “silver” to describe the “horn” in “Madman's Song” by William Rose Benét?

Here is the poem "Madman's Song" by William Rose Benét: Better to see your cheek grown hollow, Better to see your temple worn, Than to forget to follow, follow, After the sound of a silver ...
3
votes
2answers
95 views

What do these lines mean in Tennyson's poem “Northern Farmer - Old Style”?

What does But summun ’ull come ater meä mayhap wi’ ’is kittle o’ steam Huzzin’ an’ maäzin’ the blessed feälds wi’ the Divil’s oaän teäm. mean in modern English?
2
votes
1answer
38 views

Symbolism in “The Jewel of the Secret Treasury”?

The poem "The Jewel of the Secret Treasury" by the famous Persian poet Hafez reads very much like a love poem, but I'm failing to pick up on the precise details of the metaphor: The jewel of the ...
2
votes
1answer
52 views

Writing/Poetry technique - Requiring reader to have prior knowledge

In the poem "The Red Wheelbarrow" by William Carlos Williams, for the reader to infer the context of the poem - why so much depends on the red wheelbarrow, the reader has to know that William Carlos ...
1
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0answers
138 views

What do these lines mean in the poem “We The Women” By Grace Nichols?

I need an explanation for what Grace Nichols is trying to say in the following lines from her poem "We the Women": We the women who cut clear fetch dig sing We the women making something from ...
8
votes
0answers
64 views

Who is the author of this contradictory poem starting “The night was dark and stormy”?

Does anyone know the name of or the author of the poem below? My grandfather used to say it all of the time and I would like to read it at his funeral. It's very silly and goes something like this: ...
4
votes
1answer
83 views

Does Blake appeal to his readers' faith in the last stanza of “Holy Thursday”?

Here is the poem "Holy Thursday" from Songs of Experience by William Blake: Is this a holy thing to see, In a rich and fruitful land? Babes reduced to misery, Fed with cold and usurious hand. ...
0
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0answers
48 views

What does this phrase mean, “your touch left sweet accord in my frown”?

I recently read a piece of writing: "your touch left a sweet accord in my frown" Is this the right usage of the word accord? Am I missing something?
2
votes
1answer
110 views

What is the tone of “Spring” by Gerard Manley Hopkins?

Here is the poem "Spring" by Gerard Manley Hopkins: Nothing is so beautiful as Spring– When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush; Thrush’s eggs look little low ...
4
votes
1answer
48 views

Why is God a “harshener”? What does this mean?

In Robert Hayden's poem "The Ballad of Nat Turner", the word "harshener" appears twice in reference to God/Jehovah: In scary night I wandered, praying, Lord God my harshener, speak to me ...
2
votes
1answer
43 views

What does flying represent in “O Daedalus, Fly Away Home”?

In "O Daedalus, Fly Away Home", Robert Hayden makes reference to flying back to Africa. In the second to last stanza, he says: My gran. he flew back to Africa, just spread his arms and flew ...
6
votes
1answer
149 views

How does the editor know that seven lines are missing from Wordsworth's Home at Grasmere?

The Wordsworth edition The Major Works, edited by Stephen Gill and published by Oxford University Press in 1984 (and revised later) was the first selection of Wordsworth's work (...) in which the ...
5
votes
1answer
352 views

In the Sonnet 29 by Shakespeare, does the speaker pity himself over lack of skill as an artist or contentment?

Here is the "Sonnet 29" by Shakespeare. When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes, I all alone beweep my outcast state, And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries, And look upon ...
2
votes
1answer
56 views

What does “rushy bed” mean in this context?

The poem 'The Song of the Reed' by Rumi includes the lines: Hearken to this Reed forlorn, Breathing, even since 'twas torn From its rushy bed, a strain Of impassioned love and pain. (From ...
0
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0answers
51 views

What does the poet Sukanta Bhattacharya mean when he said e has to make room for the newborn?

Why does the poet here want to clean up this squalid earth and make room for them when everybody in this world is running after wealth, glamour, glory, fame and egotistical nature's distortion? Did ...
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0answers
14 views

How does Dee Raain use the Mirrors to highlight negative human traits in the poem “Mirror of Truth”?

The poem "Mirror of Truth" by Dee Raain is as follows: What is seen in the mirror is nothing more than a person with lies and hate. With sadness and traits Of discrimination and disgrace. ...
2
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0answers
19 views

Why did O’Shaughnessy write Ode?

Are there any theories on what motivated O’Shaughnessy to write Ode (also called 'We are the Music Makers') ? Basically, he was not a "world-forsaker" himself. I read that he worked as a ...
2
votes
1answer
720 views

What is the meaning of these lines about love from “Desiderata”?

What is the message being delivered through these lines in "Desiderata" by the poet Max Ehrmann? Especially do not feign affection Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity ...
2
votes
0answers
106 views

What is the difference between emotions and feelings in Wordsworth's Preface to Lyrical Ballads?

In the Preface to the second edition of Lyrical Ballads (1800), Wordsworth famously wrote that all good poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: (...). He later adds (my emphasis): ...
3
votes
1answer
124 views

Does anybody know who wrote this poem, or where it is from?

I saw a poem on my friend's desktop background on his laptop, and took a screenshot of it because I thought it was cool. In fact, it was a poem. Does anybody know who wrote it, or where it is from? ...
11
votes
3answers
408 views

Does “The Soul selects her own Society” by Emily Dickinson have a simile?

Here is the poem "The Soul selects her own Society" by Emily Dickinson. The Soul selects her own Society — Then — shuts the Door — To her divine Majority — Present no more — Unmoved — ...
4
votes
1answer
68 views

Why is John Betjeman's poem set on the A30 in particular?

John Betjeman's poem "Meditation on the A30" is about a man who is fuming at his wife and driving recklessly. Everything described in the poem itself is fairly universal, could take place anywhere, so ...