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Questions tagged [poetry]

Questions about poetry in general or about any specific poem. Please use this tag with the appropriate author tag, and, if applicable, a language tag (such as [french-literature]).

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Help understanding lines 7 & 8 from Shakespeare's 18th sonnet

And every faire from faire some-time declines, By chance, or natures changing course vntrimm'd, I have a little difficulty fully understanding these 2 lines. What does 'faire from faire' mean? Does ...
Pearl's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
336 views

Is the 'Quincey's moat' referenced in Edmund Blunden's 'Almswomen' a real place?

Edmund Blunden's poem 'Almswomen' begins: At Quincey's moat the squandering village ends, Does 'Quincey's moat' refer to a real place? The only notable Quincey I know of is Thomas De Quincey, the ...
Tom Hosker's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
56 views

“It’s fast holding by the rings in front” in Browning’s ‘Fra Lippo Lippi’

In ‘Fra Lippo Lippi’ (1855) by Robert Browning, the speaker, the painter Filippo Lippi, says: I’m grown a man no doubt, I’ve broken bounds: You should not take a fellow eight years old And make him ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
139 views

"Shut, shut those juggling eyes, thou ruthless man!" in John Keats's "Lamia"

I am trying to understand the meaning of the following passage from John Keats's Lamia (full poem here): "Shut, shut those juggling eyes, thou ruthless man! Turn them aside, wretch! or the ...
balteo's user avatar
  • 1,003
2 votes
1 answer
161 views

"Will make Elysian shades not too fair, too divine." in John Keats's "Lamia"

I am trying to understand the meaning of a verse from John Keats's Lamia (full poem here): [...] Now, when the wine has done its rosy deed, And every soul from human trammels freed, No more so ...
balteo's user avatar
  • 1,003
3 votes
1 answer
53 views

"Leave thee alone! Look back! Ah, Goddess, see" in John Keats's "Lamia"

I am trying to understand the meaning to the following excerpt from John Keats's Lamia (full poem here): "Leave thee alone! Look back! Ah, Goddess, see Whether my eyes can ever turn from thee! ...
balteo's user avatar
  • 1,003
2 votes
1 answer
70 views

"His phantasy was lost, where reason fades,..." in John Keats's "Lamia"

I am trying to understand the meaning to the following excerpt from John Keats's Lamia (full poem here): Thoughtless at first, but ere eve's star appeared His phantasy was lost, where reason fades, ...
balteo's user avatar
  • 1,003
4 votes
1 answer
173 views

"More beautiful than ever twisted braid..." in John Keats's "Lamia"

I am trying to understand the meaning to the following couplets from John Keats's Lamia (full poem here): Ah, happy Lycius!—for she was a maid More beautiful than ever twisted braid, Or sigh'd, or ...
balteo's user avatar
  • 1,003
1 vote
0 answers
27 views

From which original text does this Rumi poem derive? "What was said to the rose that made it open..."

What is the original writing in Farsi by Rumi? What was said to the rose that made it open.. was said to me here in my chest. What was told the cypress that made it strong and straight, what was ...
Brandon's user avatar
  • 11
7 votes
1 answer
261 views

"Though Fancy's casket were unlock'd to choose" in John Keats's "Lamia"

I am trying to understand the meaning to the following excerpt from John Keats's Lamia (full poem here), and especially the fourth line below: Fast by the springs where she to bathe was wont, And in ...
balteo's user avatar
  • 1,003
2 votes
1 answer
728 views

What does Athena mean in this passage of book 3 of the Odyssey?

In book 3 of The Odyssey, Athena says this to Telemachus after he says that he will never gain her favor (in Robert Fagles' translation): “Telemachus!” Pallas Athena broke in sharply, her eyes afire— ...
Vihaan Kaustuv's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
294 views

What does Athena mean by 'slaughtering his droves of sheep and cattle'?

In book 1 of The Odyssey, Athena says to Zeus (in Robert Fagles' translation): While I myself go down to Ithaca, rouse his son to a braver pitch, inspire his heart with courage to summon the flowing-...
Vihaan Kaustuv's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
576 views

What does Athena mean by "suave, seductive words" in the Odyssey?

In book 1 of The Odyssey, Athena says to Zeus (in Robert Fagles' translation): "Atlas’ daughter it is who holds Odysseus captive, luckless man—despite his tears, forever trying to spellbind his ...
Vihaan Kaustuv's user avatar
14 votes
2 answers
1k views

Have there been any scholarly attempts and/or consensus as regards the missing lines of "The Ruin"?

"The Ruin" is a poem in Old English by an unknown poet, preserved in The Exeter Book. It reflects on the fall of civilizations, and was likely inspired by the ruins of Roman Bath. But the ...
Matt Thrower's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
531 views

The rules of alliteration in Germanic poetry as they pertain to single syllable triple consonant clusters starting with the letter s

In Germanic poetry such as the edda and Beowulf, consonant cluster words starting with the letter s have special rules about alliteration. From Wikipedia, using Minkova 2003 as a source: The ...
Hagel's user avatar
  • 63
4 votes
2 answers
105 views

What are the satellites in R. S. Thomas's poem "Here"?

R. S. Thomas (1913–2000) was a Welsh poet and priest. His poem "Here" appears to express feelings of guilt and doubt. The penultimate stanza goes as follows: I have no where to go The swift ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
68 views

In R. S. Thomas' poem "Careers", why is the word "memory" hyphenated across lines?

While reading R. S. Thomas' collection Not That He Brought Flowers (1968) I was struck by the peculiar typesetting of the opening poem, "Careers" (page 7), in which the poet reflects on how ...
Matt Thrower's user avatar
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13 votes
1 answer
713 views

English translation of a quatrain from the "Rubaiyat" of Omar Khayyam

Is there an English equivalent of this quatrain from the Russian version of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam? В этом мире глупцов, подлецов, торгашей Уши, мудрый, заткни, рот надежно зашей, Веки плотно ...
Slava's user avatar
  • 239
1 vote
1 answer
218 views

Meaning of Hesiod's line "reproaching the sons whom he himself begot..."

In Theogony lines 207 to 209, Hesiod says (English translation by Richard Caldwell, 1987): reproaching the sons whom he himself begot; he said they strained in wickedness to do a great wrong What ...
Aueriga's user avatar
  • 121
1 vote
1 answer
89 views

Meaning of "This clown of a wife"

The poem The Clown's Wife, by John Agard, shows the personal life of a clown at home is far cry from his professional life on stage as "a crowd entertainer" Seeing his off stage miserable ...
Selfie- grofie's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
78 views

Who is “very fond of bearing false witness” in Byron’s “Don Juan”?

Here’s a stanza from canto I of Byron’s Don Juan, published in 1819. The narrator has been surveying the talents (or lack thereof) of his fellow-poets, and comments: Thou shalt not covet Mr. Sotheby’...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
  • 60.1k
4 votes
3 answers
632 views

Meaning of the last stanza of "Haunted Houses" by Longfellow?

In the poem "Haunted Houses" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, the last two stanzas read: And as the moon from some dark gate of cloud Throws o'er the sea a floating bridge of light, Across ...
Saiyyad Fahad's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
158 views

"Wear the broom and climb the hedgerows" in Housman's "A Shropshire Lad"

Here’s poem XXXIX from A. E. Housman’s A Shropshire Lad (1896): ’Tis time, I think, by Wenlock town     The golden broom should blow; The hawthorn sprinkled up and down     Should charge the land ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
  • 60.1k
6 votes
1 answer
373 views

Difficulty understanding the meaning of a line in Paradise Regained

I'm having trouble understanding the phrase "For no allurement yields to appetite" in the following passage from Milton's Paradise Regained: "By hunger, that each other creature tames, ...
Thomas's user avatar
  • 173
0 votes
1 answer
110 views

Persona of the narrator in Housman's "Farewell to Barn and Stack and Tree"

Here's the fifth stanza from the poem "Farewell to Barn and Stack and Tree" by A. E. Housman, which revolves around a country lad with guilt-stricken state of mind after murdering his ...
Selfie- grofie's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is it an error to identify the narrator of "Ozymandias" with the author?

When the poem begins, "I met a traveler...," is the reader being invited to identify that "I" with P. Shelley himself? Would that have been the prevailing reading? Did Shelley ...
Tom's user avatar
  • 782
3 votes
1 answer
110 views

Literary technique in 'for peace comes dropping slow'

In the poem 'The Lake Isle of Innisfree' by W. B. Yeats, what is the literary technique being used in the phrase, 'for peace comes dropping slow'? I'm not sure if it's anthropomorphism, pathetic ...
BadUsername's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
211 views

Regarding the poetic techniques in "Upside- Down" by Alexander Kushner

A poem I read very recently is a humorous one by Alexander Kushner titled "Upside Down", which is all about a social mismatch nicknamed "upside down". The poem revolves around a ...
Selfie- grofie's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
162 views

Who is the poet persona from the third stanza of "The terrorist he is watching"

Though looking simple with short dialogues, the poem The Terrorist He Is Watching written by the nobel laureate Wisława Szymborska is not well understood by many, including me. Who actually is (are?) ...
Selfie- grofie's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
98 views

Scansion of a line in Yeats' "An Irish Airman Foresees His Death"?

"An Irish Airman Foresees His Death" holds a firm iambic tetrametric rhythm throughout, except for line 8, which includes 9 syllables: Or leave them happier than before; How would you scan ...
Pearl's user avatar
  • 91
8 votes
1 answer
436 views

How does ignorance make a barren waste in "To the Nile" by John Keats?

The sonnet "To the Nile" (1818) by John Keats reads as follows: Son of the old Moon-mountains African!     Chief of the Pyramid and Crocodile!     We call thee fruitful, and that very while ...
Selfie- grofie's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
632 views

To understand "silver dew" in William Blake's "To the Evening Star"

I find the words "silver dew" occuring in the poem "To the Evening Star" by William Blake, over which I'm confused a little: Thou fair-haired angel of the evening, Now, whilst the ...
Selfie- grofie's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
77 views

Connotative meaning of poetic lines:- "And We went without meat and cursed the bread"

In the famous poem Richard Cory by E.A. Robinson, given below are the lines of my interest So on we worked, and waited for the LIGHT, And went without the MEAT, and cursed the BREAD capitalisation ...
Selfie- grofie's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
105 views

What are these allusions to other poems in Louis MacNeice's poem "The Gardener"

Louis MacNeice's poem "The Gardener" (1939) contains the lines: He would talk to amuse the children, Or the robin waiting for worms Perched on the handle of the spade; Would remember ...
Peter Shor's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
924 views

Meaning of "too silver for a seam" in "A Bird, came down the Walk"

The following lines appear in the Emily Dickinson's poem " A Bird, came down the Walk": And rowed him softer Home— Than Oars divide the Ocean, Too silver for a seam. What does the phrase &...
Selfie- grofie's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
481 views

Difficulty understanding the meaning of the word "attitude" in Keats's "Ode on a Grecian Urn"

O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede Of marble men and maidens overwrought I am having trouble understanding Keats's use of the word "attitude" in these lines, and the explanation given ...
Thomas's user avatar
  • 173
3 votes
0 answers
72 views

Poem about the coffee rings left behind on a table

This poem was published in a quarterly poetry magazine in the mid-'90s. It was about the coffee rings left behind on a table in a cafe. The coffee stains were compared to the memories of our lifetime. ...
spira03's user avatar
  • 31
6 votes
1 answer
459 views

Are there crossword puzzle clues in Roy Fuller's "News of the World"?

I've been reading some of Roy Fuller's poetry, and was very puzzled by his "News of the World": The seaweed-eating sheep of Ronaldsay; Don Giovanni set for wind octet; New Zealand hedgehogs ...
Barnaby's user avatar
  • 1,065
3 votes
0 answers
48 views

What is the original of this poem Kenealy supposedly translated from Bengali?

The poems (to use the word loosely) of the Irish writer and lawyer Edward Kenealy contain this alleged translation from the Bengali: Song in the Metre of the Original A maid there is more bright than ...
verbose's user avatar
  • 30.1k
4 votes
1 answer
74 views

Which language was the Aziz Isa Elkun poem in the forward to "Uyghur Poems" written in originally?

The forward to Uyghur Poems includes a poem that the editor and translator of at least some of the poems, Aziz Isa Elkun, wrote. It is dedicated to his mother, who he lost contact with in 2017. The ...
EJoshuaS - Stand with Ukraine's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
552 views

Trouble understanding two lines from John Donne's poem "The Good Morrow"

I cannot work out how to parse these two lines from "The Good-Morrow": Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone, Let maps to other, worlds on worlds have shown Here's the whole stanza, ...
Thomas's user avatar
  • 173
8 votes
1 answer
520 views

Meaning of a passage in Milton's Sonnet 21

I'm reading Milton's Sonnet 21 and a couple of lines are unintelligible to me. Here is the full poem. The emboldened lines 5 and 6 are the ones I'm having trouble with: Cyriack, whose Grandsire on ...
Thomas's user avatar
  • 81
3 votes
1 answer
235 views

In Lord Byron's "Don Juan," what was the lead character "half-smother'd" by?

This would be the character's first adventure. Julia, a married woman, became his mistress. Her husband, Don Alfonso, was told that she was cheating on him and ran into the bedroom, accompanied by ...
Ricky's user avatar
  • 181
4 votes
0 answers
59 views

Did Uyghur poets make a "strong" distinction between poetry and song lyrics?

The forward to Uyghur Poems (written by Aziz Isa Elkun) comments that In later centuries, Uyghurs continued to compose poems in order to spread news, record significant contemporary events or the ...
EJoshuaS - Stand with Ukraine's user avatar
8 votes
0 answers
149 views

Meaning of "Ephete" in Seamus Heaney's "The Stations of the West"

So far, the only definition I've managed to get is "a member of an ancient Athenian court that tried certain murder cases" (Merriam-Webster), but since the poem is about traveling to the ...
user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
41 views

Why doesn't the person that the narrator is waiting for show up in this poem by Hemirah Tohti?

The poem You said you will come by Hemirah Tohti (from Drops of Melodies) reads as follows: You sent the news that you were coming I wake up full of joy in the morning Many years have passed My eyes ...
EJoshuaS - Stand with Ukraine's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
2k views

What does it mean for a "bad eye" to "touch" something?

The poem Dance in Heytkah reads as follows, 12th September - Kurban Eid I saw the dance of Sama In the modern world Magic mirror on the wall My beloved hometown Kashgar From ancient history fill ...
EJoshuaS - Stand with Ukraine's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
187 views

What does it mean to "wear my decoration" in the poem "Tomato & Lettuce"?

I can follow Monica Rico's poem "Tomato and Lettuce" (Internet Archive copy) until the last description/metaphor; the full sentence is: The bright split of my birth was to a woman who ...
bobble's user avatar
  • 9,864
3 votes
1 answer
140 views

What is the meter of these lines from 'If' by Rudyard Kipling?

The poem is in iambic pentameter and employs a feminine ending to the odd lines; but there are a few lines whose rhythm confounds me: If you can wait and not be tired by waiting Twisted by knaves to ...
Pearl's user avatar
  • 91
6 votes
2 answers
166 views

Is Chain Rhyme an ambiguous term? Or are Chain Rhyme and Chain Verse different things?

Wikipedia's oldest, 2004, version of the article on Chain Rhyme defines it: Chain rhyme is the linking together of stanzas by carrying a rhyme over from one stanza to the next. While older works, ...
Malady's user avatar
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