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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14
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1answer
563 views

Did T.S. Eliot really plagiarize in "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"?

I've been trying to do research to confirm my English teacher's claim that T. S. Eliot plagiarized works by Jules Laforgue, Henri Bergson, and Andrew Marvell in his poem "The Love Song of J. ...
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0answers
25 views

Explanation of Rumi's "The new rule"

I have just started to read Rumi. I've been trying to make sense of "The New Rule" for a while now but it's too much. What does it mean?
9
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2answers
2k views

What does "FACIT" mean in D. J. Enright's "The Typewriter Revolution"?

D. J. Enright's poem "The Typewriter Revolution" (1971) is a text in which a typewriter appears to revolt against its owner (?), resulting in the distortion of texts and literary allusions. ...
5
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1answer
298 views

Parody of Lewis Carroll's parody, "You are old, Father William"

You Are Old, Father William is a poem by Lewis Carroll that appears in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. It is a parody of Robert Southey's poem, The Old Man's Comforts and How He Gained Them. I ...
4
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2answers
260 views

What does Browning's patriot mean by "Paid by the world, what dost thou owe"?

In the sixth stanza of the poem "The Patriot" by Robert Browning, what do the last three lines mean? “Paid by the world, what dost thou owe “Me?”—God might question; now instead, ‘Tis God ...
4
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1answer
314 views

Who are the “men of the west” who eat clay in “Aurora Leigh”?

In Aurora Leigh (1856) by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Aurora's cousin Romney Leigh complains about the character of the times: We’re too materialistic,—eating clay, (Like men of the west) instead of ...
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46 views

Why is Romney’s pattern “on his nail” in “Aurora Leigh”?

In Aurora Leigh (1856) by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, the character Romney Leigh has a “pattern on his nail”: To think,—I have a pattern on my nail, And I will carve the world new after it, And solve ...
3
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1answer
60 views

What does it mean that "your door is stroked with chalk / then at dark a chariot arrives" in Belarus?

In the poem Belarusian I by Valzyhna Mort, extracted from her book Factory of Tears, the poet appears to be bemoaning the lack of freedom in her country. Some parts are clear enough, even if ...
4
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0answers
46 views

Is Belarus actually hard to farm?

To Our Native Land by Janka Lučyna starts as follows: Thou art spread widely with forests and marshes, With sand-dune expanses that grant but poor living It then goes on to talk about how bad the ...
4
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1answer
57 views

Has "To Autumn" ever ended the first stanza with something other than a period?

Is there an edition of Keats' poem To Autumn which ends the first stanza with something other than a period (full stop)? Do we have an edition of it that Keats saw through the press? I think the ...
6
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2answers
425 views

What do these two segments mean in Milton's "On Shakespeare"?

I find two amphibolous segments in Milton's poem "On Shakespeare" when translating into Chinese, and thus need some help. In first stanza What needs my Shakespeare for his honored bones, ...
4
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0answers
60 views

Who wrote this particular poem in Zinky Boys?

Zinky Boys refers to the following (rather morbid in my opinion) poem: Women and wine are fine But a real man needs more The sweet taste of war The interviewee mentioned that that bit of verse was ...
2
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1answer
46 views

What was the original rhyming scheme of "Do not shun me..."?

The poem Do Not Shun Me... starts as follows: Do not shun me, my lord, nor recoil Because callouses all my hands cover; For such sis the badget of a hard toil, And will not defile you, no never. 'Tis ...
13
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1answer
662 views

Ogden Nash poem on hiccups

I have a vivid memory of reading a poem by Ogden Nash about hiccups that included the word "epiglottis" to help explain why they happen. I think it also had, as a poem, his quote about how &...
4
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1answer
70 views

What is the significance of the 40-year period referred to in this Francisak Bahusevic poem?

The poem My Pipe by Francisak Bahusevic contains the following lines: Like fish from the river, On the ice a-flapping, Just so I, it happened, Forty years flapped, yearning, Yet knew no returning, ...
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0answers
46 views

Name for prosodic pattern in which the last line in a verse is much shorter than all the rest

I noticed this pattern in Auden's poetry where the last line in a verse will be much shorter than preceding lines. Here is one of the earliest examples, taken from Paid on Both Sides: Here a scrum ...
7
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0answers
52 views

Why does Tahir Hamut Izgil speak "the names of ants" he's known?

Reading Tahir Hamut Izgil's "Somewhere Else"*, I was confused by why "ants" specifically were brought up here: night after night one after another I spoke the names of ants I’ve ...
5
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1answer
517 views

Use of 'city' in Byron's poem "Darkness"

In his poem "Darkness", Lord Byron writes: [...] The crowd was famish'd by degrees; but two Of an enormous city did survive, And they were enemies: they met beside [...] Is Byron employing ...
5
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1answer
177 views

What is Krosyn?

"Play then, play" by Pauluk or Paŭli︠u︡k Bahrym (in the poetry anthology Like Water, like Fire) contains the following lines: ... But the bagpipes I must play, for I in Krosyn cannot stay ...
4
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2answers
1k views

From which book or essay are these words by Ralph Waldo Emerson? "Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year..."

A funeral director proposed the following reading for a service. This poem by Emerson: Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns ...
3
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1answer
64 views

John Agard's "In Times of Peace"

As for eyes, are eyes ready for the soft dance of a butterfly's bootless invasion? From "In times of peace" by John Agard. What could this mean? I have been thinking that it could reflect ...
0
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1answer
131 views

"Keeping Quiet" by Pablo Neruda – questions [closed]

I have multiple questions about the poem "Keeping Quiet" written by Pablo Neruda. I will list them one by one. In the second stanza, the poet has mentioned "not move our arms so much&...
0
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0answers
72 views

Are these lines from "Dulce et decorum est" an example of dehumanisation?

This: And watch the white eyes writhing in his face, His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin; Is a quote from British WW1 soldier-poet Wilfred Owen’s “Dulce et Decorum Est”. I was wondering if ...
4
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0answers
56 views

What does the ellipsis in Machado's poem 'Pegasos, lindos pegasos' mean?

What does the ellipsis in Machado's poem 'Pegasos, lindos pegasos' mean? I don't know what all those dots represent. Maybe it is something specific I'm not aware of. Here is the poem. Pegasos, lindos ...
2
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0answers
39 views

Looking for a short poem which is a parodic pastiche of Shakespeare plots (possibly published in the New Yorker)

A few years ago, in a poetry podcast, the guest read out a poem which was a parodic pastiche of Shakespeare plots. It wasn't based on any specific Shakespeare plot, but it was meant to seem like a ...
3
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1answer
96 views

Meaning behind “Where Once The Waters Of Your Face“

I recently read a poem called “Where Once The Waters Of Your Face” by Dylan Thomas. What does it mean? I feel there are a lot of terms related to sailing but I’m not sure I understand it completely. ...
5
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2answers
135 views

What are we to understand by "panther" in this Old English poem?

"The Panther" is an Old English poem, preserved in the Exeter Book, and translated in full by Aaron Hostetter. It's a poem about a panther, but what would the ancient Germanic peoples of ...
0
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1answer
85 views

Iambic pentameter and mono syllables [closed]

I am studying poetry structure and I am focusing on iambic pentameter at the moment. From what I have read, there are 10 syllables per line and 5 stressed and 5 unstressed syllables. It goes ...
2
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1answer
69 views

Full English or French online translation of "De pugna avium"

I am trying very hard to find an English (or if not French) translation of the Carolingian poem "De pugna avium" from Theodulf of Orleans. I found a Latin version in the Bibliotheca ...
2
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1answer
97 views

What are the "unknown land" and "eye of faith" in "Our Casuarina Tree"?

In the poem "Our Casuarina Tree" by Toru Dutt, between stanzas 3 & 4, there are the following 2 lines: That haply to the unknown land may reach. Unknown, yet well-known to the eye of ...
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0answers
20 views

What do light and dark signify in Ai's "Woman to Man"?

Ai's poem "Woman to Man" starts with a striking description of lightning, with darkness being symbolised by a "knife [...] deep in the walls". This might be taken as just scene-...
5
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2answers
123 views

Is there any known tune for the last two verses of Rudyard Kipling's Parade Song of the Camp Animals?

The last section of the Jungle Book is a song by the animals serving in the army in India, split into sections for each animal. For the first four sections the verses closely mirror well known tunes ...
10
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1answer
162 views

How does "handwriting" provide evidence for dating Beowulf's composition to "the first half of the eighth century"?

The Wikipedia article for Beowulf has this interesting bit in the "Authorship and date" section: On the other hand, some scholars argue that linguistic, palaeographical (handwriting), ...
3
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0answers
45 views

Original Poems from Notes from the City of the Sun

I am interested in finding the original Chinese poems used in Notes from the City of the Sun by Bonnie S. McDougall. I know the poems are from Bei Dao, and, according to this webpage, the poems used ...
6
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2answers
3k views

What figure of speech is "transient feet" in "A Photograph" by Shirley Toulson?

In the poem "A Photograph" by Shirley Toulson, the phrase "transient feet" appears in the last line of the first stanza: All three stood still to smile through their hair At the ...
5
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1answer
72 views

Does Auden's poem 'The Model' refer to any particular painting?

I re-read 'The Model' by W H Auden earlier today, and I was struck by how good it is. I've venerated Auden since I was sixteen, but I hadn't appreciated this poem properly until now. I find myself ...
4
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1answer
153 views

Is there a difference between Russian and English speaking cultures in the sense of rhythm when reciting poetry?

It may a vague question, but I haven't found any data on this myself. I am Russian and I've heard a lot of reading of Russian poetry, since my childhood (poetry reading by heart is a staple assignment ...
9
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1answer
694 views

What is a "roomy heart"?

There's a phrase in "Alms-Giving" that I'm confused about. First, here's the original, untranslated text: Wel bið þam eorle      þe him on innan hafað, reþehygdig wer,      rume heortan; ...
3
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1answer
130 views

What does the poem "Philosophy" by Nissim Ezekiel mean?

Here is the poem "Philosophy" by Nissim Ezekiel. What do the parts in bold mean? There is a place to which I often go, Not by planning to, but by a flow Away from all existence, to a cold ...
2
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1answer
78 views

What's the meter of "Song of Young Girl" by William Lang?

What's the meter of the poem "Song of Young Girl" by William Lang? The first three stanzas are: Softly I walk through the forest The owl sleeps in the thicket I hear the voice of the lake ...
4
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1answer
134 views

What does the final stanza of "Thrushes" by Ted Hughes mean?

Here is the third stanza of "Thrushes" by Ted Hughes: With a man it is otherwise. Heroisms on horseback, Outstripping his desk-diary at a broad desk, Carving at a tiny ivory ornament For ...
3
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0answers
40 views

Looking for an elegy poem about a flower the narrator cared for (at the cost of enjoying life), which died and left him devastated

I'm looking for an elegy-style poem in which the narrator recounts ignoring the beautiful flowers around them, instead attending to a single flower that had yet to bloom. They thought this one flower ...
3
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1answer
79 views

What is the lion in Tiel Aisha Ansari's "Dervish Lion"?

Tiel Aisha Ansari's poem "Dervish Lion" is in four parts, the narrator speaking to the wind, a mountain, the tide, and a lion. (Possibly corresponding to four elements, if the lion can be ...
6
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1answer
98 views

Why is Sonnet 35 of Spenser's Amoretti repeated as Sonnet 83 later in the sequence?

Why are the sonnets 35 and 83 the same in Spenser's Amoretti? I was on luminarium.org when I spotted it. Except the italicized "Narcissus" in 35 and the regular font of the same in 83 and ...
2
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1answer
43 views

Robert Ronnow's "East Harlem to the Grand Tetons"

Robert Ronnow has a lot of poetry on his website, and this question is about "East Harlem to the Grand Tetons", a poem from his collection Brother Death, which the poet makes freely ...
1
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1answer
126 views

In "Sordello", how do we know the rejected spirit is Shelley?

In book I of Sordello (1840) by Robert Browning, the speaker addresses a group of spirits, Summoned together from the world’s four ends, Dropped down from heaven or cast up from hell, To hear the ...
4
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0answers
76 views

What is the “presence” in Wordsworth’s ‘Tintern Abbey’?

In Wordsworth’s ‘Lines written a few miles above Tintern Abbey’ he describes a “presence”:                                 And I have felt A presence that disturbs me with the joy Of elevated ...
13
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2answers
3k views

What literary work is being referred to in this limerick in which "The earth, like an orange, is blue"?

In the blog post Famous Poems Rewritten as Limericks on LanguageHat.com (2 April 2018), a certain Trond Engen posted the following limerick: The earth, like an orange, is blue. Your love and your ...
3
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1answer
144 views

Apostrophes at the beginning of stanzas in Byron's "The Giaour"

My question is about Byron's The Giaour and the opening apostrophe at the beginning of a stanza. For example: 'His floating robe around him folding, Slow sweeps he through the columned aisle; With ...
4
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2answers
74 views

Who are the pronouns referring to in the Mauritanian poem "You Will Tell Them"?

Mariem Mint Derwich's poem "You Will Tell Them", available in English translation from Words Without Borders, appears to be about a Mauritanian woman, perhaps "the" woman of ...

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