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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].

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8 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 ...
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22 views

Explanation of “We The Women” By Grace Nichols

I need help with a line by line thought by thought for the poem "We the Women" by Grace Nichols. We the women who cut clear fetch dig sing We the women making something from this ache-and-pain-...
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0answers
30 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
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1answer
38 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. ...
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0answers
33 views

Please critique this poem I wrote [closed]

I often find myself, On the last page, When I'm lost out & locked away of reality. In the adobe, freed i taste colors & breath peace. There's no line you see its just the ...
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0answers
33 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?
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1answer
29 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
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1answer
28 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 ...
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0answers
18 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
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1answer
119 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
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1answer
312 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 ...
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1answer
44 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 ...
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29 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
13 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. ...
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0answers
16 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
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1answer
56 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 ...
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0answers
33 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): ...
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1answer
93 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? ...
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3answers
125 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
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1answer
43 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 ...
4
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1answer
46 views

Is the man about to die in “Meditation on the A30”?

John Betjeman's poem "Meditation on the A30" is about a man driving his car and fuming about his unloving wife. In the final verse, he finally turns to action: "You're barmy or plastered, I'll pass ...
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1answer
44 views

References in the first stanza of Amiri Baraka's poem “Somebody Blew Up America”?

In the poem "Somebody Blew Up America" by the African-American poet Amiri Baraka, he references a few people at the end of the first stanza: They say it's some terrorist some barbaric A ...
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0answers
13 views

Is there any significance to the choice of similes for poetry in “Some Like Poetry”?

The poem "Some Like Poetry" by Polish writer Wislawa Szymborska is a musing lament about the unpopularity of poetry among the general population. The middle verse consists of a series of similes which ...
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1answer
14 views

Relevance of Findlay's poem 'Stolen' to Hopkinson's novel Midnight Robber

Nalo Hopkinson's novel Midnight Robber (published in 2000) is prefaced by the poem "Stolen" by David Findlay. According to the novel's colophon, the poem's copyright is dated 1997. However, according ...
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1answer
32 views

What's the implied meaning of this poem by Russell Edson?

My friends are discussing what's the implied meaning of this poem: Fire Is Not a Nice Guest Some people feel like it insinuates a futile effort to save people around. But I think this is not accurate. ...
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0answers
46 views

Why is Allen Ginsberg's “Howl” dedicated to Carl Solomon specifically?

The poem "Howl" by Allen Ginsberg (which can be read online) is partly a savage general commentary on society and partly an expression of solidarity for the institutionalised fellow writer Carl ...
7
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1answer
51 views

What is the relevance of the title of Nalo Hopkinson's “A Raggy Dog, a Shaggy Dog”?

I've just read Nalo Hopkinson's short story "A Raggy Dog, a Shaggy Dog" (available for free online from Apex Magazine). It's an odd, quirky tale about an orchid-loving lady who's constantly setting ...
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0answers
17 views

Does Shakespeare steer the reader's sympathy towards Venus or towards Adonis?

In the narrative poem Venus and Adonis, Shakespeare reuses a story from Ovid's Metamorphoses (which he often used as a source of inspiration), but gives it an original spin: Venus's desire is ...
3
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0answers
48 views

Interpretation of some lines in The Dolphins by Carol Ann Duffy

In the poem "The Dolphins" (see the summary on Beaming Notes), what does the following line mean: "for the world will not deepen to dream in". I am unable to understand the usage of "dream in" ...
3
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1answer
72 views

How many Elizabethan or Jacobean manuscripts of Shakespeare sonnets have come down to us?

When Thomas Thorpe published Shake-speares Sonnets [sic!] in 1609, the sonnets (or at least a subset of them) had already circulated in manuscript for some time. Francis Meres already mentioned these ...
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2answers
70 views

Style of poetry that plays with typographic rivers

In typography, rivers, or rivers of white, are gaps in typesetting, which appear to run through a paragraph of text, due to a coincidental alignment of spaces. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/River_(...
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1answer
48 views

Analysis of a self-written stanza in terms of meter?

A long time ago I used to write poetry, and there was one particular stanza that has always stuck with me and seemed inherently rhythmic, but I’m not familiar with the relevant terminology and so I’m ...
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1answer
276 views

Meaning of “may I be twice damned for a bank-clerk or store hand” in “I hight Don Quixote”, a poem by Jack Parsons

From I Hight Don Quixote by Jack Parsons: They said I was crazy, ambiguous, lazy, disgusting, fantastic, obscene; So I hied for my sagebrush and cactus and corn mush, To see if the air was ...
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4answers
243 views

Meaning of “And do not drop in for an after-loss” in Shakespeare's sonnet 90

Sonnet 90 by Shakespeare: Then hate me when thou wilt; if ever, now; Now, while the world is bent my deeds to cross, Join with the spite of fortune, make me bow, And do not drop in for an ...
1
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1answer
66 views

Is this a pararhyme?

"Halted", "Fed" and "Eased" from first stanza of "Spring Offensive" by Wilfred Owen. Halted against the shade of a last hill They fed, and, lying easy, were at ease; And, finding comfortable ...
4
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1answer
50 views

Looking for a poem by Simon Armitage

I'm struggling to find a poem by Simon Armitage where he goes on a tour about him in disguise only to find that the tour guide doesn't know much about him. What was its name and what collection is it ...
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1answer
25 views

Where can I find the text of the poem “Climbing Tintagel” by (I think) Vicki Feaver?

I have lost one of my favourite poems, Climbing Tintagel, which I think is by Vicki Feaver. I read it in a library book that had works by three (women) poets many years ago. I can't find it online ...
1
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1answer
67 views

What does the top of the bird-catcher's head look like?

In The New Yorker issue of 13 February 2013, Brad Leithauser discussed some of Robert Graves's love poems, including the quatrain "Love Without Hope". (I think the poem is still copyrighted, even ...
3
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1answer
51 views

Meaning of this line from “Birches”

I was reading "Birches" by Robert Frost. I am having difficulty in understanding the meaning of a line. Please refer to this link for the full poem: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44260/...
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0answers
39 views

Book about War Poetry [closed]

Please help me figure out what book this is! In college I had a book about war poetry that was "borrowed". I'd dearly love to acquire another copy but I am having a hard time figuring out exactly ...
7
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2answers
158 views

Could Ozymandias be interpreted as referring to the power of the Church/pope?

The poem's central line that establishes the theme of power: "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Does the "king of kings" part happen to be a subtle reference to the English papacy by any ...
6
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1answer
50 views

Trying to find a poem called “The Boaster”

At Junior School, in the mid-1950s, I came across a poem entitled "The Boaster". IIRC it ran to several verses, each one ending in "I'm from our village, our village. I'm my father's son", and ...
4
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1answer
46 views

What is the literal meaning of this line in “Birches”

I was reading "Birches" by Robert Frost. I am having difficulty in understanding the meaning of a part of a line. Please refer to this link for the full poem: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/...
6
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1answer
38 views

Who wrote the poem that begins “What have we not done for this country”?

About 15 years ago I read a popular history (in the sense of popular science, not popular politics) of the 20th century which includes a short poem that I believe went as follows: What have we not ...
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1answer
39 views

Why does Auden relate logical deduction to Adam and Eve's Fall?

From: Philip Johnson-Laird BA PhD Psychology (UCL), Stuart Professor of Psychology Emeritus at Princeton. (Author isn't a logician.) How We Reason (1st edn 2008). p. 103. How We Make ...
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1answer
117 views

Doesn't Burns' use of parallelism reinforce “My Heart's in the Highlands” visual images?

Here is "My Heart's in the Highlands" by Robert Burns (https://www.bartleby.com/360/8/24.html). My heart’s in the Highlands, my heart is not here; My heart’s in the Highlands a-chasing the deer;...
7
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1answer
77 views

Savantism by Whitman

The poem I'm trying to understand the following poem by Whitman, called Savantism. THITHER, as I look, I see each result and glory retracing itself and nestling close, always obligated; ...
9
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1answer
105 views

Meaning of “We make the wise distinction still, soever made in vain” in a poem by Dickinson

A poem by Emily Dickinson: We send the Wave to find the Wave— An Errand so divine, The Messenger enamored too, Forgetting to return, We make the wise distinction still, Soever made in ...
2
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0answers
62 views

What poetic techniques are used in The Farmer Remembers the Somme? [closed]

What poetic techniques are used in Vance Palmer's poem "The Farmer Remembers the Somme"? I all ready have juxtaposition, personification, repetition and imagery. But i am looking for more. Will ...
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0answers
24 views

Whitman's idea of democracy

There are two lines which disturbs me a little on One's self I sing from Whitman. It reads: One's self I sing, a simple separate person, Yet utter the word Democratic, the word En-Masse. ...