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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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
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3 votes
0 answers
47 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
435 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
  • 756
3 votes
0 answers
40 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
  • 27.6k
3 votes
0 answers
35 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
507 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
  • 113
8 votes
1 answer
491 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
212 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
3 votes
0 answers
48 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
7 votes
0 answers
127 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 ...
bocwulf's user avatar
  • 71
2 votes
0 answers
32 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
6 votes
2 answers
162 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
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3 votes
1 answer
114 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
  • 31
4 votes
2 answers
130 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
  • 638
4 votes
0 answers
76 views

Why are children described as "folly free" in the poem "Mothers Heart"?

The poem Mothers Heart (in Drops of Melodies by Hemirah Tohti) contains the following lines: She always thinks of her children Children play, folly free Why are children described as "folly ...
EJoshuaS - Stand with Ukraine's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
45 views

What is the significance of the drawings in the first few pages of "Drops of Melodies"?

Drops of Melodies by Hemirah Tohti has the following images in the first couple pages of the Kindle edition: However, I don't see any attribution for these images and don't exactly understand their ...
EJoshuaS - Stand with Ukraine's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
84 views

Why did this Taras Shevchenko poem feature David successfully deceiving Nathan the Prophet?

The poem Czars (Kings) by Taras Shevchenko includes a retelling of the story of David and Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11 in the Bible). One interesting feature of retelling is that Shevchenko's account ...
EJoshuaS - Stand with Ukraine's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
133 views

Trying to identify short poem

I remember a wonderful poem from my school anthology but I don't know the name or author. Is there a kind person who might recognise the following poem? It's a very short poem. Female poet, I think. ...
CyclingDave's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
85 views

Aspects of Kamala Das's Poem 'My Mother at Sixty-Six'

This poem 'My Mother at Sixty-Six' is in our curriculum and I have a few questions on this: Why does the poet capitalise 'Young Trees'? Why not just leave it as 'young trees' as it is not a proper ...
Harikrishnan M's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
961 views

What is the significance of counting up to twelve in 'Keeping Quiet'?

Pablo Neruda opens his poem Keeping Quiet with the following lines: Now we will count to twelve and we will all keep still. Why did he choose to count to 'twelve' of all numbers? In fact, why count ...
archthegreat's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
248 views

What are the "concurring signs" of which Satan speaks?

In Paradise Lost Book II, Satan explains to Sin why he wants to leave Hell:             ... through the void immense To search with wand'ring quest a place foretold Should be, and, by concurring ...
verbose's user avatar
  • 27.6k
3 votes
1 answer
114 views

Context of Kipling poem Dane-Geld

Kipling's poem Dane-Geld is a warning about submitting to blackmail. It makes the point that if you pay blackmail then the blackmailer will come back and demand more. Therefore you should never pay. ...
Pete's user avatar
  • 2,771
4 votes
0 answers
118 views

20th century poem ending with "-baby?"

In high school I rented a collection of poems from a male author that I believe had a black-and-white cover with a photograph on it. I got it from a USA library in 2012. I am looking for one poem in ...
jamesismynamo's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
507 views

What is the meaning of the final stanza of The Rabbi's Song by Rudyard Kipling?

The final stanza of The Rabbi's Song by Rudyard Kipling goes as follows: Our lives, our tears, as water,       Are spilled upon the ground; God giveth no man quarter,       Yet God a means hath found,...
Betterthan Kwora's user avatar
15 votes
1 answer
3k views

What makes the Sydney barber's remark rude?

In Banjo Paterson's poem "The Man from Ironbark", a city barber makes a supposedly rude remark to his country bumpkin customer: And as he soaped and rubbed it in he made a rude remark: &...
Jeremy's user avatar
  • 153
2 votes
1 answer
164 views

Who inspired the poem "Addicted to Proof"?

One of Peter Shor's poems was published in The Mathematical Intelligencer. It's called "Addicted to Proof" and it's a short (16-line) poem about a mathematician who won the Abel Prize for a ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
  • 72.6k
4 votes
0 answers
38 views

Is John Crowe Ransom's 'Vision by Sweetwater' autobiographical?

John Crowe Ransom is today better known as a critic, but he also wrote excellent poetry. One of my favourites is 'Vision by Sweetwater', which, because it is short and not too well known, I hope the ...
Tom Hosker's user avatar
  • 1,064
7 votes
1 answer
4k views

Is George a dishwasher?

In Charles Bukowski's, "A Man", what does George mean by "I'm a dishwasher"? "I'm a man , baby, understand that?" "I know you're a man , George." "Here, ...
Ptah-hotep's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
117 views

Poem from a teacher: "There is a tree I love // And she loves me // Sentient beings call her home"

There is a tree I love And she loves me Sentient beings call her home, She is their world Their womb of God Knowing only here. She sings out the perfection The rightness, the holy stillness of all ...
Lucy's user avatar
  • 31
0 votes
1 answer
62 views

is it possible to adapt ancient graeco-roman prosodic styles, forms, principles, modifications into modern verses? [closed]

is it possible to adapt ancient graeco-roman prosodic styles, forms, principles, modifications into modern verses? does anybody know good authors who write in vernacular or modern languages with greek ...
jacklhoward's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
52 views

Prosodic features and rules for Miltonic verses?

Are there any special prosodic features to Milton's blank verse? Is it just unrhyming iambic pentameter, or does it have any restrictions on what the final sound in a line must be like even though ...
jacklhoward's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
591 views

Who is the "we" in the fifth stanza of Longfellow's "Haunted Houses"? The ghosts or the living humans?

To whom does the "we" in the fifth stanza of this poem refer? Is it the ghosts who haunt houses, or the humans who live in the haunted houses? Haunted Houses Henry Wadsworth Longfellow All ...
Annie Niharika's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
220 views

Interpretation of W. B. Yeats' poem "All Things Can Tempt Me"?

I am working on Turkish translations of W. B. Yeats' poems and I need to compare the source text with the target text. In order to do that, first, I have to get a deeper understanding of the original ...
Batuhan Tas's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
83 views

What is "the song called Peter"?

The poem Maryanne the Nun by Taras Shevchenko contains the following lines: You won't recall that orphan Dressed in peasant garb, at times, so happy When he saw the wonder - of your beauty, Whom you ...
EJoshuaS - Stand with Ukraine's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
327 views

What was the poem Tagore wrote in Satyendranath Dutta's memory?

Satyendranath Dutta's Wikipedia page says that Rabindranath Tagore wrote a poem in his honor after his death. It cites The Report, which says: Rabindranath Tagore has immortalized Satyendranath in a ...
CDR's user avatar
  • 2,763
3 votes
1 answer
216 views

Is the drawing after "The wind converses with the grove" part of the poem?

Immediately after the poem The wind converses with the grove, The Complete Kobzar (translated by Peter Fedynsky) has a drawing (possibly charcoal or pencil, but I'm not sure) merely entitled Forest's ...
EJoshuaS - Stand with Ukraine's user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
173 views

How to tell if this is poem or not [closed]

How to tell if something is a poem or not. Like for example this below me. That one seems so simple without any Supposition like personification. If it's a poem, without personification etc. Is it ...
Bobi brai's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
278 views

What does "The Shampoo" written by Elizabeth Bishop tell?

The still explosions on the rocks, the lichens, grow by spreading, gray, concentric shocks. They have arranged to meet the rings around the moon, although within our memories they have not changed. ...
user19826's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
61 views

What did Walt Whitman mean by "a pennant universal"?

(Edit: This was closed because it was marked as "opinion based" and I was asked to edit the question so that it could be answered by facts and citations. @Fumblefingers gave citations, ...
sysmod's user avatar
  • 141
6 votes
0 answers
159 views

Reference to Novalis in Ghérasim Luca's poem "La Poésie Pratique"

Ghérasim Luca's poem "La Poésie Pratique" / "Practical Poetry" contains the following lines: En pratiquant le bouche à bouche de mot à mot de « feu » le mort à « feu » vif d' « ...
Le Petit Nicolas's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
48 views

Are there standard guidelines on apostrophising to denote swallowed syllables for scansion?

There are various words in English which can be pronounced in different ways with different numbers of syllables. Poetry often requires them to be read in a particular way for appropriate scansion, ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
  • 72.6k
2 votes
1 answer
117 views

What does this line from an essay on T. S. Eliot mean?

The following extract is from Charles Altieri's essay "Eliot's Impact on twentieth-century Anglo-American poetry" published in The Cambridge Companion to T. S. Eliot. Here, Altieri is ...
user392289's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
65 views

What early copy of Kobzar was discovered in 2003?

The translator notes for the Taras Shevchenko poem Tribute to Shternberg in The Complete Kobzar mentioned that the authorship of the poem was in dispute until the 2003 discovery of a "rare early ...
EJoshuaS - Stand with Ukraine's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
123 views

Why was a time of war described as "good"?

The poem Ivan Pidkova by Taras Shevchenko (in The Complete Kobzar) contains the following lines: There was an age - that trouble Pranced about Ukraine, Grief quaffed honeymead Like rebels in a tavern....
EJoshuaS - Stand with Ukraine's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
136 views

Is "the Kozak in a stormy meadow" part of a traditional song?

The Taras Shevchenko poem To Osnovianenko (in The Complete Kobzar, translated by Peter Fedynsky) has the following lines: I ramble through the snow And to myself I sing: The Kozak in a Stormy Meadow!...
EJoshuaS - Stand with Ukraine's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
47 views

What do ellipses mean in the context of this Taras Shevchenko poem?

I recently encountered the following in a Taras Shevchenko poem (To Osnovianenko) in The Complete Kobzar (Peter Fedynsky translation): Our idea and our song Will neither die nor perish... And that, ...
EJoshuaS - Stand with Ukraine's user avatar
6 votes
0 answers
103 views

Who or what is 'our God' in Swinburne's 'Ave atque Vale'?

The following is a bonus question to "Who is the 'pale Titan-woman' in Swinburne's 'Ave atque Vale'?", which I was advised to separate into its own question. The twelfth verse of 'Ave atque ...
Tom Hosker's user avatar
  • 1,064
9 votes
3 answers
758 views

Who is the 'pale Titan-woman' in Swinburne's 'Ave atque Vale'?

For those fond of intertextual references, 'Ave atque Vale' by Algernon Charles Swinburne, an English poet's lament for the French poet Charles Baudelaire, is something of a goldmine, being absolutely ...
Tom Hosker's user avatar
  • 1,064
4 votes
2 answers
271 views

Did Lord Byron fluff his Greek in his poem beginning 'Maid of Athens, ere we part'?

One of Lord Byron's most famous poems appears, in the earliest editions of his works, under the simple title of 'Song', but is now more widely know by its first line, 'Maid of Athens, ere we part'. ...
Tom Hosker's user avatar
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