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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9 views

To which 'Argive queen' was Ben Jonson referring in his verse letter to the Countess of Rutland?

I came across a couplet today in Ben Jonson's verse letter 'An Epistle to Lady Rutland' which I'm still trying to understand: How many equal with the Argive queen, Have beauty known, yet none so ...
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1answer
64 views

Who is Pound's Hugh Selwyn Mauberley?

Who is Pound's Hugh Selwyn Mauberley? I get that he's a failure, but not if the modernist Pound thought that Mauberley was "wrong from the start". Should he, Mauberley or people like him, not have ...
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Meaning of capitalized nouns in a Lord Byron poem

I am in reference to Lord Byron's Childe Harold's Pilgrimage (see: wikipedia article). Here is the opening stanza of the work (TO IANTHE): Not in those climes where I have late been straying, ⁠Though ...
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What figure of speech does “alive enough to have strength to die” by Hardy contain?

The poem "Neutral Tones" by Thomas Hardy was written in 1867 and published in the 1898 collection Wessex Poems and Other Verses. It contains the stanza: The smile on your mouth was the deadest ...
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Why is London 'the town which Brutus sought by dreams'?

In his short poem which begins 'Tagus, farewell', the English poet Sir Thomas Wyatt wrote of his longing to return to an unnamed city. For anyone familiar with the rudiments of either Wyatt's ...
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Edgar Allan Poe's “Alone”

The short poem "Alone" by Edgar Allan Poe was written in 1829 or 1830, when he was a young man, but only published in 1875 long after his death. Its full text is as follows: From childhood’s hour I ...
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What is the significance of the magicians in the poem 'In The Bazaars Of Hyderabad'?

In the poem In The Bazaars Of Hyderabad, the poet Sarojini Naidu says: What do you chant, O magicians? Spells for aeons to come. Here aeons likely refers to eternal ages and the magicians are ...
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Why a sorrowing heart is called as “Sultan” and a stone heart is called as “burial site” in this verse of Saint Kabir?

I came up to this verse of great Indian poet Saint Kabir बिरहा बुरहा जिनि कहौ, बिरहा है सुलतान। जिस घटि बिरह न संचरै, सो घट सदा मसान॥ This page gives the English translation of that verse as Do not ...
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What does stanza 4 of Defeat by Kahlil Gibran mean?

I love Defeat (by Kahlil Gibran) but I don't understand these lines in the fourth stanza of this poem: Defeat, my Defeat, my bold companion, You shall hear my songs and my cries and my silences, And ...
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Bilbo’s song of Eärendil in “The Fellowship of the Ring”

In The Fellowship of the Ring, the character Bilbo Baggins recites a poem beginning with these lines: Eärendil was a mariner that tarried in Arvernien; he built a boat of timber felled in Nimbrethil ...
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Understanding the plotline of “The Smile” by Ted Hughes

I'm reading Ted Hughes' "The Smile" (text version), and I'm trying to understand its plotline. More specifically: what's the nature of the scenes wherein the poem's protagonist, the smile, ...
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In how many ways can you interpret this haiku poem? [closed]

What may be the possible (hidden) interpretations of this poem (written by me), which uses a form of Japanese poetry called 'haiku'? a filled bow, stretched with zest- the smile flies How would the ...
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1answer
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The name of a poem about a poet being happy that someone has forgotten the title of their poem

I read this poem in a collection and now I can't find it. It starts with the poet talking about how they were approached by someone who had loved one of their poems. But the reader could not remember ...
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Who introduced the sonnet to English literature? Wyatt or Shakespeare?

Who brought sonnet to English literature? Thomas Wyatt or William Shakespeare? Their contributions to English literature: Shakespeare wrote a book that contains 154 sonnets, but I couldn't find ...
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Help understanding this quote/hymn by Isaac Watts

Recently heard this, and was trying to figure out what it means. It's by Isaac Watts and, I believe, from his book https://www.amazon.com/Arrangement-Psalms-Hymns-Spiritual-Songs/dp/024343913X Our ...
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The meaning of the poem “Be Different to Trees”

I'm studying the poem "Be Different to Trees" (1924) by Mary Carolyn Davies: The talking oak To the ancients spoke. But any tree Will talk to me. What truths I know I garnered so. ...
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Interpretation of “ Time as a stuff can be wasted” in Sandburg's A Father to His Son

In the poem A Father to His Son, the poet says, "Time as a stuff can be wasted'. In most of the summaries of this poem, it is mentioned that the poet says that time can be wasted as if the poet ...
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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 — ...
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79 views

Who is Tich Miller? What has happened to her? Why was this poem written about her?

My literature homework about poetry involves the poem 'Tich Miller' of Wendy Cope. it is as follows: Tich Miller wore glasses with elastoplast-pink frames and had one foot three sizes larger ...
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What does “And others, whose breasts love the feel of scapulars,” mean in Baudelaire's “Damned Women”?

Baudelaire's poem "Femmes damnées" / "Damned Women" contains the following lines (fifth stanza): Et d'autres, dont la gorge aime les scapulaires, Qui, recélant un fouet sous leurs longs ...
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Outline the symbolism of “The astronaut in Isolation” by Rosalind Morris

“The astronaut in Isolation” by Rosalind Morris is a poem that was published on Daily Maverick on 30 April 2020. It's a new poem and there is no interpretation of this anywhere on the web. I would ...
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Is Williams's This Is Just to Say an imagist poem, an objectivist poem or neither?

The Wikipedia article about the short poem "This Is Just to Say" claims the text is an imagist poem without backing up that claim. Williams contributed to the anthology Des Imagistes, published in ...
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Is there any symbolism in Casey at the Bat?

Casey at the Bat is one of my all-time favorite poems. I always thought it was just about baseball. But is it? Is there a metaphor or an allegory hidden somewhere in the last inning of a baseball ...
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What is “This is Just to Say” about?

In "This is Just to Say" by William Carlos Williams, the speaker appears to deliver an apology for stealing the plums of the person at whom the poem is targeted. I have heard some people analyze this ...
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117 views

Why do I have a different version of “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”?

The first stanza of Robert Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" reads as follows in its original publication in New Hampshire (1923): Whose woods these are I think I know. His house is ...
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1k views

What does T. S. Eliot mean in the poem The Hollow Men when he ended it with “This is the way the world ends/Not with a bang but a whimper”?

I once read a poem "The Hollow Men" by T. S. Eliot. The poet ended the verse like this: This is the way the world ends This is the way the world ends This is the way the world ends Not with a ...
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What is “ache-and-pain-a-me back-o-hardness” in “We the Women”?

I need an explanation for what Grace Nichols is trying to say in the following stanzas from her poem "We the Women": We the women who cut clear fetch dig sing We the women making something ...
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A slightly different interpretation in the poem “Boat Stealing” by Wordsworth

I have recently annotated this poem and when looking online, I have found that my interpretation of the poem in some aspects is a bit different to most others. I just want to make sure that my ...
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What does “atomies” mean here?

In Walt Whitman's The Voice of the Rain from his book Leaves of Grass, he writes: I descend to lave the droughts, atomies, dust-layers of the globe... What does "atomies" mean here? I could ...
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143 views

Is there a name for version of trochaic tetrameter with lines of 8|7|8|7 syllables

Is there a name for the meter used in Clementine: Drove she ducklings to the water Every morning just at nine Struck her foot against a splinter Fell into the foaming brine or in Schiller's ...
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2answers
144 views

Who is being referenced in the opening line of “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”?

The first stanza of Robert Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" goes like this: Whose woods these are I think I know. His house is in the village though; He will not see me stopping ...
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3answers
134 views

Two Interpretations of Robert Herrick's “To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time”

In his "To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time", Robert Herrick concluded his carpe diem plea with: For having lost but once your prime, You may forever tarry. There seems to be two ways to ...
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767 views

What is Robert Frost 'owning' in these lines?

I read the poem "A Roadside Stand" by Robert Frost, and I have accumulated a few questions through the poem. So, I will be posting some questions from the same poem, if you can please answer my other ...
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376 views

What metaphor(s) are represented by the mysterious figure in Charles Causley's “Innocent's Song”?

The other day, I came across this rather sinister poem by Charles Causley, set to music. Innocent's Song Who's that knocking on the window, Who's that standing at the door, What are ...
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76 views

What are the “animal heads of the flowers” in Allen Ginsberg's Transcription of Organ Music?

Here is the original text: The rambler vine climbed up the cottage post, the leaves in the night still where the day had placed them, the animal heads of the flowers where they had ...
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305 views

Why was Welsh nationalist poet RS Thomas so critical of the Welsh people?

Welsh poet R.S. Thomas was an ardent Welsh nationalist and advocate for independence. Although a native English speaker he learned and conversed in Welsh, although he never felt fluent enough to use ...
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122 views

Does “the” only serve to preserve metre in “The Tyger”?

William Blake's poem “The Tyger” from Songs of Experience utilizes "the" in an interesting manner in two separate couplets of the 4th stanza, lines 9 and 11: What the hammer? what the chain, In ...
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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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“By the lives of all who’d come to console and assist the stricken” What does it mean?

I was reading the poem "The Miracle at Sea" by Shmuel HaNagid (translated from Hebrew by Peter Cole), and I came across a passage that really confused me. This is the second stanza of the poem: By ...
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90 views

What does the poet Sukanta Bhattacharya mean when he said he 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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2answers
473 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 ...
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1answer
56 views

What does the last line of Daniel Borzutzky's “Managed Diversity” mean?

I wonder if anybody could help me to understand the last line of the poem “Managed Diversity”, written by Daniel Borzutzky: The global economy brightens my room with the surveillance of my rotten ...
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5k views

Who wrote a specific poem in the movie 'Dead Poets Society'?

Who wrote "Show me the heart unfettered by foolish dreams…And I'll show you a happy man." ? It was spoken by George McAllister (=the character name of the Latin teacher "the Realist" in Dead Poets ...
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428 views

Why was the text of “HaTikvah” changed?

"HaTikvah," Israel's national anthem, was adopted from an earlier poem called "Tikvateinu," by Naftali Herz Imber. Here is the official text of the anthem (translation and transliteration can be found ...
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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 ...
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387 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 ...
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371 views

Scanning the line “And every spirit upon earth” in Thomas Hardy's “The Darkling Thrush”

In the Thomas Hardy poem "The Darkling Thrush", one line seems to scan quite jarringly compared to the even iambic meter of the others: The land's sharp features seemed to me The Century's corpse ...
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3k views

What does “the sad height” represent in “Do not go gentle into that good night” by Dylan Thomas?

In the final stanza of Dylan Thomas's Do not go gentle into that good night, he says, And you, my father, there on the sad height, Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray. Do not go ...
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175 views

Thomas Hardy’s “The Man He Killed”

Thomas Hardy’s ‘The Man He Killed’ (1902) was published in Time’s Laughingstocks (1909):     “Had he and I but met     By some old ancient inn, We should have sat us down to wet     Right ...
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Understanding two lines from “The Wound-Dresser” by Walt Whitman

Among the hospital poems, "The Wound-Dresser" by Walt Whitman is one of the best and finest. I wonder if anybody here can help me to understand two lines of this piece. But in silence, in dreams’ ...

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