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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-2 votes
0 answers
17 views

Any work on analysis of contemporary pop-music lyrics, preferably russian [closed]

Where I can find a scientific work where considered poetry of russian pop music, its phenomenon, background, influence of other cultures.
4 votes
2 answers
146 views

How can A. A. Milne's "The Dormouse and the Doctor" poem be interpreted?

I've been reading When We Were Very Young by A. A. Milne and stumbled upon this beautiful poem, "The Dormouse and the Doctor". I would really appreciate if somebody could explain to me in ...
2 votes
2 answers
239 views

Why does the bow have to be stable in "The Prophet"?

I find the poetic imaginary in this verse from kind of disturbing: And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, Speak to us of Children. And he said: Your children are not your children. They ...
1 vote
1 answer
218 views

Comprehending “how but in custom and ceremony are innocence and beauty born”

“A Prayer for My Daughter” is a poem written by W.B. Yeats on the birth of his daughter. One of the themes of the poem is contrasting the future he desires for his daughter with the life of Maud Gonne,...
3 votes
2 answers
579 views

As the former name for Baghdad, does "Sutis" contain any special or symbolic meaning?

Lawrence Joseph has mentioned the poem "In This Language, In War's Revolutions" that: in the city Baghdad, named Sutis by its founder, Nebuchadnezzar, here where the prophet Daniel ...
5 votes
2 answers
70 views

What does Tennyson mean by "the rustic cackle ... [is] the murmur of the world"?

I am finding the following lines from Tennyson's Idylls of the King quite perplexing: A thousand pips eat up your sparrow-hawk! Tits, wrens, and all wing'd nothings peck him dead! Ye think the rustic ...
5 votes
0 answers
36 views

What did Yeats in his late period think of his early work?

The poetry of W.B. Yeats is commonly seen as belonging to three rough phases. The first is a Romantic and pre-Raphaelite style of flowery verse which commonly invokes figures of Irish mythology. The ...
5 votes
5 answers
12k views

What did Gray mean by "where ignorance is bliss, / 'tis folly to be wise"?

Here's the last stanza of Thomas Gray's 1742 poem, 'Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College': To each his suff'rings: all are men,       Condemn'd alike to groan, The tender for another's ...
4 votes
1 answer
71 views

Is this an accurate explanation of Jakobson's definition of the "true hallmark of poetry"?

The Wikipedia on Roman Jakobson says The true hallmark of poetry is according to Jakobson "the projection of the principle of equivalence from the axis of selection to the axis of combination&...
5 votes
0 answers
27 views

Meaning of 'pelted clover' and 'gorged pastures' in Louise Glück poem?

What do 'pelted clover' and 'gorged pastures' mean in the following poem by Louise Glück? Clover leaves that are being thrown? A pasture land with a pathway in the middle? Labor Day Requiring ...
2 votes
1 answer
82 views

In metrical poetry, what is equal timed?

In metrical poetry, what is equal timed (isochronous)? Is it: the foot, or the ictus, stressed syllable, in a foot, or something else, or nothing in particular?
1 vote
0 answers
36 views

Why did the war-trenches get leveled over with sand?

The Belarusian poem It would be well by Maksim Tank (which was written in the aftermath of brutal fighting in Belarus during WWII) included the following line: The winds level over our war-torn ...
5 votes
1 answer
2k views

What's the first appearance of the rhyme about "He died defending his right of way"?

There's a little poem that goes something like this: Here lies the body of Thomas Grey, Who died defending his right of way. He was perfectly right as he sped along, But he's just as dead as if he'd ...
3 votes
1 answer
56 views

What does "Pulled-up" mean in the Lawrence Joseph poem Rubaiyat?

Here part of the poem "Rubaiyat" by Lawrence Joseph: The holes burned in the night. Holes you can look through and see the stump of a leg, a bloody bandage, flies on the gauze; a pulled-up ...
4 votes
1 answer
91 views

Why is the 1820 Indicator version of La Belle Dame Sans Merci seen as more "politically correct"?

In his textbook Theory of Literature, Paul Fry writes at length about Jerome McGann's critique of Keats. As part of this he has this to say about the comparison between the 1819/1848 and the 1820 ...
2 votes
1 answer
57 views

Is Tsering Wangmo Dhompa's birth certificate wrong?

As Remembered from Rules of the House by Tsering Wangmo Dhompa states the following: I am told I was five in 1971 even though my birth certificate states I was born in 1969. The elders count on their ...
4 votes
1 answer
51 views

What is a partisan hut?

My Hut by Anatol Astrejka ends with the following lines: When no trace of war will meet you, To deep forest glades once more I'll return, again to greet it, My partisan hut of yore. Earlier, the ...
5 votes
3 answers
1k views

What is the meaning of this sher?

hamla hai chaar sū dar-o-dīvār-e-shahr kā sab jañgaloñ ko shahr ke andar sameT lo حملہ ہے چار سُو در و دیوارِ شہر کا سب جنگلوں کو شہر کے اندر سمیٹ لو Source I get the meaning of each ...
1 vote
1 answer
46 views

Why does Pimien Pancanka refer to a point in Georgia when talking about Iran and Belarus?

A poem by Pimien Pancanka in Like Water, like Fire is simply titled * * *, and it was labeled "Iran, 1944" at the end. It includes the following lines: The cranes fly beyond Kazbek and El'...
18 votes
1 answer
2k views

Accented è in Blake's "The little ones leapèd, and shoutèd, and laugh'd / And all the hills echoèd."

Here is a poem by William Blake with some accented è's (Nurse's Song, 1789). How is this è pronounced? What is the background as to why the e bears an accent? When the voices of children are heard on ...
3 votes
2 answers
133 views

Why is the Reeve's hair cut like a priest's?

In the general prologue of The Canterbury Tales, we're introduced to the character of the Reeve. The Reeve is described as having his hair cut like a priest's: His berd was shave as ny as ever he ...
7 votes
1 answer
133 views

Rhymes in William Blake's 'The Tyger'

Tyger Tyger, burning bright, In the forests of the night; What immortal hand or eye, Could frame thy fearful symmetry? 'Eye' and 'symmetry' don't rhyme in modern standard English. But pronunciation ...
8 votes
4 answers
5k views

What does "ceremony of innocence" mean In "The Second Coming"?

The Second Coming by W.B. Yeats: Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The ...
2 votes
1 answer
104 views

Was Thomas Hardy's "Unkept Good Fridays" negatively received in its time?

Thomas Hardy's poem "Unkept Good Fridays" (1927) is about all the other people who did good deeds and were unjustly killed but don't have their names remembered or celebrated like Jesus ...
8 votes
1 answer
288 views

What does 'diope' mean in the poem 'Pediatric Reflection' by Ogden Nash?

"Pediatric Reflection" by Ogden Nash Many an infant that screams like a calliope Could be soothed by a little attention to its diope. What does "diope" mean here?
1 vote
0 answers
12 views

Why did Alaksiej Zarycki dedicate "The Heart" to Pimien Pancanka?

The Heart by Alaksiej Zarycki starts off by saying: A miser I, The greatest of misers All that I can find in My heart I am hiding. Dreams from youth rising, Battle's loud thunder, Fortune'd bright ...
1 vote
0 answers
14 views

Who was Captain Hastel?

The Eagle Well-Spring by Alaksiej Zarycki was dedicated "to the memory of Captain Hastel." It includes the lines ... For the eagle's grave came not seeking! That's where Hastel's heart ...
4 votes
1 answer
249 views

Scanning "Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote"

How would you scan the first line of The Canterbury Tales: Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote This blogger says that it's an iambic pentametre line with a headless initial foot and a feminine ...
1 vote
0 answers
69 views

Figures of speech in "Once Upon a Time" by Gabriel Okara

Here are two extracts from the poem "Once Upon a Time" by Gabriel Imomotimi Okara: ‘Feel at home!’ ‘Come again’: they say, and when I come again and feel at home, once, twice, there will be ...
2 votes
0 answers
45 views

Does "Native Bread" refer to the Passover Story?

Native Bread by Piatro Hlebka starts as follows: The fire burns. Round the trench is massing For home yearn our countrymen, And the partisan young lasses Bake and dry flat loaves again. May that ...
6 votes
1 answer
6k views

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, ...
7 votes
1 answer
1k views

Was Philip Larkin factually correct when he implied that in 1955 the streets in Ireland were "end-on to hills" more often than those in England?

In the 1955 Philip Larkin poem "The Importance of Elsewhere", it reads: Their draughty streets, end-on to hills, the faint Archaic smell of dockland, like a stable, The herring-hawker's ...
7 votes
1 answer
836 views

Who first claimed that Blake’s “dark Satanic Mills” referred to the Church of England, and what was their argument?

William Blake’s poem ‘And did those feet in ancient time’ (1808) contains the lines And was Jerusalem builded here, Among these dark Satanic Mills? The meaning of the phrase “dark Satanic Mills” is ...
4 votes
0 answers
27 views

What does this mean about the interpretation of Lauretta's song at the end of Day 3?

At the end of Day 3 of the Decameron, Lauretta sings the following song after dinner, at the request of the new "king" Filostrato: What dame disconsolate May so lament as I, That vainly ...
3 votes
1 answer
66 views

Illustrated anthology book of poetry, with one of the poems being about putting too much sugar in a baby's tea?

I was given an illustrated book of lot of individual English poem in the 90s (book could have been older) with 'weird' poems for children. I think the illustrations might have been watercolour, and ...
3 votes
2 answers
305 views

Why is wolf's bane "tight-rooted" in Keats' "Ode on Melancholy"?

In Keats's 'Ode on Melancholy', he writes neither twist Wolf's-bane, tight-rooted, for its poisonous wine; Why did Keats choose to describe Wolf's-bane as "tight-rooted"?
3 votes
1 answer
32 views

Why is Zaki Ovais "someone I’m afraid of"?

The poem Someone I'm Afraid Of (text available here) by Zaki Ovais concludes with the following lines: I’m a human in the universe, denied the most basic rights. I’m someone I’m afraid of. I'm ...
8 votes
5 answers
2k views

Understanding the key in The Waste Land

A passage from the fifth part of the poem The Waste Land (which you can read online) says: Dayadhvam: I have heard the key Turn in the door once and turn once only We think of the key, each in ...
2 votes
0 answers
21 views

What was the intended audience of "Absent, Or Not Absent" by Tsering Woeser?

Tibetan poet and activist Tsering Woeser wrote the poem Absent, or Not Absent in Chinese. (The full text is available from Words Without Borders). I am somewhat curious as to why she chose to write in ...
5 votes
0 answers
19 views

What is an "intermezzo from the dusky elm's trunk"?

Phone Call by Tahir Hamut (full text on Words Without Borders) contains the following line: An intermezzo from the dusky elm’s trunk fans the spirit lamp into a bonfire I'm somewhat confused by the ...
1 vote
0 answers
13 views

Why did Li Hao call himself "foolish"?

Li Hao's poem I Want to Walk Toward the Altar of the Lord contains the following lines: Lord, I am foolish, I am suffering, and my body, like a spoon, here on this earth, sweetly scoops out my brain. ...
5 votes
3 answers
208 views

What is the meaning of "Georgian Verse"?

I found the following book on Google Books: The Book of Georgian Verse edited by William Braithwaite, published in 1909. What is the meaning of Georgian? Search engine results provided nothing of use. ...
5 votes
1 answer
71 views

What does "the Matthew Arnold" mean in this poem?

A while ago, I came across this poem by Kay Ryan online: The idle are shackled to their oars. The waters of idleness are borderless of course and must always be plied. Relief is foreign on this wide ...
7 votes
1 answer
214 views

Meaning of capitalized nouns in a Lord Byron poem

I am referencing 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 ...
5 votes
1 answer
190 views

How did the text of "First They Came ..." evolve?

I have read and heard people read many different versions of "First They Came ..." and according to the Wikipedia article, it was originally published in English by Milton Mayer. This led me ...
3 votes
1 answer
96 views

Has the Maltese poem "Fuq Għoljiet Dingli" ("On Dingli Cliffs") by Victor Fenech been ever translated into any other language?

I've been reading some of the poems of the collection Ċirasa (Under the Cherry Tree) by John Peter Portelli, available at the author's website with a translation to English. I especially liked the ...
2 votes
1 answer
97 views

Meaning of "huffle of a snail", "goat's new compass", etc. in A. A. Milne's "The Four Friends"

I've been reading When We Were Very Young by A. A. Milne and I wonder how can I interpret the following parts of his poem "The Four Friends". I marked in bold those parts that I don't know ...
3 votes
1 answer
102 views

Does Vivien sleep with Merlin in Tennyson's "Idylls of the King"?

I am re-reading Tennyson's Idylls of the King after many years. His idyll "Merlin and Vivien" is a rather in-depth look at how Vivien learns Merlin's magic through some impressive feats of ...
1 vote
1 answer
28 views

What kind of tower was Ales Dudar referring to in "The Tower"?

The Tower by Ales Dudar contains the following: The tower sleeps? What is it dreaming? It rises, gloomy, like a ghost. A prison here? A belly seeming? Who is there that can guess its past? ... And ...
0 votes
1 answer
41 views

Why does Arkadź Kulašoǔ live on Moscow Street, and where is this?

Arkadź Kulašoǔ has a poem entitled "Moscow Street," which starts with the line "I live on Moscow Street, I have my home there". Where is Moscow Street? Is this actually in Moscow? ...

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