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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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3 votes
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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
90 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
3 votes
1 answer
142 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
1 vote
1 answer
250 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
12 votes
2 answers
1k 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
255 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
  • 30.1k
3 votes
1 answer
132 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
  • 2,933
5 votes
1 answer
171 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
9 votes
1 answer
544 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
176 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
  • 74.1k
5 votes
1 answer
100 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
  • 1,120
8 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
4 votes
0 answers
129 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
  • 41
0 votes
1 answer
65 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
56 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
2 votes
3 answers
1k 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
264 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
84 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
356 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
  • 3,388
3 votes
1 answer
218 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
187 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
484 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
84 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
172 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
  • 74.1k
2 votes
1 answer
144 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
67 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
126 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
137 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
7 votes
1 answer
151 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
  • 1,120
9 votes
3 answers
766 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
  • 1,120
4 votes
2 answers
320 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
  • 1,120
6 votes
1 answer
302 views

Who is the "lady weeping at the crossroads" in W. H. Auden's poem?

... and why does she need to go to the end of the world to plunge a penknife into her false heart? W. H. Auden's poem Lady Weeping at the Crossroads starts with the stanza “Lady, weeping at the ...
Peter Shor's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
102 views

What did W M Praed mean by 'see if he turns out his toe'?

I had the pleasure of coming across one of Winthrop Mackworth Praed's better-known poems the other day, his 'A Letter of Advice', which purports to be a verse epistle from one young woman to another, ...
Tom Hosker's user avatar
  • 1,120
2 votes
1 answer
210 views

Who are the 'sweet Saterian dames'?

I came across a beautiful (and subtly extremely rude!) poem called 'A Present to a Lady' the other day, penned by that most prolific of poets, Anonymous. I think I understand all the references - ...
Tom Hosker's user avatar
  • 1,120
4 votes
1 answer
371 views

Which poet explained 'why sweet Hesper glows'?

I came across a rather good poem by Michael Field (actually a pseudonym for an incestuous aunt-and-niece literary double act) the other day, which begins 'Adown the Lesbian vales'. It's just a bit too ...
Tom Hosker's user avatar
  • 1,120
3 votes
2 answers
162 views

Is Plarr's 'Epitaphium Citharistriae' a translation?

Victor Plarr is most famous for a short poem called 'Epitaphium Citharistriae', which reads as follows: Stand not uttering sedately Trite oblivious praise above her! Rather say you saw her lately ...
Tom Hosker's user avatar
  • 1,120
7 votes
1 answer
112 views

Was there a unified "First World War poetry" movement (during the war itself)?

There is a massive body of literature which can collectively be called "First World War poetry", written by a huge number of poets from many different countries. Many of these poems were ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
  • 74.1k
15 votes
1 answer
5k views

What happened on April 22, 1838?

The poem Kateryna by the Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko (also known as Kobzar) is dedicated to Vasilii Andreyevich Zhukovsky "in memory of April 22, 1838." What is this heading referring to?...
EJoshuaS - Stand with Ukraine's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
305 views

'Wild-bee hours' and 'wild-parrot days' in Sarojini Naidu's "A Rajput Love Song"

Sarojini Naidu's poem A Rajput Love Song has the stanza: Haste, O wild-bee hours, to the gardens of the sunset! Fly, wild-parrot day, to the orchards of the west! Come, O tender night, with your ...
CDR's user avatar
  • 3,388
7 votes
1 answer
513 views

What are 'The cobweb clues of Rosamond'?

I came across a rather good poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson today. It's called simply 'April'. It's just a bit too long to post in full here, but here's a link. I was a bit confused by these lines: The ...
Tom Hosker's user avatar
  • 1,120
4 votes
1 answer
768 views

Did George Bernard Shaw write the poem "Living Grave"?

You can read it here The poem gets shared a lot in vegan circles but I can't find where it was originally published.
King-Ink's user avatar
  • 173
4 votes
2 answers
622 views

What is the "slow wheel" in Frost's "Into My Own"?

Into My Own, by Robert Frost (first two stanzas): One of my wishes is that those dark trees, So old and firm they scarcely show the breeze, Were not, as 'twere, the merest mask of gloom, But ...
RobC's user avatar
  • 143
2 votes
1 answer
246 views

Who are the '12 children of Aiolos Hippotadês', as introduced in Book 10, The Grace of the Witch, of Homer's Odyssey?

Below is an excerpt of Book 10, The Grace of the Witch, of Homer's Odyssey We made our landfall on Aiolia Island, domain of the Aiolos Hippotadês, the wind king dear to the gods who never die- an ...
Abhiraj Mallangi's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
164 views

How does the figure of “dropping oil to catch the air-borne motes” work in George Eliot’s “The Spanish Gypsy”?

The Spanish Gypsy (1868) by George Eliot is a closet drama in blank verse, set in Spain in the late 15th century, during the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella. Duke Silva of Bedmár is engaged to Fedalma,...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
153 views

In George Meredith's "Ode to the Comic Spirit", what does "Thou guardian issue of the harvest brain !" mean?

The Internet Archive (see my tips for using this website at the end of this question) has in it's entirety J. B. Priestley's biography of George Meredith. On page 115 Priestley says that the first ...
Matthew Christopher Bartsh's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
83 views

"Chieftain" and Toussaint's ethnicity in Wordsworth's "To Toussaint L'Ouverture"

Wordsworth's "To Toussaint L'Ouverture" apostrophises the eponymous freedom fighter as "O miserable Chieftain!" (line 5). In "Black Heroes/White Writers: Toussaint L'Ouverture ...
verbose's user avatar
  • 30.1k
2 votes
1 answer
315 views

The text of Wordsworth's "To Toussaint L'Ouverture"

Several different versions of Wordsworth's sonnet "To Toussaint L'Ouverture" can be found online. Here is one version, from Haram Lee's blog on the Brandeis University website: Toussaint, ...
verbose's user avatar
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