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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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Meaning of "a bride high-mated with the spheres" in Sarojini Naidu's 'To India'

Sarojini Naidu's To India uses a nurturing mother as a metaphor for the country throughout the poem. The first few lines run so: O young through all thy immemorial years! Rise, Mother, rise, ...
CDR's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
329 views

What does the title of "Leili" mean?

The poem "Leili" by Sarojini Naidu goes like this: The serpents are asleep among the poppies, The fireflies light the soundless panther's way To tangled paths where shy gazelles are ...
Mithical's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
226 views

Why is there a kokila in the henna-spray?

In Sarojini Naidu's short poem "In Praise of Henna", both stanzas start with the same two lines: A kokila called from a henna-spray: Lira! liree! Lira! liree! I presume that "kokila&...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
244 views

Why are the champak flowers in particular "foredoomed... to shrivel and shrink and fade"?

Sarojini Naidu's "Champak Blossoms" contains the following lines: Amber petals, ivory petals, Petals of carven jade, Charming with your ambrosial sweetness Forest and field and glade, ...
Mithical's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
481 views

What is the "love-god's string" in Sarojini Naidu's "A Song in Spring"?

Sarojini Naidu's "A Song in Spring" begins like this: Wild bees that rifle the mango blossom, Set free awhile from the love-god's string, Wild birds that sway in the citron branches, Drunk ...
Mithical's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
70 views

What is "The sounding cheer of Time's prophetic horn" in Naidu's "An Anthem of Love"?

The middle stanza of Sarojini Naidu's "An Anthem of Love" goes like this: Two ears are we to catch the nearing echo, The sounding cheer of Time's prophetic horn; Two eyes are we to reap the ...
Mithical's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why does the speaker in the famous poem want the western wind to blow?

There is a famous short poem, of very murky provenance, which exists in a number of versions, one of which reads: Western wind, when wilt thou blow, The small rain down can rain? Christ, if my love ...
Tom Hosker's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
1k views

Significance of the title of "Corn-Grinders" by Sarojini Naidu

Sarojini Naidu's "Corn-Grinders" tells the story of several creatures losing their partners, starting with a mouse killed in a trap, to a deer killed by a hunter, to a bride who's lost her ...
Mithical's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
208 views

What are the "sirisha-bowers" in Sarojini Naidu's 'Indian Love Song'?

This is the first stanza of Sarojini Naidu's wonderfully evocative poem Indian Love Song:                         She Like a serpent to the calling voice of flutes, Glides my heart into thy fingers, ...
CDR's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
140 views

What does "the clustering keovas" mean in Sarojini Naidu's "The Snake Charmer"?

In Sarojini Naidu's "The Snake Chamer", the poem opens like this: Whither dost thou hide from the magic of my flute-call? In what moonlight-tangled meshes of perfume, Where the clustering ...
Mithical's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
189 views

What view of suttee comes across in Naidu's poem?

Sarojini Naidu's poem "Suttee" is reproduced several places on the internet (Wikisource, Allpoetry, Poetry Archive), but I don't know the context in which this work was written and published....
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
70 views

Why a "moonless" vigil in Sarojini Naidu's "Dirge"?

The last stanza of Sarojini Naidu's "Dirge" contains these lines: The yearning pain of unfulfilled delight, The moonless vigils of her lonely night, For the abysmal anguish of her tears, ...
Mithical's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
760 views

What is the "living shroud" in Sarojini Naidu's "Dirge"?

The third stanza of Sarojini Naidu's "Dirge" goes like this: Shatter her shining bracelets, break the string Threading the mystic marriage-beads that cling Loth to desert a sobbing throat ...
Mithical's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
297 views

Are these lines by Thomas Nuce a translation and/or taken from a longer poem?

I was reading an anthology called Parnassian Molehill (1953) the other day, in which I found a rather beautiful poem by The Rev Thomas Nuce (1540? - 1617). This is the poem in question: Swift winged ...
Tom Hosker's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
99 views

What is the "pride of a soul that has conquered fate"?

The second half of Sarojini Naidu's "The Bird of Time" ends like this: O Bird of Time, say where did you learn The changing measures you sing? . . . [...] In the sigh of pity, the sob of ...
Mithical's user avatar
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4 votes
0 answers
90 views

What's the role of "a, a" at the end of every stanza in Jaufré Rudel "No sap chantar qui so non di"?

At page 165 of the book Los trovadores. Historia literaria y textos by Martín de Riquer one finds the text of the cansó No sap chantar qui so non di (262, 3) by the troubadour Jaufré Rudel: No sap ...
Charo's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
204 views

Where is the setting of Millay's poem Renascence?

The first verse of Edna St. Vincent Millay's poem "Renascence" is as follows: All I could see from where I stood Was three long mountains and a wood; I turned and looked another way, And ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
99 views

How was the poem "The Pardah Nashin" received by critics and the general public?

I've been reading the poem The Pardah Nashin from the book The Golden Threshold by Sarojini Naidu: HER life is a revolving dream Of languid and sequestered ease; Her girdles and her fillets gleam ...
Charo's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
575 views

What evidence do we have that, after her death, Christina Rossetti's brother destroyed some of her poems before he published the rest?

It is widely believed that Christina Rossetti had lesbian inclinations, although it is unclear whether she ever acted on them. In several places, I have seen references to the fact that her brother, ...
Peter Shor's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
137 views

What deeds are emblematized by the cypress and myrtle in Byron’s “The Bride of Abydos”?

Byron’s poem The Bride of Abydos (1813) begins: Know ye the land where the cypress and myrtle     Are emblems of deeds that are done in their clime? What deeds are these trees emblems of? What myth ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
110 views

Antecedent of a pronoun in Byron's "The Bride of Abydos"

What is the antecedent of the pronoun they in the context below, from Byron's The Bride of Abydos, Canto I, stanza 5? He is an Arab to my sight, * Or Christian crouching in the fight. – (145) But ...
balteo's user avatar
  • 1,003
2 votes
1 answer
144 views

Meaning of dashes and "no more" in Byron's "The Bride of Abydos"

I came across this verse in Canto I, stanza 5, of Byron's The Bride of Abydos: That blood – he hath not heard – no more – Can someone explain the use of the dashes here and the meaning of no more? ...
balteo's user avatar
  • 1,003
3 votes
2 answers
73 views

Meaning of "work me more annoy" in Byron's "The Bride of Abydos"

I am reading Byron's The Bride of Abydos and I came across this sentence in Canto I, stanza 5: 'Much I misdoubt this wayward boy Will one day work me more annoy – (133) How are we to understand the ...
balteo's user avatar
  • 1,003
2 votes
2 answers
51 views

Meaning of "let the old and weary sleep" in Byron's "The Bride of Abydos"

I am unsure about the meaning of a passage from Lord Byron's The Bride of Abydos (Canto I, stanza 3). How are we to understand the sentence between dashes: let the old and weary sleep below? What ...
balteo's user avatar
  • 1,003
3 votes
1 answer
44 views

Meaning of the word "award" in a stanza of Byron's "The Bride of Abydos"

I am reading a poem by Lord Byron: The Bride of Abydos and I am unsure about the meaning of the word award in Canto I, stanza 3, quoted below. Does it mean a sum of money such as a tip or does it have ...
balteo's user avatar
  • 1,003
3 votes
1 answer
151 views

"I saw the thunder and heard the lightning, and felt the burden of his shame"

Wikipedia's Gil Scott-Heron begins: Gilbert Scott-Heron (April 1, 1949 – May 27, 2011) was an American jazz poet, singer, musician, and author known for his work as a spoken-word performer in the ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 276
4 votes
1 answer
168 views

How should I understand the poem Paul Muldoon's Incantata?

I am reading Paul Muldoon's poems, and I am sometimes left confused and in limbo about the meanings of the many of out-of-the-way place names and terms I do not understand. What should I do in these ...
Frank Booth's user avatar
13 votes
1 answer
3k views

Why Pallas in "The Raven"?

In Poe's famous poem "The Raven", the eponymous bird, after tapping on the narrator's window, steps smartly inside and perches upon a bust of Pallas. Why Pallas? As far as I know, this ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
  • 74.1k
7 votes
1 answer
230 views

"The legend of the oyster and the pearl" by Dario Fo

A poem written by Dario Fo, "The legend of the oyster and the pearl", text here (included in the play Isabella, tre caravelle e un cacciaballe) ends with the lines di morte nel pallore lei ...
exp8j's user avatar
  • 171
2 votes
2 answers
1k views

Who wrote this poem?

This is what grief is. A hole ripped through the very fabric of your being. The hole eventually heals along the jagged edges that remain. It may even shrink in size. But that hole will always be there....
Grace's user avatar
  • 47
4 votes
1 answer
323 views

Pronouns in Thomas Gray's "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard"

I have four questions regarding Thomas Gray's "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard". What is the subject of "molest" in this stanza? Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tow'r The ...
balteo's user avatar
  • 1,003
5 votes
1 answer
96 views

Allusions in a double dactyl by George Starbuck

In June 1969, George Starbuck published the following double-dactyl in The Atlantic: SAID J. Alfred Prufrock to Hugh Selwyn Mauberly, “What ever happened to Senlin? Ought-nine.” “One with the passion ...
geometrian's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
29 views

Is there some kind of blossoming towards the existentialist vision in French pre-Romantic poetry?

I remember to have read somewhere, but, unfortunately, I don't remember where, that in certain pre-Romantic French poet one can find some kind of blossoming towards the existentialist vision. Does ...
Charo's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
497 views

What are the Bengali original texts of the poems which Tagore has translated in Stray birds?

I have been reading Stray birds by Tagore. This link says that some poems in there are translations of the poems in Kanika. Do any records exist which maps the English verses to the original bengali ...
srdg's user avatar
  • 149
4 votes
1 answer
168 views

Meaning of "sheer hulk" in the poem/song "Tom Bowling" by Charles Dibdin = "just a hulk of a ship" or "a floating crane"?

From the poem/song "Tom Bowling" by Charles Dibdin: Here a sheer hulk lies poor Tom Bowling, The darling of our crew; No more he'll hear the tempest howling, For death has broach'd him to: ...
CopperKettle's user avatar
  • 3,059
7 votes
2 answers
909 views

Is this phrase in Thomas Hardy's poem The Stranger's Song addressing the audience to catch their attention?

Following is a poem by Thomas Hardy. There are sentences 'Simple shepherds all' three times. I think these sentences are a kind of addressing towards shepherds(=audience). However, one of my friends ...
Japanese English teacher's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
738 views

What does the title "Auguries of Innocence" (William Blake) mean?

William Blake's "Auguries of Innocence" starts with a quatrain whose relation to the rest of the poem is not immediately apparent to me, describing a powerful kind of vision/imagination ...
user392289's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
170 views

The use of "thou" etc. in Romantic poetry

A lot of Romantic poetry (for e.g. Shelley's "Ode to the West Wind" and Keats' "Ode on a Grecian Urn") uses words like thou, thee and thy even though these had fallen out of use in ...
user392289's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
269 views

Has the Melford Hall manuscript poem "Whoso terms love a fire" been attributed to any poet—Donne, Roe, or other?

The Melford Hall manuscript, discovered in 2018 and referred to in this earlier question, contains 145 poems by John Donne among sundry other poems by divers poets such as Thomas Overbury, Francis ...
verbose's user avatar
  • 29.8k
6 votes
1 answer
187 views

What were the poems other than those by Donne in the Melford Hall manuscript?

In November 2018, the Guardian reported that a 400 year old manuscript volume containing several poems by John Donne had been recently discovered at Melford Hall in Suffolk, England. In addition to ...
verbose's user avatar
  • 29.8k
1 vote
1 answer
64 views

Is Taras Shevchenko's poetry collection really called "Kobzar" in Ukraine too?

Carbide refers to one of Tys's college classmates "holding a copy of Kobzar", which was a collection of Taras Shevchenko poetry. There's also a book called The Complete Kobzar in English. Is ...
EJoshuaS - Stand with Ukraine's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
96 views

What does “it” refer to in this line from “The Mental Hospital Garden”?

What is “it” in the following lines from "The Mental Hospital Garden" by William Carlos Williams? It is a bounty                       from last year’s nest. Williams, William Carlos. "...
user392289's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
101 views

What does "and who is poorer than he who is in love..." from "The Mental Hospital Garden" by William Carlos Williams mean?

What do the following lines from the poem "The Mental Hospital Garden" by William Carlos Williams mean? and who is poorer than he who is in love when birds are nesting in the spring of the ...
user392289's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
159 views

Poet who asserted that poets lack personality and collect objects to give them one

In about the mid-90s I read part of a book of literary criticism by a poet (so focused mainly on poetry and poetic theory) where he said that poets lack a personality and often collect trinkets to ...
user254694's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
66 views

What does the word "Gnomica" mean in this Siarhiej Dziarhaj poem?

The poem Gnomica by Siarhiej Dziarhaj starts as follows: The tear is always bitter, And sweat is salty, And blood is crimson, And grief is murky. What does the word "Gnomica" mean in this ...
EJoshuaS - Stand with Ukraine's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
500 views

What does “be one traveler” mean in “The Road Not Taken”?

In “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost, the first stanza reads as follows: Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 3,439
5 votes
0 answers
76 views

Why are the non-fellow-students not referred to as guns in Clint Smith's "The Gun"?

This is sort of the reverse of my previous question on Clint Smith's poem "The Gun". While it's blatant about referring to all of the kids as "guns", I find it interesting that the ...
bobble's user avatar
  • 9,864
23 votes
5 answers
4k views

Why are all the schoolchildren referred to as guns in Clint Smith's "The Gun"?

Clint Smith's poem "The Gun" describes a school shooting from the perspective of a child. However, the central character, as well as its fellow classmates, are all referred to as "guns&...
bobble's user avatar
  • 9,864
6 votes
1 answer
727 views

What is the relationship between Angelou's poem "Caged bird" and book "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings"?

What is the relationship between the poem "Caged bird" and the book I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings? One seems to be an autobiography and the other a poem, but they have overlapping titles ...
temporary_user_name's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
281 views

"America for Me" - too regular metre?

I'm reading this older book called Poetic Meter and Poetic Form by Paul Fussell. In a chapter called "Metrical Variations", a part of a poem is cited as an example of overly regular metre. ...
user392289's user avatar

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