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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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4
votes
1answer
734 views

Is there any significance to Blake's choice of the name Lyca?

The twinned poems "The Little Girl Lost" and "The Little Girl Found" from William Blake's Songs of Experience (available to read online) are about a little girl called Lyca who gets lost from her ...
26
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1answer
3k views

What is the pun in Kipling's poem “The Three-Decker”?

In the poem The Three-Decker, by Rudyard Kipling, there is one line where the meter is slightly different from all the other lines. I Googled that line, not expecting to find anything, and Google ...
5
votes
1answer
4k views

What is the meaning of Blake's poem “The Sick Rose”?

William Blake's very short poem "The Sick Rose", from his Songs of Innocence and of Experience, runs as follows: O rose, thou art sick! The invisible worm, That flies in the night, In ...
2
votes
1answer
48 views

What does “contention-tost” mean?

In Matthew Arnold's 'Thyrsis: A Monody, to Commemorate the Author's Friend, Arthur Hugh Clough' we read: What though the music of thy rustic flute Kept not for long its happy, country tone; ...
3
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1answer
735 views

What does it mean to ask 'what is the subject of this poem'?

I read a poem called "Vigil strange I kept on the field one night" by Walt Whitman (reproduced below). One question I was asked about this poem is 'what is the subject of this poem?' For my ...
6
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2answers
3k views

What are the “mind-forged manacles”?

From "London", a short poem in William Blake's Songs of Experience collection (free to read online): In every cry of every man, In every infant’s cry of fear, In every voice, in every ban, ...
5
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1answer
143 views

Bright or brightly?

A little known fact is that William Blake was a talented musician who would sing his poems. Unfortunately no sheet music of his poems exist, meaning the actual melodies he specifically used are ...
4
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2answers
2k views

What does “chartered” mean in Blake's poem “London”?

William Blake's short poem "London", from his Songs of Experience collection (which you can read online), starts as follows: I wander through each chartered street, Near where the chartered ...
4
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1answer
360 views

What is original Persian poem of Rumi for the following English version?

Does anyone know the Persian text for the below poem of Rumi ? The garden of the world has no limits, except in your mind. https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/472665-the-garden-of-the-world-has-no-...
5
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0answers
859 views

Which original Persian poem of Rumi does this refer to?

Does anyone know which is the Persian text for the below poem by Rumi ? I choose to love you in silence… For in silence I find no rejection, I choose to love you in loneliness… For in ...
4
votes
1answer
68 views

Meaning of “all game and bottom” in Byron's “Don Juan”

From Byron's Don Juan: That drinks and still is dry. At last they perish'd -- His second son was levell'd by a shot; His third was sabred; and the fourth, most cherish'd Of all the ...
3
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1answer
76 views

Meaning of “With Ismail's storm to soften it the more” in Byron's “Don Juan”

Canto 8, stanza 68, from Byron's Don Juan: So much for Nature: -- by way of variety, Now back to thy great joys, Civilisation! And the sweet consequence of large society, War, pestilence, ...
2
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1answer
527 views

Who was the poet who said something like “Now only God knows (what I meant to say in that poem)”

I remember having an amazing teacher of literature who used to tell us about a symbolist poet (most probably British) who once said something like: "When I wrote this poem, only God and I knew what it ...
9
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0answers
6k views

What's the origin of the rhyme “My friend Billy had a ten foot willy”?

A simple rhyming song which I heard growing up and which still gets stuck in my head every so often: My friend Billy had a ten foot willy. He stuck it through the neighbour's door. OR He showed ...
4
votes
1answer
31 views

Have Kenneth Muir's poems ever been published as a collection?

Kenneth Muir (1907–1996) was an eminent and very productive Shakespeare scholar. Wikipedia has a short article about him that leaves out many lesser-known facts: he directed a number of plays, ...
6
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1answer
232 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
278 views

Why is this poem by Paul Auster entitled “Spokes”?

The poem "Spokes" by Paul Auster (of which you can read the first few verses here, or the whole poem here if you have Jstor access) seems to be about things in nature - birds, plants, eggs. The only ...
11
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1answer
255 views

What does “kettle at the heel” mean in this Yeats poem, “The Tower”?

What shall I do with this absurdity — O heart, O troubled heart — this caricature, Decrepit age that has been tied to me As to a dog's tail? Never had I more Excited, passionate, ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Looking for an English-language poet whose name rhymes with Stowe and who lived in the time of Stevenson or earlier

My friend is composing a poem, and for a rhyme's sake she needs the name of an English-language poet whose name rhymes with Stowe and who lived in the times of R.L. Stevenson or earlier. I came up ...
7
votes
1answer
74 views

In which year was Frühlingsbotschaft by Heinrich Heine published?

I have been searching the entire internet (or mostly) and can't find when Frühlingsbotschaft by Heinrich Heine was first published. I double-checked and it is not part of his collections Gedichte, ...
5
votes
1answer
118 views

In which year was Frühling by Hermann Hesse published?

I have been searching the entire internet (or mostly) and can't find when Frühling by Hermann Hesse was first published. I was able to find that in 1948, Richard Strauss wrote the album Four Last ...
-3
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1answer
182 views

What is the poetic technique used in “I know why the caged bird sings”?

In this poem, when comparing the caged bird to suppressed black people in America, is the poet using metaphor or symbol?
3
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1answer
201 views

Is poetry the art of giving different names to the same thing?

There was a poet who said this: Poetry is the art of giving different names to the same thing. They are copied all over the internet. But is this true? In the comments of that post @Randal'Thor ...
4
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0answers
176 views

Who said “Poetry is the art of giving different names to the same thing”?

Over on Skeptics, Laurel found some partial information in a quote from Mathematics as a culture clue and other essays: I once quoted that mot to a poet, and got the quick response: "Poetry is ...
9
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3answers
352 views

What makes a poem a Grook?

I recently learned, while listening to the flow of wisdom, music, and monologue that flows from lauir, that there's a type of poem called a 'Grook'. Quoting from the Wikipedia page: The grooks are ...
8
votes
2answers
461 views

Why isn't Coleridge's line about trochees missing an unstressed syllable?

Samuel Coleridge wrote this really fun poem, Metrical Feet: Lesson for a Boy, that names and gives examples of the various types of metric feet. I've included a copy and scanned the poem to make the ...
4
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0answers
156 views

What form of poem is “A Child of Mine” by Edgar Guest?

What form of poem (ie. sonnet, limerick, haiku, etc.) is Edgar Guest's "A Child of Mine?"
6
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1answer
62 views

What does the line “The echoes of your rocks my carols wild” mean?

From the poem "An Evening Walk" by William Wordsworth (emphasis added): FAR from my dearest Friend, 'tis mine to rove Through bare grey dell, high wood, and pastoral cove; Where Derwent rests, ...
4
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1answer
66 views

First book of Edward de Vere's poems?

Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford (1550–1604) was a courtier who wrote a number of love poems. Several of his poems appeared in print in a number of anthologies and miscellanies (according to ...
5
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0answers
162 views

Is my controlling idea for my poem analysis accurate?

This is my current controlling idea of my essay on the poem "On Pleasure": "The speaker challenges the idea of pleasure in the minds of the audience, and argues that pleasure is an unavoidable ...
7
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0answers
49 views

'Endymion' - Keats

And such too is the grandeur of the dooms We have imagined for the mighty dead; All lovely tales that we have heard or read: An endless fountain of immortal drink, Pouring unto us from the ...
4
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1answer
599 views

In the poem “Alone” by Tomas Transtromer, what is the significance of the two parts and how do they relate to each other?

The poem appears to consist of two parts that are very different from each other. Here is the poem:     I One evening in February I came near to dying here. The car skidded sideways on ...
3
votes
1answer
365 views

Usage of the word “spheres” in “A Noiseless Patient Spider”

I do have an idea of what Whitman is telling in the last stanza and the whole poem but what confuses me is the usage of the word "spheres" in the second stanza of "A Noiseless Patient Spider". A ...
2
votes
1answer
97 views

Poem that ends with “…whispers, snow!”

I recall a poem that talks about nature and the changing seasons (maybe Summer to Autumn, or Autumn to Winter) that ends with "...whispers, snow!" I've Googled the phrase with and without punctuation ...
5
votes
1answer
178 views

What does it mean when spaces blow in Crow's ear cluelessly?

In "Crow Hears Fate Knock On The Door", The lines ending the second part of the song are: He walked, he walked Letting the translucent starry spaces Blow in his ear cluelessly I'm ...
3
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0answers
128 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 Ode to ...
3
votes
1answer
756 views

What's the significance of the stanza about V for victory in Tony Harrison's V?

I'm working through the long poem "V" by Tony Harrison (available here). The narrator is describing the graffiti scrawled by football supporters, with "V" denoting "versus", as in "Leeds V [another ...
5
votes
1answer
155 views

Which poem contains a phrase like "it was all done in Berlin in the thirties”

My father is adamant that he has heard a poem which contains a phrase like “it was all done in Berlin in the thirties”. Possibly read by Kenneth Williams. But Google search has let us down. Can anyone ...
10
votes
1answer
5k views

What is the relationship between Heart of Darkness and The Hollow Men?

T.S. Eliot's poem The Hollow Men, unusually, opens with a quote from a Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness: Mistah Kurtz— he dead. In most printings of the poem that I've seen, this single quote is ...
6
votes
0answers
61 views

What does “And others, whose breasts love the feel of scapulars,” mean in Baudelaire's “Damned Women”?

Et d'autres, dont la gorge aime les scapulaires, Qui, recélant un fouet sous leurs longs vêtements, Mêlent, dans le bois sombre et les nuits solitaires, L'écume du plaisir aux larmes ...
8
votes
1answer
413 views

When was Charlotte Mew's “The Trees Are Down” published?

The poem is available at the Poetry Foundation. A Slideshare presentation makes the unsourced claim that the trees mentioned were cut down in the "early 1920s". However, the level of grief expressed ...
9
votes
1answer
583 views

How can poetry be defined?

I've been trying to figure this out recently, but I can't. My logic it this: 1) A lot of people think that poetry must rhyme. But the list of poets who broke with that tradition when it suited them ...
6
votes
1answer
121 views

A figure of speech combining two phrases

I have read somewhere that it is typical of poems such as Nibelungenlied to use a figure of speech which in fact merges two phrases into one by the mean of a common word. An example could be the ...
1
vote
1answer
693 views

Why does “Ode to Joy”/Beethoven's Symphony #9 start with a reference to Greek mythology and only mention God towards the end?

The text of Beethoven's 9th Symphony was largely "borrowed" from the poem "Ode to Joy" by Friedrich Schiller. The text of the first verse of the poem (second verse of Beethoven's 9th symphony) is as ...
3
votes
1answer
796 views

Why do Simpson and Bostley speak for each other in “Lost Voices”?

I'm trying to learn more about spoken word poetry, and I stumbled upon Darius Simpson and Scout Bostley's "Lost Voices" (you can watch the performance online). One of the themes of the piece is the ...
2
votes
1answer
222 views

What Battle inspired Wilfred Owen's “Spring Offensive” poem?

Seems it was written about a military initiative in spring 1917 but was there a name for the battle itself? I can't seem to find a reference anywhere...
9
votes
1answer
173 views

Accuracy of a translation: how to forge an opinion?

This question is directly inspired from this one on French Language stack exchange. To summarize it, the OP is wondering about the good translation for "chimiste" in Baudelaire's opening poem Au ...
11
votes
1answer
125 views

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 ...
7
votes
2answers
590 views

In the poem “North” by Seamus Heaney, what is meant by the Aurora Borealis line and the word “nubbed”?

I'm taking notes and learning about the poem "North" by Seamus Heaney, and would like help with the literary analysis of some lines. What is meant by: Expect aurora Borealis in the long foray, but ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Why rename Kipling's poem “The Beginnings” to “The Wrath of the Awakened Saxon”?

Several white nationalist and neo-Nazi websites have published a modified version of Kipling's poem "The Beginnings." In the new version of the poem, the title was renamed to "THE WRATH OF THE ...