Skip to main content

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].

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
2 votes
2 answers
190 views

Was Whitman the first poet to write in sentence fragments?

One aspects of some modern poets is that they sometimes write sentences without main verbs or no main verb in the main clause. I'm not talking about interjections or sentences where an implied 'be' ...
bobsmith76's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
95 views

Who is the "Lady of Light" in "Speak Now for Peace" by Vachel Lindsay?

In the poem "Speak Now for Peace" by Vachel Lindsay, we hear an appeal to the "Lady of Light". Is this simply a reference to Jane Addams, a peace activist in the early 20th ...
nuggethead's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
157 views

Nativity poem from the Innkeeper's perspective where he laments over not having known whom he pushed off

In my latter High School days, as part of an oral communications course, I was required to memorize and deliver a poem before the class. I found one in the school library and met the requirement with ...
EFH's user avatar
  • 143
2 votes
1 answer
264 views

Meaning of "only a bird could have got in" in "The Castle"

From "The Castle" by Edwin Muir: Our gates were strong, our walls were thick, So smooth and high, no man could win A foothold there, no clever trick Could take us, have us dead or quick. ...
Baskaran Soundararajan's user avatar
6 votes
0 answers
91 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 ...
Matt Thrower's user avatar
  • 23k
6 votes
2 answers
155 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 ...
Doubt's user avatar
  • 237
6 votes
2 answers
394 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&...
user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
651 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 ...
scrivener's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
285 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 ...
ajfbiw.s's user avatar
  • 181
2 votes
0 answers
47 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 ...
EJoshuaS - Stand with Ukraine's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
61 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 ...
scrivener's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
105 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?
user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
399 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 ...
Matt Thrower's user avatar
  • 23k
8 votes
1 answer
681 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 ...
Pete's user avatar
  • 2,933
18 votes
1 answer
3k 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 ...
balteo's user avatar
  • 1,003
1 vote
0 answers
16 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 ...
EJoshuaS - Stand with Ukraine's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
13 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 ...
EJoshuaS - Stand with Ukraine's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
406 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?
Pumpkin_Star's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
53 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'...
EJoshuaS - Stand with Ukraine's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
668 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 ...
user392289's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
331 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 ...
Baskaran Soundararajan's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
56 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 ...
EJoshuaS - Stand with Ukraine's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
52 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 ...
EJoshuaS - Stand with Ukraine's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
  • 59.7k
4 votes
0 answers
40 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 ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
  • 74.1k
2 votes
1 answer
181 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 ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
  • 74.1k
3 votes
2 answers
192 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 ...
AncientSwordRage's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
125 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 ...
EJoshuaS - Stand with Ukraine's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
93 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 ...
EJoshuaS - Stand with Ukraine's user avatar
5 votes
0 answers
24 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 ...
EJoshuaS - Stand with Ukraine's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
24 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. ...
EJoshuaS - Stand with Ukraine's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
122 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 ...
user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
JConstantine's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
447 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 ...
JConstantine's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
221 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 ...
Robert Columbia's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
49 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? ...
EJoshuaS - Stand with Ukraine's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
30 views

Why did Valancin Taulaj refer to himself as a jailed Communist in this poem?

In his poem Last Words, Valancin Taulaj wrote: I am a Communist! there are many like me In this our land that from the dawn of time has growned, Never shall magnates crush us, though they strike us, ...
EJoshuaS - Stand with Ukraine's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
287 views

What does “Hoti’s business” refer to, in Browning’s ‘A Grammarian’s Funeral’?

Robert Browning’s ‘A Grammarian’s Funeral’, first published in Men and Women (1855), describes some of the grammarian’s achievements: He settled Hoti’s business—let it be!—       Properly based Oun— ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
  • 59.7k
3 votes
1 answer
228 views

Meaning of the noun 'sweet' in Keats' "Endymion"

I am unsure about the meaning of sweet when used as a noun in John Keats' Endymion. Here are some examples uses of the word: Verse 224: Thus ending, on the shrine he heap’d a spire Of teeming sweets, ...
balteo's user avatar
  • 1,003
7 votes
2 answers
785 views

Explain the grammar of "That not one fleecy lamb ..." in Keats' "Endymion"

I have a question regarding the meaning of a stanza from Keats' Endymion: Among the shepherds, ’twas believed ever, That not one fleecy lamb which thus did sever From the white flock, but pass’d ...
balteo's user avatar
  • 1,003
8 votes
1 answer
219 views

Which Kipling poem is this an allusion to?

My great-grandfather wrote lots of poems, and among them a small verse called "Apologies to Rudyard Kipling". It seems that the verse is a travesty on, or reference to, a Kipling poem, but I ...
Wilhelm's user avatar
  • 83
2 votes
1 answer
249 views

Who was indignant at Dante’s behaviour to the sinners in the “Inferno”?

In several places in the Inferno, the narrator, representing the poet Dante, behaves badly to the sinners suffering in hell. In Canto VIII, Dante is being ferried across the marshy Styx, in which the ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
  • 59.7k
1 vote
1 answer
41 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 ...
EJoshuaS - Stand with Ukraine's user avatar
14 votes
1 answer
1k views

How does the old norse kenning 'nausta blakks hlé-mána gífrs drífu gim-slöngvir' break down into 'warrior'

The 11th century icelandic skald Þórðr Sjáreksson wrote this kenning, quoted from wikipedia: nausta blakks hlé-mána gífrs drífu gim-slöngvir "fire-brandisher of blizzard of ogress of protection-...
AncientSwordRage's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
74 views

Why does the fact that it was expected to be a "good year" mean that the Hermit would no longer need to chew nettle leaves?

The poem Since by Tsering Wangmo Dhompa begins as follows: Spring was late. We watched her toss her seeds like a weary pilgrim. The jacaranda flowered a hazy purple and the hermit said it would be a ...
EJoshuaS - Stand with Ukraine's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
70 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 ...
EJoshuaS - Stand with Ukraine's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
114 views

Thomas Moore’s “Copy of an Intercepted Despatch”

Thomas Moore’s poem ‘Copy of an Intercepted Despatch’ was first published in The Times (July 1826) and collected in Odes Upon Cash, Corn, Catholics and Other Matters (1828), from which I quote the ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
  • 59.7k
4 votes
2 answers
207 views

Emily Jane Pfeiffer’s “Klytemnestra”

‘Klytemnestra’ is the title of a pair of sonnets by Emily Jane Pfeiffer, first published in The Contemporary Review (June 1878), page 544. In this question I’m asking about the first sonnet, quoted in ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
  • 59.7k
6 votes
1 answer
270 views

In Longfellow's "Evangeline", during what part of the year is Evangeline exiled?

In Longfellow's Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie, during what part of the year/holiday season is Evangeline exiled from her home? Some details seem to imply Halloween and others Christmas. In the poem ...
Robert Columbia's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
246 views

How do we divide syllables when scanning a poem?

In this line from Donne's A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning, It leans and hearkens after it I would scan it this way: It leans and hear-kens af-ter it However, my dictionary says that hearken is ...
Ahmad Nourallah's user avatar

1
3 4
5
6 7
18