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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95 views

What does Walt Whitman mean by “going in for my chances”?

From "Song of Myself" by Walt Whitman: What is commonest, cheapest, nearest, easiest, is Me, Me going in for my chances, spending for vast returns, Adorning myself to bestow myself on the first ...
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136 views

Is Hemingway's poem entitled MITRAILLIATRICE or MITRAIGLIATRICE?

I read -- a few months ago -- Hemingway's juvenilia poetry & short-story collection stoically entitled Three Stories & Ten Poems. It was published in the early 1920s -- I think 1923, but I've ...
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1answer
36 views

Converting poetry to prose

The poem describes a situation when three witches (Old Goody Jones, Goody Price, and Madge Gray) and a man (Robin) stole into the vicarage's cellar and indulged in revelry. These thieves laughed so ...
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1answer
240 views

“inlooped flags” in Whitman's poem

What is the meaning of "inlooped flags" in a poem of Whitman (When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd)? He is describing the Lincoln funeral: Coffin that passes through lanes and streets, ...
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51 views

How can enjambment be used to enhance rhythm in a poem?

I was wondering how enjambment can be used to improve the rhythm in poetry. I have seen some innovative uses of it by e.e. cummings, such as by breaking a word and writing the ending on the next line....
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2answers
298 views

The meaning of the poem “Crucified” by Kahlil Gibran

I am a high school student, and my assignment was to find intertextuality of the crucifixion of Christ and write a reflection about it. I was surfing on the web, and found a poem called "Crucified" ...
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1answer
1k views

In “Howl”, what does “Blake-light tragedy” mean?

In the passage from Ginsberg's Howl: who passed through universities with radiant cool eyes hallucinating Arkansas and Blake-light tragedy among the scholars of war How does the hyphen in Blake-...
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1answer
224 views

What does A. E. C. denote in the poem about Edward Anti-Teller?

"Perils of Modern Living" is a poem written by the physicist Harold P. Furth inspired by a speech on antimatter by Edward Teller. (Hat-tip to our comrades at Worldbuilding SE for making me aware of ...
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1answer
2k views

What does T. S. Eliot mean in the poem The Hollow Men when he ended it with “This is the way the world ends/Not with a bang but a whimper”?

I once read a poem "The Hollow Men" by T. S. Eliot. The poet ended the verse like this: This is the way the world ends This is the way the world ends This is the way the world ends Not with a ...
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4answers
2k 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,...
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1answer
218 views

What is the meter of the poem “Snow” by Louis MacNeice?

I'm struggling to find the meter in which the poem "Snow" is written. I know that Shakespeare's poetry was written in iambic pentameter. So far, I've read that the poem "Snow" has a rough meter, and ...
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56 views

Who is the 'Immortal Hale' in William Cowper's The Task?

I was reading Book III of William Cowper's The Task today. Lines 252-260: Such was thy wisdom, Newton, childlike sage, Sagacious reader of the works of God, And in his word sagacious. ...
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1answer
222 views

Thomas Hardy’s “The Man He Killed”

Thomas Hardy’s ‘The Man He Killed’ (1902) was published in Time’s Laughingstocks (1909):     “Had he and I but met     By some old ancient inn, We should have sat us down to wet     Right ...
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1answer
111 views

Are Lorca's “Gypsy Ballads” adapted from, or inspired by, traditional Romani songs?

Federico Garcia Lorca's Romancero Gitano, usually translated as Gypsy Ballads, is a collection of poems, about which Wikipedia says: All of the poems deal with the Romani people (gypsies) and their ...
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1answer
206 views

What does Neruda mean when he says ‘Maybe January light will consume My heart with its cruel Ray.’?

I’ve been a fan of Neruda for a while now. In his Sonnet LXVI: I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You, he says: Maybe January light will consume My heart with its cruel Ray, stealing my ...
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1answer
733 views

Repetition of “smile” in Kamala Surayya's 'My Mother at Sixty-six'

In the poem 'My Mother at Sixty-six' by Kamala Surayya, the poet ends the "prose" saying all I did was smile and smile and smile.... There are various critical interpretations as to what does the ...
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1answer
125 views

Is Wilfrid Scawen Blunt's poem 'The Camel Rider' really a translation?

I came across an interesting poem by Wilfrid Scawen Blunt in a forgotten old tome, The Faber Book of Twentieth Century Verse. Blunt's own note states it is 'From the Arabic'. Is this just a device, or ...
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1answer
730 views

Difference between “Ode to” and “Ode on”?

We sometimes see Ode to and sometimes Ode on. Do these both mean a poem written about something? I am a new literature student.
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201 views

Emily Jane Pfeiffer's “Evolution”

Emily Jane Pfeiffer’s poem ‘Evolution’ was first published in Poems (1876): Hunger that strivest in the restless arms     Of the sea-flower, that drivest rooted things     To break their ...
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Is there specific mythological significance to the Dingli Cliffs?

The poem "Cliffs" ("Irdumijiet") is part of a collection available online by the Maltese-Canadian writer, poet, and academic professor John P. Portelli. Written in 1973, and found on pages 40-41 (page ...
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319 views

John Betjeman’s “Suicide on Junction Road Station after Abstention from Evening Communion in North London”

John Betjeman’s poem ‘Suicide on Junction Road Station after Abstention from Evening Communion in North London’ was first published in the collection Continual Dew (1937). It’s short enough to quote ...
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1answer
141 views

Can anyone identify this parody of 'Consider the ant'?

Hoping you can help with this half-remembered poem that from what I can recall was written by someone who worked for the New Statesman or the Spectator in the 1970s. The opening part is: 'They say ...
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1answer
95 views

How can “Death be not proud” be related to the areas of exploration?

Here is the summary of the poem "Death Be Not Proud" by Jon Donne (Source - https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44107/holy-sonnets-death-be-not-proud)- “Death Be Not Proud” presents an argument ...
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1answer
125 views

Why is Lorca so angry at 'the urban faggots?'

In Lorca's Ode to Walt Whitman, his homage to the great American poet, he has the following few verses: That's why I don't raise my voice, old Walt Whitman ... ... against the men with that green ...
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580 views

Analysis of “Liberty Tree” by Thomas Paine

I am having some trouble comprehending a portion of "Liberty Tree" by Thomas Paine, and was unable to find a decent analysis of it. It is my understanding that this poem is about the Liberty Tree that ...
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Poem about moving beds

I remember a poem about a little girl who is with her mum and is trying to change the sleeping arrangements or something so that she can stay in her dad's bed. I remember something about the father ...
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2answers
291 views

Help understanding this quote/hymn by Isaac Watts

Recently heard this, and was trying to figure out what it means. It's by Isaac Watts and, I believe, from his book https://www.amazon.com/Arrangement-Psalms-Hymns-Spiritual-Songs/dp/024343913X Our ...
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1answer
303 views

What is the meaning of Samuel Butler's eulogy beginning “I fall asleep”?

I found this poem as a part of some frequently quoted poems in the eulogy. I am not sure what exactly it tries to convey and how people use it, because it sounds like the person that delivers the ...
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1answer
116 views

Meaning of “every dewdrop paints a bow” from In Memoriam, Section CXXII by Alfred lord Tennyson

And every dewdrop paints a bow A line by Alfred Lord Tennyson, from section CXXII of his poem In Memoriam. What is the poet actually trying to convey with this line? The verse in context: And all ...
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1answer
317 views

Why the capitalization of “Heavens” in Rudyard Kipling's “The Secret of the Machines”?

In Rudyard Kipling's poem The Secret of the Machines the last stanza goes as follows: Though our smoke may hide the Heavens from your eyes, It will vanish and the stars will shine again, ...
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1answer
92 views

What is the text Ivan refers to in the preface to the Grand Inquisitor

Before declaming the Grand Inquisitor in the Brothers Karamazov, Ivan refers to a poem with the virgin Marie visiting Hell and begging God for mercy for its inhabitants. Is this a real poem? If so, ...
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1answer
78 views

Is there some cultural significance in the “chhanna” or metal bowl?

The Punjabi poem "Chhanna, the Metal Bowl" is about a "flat-bottom metal bowl" which is apparently some kind of family heirloom, "filled with memories". What's so special about a metal bowl? Is it ...
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70 views

Source of “Immortalised in Prose, A God Among the Pages”

I'm pretty sure this comes from an English poem, referring a woman's beauty. The author suggests that roses fade and wither, and that by describing her in written word keeps her alive forever. That ...
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1answer
615 views

Why “all should cry, Beware! Beware!” in Coleridge's “Kubla Khan”?

Samuel Taylor Coleridge's incomplete poem "Kubla Khan" ends with a vision of a poet in an ecstatic state with "flashing eyes" and "floating hair". He is beyond the realm of mere mortals for he has ...
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1answer
69 views

Who is Pound's Hugh Selwyn Mauberley?

Who is Pound's Hugh Selwyn Mauberley? I get that he's a failure, but not if the modernist Pound thought that Mauberley was "wrong from the start". Should he, Mauberley or people like him, not have ...
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1answer
79 views

Who is “Luna” in Byron's “To Mary, On Receiving Her Picture”?

Here are the fourth and fifth stanzas of "To Mary, On Receiving Her Picture" by Lord Byron: Here, I behold its beauteous hue;     But where's the beam so sweetly straying, Which gave a lustre ...
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3answers
189 views

Looking for poem in which sleep is as great an equalizer as death

There was a poem on the 2015 AP English Literature and Composition exam multiple choice section that I only barely remember. The topic was along the lines of "sleep is as great an equalizer as death" ...
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1answer
207 views

What is the metre of this poem by Emily Bronte?

I really like the following poem by E. Bronte: High waving heather 'neath stormy blasts bending, Midnight and moonlight and bright shining stars, Darkness and glory rejoicingly blending, ...
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1answer
98 views

What do you call a break in rhyming in the middle of a book / poem for dramatic effect

I'm creating a children's book for a school project. I've been tasked to identify some literary devices used throughout the book. There is a section of the book which I want to highlight because it ...
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1answer
153 views

Poem with A's and T's representing Ford model A's and T's in traffic

I'm looking for an English poem, in fact I think it was at least two poems, that consisted of capital A's, representing the Ford Model A, moving as if in traffic, and another that had both A's and T's....
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1answer
74 views

Thomas McElwain as Ali Haydar?

On this website of translated Turkish poetry, a traditional hymn of sacrifice from a Turkish Alevi village is included in its English translation, with a note at the top signed "Ali Haydar", although ...
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2answers
741 views

What did Alexander Pope mean by “Expletives their feeble Aid do join”?

Alexander Pope's 'An Essay on Criticism', lines 337–349: But most by Numbers judge a Poet's Song, And smooth or rough, with them, is right or wrong; In the bright Muse tho' thousand Charms ...
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1answer
724 views

What is the difference between emotions and feelings in Eliot's essay Tradition and the Individual Talent?

In his most famous essay, "Traditional and the Individual Talent", T. S. Eliot appears to make a distinction between emotions and feelings. Read especially the following passage (emphasis mine): ...
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4answers
7k 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 ...
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1answer
299 views

The meaning of the poem “Be Different to Trees”

I'm studying the poem "Be Different to Trees" (1924) by Mary Carolyn Davies: The talking oak To the ancients spoke. But any tree Will talk to me. What truths I know I garnered so. ...
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Is there a name for poems where each verse is a time period?

I'm having a hard time finding examples of this, but I found one by a man named Darryl Davis, called Almanac of a man, that goes like this: When I was five, I was supreme ruler of a boundless ...
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2answers
213 views

What does it mean to peer from a dewball?

In Ted Hughes' "Crow and the Birds", the lines before the ending read: While the bullfinch plumped in the apple bud And the goldfinch bulbed in the sun And the wryneck crooked in the moon ...
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1answer
341 views

What does Browning's cloistered soliloquist mean by ‘Hy, Zy, Hine’?

Here’s the last stanza of Robert Browning’s ‘Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister’, first published in Dramatic Lyrics (1842): Or, there’s Satan!—one might venture     Pledge one’s soul to him, yet ...
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1answer
528 views

E E Cummings: [may i feel said he] What may parentheses signify?

In the poem [may i feel said he] by e.e. cummings, it is suggested to be a dialogue between a male and a female. My interpretation (an obvious one) is the dialogue spans for a period of time, and ...
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1answer
897 views

Confused about the meter and rhythm of Ulysses by Tennyson

Ulysses is written in iambic pentameter. There are a few spondees and trochees thrown in for good measure, but I'm confused in some places, like here: I cannot rest from travel: I will drink Life ...

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