We’re rewarding the question askers & reputations are being recalculated! Read more.

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].

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
5
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
683 views

What does “atomies” mean here?

In Walt Whitman's The Voice of the Rain from his book Leaves of Grass, he writes: I descend to lave the droughts, atomies, dust-layers of the globe... What does "atomies" mean here? I could ...
2
votes
1answer
287 views

Meaning of Rumi's quote “Lo, for I to myself am unknown, now in God's name what must I do?”

I really like this quote but didn't get its correct meaning. My deduction is - One is asking God that what should he do when he didn't know himself at first. What is the meaning of Rumi's quote "Lo, ...
6
votes
2answers
981 views

Why is the moon “angry” in e e cummings' “the Cambridge ladies who live in furnished souls”?

The e e cummings poem "the Cambridge ladies who live in furnished souls" mocks the titular ladies for their small-minded domesticity. The last four lines read: .... the Cambridge ladies do not care,...
6
votes
1answer
301 views

Do rap lyrics require metrical feet in English with long and short syllables?

I finally got a round to checking out Straight Outta Compton and it got me thinking seriously about metric feet in English poetry, and English poetry in general. It's long been my suspicion that one ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

How many of the Songs of Innocence and of Experience come in pairs?

Some years ago I studied many of Blake's Songs of Innocence and of Experience. Many of them are very clearly paired up, an Innocence song and an Experience song deliberately written to compare and ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

What exactly is the “No Ordinary Sun”?

The poem "No Ordinary Sun" by the Maori poet Hone Tuwhare is about a tree's reaction to some kind of deadly threat, the titular "no ordinary sun". Addressing the tree in the second person, the poem ...
13
votes
1answer
182 views

An imaginary young British poet who was invented as a literary hoax in the 1920s?

I think I read a brief piece about this a long time ago -- as in, over twenty years ago. (Possibly in some sort of literary reference book.) As near as I can recall, the following sequence of events ...
6
votes
1answer
190 views

Major differences between Norse epic poetry and English epic poetry

I'm reading J.R.R. Tolkien's The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún and the commentary talks a little bit about differences between Old Norse and Old English epic poetry: But Old English verse does not ...
6
votes
1answer
211 views

Why does only one of R. S. Thomas' poems conform to traditional poetic devices?

R.S. Thomas was a Welsh poet who worked between 1942 until his death in 2000. His poems are almost exclusively modern in structure, in the sense that they eschew meter and rhyme in favour of a more ...
3
votes
0answers
262 views

What does the six-legged dog in Charles Simic's poem “Country Fair” represent?

The poem "Country Fair" by Charles Simic centers around a dog with six legs. I'm sure the dog is supposed to symbolize something important that the speaker feels the presupposed audience is ...
11
votes
2answers
14k views

Did Rudyard Kipling Write “The Wrath of the Awakened Saxon”?

I came across a poem on a forum, attributed to Rudyard Kipling called "THE WRATH OF THE AWAKENED SAXON" (the title seems to be often posted in caps). A Google search indicates that where posted, this ...
12
votes
2answers
4k views

What is the deeper meaning of “The Tyger”?

William Blake's poem "The Tyger" is part of his collection Songs of Innocence and of Experience, an extraordinary set of poems which explores ideas such as spirituality, love, poverty, repression, all ...
4
votes
0answers
772 views

Does the poem 'In Just' (e. e. cummings) allude to innocents being led astray by the devil?

In the poem in Just, (1) the balloon man whistles and children come running. On the surface, this could simply be about a man selling balloons and children wanting to buy them. But we know that e. e. ...
6
votes
1answer
4k views

Who wrote a specific poem in the movie 'Dead Poets Society'?

Who wrote "Show me the heart unfettered by foolish dreams…And I'll show you a happy man." ? It was spoken by George McAllister (=the character name of the Latin teacher "the Realist" in Dead Poets ...
4
votes
2answers
146 views

Should there be a trochee in the second to last line of Thomas Hardy's “The Oxen”?

I'm working through the website For Better for Verse, and I'm currently working on a scansion of Thomas Hardy's "The Oxen". The last verse looks like this: "In the lonely barton by yonder comb ...
4
votes
1answer
191 views

Did Sandburg have anything against Omaha?

Specifically: I am riding on a limited express, one of the crack trains of the nation. Hurtling across the prairie into blue haze and dark air go fifteen all-steel coaches holding a thousand ...
4
votes
2answers
715 views

Catalectic trochaic tetrameter or acephaleous iambic tetrameter? Scanning “Kubla Khan”

I'm currently teaching myself to scan, and I'm practicing with Coleridge's "Kubla Khan" at the moment. You can read the entire poem online. I've arrived at line 32: "Floated midway on the waves;" and ...
4
votes
1answer
851 views

How to scan Robert Frost's “For Once, Then, Something”

I just read a fascinating blog post titled "Frost, Hendecasyllabics & For Once, Then, Something". The blog post describes the challenges of scanning Robert Frost's poem "For Once, Then, Something" ...
4
votes
2answers
710 views

What do these lines in Edward Thomas's 'This is No Case of Petty Right or Wrong' mean?

Than in the storm smoking along the wind Athwart the wood. Two witches' cauldrons roar. From one the weather shall rise clear and gay; Out of the other an England beautiful And ...
3
votes
1answer
289 views

How is the Brother Officer being portrayed in “The Hero”?

Siegfried Sassoon's short poem "The Hero" (full text here) is about a young soldier who has died in the First World War, and describes the news of his death being given to his grieving mother. When I ...
4
votes
1answer
666 views

What's the point of the sandy beach in “A Dream Within a Dream”?

The main thrust of Edgar Allan Poe's poem "A Dream Within a Dream" concerns the existential angst of the narrator, and his fear that "all that we see or seem" is nothing but "a dream within a dream". ...
3
votes
1answer
157 views

What do the night and day in “The Unreturning” symbolise?

I now understand the poem "The Unreturning" much better than I did when I asked this question, thanks to Peter's excellent answer and my reading through it several more times and more carefully. It's ...
5
votes
1answer
320 views

Why was the text of “HaTikvah” changed?

"HaTikvah," Israel's national anthem, was adopted from an earlier poem called "Tikvateinu," by Naftali Herz Imber. Here is the official text of the anthem (translation and transliteration can be found ...
1
vote
1answer
73 views

Why was the early draft of “Atrocities” so significant?

Siegfried Sassoon's poem "Atrocities" (full text here) describes the murder of German prisoners by British soldiers during WWI. According to Wikipedia: The discovery in 2013 of an early draft of ...
3
votes
1answer
422 views

Who is the speaker in “The Unreturning”?

Wilfred Owen's poem "The Unreturning" (full text here) seems remarkably free of context - it never says explicitly what it's about, what's happening, which "dead" are being talked about, who or what ...
4
votes
0answers
90 views

How is the connection between the picture on page 59 and the last line of “Allison Beals and Her 25 Eels” shown in other publications of the poem?

"Allison Beals and Her 25 Eels" is a poem in Falling Up by Shel Silverstein. It describes how Allison uses 24 eels -- as shoelaces, earrings, ladle, etc. The 25th, however, is different. The poem ends ...
13
votes
3answers
3k views

Why does the poem “Naming of Parts” contrast war with nature?

Henry Reed's poem "Naming of Parts" (which you can read online) depicts a lesson used to teach soldiers the various parts of their rifles. (Hence the title "Naming of Parts"). Interspersed between the ...
6
votes
1answer
184 views

Are the illustrations part of Shel Silverstein's poems?

Shel Silverstein's poems are illustrated by himself. The illustrations often provide the 'punchline' of the poem, as in the following examples (all taken from Falling Up. Pictures are mine - feel free ...
9
votes
1answer
81 views

About Sappho's “Hector and Andromacha” poem

In a relatively short while, I'll have to write a blog post on this poem, so I've been doing some research into the sources. The first is P.Oxy. 1232, an image of which is the following. A later ...
8
votes
0answers
148 views

About Sappho's epigram for the little girl Aithopia: first line (manuscript tradition and experts' take), and authorship

Background and research As I am planning to post this poem on my blog relatively soon, I was doing some research on the first line. From what I had written previously, I seem to have found two ...
4
votes
2answers
669 views

What is the meaning of this sher?

hamla hai chaar sū dar-o-dīvār-e-shahr kā sab jañgaloñ ko shahr ke andar sameT lo حملہ ہے چار سُو در و دیوارِ شہر کا سب جنگلوں کو شہر کے اندر سمیٹ لو Source I get the meaning of each ...
4
votes
1answer
120 views

What is the meaning of the second line of this sher?

asar bhī le rahā huuñ terī chup kā tujhe qaa.il bhī kartā jā rahā huuñ I'm researching on Urdu shayars and it's a part of my assignment to collect 500 urdu shers with their meaning. The original ...
13
votes
1answer
285 views

About l. 3 of the second stanza of Sappho's Ὠδὴ εἰς Ἀνακτωρίαν (Ode to Anactoria)

A long time ago, I translated all of Sappho's poems. In doing so, I had to reconstruct some parts of the texts, and do some amateur level criticism. One example of such work lies in the poem sometimes ...
3
votes
2answers
135 views

Does translation take away from the meaning of verse and poetry?

I am currently reading The Heart of Haiku by Jane Hirshfield. In it, many examples of haikus translated from Japanese are given. However, in their English form, they lack the rhythm and meter of Haiku....
10
votes
3answers
193 views

Do traditional Japanese haikus always describe a moment?

I am currently reading The Heart of Haiku by Jane Hirshfield. In it, there are many examples of haikus by Bashō. In them, they always appear to give reference to a time, either explicitly or through ...
7
votes
1answer
565 views

Why did Samuel Coleridge metaphorise 'work without hope ' as 'nectar in a sieve'?

Source: An Explication of "Work Without Hope", by Amy Edwards, ’02 West Chester University The last two lines of this poem are the turning point, and make it all come together. Coleridge writes, "...
8
votes
1answer
114 views

What could be the possible reason behind “live in fear” and “move at liberty” in the fourth stanza of “A German Requiem”?

The fourth stanza of the poem "A German Requiem" indicates that the widow lived in fear and the young man could not move at liberty between the armchairs. I cannot figure out why. What does the widow ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

What does this Pablo Neruda quote mean?

Let nothing unite us, so that nothing can separate us. This quote is from the second stanza of the poem "Farewell" (English translation) — the original Spanish text is Para que nada nos amarre que ...
7
votes
1answer
462 views

Meaning of “shade to shade”

In "Ode on Melancholy," Keats writes For shade to shade will come too drowsily, And drown the wakeful anguish of the soul What is meant by "shade to shade will come too drowsily"?
9
votes
3answers
614 views

Why is “Ode on Melancholy” an Ode?

What features of Keats's "Ode on Melancholy" make it an ode? This is a question that seems to be important in our English class, yet I don't have a comprehensive answer. Merriam-Webster defines "ode" ...
5
votes
1answer
142 views

What is the meaning of this tanka by Saigo Hoshi?

What is the meaning of the following tanka by Saigo Hoshi which I came to read today? Now indeed I know That when we said "remember" and we swore it so, it was in "we will forget" ...
7
votes
1answer
188 views

Poem about a young man who dies

There was a poem I read years ago that I can't remember the name of. The setting is rural, possibly set in 19th or 20th century United States. A young man, possibly even a teenager, suddenly has some ...
7
votes
1answer
217 views

Do the poisons in “Ode on Melancholy” have deeper meaning?

In "Ode on Melancholy", Keats uses the images of three poisons in the first stanza: Wolf's bane, nightshade, and yew-berries. Are these poisons simply meant to connote death/suicide, or might they ...
1
vote
1answer
57 views

Why is this adjective given in Ode on Melancholy

In Keats's Ode on Melancholy, he writes neither twist Wolf's bane, tight-rooted, for its poisonous wine; Why is Wolf's bane described as "tight-rooted"?
9
votes
1answer
120 views

Who is “Reported Missing” addressed to?

Anna Keown's poem "Reported Missing" is addressed to a World War One soldier by a first-person narrator who is desperately hopeful that he isn't dead. Here's the poem in full: My thought shall ...
5
votes
1answer
326 views

What is the connection between the following two lines from “A German Requiem”?

I think there must be some connection between the last two lines from the first stanza of "A German Requiem": Yesterday the very furniture seemed to reproach you. Today you take your place in the ...
6
votes
1answer
149 views

Why is “waistcoat” modified by “leering” in the poem “A German Requiem"?

In the fifth line from the third stanza of "A German Requiem", the word waistcoat is modified by leering. I can understand waistcoat is personified as a person here. Is this person the priest? And why ...
10
votes
2answers
646 views

Are keteks based on some form of real-life poetry?

In Brandon Sanderson's Stormlight Archive novels, the chapters are grouped into parts, the titles of the parts combining to form a ketek. For example, in the first book, The Way of Kings: Above ...
7
votes
3answers
239 views

Why did the Seed-Merchant thank God?

"The Seed-Merchant's Son" is a poem by Agnes Grozier Herbertson, often included in collections of WWI poetry. It doesn't go into the details of the war, like some other WWI poems; in fact, the war is ...