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1answer
123 views

“Cease, cows, life is short” - what does it mean?

"Cease, cows, life is short" is a quote from One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez. It is a phrase that Aureliano Segundo says in Chapter 17, and is later written on his ...
1
vote
1answer
23 views

Meaning of “seldom anything but”

These old folks, you must know, were quite poor, and had to work pretty hard for a living. Old Philemon toiled diligently in his garden, while Baucis was always busy with her distaff, or making a ...
4
votes
1answer
62 views

What does the line “You're all that I can call my own” mean in Maya Angelou's “Woman Work”?

The first half of Maya Angelou's "Woman Work" details the extremely busy life of the narrator, ranging from taking care of a baby to mending clothes to picking cotton. The second half ...
2
votes
1answer
46 views

What does “draw on” mean in "In the Midst of Alarms?

In "In the Midst of Alarms" (1894) by Robert Barr, Yates, who was a reporter for Argus newspaper in US and was camping in Canada, was negotiating with a telegraph boy who demanded one ...
4
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0answers
59 views

Why are William Mcgonagall's poems considered so terrible?

While writing up the wiki excerpt for william-mcgonagall a couple of weeks back, I came upon a rather surprising remark about him in Wikipedia: He won notoriety as an extremely bad poet who exhibited ...
7
votes
2answers
402 views

Meaning of “Where the return stands by disdain” in a poem by Thomas Wyatt

From "Who list his wealth and ease retain", by Thomas Wyatt: Who list his wealth and ease retain, Himself let him unknown contain. Press not too fast in at that gate Where the return stands ...
0
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1answer
32 views

Iron bars and iron fence - literal or metaphorical?

This passage from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner: ‘At night, because of the noise of people laughing, they turned up the treble on the jukebox. But in the early mornings, in the peaceful shift ...
4
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0answers
52 views

Story with an example of perfection of Japanese manufacturing processes

I'm looking for a book I read about 20 years ago, in which one of the main characters explained to somebody else the way Japanese factories operated and the difference with US. He stated something ...
1
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1answer
59 views

What is the meaning of “broads” in Hemingway's short story Fifty Grand?

What is the meaning of "broads" in Hemingway's short story Fifty Grand? Here's the context: The three of us, Jack Brennan, Soldier Bartlett, and I were in Hanley’s. There were a couple of ...
7
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1answer
132 views

Is Keats' swan with “neck of arched snow” an allusion to Milton's “swan with arched neck”?

I discovered something quite interesting today in John Milton's Paradise Lost. Here is Milton (this is the Archangel Raphael relating to Adam and Eve the creation of the world):                       ...
0
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1answer
34 views

How does “The Second Coming” form the background for “A Prayer for My Daughter”?

I was reading William Butler Yeats's “A Prayer for My Daughter”. The book which I was reading had a box named “Aid to Comprehend the poem” and in that box were written these lines: The poem [A Prayer ...
1
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0answers
9 views

Why did Louka despise Raina from the very beginning of Shaws Arms and the Man?

In Shaw's play Arms and the Man, Louka, Raina’s maid, had somewhat bitter feelings for her mistress Raina. Why? From the first Act the dialogues of Louka do show her resentment (although it is subtle) ...
4
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1answer
64 views

Robot Beings who are hunted for fuel who say “Toot Toot” to each other

I remember a short story but can't remember the name of the story or author. It is about alien/robotic beings that have been hunted to the edge of extinction because they are an exceptional fuel ...
0
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0answers
21 views

Justifying the title of Shaw’s play “Arms and the man”

The title of Bernard Shaw’s Arms and the Man is a reference to Virgil’s work, but why the reference? What similarity do they have? The title seems quite consistent if it is seen through the events of ...
1
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0answers
8 views

What’s the meaning of these lines spoken by Bluntschli?

In Act III of G. B. Shaw's play Arms and the Man everyone gets to know each other’s doings. Louka got engaged to Sergius, and Catherine agreed with Bluntschli’s and Raina’s relationship. But then ...
-2
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1answer
30 views

Meaning of “a very splendid specimen of the wife of a mountain farmer”

George Bernard Shaw, in Act I of his play Arms and the Man, gives this introduction of Catherine: Catherine Petkoff, a woman over forty, imperiously energetic with magnificent black hair and eyes, ...
0
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2answers
53 views

What is the central summary of “Erlkönig”?

I was listening to Franz Schubert’s musical concert of "Erlkönig", and the music was perfect. The lyrics were quite plain and simple, but why is it so famous? I read the poem, heard Schubert ...
5
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1answer
200 views

Why was John Keats called a poet “who was kill’d off by one critique”?

In Canto XI of Lord Byron’s magnificent work Don Juan, romantic poet Keats is mentioned as a poet who was kill’d off by one critique. Why he was referred to like that? And which critique was it?
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1answer
15 views

What does “who allows his honesty the benefit of the doubt” mean?

I was reading A.G. Gardiner’s On Umbrella Morals and in the second paragraph occurs these lines In fact he is a thoroughly honest man who allows his honesty the benefit of the doubt. I want an ...
2
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0answers
11 views

How is the poem “Gerontion” affected by being told in the first person?

The poem ‘Gerontion’ by T.S. Eliot is about an old man and his life. The very first lines if the poem are as follows: Here I am, an old man in a dry month, Being read to by a boy, waiting for rain. ...
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0answers
5 views

Why Thomas Hardy set up his novels in cities of imaginary names? [duplicate]

Jude Fawley was living in Marygreen and went to Chirstminster, Christminster was a place of wisdom for him and due to some other details we infer that Hardy’s Chrisminster was intact Oxford. Far From ...
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0answers
20 views

Why did Sue want to go back to Phillotson?

In the novel Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy, Sue was broken after the death of her children. She went to their graves and wept even on the insistence of Jude to go back to the lodge. Jude was broken ...
1
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1answer
23 views

What did Keats mean by “it is not without a feeling of regret that I make it public” in his preface to “Endymion”?

John Keats, in the Preface to Endymion, wrote: Knowing within myself the manner in which this poem has been produced, it is not without a feeling of regret that I make it public. Why did he express ...
-2
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1answer
80 views

Who is “close bosom-friend of the maturing sun”?

John Keats, in his ode "To Autumn", writes Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun. Who is the close bosom-friend of the maturing sun?
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6 views

Did Robert Frost stop to see the beauty of woods or for some philosophical thinking? [duplicate]

Robert Frost stopped by a wood on a snowy evening and thought whose woods they were, he thought he knew, the owner lives in his village. Then in the poem he talks about how the woods look with snow on ...
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0answers
7 views

How can brows get clouded? [duplicate]

In the novel ‘The Sword and the Distaff” by William Gilmore Simms and Joseph De Maistre, this line occurs The brow of Colonel Moncrieff clouded as he read. As far as I know it is the eyes that do ...
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0answers
13 views

Did Henchard sell his wife in “The Mayor of Casterbridge” only because he was drunk?

In the novel The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy, Michael Henchard auctioned his wife in a bar and sold her to a sailor named Newson for five guineas along with his infant daughter. As far as ...
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0answers
43 views

Comprehending “how but in custom and ceremony are innocence and beauty born”

“A Prayer for My Daughter” is a poem written by W.B. Yeats on the birth of his daughter. One of the themes of the poem is contrasting the future he desires for his daughter with the life of Maud Gonne,...
1
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1answer
24 views

How can pleasant thoughts bring sad thoughts to the mind?

“Lines Written in the Early Spring” is English Romantic poet William Wordsworth’s meditation on the harmony of nature and on humanity’s failure to follow nature’s peaceful example. However, in the ...
2
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1answer
22 views

Was Anton Chekhov the earliest to use stream-of-consciousness technique in his works?

Anton Chekhov was a famous Russian short story writer and dramatist. Early in his career, he mastered the form of the one-act play and produced several masterpieces of this genre. I remember I ...
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0answers
5 views

Why does Louka not inform anyone when she sees the pistol in Raina’s room?

In Shaw's play Arms and the Man Raina iss informed that there will be shootings on the street and she should close all doors and windows. She leaves the main balcony window unlocked and suddenly a ...
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0answers
4 views

Why didn’t Sergius kiss Louka?

When Raina went upstairs, Sergius started flirting with the maid, Louka. When Sergius was just about to kiss her, she said (no verbatim claimed) that Raina might be doing the same thing behind him ...
0
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1answer
70 views

Clarifying a line from “The Shadow Over Innsmouth”

I’m having a lot of trouble comprehending one particular line from The Shadow Over Innsmouth: But at last I am going to defy the ban on speech about this thing. Results, I am certain, are so thorough ...
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0answers
32 views

Meaning of some phrases in The Grapes of Wrath

I've started reading The Grapes of Wrath and I've run into some old-time phrases that I'm not sure of the meaning. I suppose these must date from the 1920s-1940s. My dogs was pooped out. From ...
3
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0answers
22 views

Alfred Hitchcock story with a man seeing creatures out of the corner of his eye

I’m hoping someone will be able to tell me the name of a Alfred Hitchcock story I read part of a long long time ago. It was about a guy who would see movement out of the corner of his eye, but when he ...
1
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1answer
18 views

Do the opening lines of Frost’s poem “After Apple-Picking” contain a biblical reference?

Robert Frost's poem ‘After Apple-Picking’, collected in North of Boston (1914), is a well-known poem on man’s encounter with the natural world, probing the dilemma of his existence. The first two ...
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0answers
5 views

How did Paul and Sergius know Bluntschli?

In Act II of G. B. Shaw's play Arms and the Man, when Paul sees Bluntschli through the library window he at once asks him to stay with him and Sergius, who also seems to be acquainted with Bluntschli. ...
1
vote
1answer
30 views

What does “A stone will not need you to guess if, / You’re still going to drown.” mean?

The song “Illusion and Dreams” (lyrics), by Poets of the Fall, has these lines: A stone will not need you to guess if, You’re still going to drown. What is the meaning of the above lines in the ...
0
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0answers
15 views

Meaning of “So can you name your demon? Understanding its scheming”

Poets of the Fall have this wonderful song named “Illusion and dreams” and in the last verse they sing So can you name your demon? Understanding its scheming I raise my glass and say “Here’s to you” ...
0
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0answers
14 views

What is the meaning of these opening lines of Poets of the Fall’s song “Moonlight Kissed”?

Poets of the Fall released their charismatic song “Moonlight Kissed” on 22nd September 2017 along with a video. The voice of Marko was angelic and the lyrics surpassed every lyrics of lyricists. ...
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0answers
13 views

What’s the central meaning of song “Moonlight Kissed”?

Poets of the Fall is a Finnish musical band who mainly releases the philosophical romantic songs. The song “Moonlight Kissed” was released on YouTube on 22nd September 2017. The song is marvellous and ...
0
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0answers
12 views

Why do readers dislike Vronsky in the early part of the novel?

Anna Karenina, the first novel of Count Leo Tolstoy is about the life of Anna (mainly) and her lover Vronsky (I know it is not possible to say what the novel is about but for this particular ...
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0answers
4 views

How does Charles Lamb’s working in East India Company affect his writing themes?

Charles Lamb is famous as the Prince of English essayists. After studying for seven years at Christ’s Hospital, where he earned the friendship of Coleridge, Lamb obtained clerkship in South Sea House. ...
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0answers
26 views

Why did Charles Lamb write his brother’s name as John L---?

In the 9th paragraph (according to the version I’m reading) of Charles’ Lamb’s essay “Dream Children: A Reverie” it is written I told how, though their great-grandmother Field loved all her grand-...
1
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0answers
24 views

Why did Charles Lamb not preserve the real name of his lover?

In the 12th paragraph of “Dream Children: A Reverie,” written when Charles Lamb was 44 years old, we find: Then I told how for seven long years, in hope sometimes, sometimes in despair, yet ...
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0answers
19 views

Who was James Elia?

In the essay “Dream Children: A Reverie” by Charles Lamb, the last few lines by the children read I found myself quietly seated in my bachelor arm-chair where I had fallen asleep, with the faithful ...
0
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1answer
44 views

Is this line from Shelley’s A Lament an allusion to his Skylark?

The poem A Lament by P.B. Shelley goes like this O world! O Life! O Time! On whose last steps I climb, Trembling at that where I stood before; When will return the glory of your prime? No more, —O ...
1
vote
1answer
35 views

Why did Tennyson write “The Brook” from the brook's first-person perspective?

In the poem "The Brook", Tennyson speaks about the journey of a small brook which later joins a mighty river. The poem is narrated in the first person by the small brook: I come from haunts ...
0
votes
1answer
22 views

Can Edgar Allan Poe’s Alone be analyzed in the light of Existential Loneliness? [duplicate]

Can Edgar Allan Poe’s Alone be analyzed in the light of Existential Loneliness? The very first lines From childhood’s hour I have not been As others were—I have not seen As others saw—I could not ...
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0answers
12 views

Source of a quote by Bernard Shaw about flying versus living with each other like humans

A while ago I got this quote on an online social platform: Humans have progressed so much, now they can even fly like a bird in the sky. The only thing remaining for the humans is to live with each ...

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