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2
votes
0answers
38 views

Children's historical mystery with carved rose pressed to unveil secret

This has bugged me on and off for years. When I was younger (late 80s - early 90s) I'm sure I read a book from the local library in the UK. I don't remember many details. I think that it was set ...
3
votes
1answer
158 views

Meaning of “she felt him give” in “The Children's Bach” by Helen Garner

This text is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner. He would have liked to move around her house and examine all its icons, or to hang over the front windowsill with her and make remarks about the ...
1
vote
0answers
57 views

The first line of “God's Grandeur”

The first line of Gerard Manley Hopkins's sonnet "God's Grandeur" is: The world is charged with the grandeur of God. What I found on the Internet regarding the analysis of this line was ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

What does “if the court knows herself” mean?

In In the Midst of Alarms (1894) by Robert Barr, Yates was camping with his unkind friend in Canada, when the police issued a warrant against Yates. “Stilly,” cried the reporter cheerily, “there’s a ...
3
votes
3answers
67 views

What does “withal” mean in a line in Romeo and Juliet?

In Act 3, scene 1 of Romeo and Juliet, Mercutio speaks the following words: Good King of Cats, nothing but one of your nine lives, that I mean to make bold withal, and, as you shall use me hereafter, ...
2
votes
0answers
27 views

Did Thoreau respond to claims that he was an anarchist?

When reading Henry David Thoreau's Wikipedia page I found that he has been called an anarchist for his essay "Civil Disobedience". Reading the essay I can see where these claims are coming ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

What would it mean for a 19th-century German soldier to “wear the cross”?

In the first chapter of Theodor Fontane's Effi Briest, which I've started reading online, we are introduced to the character of Baron Geert von Innstetten as follows (emphasis mine): "Yes, ...
0
votes
0answers
22 views

Love is defiled by its defense …

Does anyone know who said this, or something like it? "Love is defiled by its defense." A friend asked on Facebook and got no answer in several days. I vaguely remember reading a similar ...
7
votes
1answer
464 views

What is the “color of boom”?

In Imagine Dragon's song Polaroid, there's a certain line that gets repeated throughout the song: I am the color of boom What is the meaning of this line? Does it mean like an explosion of color, or ...
5
votes
1answer
94 views

What is the dialect in “The Origin of White Folks” and what does it add to the poem?

I found "The Origin of White Folks" by Annie Virginia Culbertson (it's pretty far down the page) while reading a news article and became intrigued by its accent. The poem is clearly written ...
6
votes
1answer
426 views

Why does Mr. Pumblechook call Mrs. Joe “mum”?

I noticed that at the beginning of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens that Mr. or Uncle Pumblechook kept calling Mrs. Joe mum. Why is that? I know for sure that Mrs. Joe didn't give birth to him, ...
3
votes
1answer
50 views

What is this passage saying about Precentor Jahnke?

In Chapter 1 of Theodor Fontane's novel Effi Briest, which I've just started reading online, two friends of Effi are introduced as follows: Two of the young girls, plump little creatures, whose ...
0
votes
2answers
50 views

Meaning of “Air rushed over the ground like a flood of water at blood temperature”

This text is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner She made him, and dragged him away across the grass. They turned a corner, rounded a thick hedge, and the wind hit them. He stopped struggling. ...
1
vote
1answer
382 views

Meaning of “He went ‘Eeeeee!’ high up in his skull”

This text is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner: Billy drew a breath and started to scream in short, sharp cries. He flung himself back on Dexter’s lap; he clapped his left hand over his ear, ...
3
votes
2answers
64 views

What was the first published book set during a Covid-19 lockdown?

The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic changed the world and many people's lives in countries all over the world in 2020. Much has been written about how writers of fiction have needed to change or shelve ...
4
votes
1answer
351 views

What is the “manhood of a Roman recovery” in John Milton's Areopagitica?

This sentence appears in Milton's "Areopagitica": To which if I now manifest by the very sound of this which I shall utter, that we are already in good part arrived, and yet from such a ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

Meaning of “daring it to tackle her. It paid her no attention”

This text is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner They laughed. Vicki watched them closely, ready to be included in their amusement, to roll her shoulders in scepticism as they did, but they ...
3
votes
1answer
165 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
68 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
47 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
votes
0answers
63 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
406 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
votes
1answer
35 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
votes
0answers
56 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
vote
1answer
66 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
votes
1answer
138 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
votes
1answer
38 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
vote
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
votes
1answer
66 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
38 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
22 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
69 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
votes
2answers
59 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
votes
1answer
204 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?
0
votes
1answer
16 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
votes
0answers
12 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. ...
1
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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 ...
1
vote
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
vote
1answer
25 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
votes
1answer
91 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?
0
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0answers
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 ...
0
votes
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 ...
1
vote
0answers
15 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
47 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
vote
1answer
26 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
votes
1answer
30 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 ...
0
votes
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 ...
0
votes
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
votes
1answer
71 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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