33

This answer grew too long for a single post, so I’ve split it in two, with history and analysis in this part, and detailed line notes in the other part. Summary Bilbo’s poem retells the myth of the half-elven hero Eärendil, who lived long ago, in the First Age of Middle-earth. He was a sailor who voyaged into the western seas, seeking the land of the gods (...


25

This is the second part of my answer, containing detailed line notes for the poem. If I’ve omitted any difficulties, let me know in the comments. I have preferred to use illustrative quotations from the Quenta Silmarillion (c. 1937), and not from the later revisions that led to the text of The Silmarillion (1977), because when Tolkien was composing Bilbo’s ...


10

This answer is somewhat of a generalization of my self answer to Why did the stars throw down their spears? where I ended up analyzing most of the poem to explain the meaning of one particular, mystifying line. It's all based on my own reading and my meager knowledge of Blake's philosophy. The most obvious deeper meaning in "The Tyger" is how, in ...


7

This 22-line poem is constructed in iambic tetrameter with rhyming couplets. Anyone who has studied Shakespeare will know the structure of his iambic pentameter and its biological association with a heartbeat. Poe’s use of iambic tetrameter is similar in nature and fitting structure for a poem that is, arguably, about life. With negatively charged diction ...


7

There is no one answer: a key part of this poem's appeal is its ambiguity. On the surface, it seems a poetic description of a rose flower sickening and dying due to a parasitic infection. However, the opening lines make it clear it should not be read literally: no "worm" is "invisible", nor does it "fly". So how can we interpret the metaphor? First, what ...


7

The perceived "banality" in relation to Innocence & Experience may be regarded as a device. In fact, the poems are all quite profound, but structured in a way as to be suitable for children as well as adults. A clue to the meaning can be found in Blake's ideas on the nature of the universe, which involves creative and destructive forces. "One Law ...


5

While what a poet is trying to tell the reader will usually be a matter of dispute, B. C. Southam shines some light on these lines in A Student's Guide to the Selected Poems of T.S. Eliot, pp. 217-8: ll. 95-8: a parody, combining a line from the children's song 'Here we go round the mulberry bush' - 'This is the way we clap our hands' - with a distortion of ...


5

Let's look at the poem verse by verse. For a Hughes poem, it is surprisingly literal. The Laburnum top is silent, quite still In the afternoon yellow September sunlight, A few leaves yellowing, all its seeds fallen. The poet describes a Laburnum tree. It is still on an autumn afternoon, the leaves getting ready to fall. Till the goldfinch comes, with a ...


4

After line 25, the poem turns dark and troubled, as                                             the huge cliff Rose up between me and the stars, and still, With measured motion, like a living thing Strode after me. Before that, you notice the careful way the writer creates a sense of unease within a moment that should be pure pleasure. But instead,...


4

Interpretation ‘Apparition’ means simply ‘appearance’ (the poet is thinking about the way the faces looked), or ‘the action of becoming visible’ (the faces suddenly stood out from the crowd to the poet), or ‘phantom’ (the particular faces are not really there, only suggested to the poet by the crowd). ‘These faces in the crowd’ means ‘the faces of all ...


4

"Invictus" means "undefeated" or "unconquered." The poem's narrator says that he is not daunted by the circumstances in which he finds himself. Here is a paraphrase. Out of the night that covers me, Black as the Pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be For my unconquerable soul. The speaker says that even though it'...


3

Here are my immediate thoughts: There is a “bow” in line 1, it is “stretched” in line 2, and something “flies” in line 3. So this could be a description of someone shooting an arrow from a bow by stretching the bowstring. However, “filled” in line 1 doesn’t fit very well with this idea: it is not clear what it means to describe a bow as “filled”. So maybe I ...


3

Thought away The duplication of “thought away” is a mistake in your edition of the poem. The line should read: That she was as old as she looked, but soon See for example, Mary Ann Dasgupta, ed. (1978), Hers: Indian Perspectives, page 29, which is available in Google Books “snippet view”. I do not know where the mistaken edition comes from, but it ...


3

I can't explain the terms any better than Peter Shor has already done, nor expand on the direct meaning of the poem, but I'd like to add some thematic commentary, in the hope that this might be considered enough for an answer. John Betjeman's poetry includes a lot about religion, especially churches, and also a lot about travel, especially by train. ...


3

I believe the poem describes the suicide of a religious gay man who kills himself because he cannot stop "sinning”. One reason to abstain from communion, at least in the Catholic church, and probably in the Anglican as well, is because you are an unrepentant sinner (as you might be if you were gay). And grand are the surpliced boys may be a subtle hint that ...


3

From here: Williams's poem allows the reader a wide range of possibilities. He or she is free to decide whether it is "about" temptation, a re-enactment of the fall, or the triumph of the physical over the spiritual. Each reader is left free to construct a poem, and the reader becomes the owner of the resulting poem. The site also notes that ...


3

Erlkönig is not a children's poem. In the poem, a boy is assaulted and killed by a supernatural specter, while his father cannot even perceive the threat and is thus unable to defend him. That would be quite unsettling for children. Also the poem is mostly dialog, and the son, the father, and the eponymous Erlkönig speak in turns, with no indicator whose ...


3

McGuane talks, in the New Yorker, about his writing of the story: I often write until a story strikes some impasse, which can be terminal. That was nearly the case with “Balloons.” But I was helped by a dream in which the married woman, Joan, was dead. It changed everything and greatly enlarged the prospects for making a story out of something that had ...


2

I checked multiple sources for you, and I found a common thread. Wikipedia says that it is just about plums, as they define it as an imagist poem. Imagists poems are defined by wikipedia as. Imagism was a movement in early 20th-century Anglo-American poetry that favored precision of imagery and clear, sharp language. Which fits the poem relatively well. ...


2

Lines 1–33 of ‘Endymion’ form an introduction to the story, which starts at line 34: Therefore, ’tis with full happiness that I Will trace the story of Endymion. The only way to understand the word ‘Therefore’ in line 34 is that lines 1–33 consist of an argument as to why Keats should be happy to tell the story of Endymion. What is this argument? Well, ...


2

What is Keats saying in the last three lines? Describing beauty, Keats says that beauty is also experienced in the grandeur and magnificence of the deaths of the mighty and powerful knights and kings (perhaps, though unlikely, any person who fights and did for a noble cause) who made supreme sacrifices and died noble deaths. Magnificent tales of their ...


2

The comments below are not intended as an exhaustive analysis but provide a number of starting points. You can look at the poem as working in two semantic realms: nature and society. Western society tends to push social groups that don't fit the categories "white", "male" and "middle class" towards the periphery and sometimes towards the realm of "nature". ...


2

The speaker of this poem is a young man of rural lower-class origins who enlisted as an infantryman and who has just killed an enemy soldier (“my foe”) in battle. The symmetry of the situation strikes and puzzles him and he tries unsuccessfully to work out why he should have killed the other, since in every way they are fellow men. The poem is in ballad ...


2

TL;DR: Pfeiffer grapples with the impersonal nature of Darwinian evolution by personifying it: this contradictory endeavour yields confusion and paradox. Interpretation The discovery of “deep time” by the geologists of the 17th and 18th centuries had unsettled Christians with the vista of millions of years of unpeopled prehistory. But by the mid-19th ...


2

The key to this poem is the title, ‘The Penitent’, that is, someone who ‘repents’ their sins: repent, v. To review one’s actions and feel contrition or regret for something one has done or omitted to do; (esp. in religious contexts) to acknowledge the sinfulness of one’s past action or conduct by showing sincere remorse and undertaking to reform in the ...


2

I don't completely understand the poem, but I have some observations. Let's start with the nymphs at the end. Syrinx was a nymph who was being sexually pursued by Pan, and was changed into reeds to escape (from which Pan cut his panpipes). Daphne was a nymph being sexually pursued by Apollo, and was turned into a laurel tree to escape. So the lines ...


2

The question asks, ‘Was Keats ever criticized for standardizing generic beauty?’ and the answer is ‘yes—indeed, he was criticized along these lines by his own fiancée, Fanny Brawne!’ The evidence for this appears in two letters from Keats to Brawne: Why may I not speak of your Beauty, since without that I could never have lov’d you?—I cannot conceive any ...


2

There's plenty of ways how a pleasant thought can bring sad thoughts to mind but in this context, Wordsworth is grieving the condition of humanity. As the proceeding lines below state, To her fair works did Nature link The human soul that through me ran; And much it grieved my heart to think What man has made of man. And again, at the last stanza, ...


2

There's not a hidden sub-text as far as I'm concerned. Just because it's a "children's poem" doesn't mean good music can't be made out of it! For other examples, check out Peter and the Wolf by Sergei Prokofiev, or Little Red Riding Hood by Sergei Rachmaninoff. Also, the lyrics of the poem were written by Goethe, who's known for his dark imagery ...


1

The poet contrasts two types of advice a father might give his son. The first type of advice is represented by the quote "Life is hard; be steel; be a rock." The poet then proposes an alternative type of advice, introduced by the quote "Life is a soft loam; be gentle; go easy." The first type of advice is expanded in lines such as "Tell him too much money ...


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