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8 votes
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Is it an error to identify the narrator of "Ozymandias" with the author?

tl;dr The narrator of "Ozymandias" is not reducible to the poet. Yes, like a stand-up act, a lyric utterance is performance art. And yes, in "Ozymandias" as in all lyric poetry, ...
verbose's user avatar
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7 votes

English translation of a quatrain from the "Rubaiyat" of Omar Khayyam

This quatrain was not translated by Edward Fitzgerald (1859), nor by Richard Le Galliene (1902), but it was translated by E. H. Whinfield (1883): 167. Be very wary in the soul’s domain, And on the ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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5 votes

Persona of the narrator in Housman's "Farewell to Barn and Stack and Tree"

If you look at any printing of this poem, for example, in A Shropshire Lad (1896), p. 13, you’ll see that each stanza starts with an open quotation mark, but only the last stanza ends with a close ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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5 votes

Meaning of Hesiod's line "reproaching the sons whom he himself begot..."

Here’s a bit more context from Caldwell’s translation: Great Ouranos, their father, called his sons Titans, reproaching the sons whom he himself begot; he said they strained in wickedness to do a ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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4 votes

Meaning of the last stanza of "Haunted Houses" by Longfellow?

The moon seen over the sea may cast a long reflection towards the viewer which, according to Longfellow, people imagine as a bridge leading to a mysterious region. He imagines a similar 'bridge of ...
Kate Bunting's user avatar
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4 votes
Accepted

Meaning of the last stanza of "Haunted Houses" by Longfellow?

When the moon is low in the sky, it can cast a long reflection on bodies of water such as the sea. This can be seen in this picture, for example: Longfellow poetically interprets this bright ...
Clara Díaz Sanchez's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

Difficulty understanding the meaning of a line in Paradise Regained

Imagine I have decided to give up sugar. I might proclaim: I will resist temptation. For no dessert, however appetizing, shall I weaken my resolve. Something like that is going on here. Satan is ...
verbose's user avatar
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4 votes

Which version of William Blake's "Jerusalem" did John Reith recite to celebrate the end of the General Strike?

A recording of Reith's recitation was included in Episode 1 of the BBC radio series Battle of the Airwaves, and can be heard at 11 minutes 42s into the episode. Although the presenter rather ...
Clara Díaz Sanchez's user avatar
3 votes

Is there specific mythological significance to the Dingli Cliffs?

Today I went to visit the Dingli Cliffs, and I asked a Maltese tour guide whether there's any local mythology specific to that location. She told me about the theory that Gozo (the second island of ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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2 votes

Literary technique in 'for peace comes dropping slow'

There are several figures in these two lines. In “peace comes dropping slow”, peace is described as falling slowly, resembling some kind of gentle precipitation—mist or smur or drizzle. This is an ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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2 votes

Was "First They Came ..." a poem in German?

You can find all relevant information on the website of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. In particular, concerning Martin Niemöller see here. The text is not a poem (although the rhythm of ...
Paul Frost's user avatar
2 votes

Meaning of "This clown of a wife"

Although the wife's attempts to cheer up her husband don't appear to be successful, his comment shows that he values her. The rhetorical question "What would I do without [her]?" suggests ...
Kate Bunting's user avatar
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1 vote

Meaning of the last stanza of "Haunted Houses" by Longfellow?

So from the world of spirits there descends A bridge of light, connecting it with this, O'er whose unsteady floor, that sways and bends, Wander our thoughts above the dark abyss. From the world of ...
Lambie's user avatar
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1 vote

"Wear the broom and climb the hedgerows" in Housman's "A Shropshire Lad"

Housman wrote most of the poems in A Shropshire Lad in 1895, when he was living on North Road in Highgate, London, and had never been to Shropshire. The details of his depiction of rural life were ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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1 vote

Marianne Moore’s ‘Four Quartz Crystal Clocks’

(Revised in the light of comments from OP and @ClaraDiazSanchez) The poem contrasts the precision of scientific timekeeping with the disorder of lived experience, and examines the yin-yang ...
verbose's user avatar
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