Questions tagged [poetry]

literary work in which the expression of feelings and ideas is given intensity by the use of distinctive style and rhythm; poems collectively or as a genre of literature.

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1answer
26 views

“This raining is falling hard” would it be wrong? or how does it feels for you

I know it is commonly said "This rain is falling hard" but I am working in a poem and "This raining is falling hard" fits perfect with all the metrics and the entire story. But ...
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1answer
24 views

Can I say the action noun in this usage

I want to say 'the city is destroyed into ashes' more poetically and uniquely. Can I say 'the city is with destruction into ashes'? More specifically, there's no city because of destruction and just ...
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An English Song/Poetry With Differrent Grammatic Structure

The other day, I have watched the movie King Arthur Legend of the Sword and, in it, there was an energizer song that includes some words and structure with which I am not familiar. Here are the lyrics:...
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4answers
1k views

“…presume not God to scan” – what does it mean?

I came across a line from the poem An Essay on Man: Epistle II by Alexander Pope, and I don't understand it in terms of grammar and meaning. Could you help me understand it, please? The passage is: ...
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2answers
30 views

“Try as I like to find the way, I never can get back by day. ”

Could you please help me understand the two following sentences: Try as I like to find the way, I never can get back by day. As you can imagine I do understand each word separately, however the ...
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1answer
56 views

Using 'late' as a preposition?

Second stanza of The Convergence of the Twain by Thomas Hardy: Steel chambers, late the pyres Of her salamandrine fires, Cold currents thrid, and turn to rhythmic tidal lyres. Can 'late' be used as ...
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5answers
3k views

Is “butter on toast” an idiom in English

This is a stanza from Ruskin Bond's poem If Mice Could Roar: If tortoise could run And losses be won And bullies be buttered on toast I can't understand the phrase bullies be buttered on toast. By ...
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1answer
31 views

Meaning of “And held the darkness over day, that night”

I don't understand the meaning of above line. It's from the song Valentine's Day by Linkin Park. I've posted the full verse below: My insides all turned to ash, so slow And blew away as I collapsed, ...
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2answers
44 views

Meaning of a 16th century verse [closed]

What does this verse mean? Do fain and use have archaic meanings here? When first Amyntas su'd for a Kiss, My innocent Heart was tender; That tho‘ I push'd him away from the bliss, My Eyes declar'd ...
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1answer
24 views

What is the meaning of poem 'The Road Not Taken'

What is meaning off below lines. I am not able to understand it. Can anyone please explain me. Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all ...
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1answer
13 views

and… and… in poetry

Busy Heart, The by Rupert Brooke Now that we've done our best and worst, and parted, I would fill my mind with thoughts that will not rend. (O heart, I do not dare go empty-hearted) ...
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1answer
23 views

Can I make this sentence construction?

For example, I have this phrase: The dogs bark. Can I use this intead: Bark, the dogs. Is this switch of the verb place used (in poetry for example) or comprehensible? Thanks :)
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1answer
19 views

interpreting old nursery poem

'Twas General Janus, the first to arrive, In snow-shoes and gaiters, Escorted by skaters, And looking quite blue with the cold of his drive, See him come in, with his footman ...
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1answer
84 views

“Arrive at the home” or “arrive on the home” in this example?

I am trying to translate a couplet of a famous Urdu poet named Mirza Ghalib. Which proposition should be appropriate for the example given below, at, on, or neither? O Ghalib, shrubs are growing ...
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2answers
135 views

What does this quote mean “Call no chain strong, Which holds one rusted link.”

What does the quote mean from the poem Protest by Ella Wheeler Wilcox mean? "Call no chain strong, Which holds one rusted link."? Here is the section: Therefore I do protest against the boast ...
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1answer
42 views

Adjectives after nouns

Just in that farthermost angle, where You see the remains of a winding-stair, One turret especially high in air Uprear’d its tall gaunt form; As if defying the power of Fate, or ...
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2answers
94 views

What is 'assonance'?

What is the exact definition of the literary device assonance? This web site Literary Devices explains it as: Assonance takes place when two or more words, close to one another repeat the same ...
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1answer
55 views

Can a parenthesis come between a “to” and its infinitive?

Is it okay for a parenthesis to come between to + infinitive, or should it stay as a one-part whether it's before or after the parenthesis? I began to, when it left me and disappeared, desire it ...
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2answers
5k views

How would you interpret the meaning of “green wars” in this poem?

This is the relevant part of the poem I'm gonna ask a question about: Those who prepare green wars, wars with gas, wars with fire, victory with no survivors, would put on clean clothes and ...
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2answers
49 views

“There sat the Shadow fear'd of man”

But where the path we walk'd began To slant the fifth autumnal slope, As we descended following Hope, There sat the Shadow fear'd of man... (https://www.poetryfoundation.org/...
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3answers
354 views

I didn't feel like very much

The Poet says Four o'clock in the afternoon And I didn't feel like very much. and, while I have a grasp of the meaning (I know about the idiom "I don't feel like ..." and the context makes ...
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1answer
302 views

What does it mean to 'pipe'?

On the first poem of his book Songs of Innocence and Experience, William Blake wrote: Piping down the valleys wild, piping songs of pleasant glee, on a cloud I saw a child, and he ...
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2answers
241 views

What does “so much the more thereby” mean?

This is These Are The Clouds, a poem by William Butler Yeats: THESE are the clouds about the fallen sun, The majesty that shuts his burning eye: The weak lay hand on what the strong has ...
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711 views

"anything less than whole” [closed]

Hey can someone help me to explain what does "anything less than whole” in this poem by Rupi Kaur mean? i had to leave i was tired of allowing you to make me feel anything less than whole
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5answers
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Grammar behind “Whatever what is is is what I want.”

Here is the poem: Prayer, by Galway Kinnell Whatever happens. Whatever what is is is what I want. Only that. But that. I came across this poem as an interesting example of English grammar ...
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1answer
52 views

What is the meaning of “So away to the shool bus I flew”?

What is the meaning of "So away to the shool bus I flew" in the following sentence(Source: The Night Before The 100th DAY OF SCHOOL By Natasha Wing ) The very next morning the big day was here. ...
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2answers
3k views

Meaning of “we’ll cut him down as for the border he rides”

Welsh History 101B: My neighbour from England has come across raiding, Slain six of my kinsmen and burned down my hall. It cannot be borne, this offence and injustice: I’ve only killed ...
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3answers
125 views

About English poetry

During my studying English, I thought about how we learn our native language. Mine is Russian. At school we learn a lot of poetry, different poems we learn by heart. So my question is, how often ...
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What is the grammar of “my heart burdened be”?

I have some trouble understanding a line from the song, "You Raise Me Up" When I am down and, oh my soul, so weary When troubles come and my heart burdened be Then, I am still and wait here in ...
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0answers
223 views

We'd as well be 10 minutes back in time?

In Storm by Tim Minchin, after a heavy argument, Tim says; We'd as well be 10 minutes back in time, For all the chance you'll change your mind. Can you please explain that sentence to me from the ...
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2answers
90 views

What is the meaning of even if contact is lost here?

It means the memories last, even if contact is lost. What is the meaning of even if contact is lost here?
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3answers
608 views

Meaning of “may do and doat” in a poem by Elizabeth Browning

"The First Time" by Elizabeth Browning: The first time that the sun rose on thine oath To love me, I looked forward to the moon To slacken all those bonds which seemed too soon And quickly ...
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1answer
71 views

Meaning of “But what time through the heart and through the brain God hath transfixed us” in a poem by Elizabeth Browning

"Discontent" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning: Light human nature is too lightly tost And ruffled without cause, complaining on— Restless with rest, until, being overthrown, It learneth to lie ...
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Meaning of “play up” in Henry Newbolt's poem “Vitai Lampada”

From Vitai Lampada: There's a breathless hush in the Close to-night— Ten to make and the match to win— A bumping pitch and a blinding light, An hour to play and the last man in. And it's ...
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1answer
335 views

What's the meaning of “drapish”?

What's the meaning of "drapish"? I saw this word in the poem "The Buddha" by Jack Kerouac. However,I can't find the meaning on the internet. I used to sit under trees and meditate on the diamond ...
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3answers
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What’s the grammatical gender of the noun ”the past” in English?

I’m translating Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poem “The Past” (into Russian). The text is a bit confusing because of this quatrain: I will betake me to the Past, And she shall make my love at ...
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1answer
280 views

Oscar Wilde's story telling technique

Night after night have I sung of him, though I knew him not: night after night have I told his story to the stars, and now I see him. His hair is as dark as the hyacinth-blossom, and his lips are red ...
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1answer
507 views

“A cat named Easter” [closed]

There is a song called "Crucify" by Tori Amos from the album Little Earthquakes, where the following part caught my attention: ... I know a cat named Easter He says, "Will you ever learn? You'...
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3answers
389 views

“both truth and beauty on my love depends” - why not “depend”? Is “depends” a plural verb (a Shakespearean website says so)?

Shakespeare's Sonnet no. 101: O truant Muse what shall be thy amends For thy neglect of truth in beauty dyed? Both truth and beauty on my love depends; So dost thou too, and therein dignified....
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1answer
14k views

What does “love is love is love” mean?

Often hear it in connection to LGBT. Can anyone please explain what it means? I get the original version: "love is love" but I don't understand the syntax of Lin-Manuel Miranda's poem.
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The Yearly Silly Trip - Chant vs Jingle?

I was looking for a trick [mnemonic] for little children to remember the months of the year in order but I couldn't find any online. Then I made this below and called it The Yearly Silly Trip. My ...
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1answer
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I Could Not Among the Misty Clouds

I could not among the misty clouds / Your unstable and painful image catch, / ‘Oh, my God’, I promptly said aloud, / Having not a thought these words to fetch. / How to make sense of ...
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How to understand Benjamin Franklin's “Time was my spouse”?

Included in Benjamin Franklin's Poor Richard's Quotations is the following poem: Time was my spouse and I could not agree, Striving about superiority: The text which saith that man and wife are ...
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2answers
306 views

What's the meaning of “what a deal of money it brought in change”?

Dick had heard that the streets in London were all paved with gold. So Dick got safe to London, and was in such a hurry to see the fine street paved all over with gold that he did not even stay ...
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2answers
469 views

Meaning of “Unlooked for joy in that I honor most” in a sonnet by Shakespeare

Shakespeare (sonnet 25): Let those who are in favor with their stars Of public honor and proud titles boast, Whilst I, whom fortune of such triumph bars, Unlooked for joy in that I honor ...
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2answers
527 views

What is the meaning of “he kicked up his heels” in the song “Ship in the Sky” by Woody Guthrie?

From a song by Woody Guthrie: Well, a curly-headed girl with a bright shining smile Heard the roar of a plane as it sailed through the sky To her playmates she said, with a bright twinkling eye ...
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3answers
427 views

The meaning of “mat” in “of fortune lying on the mat” in the poem “Memories of the Mine” by Roger Woddis

Memories of the Mine, Roger Woddis: The call of England, home and beauty Led him to labour underground; Young as he was, he did his duty, Unsung, unhonoured and uncrowned. No bugle ...
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1answer
446 views

Meaning of “to hold each heart the heart that shares” in a poem by Byron

A poem by Byron: If that high world, which lies beyond Our own, surviving Love endears; If there the cherished heart be fond, The eye the same, except in tears— How welcome those untrodden ...
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2answers
470 views

The syntax of metaphors in English

I tried to translate a line of a Persian poem into English, it is almost like: If you come to visit me, come slowly and softly Lest the delicate porcelain of my loneliness cracks Here, the ...
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1answer
382 views

Meaning of “She framed the love, and yet she foiled the framing”

From Shakespeare: Fair is my love, but not so fair as fickle; Mild as a dove, but neither true nor trusty; Brighter than glass, and yet, as glass is, brittle; Softer than wax, and yet, as ...