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
44 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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1answer
43 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
37 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
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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
38 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
32 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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1answer
249 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
3k views

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
51 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
118 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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1answer
466 views

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
96 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
46 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
496 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
56 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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3answers
2k views

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
116 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
63 views

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
165 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
327 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
309 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
8k 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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49 views

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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2answers
42 views

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
199 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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1answer
306 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
443 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
396 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
315 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
420 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
265 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 ...
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1answer
142 views

Meaning of “passing surmisal” in a poem by Francis Thompson

To a Snowflake by Francis Thompson: What heart could have thought you? -- Past our devisal (O filigree petal!) Fashioned so purely, Fragilely, surely, From what Paradisal Imagineless ...
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1answer
255 views

Meaning of “in the like name of that love of ours” (and specifically of “like”) in a poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

A sonnet translated by Elizabeth Barrett Browning from Portuguese: Beloved, thou hast brought me many flowers Plucked in the garden, all the summer through And winter, and it seemed as if they ...
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1answer
85 views

Meaning of “taught us only by a broken heart” in “The Negro's Complaint” by William Cowper

From The Negro's Complaint by William Cowper: By our blood in Afric wasted, Ere our necks received the chain; By the miseries that we tasted, Crossing in our barks the main; By our ...
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1answer
284 views

Meaning of “match” in William Cowper's poem 'The Negro's Complaint'

From The Negro's Complaint by William Cowper: Is there, as ye sometimes tell us, Is there One who reigns on high? Has he bid you buy and sell us, Speaking from his throne, the sky? Ask ...
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1answer
42 views

What's the meaning of these Shakespearean English sentences being used in here?

Source Cleopatra, Othello, Romeo and Juliet, they all blend in because forsooth here that whole dying for love or killing for love business is verily a sweet sorrow. A special shout out also to the ...
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1answer
250 views

Is there a specific poetry technique to refer to font types?

Source What I mean is a part of the poetry that is in block letters or in italics or in bold to emphasise something. Is there a particular terminology that I can refer this as? An example: ...
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75 views

Why is it “when” and not “then” in Wilfred Owen's poem? What is the meaning with “when”?

From The Calls by Owen: Stern bells annoy the rooks and doves at ten. I watch the verger close the doors, and when I hear the organ moan the first amen, Sing my religion's---same as ...
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1answer
87 views

Meaning of “its lead and place” in Kipling's Poem

THE SAILOR: I tell this tale, which is stricter true, (25) Just by way of convincing you How very little, since things was made, Things have altered in the shipwright’s trade. ...
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1answer
191 views

Verb chaining and tenses: “To where we've been before” vs. “To where we'd been before” in a poem by Brodsky

Here is a piece by Brodsky I wish you were here, dear, I wish you were here. I wish we were in my car, and you'd shift the gear. we'd find ourselves elsewhere, on an unknown shore. Or ...
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4answers
225 views

Meaning of “the bents were jealous else” in Browning's Childe Roland

From Browning's Childe Roland: If there push’d any ragged thistle-stalk Above its mates, the head was chopp’d; the bents Were jealous else. What made those holes and rents In the dock’s ...
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1answer
296 views

Meaning of “a burr had been a treasure trove” in Browning's Childe Roland

From Browning's Childe Roland: So, on I went. I think I never saw Such starv’d ignoble nature; nothing throve: For flowers—as well expect a cedar grove! But cockle, spurge, according to ...
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1answer
93 views

Meaning of “feels begin and end the tears” in Browning's Childe Roland

From Childe Roland: As when a sick man very near to death Seems dead indeed, and feels begin and end The tears and takes the farewell of each friend, And hears one bid the other go, draw ...
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1answer
323 views

Meaning of “crutch 'gin” in Browning's Childe Roland

From Browning's Childe Roland: What else should he be set for, with his staff? What, save to waylay with his lies, ensnare All travellers who might find him posted there, And ask the road?...
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1answer
109 views

Does this Homer-style sentence have a correct meaning?

My friend is writing a poem and I am reviewing it. It is based on Greek Mythology and this is one stanza of the poem: Upon Zeus the burden of the decision fell, And he felt his lightning bolt ...
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1answer
1k views

What are the poetic features of this poem? [closed]

What are the poetic features of this poem? And how can I know or determine the metrical beat in stanzas?
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2answers
2k views

Zen of Python meaning of “unless you're Dutch”

There should be one-- and preferably only one --obvious way to do it. Although that way may not be obvious at first unless you're Dutch. (Zen of Python) why in this poetry it says: unless ...
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2answers
191 views

Meaning of “To wage the warfare, watch, and pray, show who are pleasing in his sight”

From "A Living and a Dead Faith" by William Cowper (part of the "Olney Hymns"): To walk as children of the day, To mark the precepts' holy light, To wage the warfare, watch, and pray, Show ...