Poetry Is a form of literary art in which language is used for its aesthetic and evocative qualities in addition to, or in lieu of, its apparent meaning.

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Is Nabokov's Pale Fire really in iambic pentameter?

The poem is described as written in heroic couplets (iambic pentameter lines with end rhyme). When I read it, it seems to be to be free verse with end rhyme. I can't consistently identify the iambs ...
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51 views

What are different types of translations called?

When translating poetry (possibly song lyrics) with a meter and sometimes literary devices such as rhymes or acrostics, I can ask which of the following translation types are requested: A ...
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51 views

Forward, the Light Brigade!

I've used an expression like, "Forward, the Light Brigade!" a couple times in our endless IT group meetings, although it's always more along the lines of, "Forward, the endless meetings!" and a ...
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32 views

Is it ok to use the term 'before' as a synonym of 'in front of'?

There is a translation of a Chinese classic poem that goes like this: Before my bed, the bright moonlight is shining.. I find it a bit strange to use 'before' there, is it commonly used or is ...
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146 views

In Rudyard Kipling's poem, “if”, what do “unforgiving minute” and “worth of distance run” mean?

The full-length poem is here. I love this poem and know it by heart, but I don't fully understand the following verse: If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds’ worth of distance ...
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78 views

What is the meaning of this couplet by Alexander Pope?

Authors, like coins, grow dear as they grow old. It is rust we value, not the gold I have a vague idea about the meaning of this couplet. I would appreciate it if someone was able to answer few ...
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53 views

Mythologizing using Capitalization and Metaphorical Names

Is there a word for the literary or rhetorical device evinced in the following examples, where a count noun is capitalized into a name thereby evoking an implied mythology? "in the burrows of the ...
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'If only youthness may come back a day so I may lament to it the grayness'

Arabic poetry يا ليت الشباب يعود يوما، لأخبره بما فعل المشيب If only youthness may come back a day, so I may (complain/unbosom my feelings to it/tell it/lament to it/open my heart so it may ...
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31 views

Need help on writing a Phrase or line in the Lyrics [closed]

This is the original line, " I have anger and sorrow for you " I have to rewrite this line in a rhythmic format Line should intrigue a person Need some help from the experts
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80 views

Did this scan or rhyme when Coleridge wrote it?

The following five lines are from one of the most famous poems in history: A damsel with a dulcimer In a vision once I saw: It was an Abyssinian maid And on her dulcimer she played, ...
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Is there a word for “What might have been”?

Context: You made the decision not to see a person any more. The relationship was good, you were both happy with one another but the one main stumbling block (for you) in the relationship was never ...
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54 views

“…myriad of movement …” Correct or not?

I have a line in a poem using "myriad" as: a myriad of movement the maze will flaunt. Is this correct? If not, what would you suggest?
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44 views

What's a term for a poem with the following qualities?

A poem that Has rhyme Does not follow a rhythm I know that if it has both, it's a lyric. I know if it has neither it's a free verse. And I know if it has no rhyme, but has rhythm it's a blank ...
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107 views

Some residual effects of the Great Vowel Shift

Here's the complete text of a poem by Rudyard Kipling (from "Just So Stories"): The Camel's hump is an ugly lump Which well you may see at the Zoo; But uglier yet is the hump we get From ...
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50 views

Please explain the tenses in the second line

It's a pretty famous poem from Kipling's "Just So Stories." It begins thus: I KEEP six honest serving-men (They taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When And How and Where and ...
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71 views

A Vowel Shift Question

Two lines from Byron's Don Juan: 'T is said that Donna Julia's grandmamma Produced her Don more heirs at love than law. This is the coda to an octave, the finalizing couplet, and it's ...
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50 views

“Were” rather than “would have been”: when did that change?

Please read the following stanza from Byron's "Don Juan": Amongst her numerous acquaintance, all Selected for discretion and devotion, There was the Donna Julia, whom to call Pretty ...
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37 views

Is there a specific word that means, “a quote from a poem?”

I was wondering if there is a simpler way to say, "a quote from a poem." I thought about the word excerpt, but that seems to apply to a bigger chunk of writing. Whereas in this instance, I am ...
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49 views

Poetic License and the Throes of Translating Poetry [closed]

Is poetry in translation worthless? Or not? I don't know. Never mind that for now. I've just read a novella in verse translated into English by someone known for his lapses and Germanisms, but a ...
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90 views

Shakespeare's Scansion: the Sequel

Okay, so we seem to have established (with lots of great and generous help from StoneyB and Peter Shor) that: where it came to certain diphthongs, Shakespeare either elided syllables that didn't ...
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120 views

Why “chickentown” in Clarke's “Evidently Chickentown” [closed]

Evidently Chickentown (warning NSFW language) by John Cooper Clarke. I gather the overall meaning of the poem is, to quote after wiki, to convey a sense of futility and exasperation [through the use ...
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28 views

Armor glistening like glass in Chapman's Homer

I am trying to recover a lovely phrase that I only dimly remember. I think that it's in Chapman's Homer. I think that it's a simile: someone's armor or shield (perhaps Agamemnon's) "glistens like ...
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42 views

What type of prose poetry is this?

When I use the first line as a metaphor/imagery and the second line as its literal translation, as in this oversimplified example: She is my coffeehouse She restores my energy or even ...
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3answers
153 views

“Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise…”

There is an often quoted poem by a famous Japanese poet Matsuo Bashō which is translated to English in either of two ways: Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise; seek what they ...
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61 views

Kiplings’s Mandalay :: ten-year soldier [closed]

There in Mandalay by Kipling, the following stanza is presented: An’ I’m learnin’ ’ere in London what the ten-year soldier tells: “If you’ve ’eard the East a-callin’, you won’t never ’eed naught ...
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What are “tribal lays”?

There is a famous poem from Kipling: In the Neolithic Age. There it says: "There are nine and sixty ways of constructing tribal lays, "And every single one of them is right!" My question ...
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558 views

Word for the point where we stare when in a deep thought [closed]

As stated in the title. What is the word or phrase for the point where we stare at, when our mind is caught in a deep thought? To a sanctum, past the reaches Of my fancy and my whim I sit, staring at ...
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1answer
112 views

How does one scan multi-syllabic words in poetry to determine meter?

Let me explain. Usually poems written in iambic pentameter have short syllables. A line could be, say: I DROVE past DANcing BIRDS aLONG the WAY. But what if we have longer words, like "alluring, ...
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97 views

“Memorial” a poem by MacCaig [closed]

This poem is Memorial by Norman MacCaig. Can you please help me understand what it means and explain how the narrator feels about death and what would be the purpose and audience of this poem? ...
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1answer
57 views

Why is it “make”?

There's a poem in bahasa indonesia, titled "Aku Ingin (I want)" by Sapardi Djoko Damono, translated to english by John H. McGlynn. This is the english version: I want I want to love you ...
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50 views

Term for when a rhyming word is unspoken? [duplicate]

I was watching a cartoon and part way through a song came on, and it had these two stanzas: Why do you have to look up to her Aside from in a literal sense? Don't you know that a power that ...
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114 views

In what mode does Tom Bombadil sing?

In J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings (book 1 of "The Fellowship of the Ring", chapter 7, "In the House of Tom Bombadil", specifically) the character Tom Bombadil sings many of his lines (much of ...
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194 views

What is “thars” in Dr. Seuss poetry “The Sneetches”?

The Sneetches, by Dr. Seuss: Now, the Star-Belly Sneetches had bellies with stars. The Plain-Belly Sneetches had none upon thars. Those stars weren’t so big. They were really so small. ...
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1answer
54 views

What is the difference between a caesura and metrical silence in poetry?

I know both are a pause but I'm not sure if they refer to the same thing. I've been using a German book on poetry to help with my translation project. I've came across Zäsur which I found to be ...
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148 views

Name for literary device of changing person

Is there a name for the device of changing between third person and second person in a poem? Basically going back and forth from talking about the subject and talking to the subject. This happens a ...
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What was the archaic source of “All Turns To Yesterday”?

I was recently reminded of Mediæval Bæbes' performance of "All Turns To Yesterday" (perhaps best known from its adaptation into Delerium's Aria). I've read that it's a rendition of a traditional ...
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988 views

What is “irregular rhyme?”

In my search for the definition for the poetry term "doggerel," which I still do not understand, I came across the term "irregular rhyme." Can someone explain the definition of these terms, and how ...
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Sun and moon: male or female?

In other languages, the sun and the moon have definite genders: in French and many other romanic languages le soleil (the sun) is male and la lune (the moon) is female. In German and other germanic ...
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143 views

choosing a synonym of “wind” in my song [closed]

I'm writing words to a song, and I'm hesitating between some synonyms for "wind" (I'm writing the lyrics here, context is me being alone at night in an old remote mansion) : "Late last night lke the ...
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319 views

Is there a term when the final spelling of a word is changed for rhyming purposes?

We see and hear it all the time in commercials, advertisements, poetry, jokes, etc... One classic example is this light and very interesting poem by Ogden Nash, where we can find two instances of ...
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57 views

What “harbor deception” mean? [closed]

Everyone lies to their neighbor; they flatter with their lips but harbor deception in their hearts harbor means 'a place of refuge', and deception means 'the action of deceiving ...
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156 views

Is it a verse or stanza?

Is "verse" or "stanza" the proper word to refer to some "paragraph" in a poem? For example, in Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, Over ...
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189 views

Meaning of this short quote/poem [closed]

I watched the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind yesterday, and this quote in the movie forms the theme: How happy is the blameless vestal's lot! The world forgetting, by the world ...
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764 views

Merrily did we drop below the kirk

Here is an excerpt from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Coleridge: The ship was cheered, the harbour cleared, Merrily did we drop Below the kirk, below the hill, Below the ...
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132 views

Can someone explain this quote from 'The Tempest'?

I was reading a Russian translation of Shakespeare's The Tempest, when the queer word choice by the translator made me open the original work to see what the author actually wrote. And here it is: ...
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What does graphological deviation mean in stylistics analysis?

If I have a poem, that is a sonnet, with an octave and a sestet - can you then say that this gap between them is a graphological deviation?
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What is the term for the relationship between two words when they have similar but not identical pronunciation? [closed]

What is the term for the relationship between two words when they have similar but not identical pronunciation? For example the words "cheat" and "sheet", "core" and "sour", "think" and "thank", ...
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156 views

“But for all his foolish pranks, he was worshipped in the ranks”

But, for all his foolish pranks, He was worshipped in the ranks The Green Eye of the Little Yellow God As a native English speaker, it was always clear to me that Mad Carew was worshipped ...
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123 views

What's up with G. M. Hopkins's use of accented characters?

Here are a some extracts from G. M. Hopkins I say móre: the just man justices; Keeps grace: thát keeps all his goings graces; Or this And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim. Or ...
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39 views

Meaning of “while” in a specific context

As a non-native reader I am having a hard time to figure out if the "while" sentence in Wordsworth's poem "The Excursion" in the following section (5th line, "while that poor bird") is merely ...