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0answers
34 views

discussing meaning in language - poetry and song lyrics [migrated]

Not really a language question (probably more of a meta question really), but where is the best forum to discuss meaning / interpretation of poetry / song lyrics - pragmatics, inference, metaphor, ...
2
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5answers
119 views

Do readers think of the word “ejaculate” beyond its common sexual meaning? [closed]

I am an editor, and a poet whom I work with has included the expression "I ejaculated little prayers" in one of his stanzas, which we all know has the dictionary meaning of "intensely calling out." ...
0
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2answers
70 views

What is Poetry? What does not count as Poetry? Help me get a grasp of it [closed]

Background: Yesterday afternoon I overheard two people chatting, I think one was reading or reciting a poem. It was quite emotional, and actually quite lovely. Later I saw several poems on TEDTalks ...
4
votes
3answers
138 views

The meaning of “rack” or “rock” in “The Peasant Poet” by John Clare

From “The Peasant Poet”, a poem by John Clare: He loved the brook's soft sound, The swallow swimming by. He loved the daisy-covered ground, The cloud-bedappled sky. To him the dismal storm ...
1
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1answer
84 views

This word doesn't make any sense in this context

Cowley's Poems: But I within me bear alas too great allays. What does this 'allay' mean? This poet says, I wish I could be overheat with praise!, so this man is unhappy. However, allay ...
2
votes
1answer
158 views

Meaning of “top” in “to sleep as sound as a top”

From "The Early Bird", by George MacDonald. A little bird sat on the edge of her nest; Her yellow-beaks slept as sound as tops; Day-long she had worked almost without rest, And had ...
2
votes
1answer
75 views

“Angels fall, they are towers”: what is “towers” here? Froma poem by G.M.Hopkins

From a poem of G. M. Hopkins titled "The Shepherd’s brow, fronting forked lightning, owns": THE SHEPHERD’S brow, fronting forked lightning, owns The horror and the havoc and the glory Of ...
2
votes
1answer
104 views

“over his turned temples”, from a poem by G.M.Hopkins

From Gerard Manley Hopkins' poem, "The Furl of fresh-leaved dogrose down" Then over his turnèd temples—here— Was a rose, or, failing that, Rough-Robin or five-lipped campion clear ...
4
votes
2answers
120 views

“the stir and keep of pride” in G.M.Hopkins' poem

From The Habit of Perfection by Gerard Manley Hopkins: Nostrils, your careless breath that spend Upon the stir and keep of pride, What relish shall the censers send Along the ...
0
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2answers
91 views

“a truce to sport..” from a poem by Paul Laurence Dunbar

From "A Lazy Day" by Paul Laurence Dunbar: No ripple stirs the placid pool, When my adventurous line is cast, A truce to sport, while clear and cool, The mirrored clouds slide ...
2
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2answers
85 views

“be in at the end I cannot”, from G.M.Hopkins' poem

There's a great poem by G.M. Hopkins, in which I but vaguely get the meaning of the two last stanzas, stumbling at properly parsing the sentences in my mind. In particular, I don't understand the ...
0
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1answer
51 views

Being mighty a master, being a father and fond: what “fond” is?

I'm not sure of the meaning of the last word in the last line of G.M. Hopkin's "In the valley of the Elwy": God, lover of souls, swaying considerate scales, Complete thy creature dear O where it ...
2
votes
2answers
65 views

“brought some horses, real heelers..” : what is “heeler” here?

I quote from An Evening in Dandaloo (1891) by Banjo Paterson: It was while we held our races -- Hurdles, sprints and steplechases -- Up in Dandaloo, That a crowd of Sydney stealers, Jockeys, ...
1
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2answers
142 views

Meaning of ‘silvan game’ [closed]

Does anybody know the meaning of italicized phrase? Fye upon your name! In wrath, for loss of silvan game, Saint Hilda’s priest ye slew. It's passage from Walter Scott's Marmion, Canto ...
2
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2answers
121 views

“so death swings open on its hinge” [closed]

There is a passage in the poem "Over" by Carol Ann Duffy that I don't understand well. It is a key, unlocking all the dark, so death swings open on its hinge What is the meaning of the second ...
2
votes
2answers
418 views

“time and time over” meaning

What does "time and time over" mean ? I encountered this verse in a Philip Larkin poem. they come, they wake us time and time over.
8
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3answers
605 views

Difference between “dawn” and “realize”

I encountered a word dawn and I have a feeling I understood the meaning in context. For example, 1) It dawned on him that she had loved him. means 2) It entered his consciousness that she ...
4
votes
2answers
322 views

Sing Song - nursery poem definitions

My wife was reading me this poem for our kids' homeschool A city plum is not a plum; A dumb-bell is no bell, though dumb; A statesman's rat is not a rat; A sailor's cat is not a cat; A soldier's ...
2
votes
1answer
583 views

What does “And she promises the earth to me…” mean?

I like the famous song. But I can't understand what does "to promise the earth" mean. Does she want to give the Earth to him? I suspect native English speakers find it a strange question. Maybe I ...
10
votes
5answers
681 views

What does “trostle” mean?

In the poem Pi, by Wislawa Szymborska, there is this line: in which we find how blithe the trostle sings! A Google search for trostle turns up a few hits, mostly as people's last names. Urban ...