Tagged Questions

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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9k views

Understand Rudyard Kipling's poem If

I came across Rudyard Kipling's poem If, quoted below: If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you, If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, ...
2
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2answers
687 views

How do we interpret these lines from 'Ulysses'?

What do these lines from Ulysses mean exactly? What is a sinking star? How does the simile work in the first line? This summary calls the phrase ambiguous. To follow knowledge like a sinking star, ...
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2answers
3k views

What does this poem mean? “It's not the cough that'll carry you off It's the coffin they'll carry you off in” [closed]

What does this poem mean? It's not the cough that'll carry you off It's the coffin they'll carry you off in
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2answers
154 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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1answer
119 views

Meaning of “I kissed her for her mother”

I recently re-read E.J. Brady's Down in Honolulu, but this line has stuck out to me: I kissed her for her mother,   I gev' her one, two, three; I squoze her for her brother— ...
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0answers
239 views

What meter is best for songs, especially hymns? [closed]

I realize that this may be somewhat open-ended, but although I am not a poet, I want to try my hand at writing a song, perhaps a hymn, and wonder if perhaps iambic pentameter is best, or perhaps ...
2
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1answer
287 views

What is the meaning of the line “Upon a homely object Love can wink” in this context

What's the meaning of the last line of this extract from Shakespeare's Two Gentlemen of Verona? Valentine. This is the gentleman I told your ladyship Had come along with me, but that his ...
9
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1answer
800 views

Why are identical rhymes inferior in English poetry?

From “War Pigs” by Black Sabbath: Generals gathered in their masses Just like witches at black masses In English poetry, a perfect rhyme has identical vowels but different onsets, like come ...
1
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1answer
169 views

Is there a technical term for when verbs in a sentence appear as if they have been swapped around? [closed]

Is there a technical term for when verbs in a sentence appear as if they have been swapped around as in the example here? 'her fingers creased in gold [and] her body ringed in folds' In this ...
4
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2answers
807 views

Why present perfect in “When the night has come”?

In the song “Stand by Me”, we see a sentence like “when the night has come.” I was taught that in a when clause, we use the past tense, yet the present perfect has been used in the sentence cited ...
6
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1answer
670 views

What do you call a poem or song that sets up a rhyme and then ignores it?

Here is a line from the song "Popular" in the musical Wicked. I am trying to explain what we call the anticlimax of the last three lines, where a rhyme is expected but not delivered. When I see ...
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5answers
476 views

What's the word for something that's too direct and plain rather than poetic?

When someone writes poetry that's almost like plain English sentences, what may we call that? Consider this, for example. This is an example of that plain, stated as it is, poetry (completely made ...
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1answer
417 views

Iambic Tetrameter?

God and my right shall me defend. I have said this motto a fair few times in my head a number of times and it seems as though iambic tetrameter is the meter that fits best The way I see it is, ...
2
votes
1answer
293 views

Meter in Clare's “I am”

I've determined that almost all of John Clare's "I am" is in iambic pentameter. But I'm having trouble identifying the meter of the following line: But the vast shipwreck of my life's esteems My ...
0
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4answers
226 views

Why is there no article in “The Child is father of the man”?

The Rainbow by William Wordsworth: My heart leaps up when I behold A Rainbow in the sky: So was it when my life began; So is it now I am a man; So be it when I shall grow old, Or let me ...
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4answers
2k views

Why don’t we write poetry like Beowulf any longer?

Beowulf, the Old English epic poem, uses a characteristically Germanic style of poetry in which the number of strong beats per line is what counts. Instead of counting syllables, strong beats alone ...
3
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3answers
427 views

Contexts where a comma means “and”

A comma is commonly used as a short form of the word and in newspaper headlines. In what other contexts is this convention common? This question came to mind as I was trying to parse the following ...
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4answers
849 views

Why is this considered a “romantic” poem? [closed]

In Willam Blake's poem, what makes it a romantic poem? I wandered through each chartered street, Near where the chartered Thames does flow, A mark in every face I meet, Marks of weakness, ...
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0answers
66 views

ending a sentence with a preposition [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When is it appropriate to end a sentence in a preposition? "a soul can sense when it’s being talked to." Does this sound OK? I don't like ending with a preposition, but ...
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2answers
513 views

What term describes enjambment alluding to a taboo word?

In the schoolyard rhyme "Miss Susie" the taboo word is spoken aloud, so I'm not sure that it qualifies as a mind rhyme. Likewise, in the case of a subverted rhyme the expected word isn't spoken. I ...
2
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2answers
124 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
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1answer
253 views

Should I use period pronunciation when reading poetry aloud? [closed]

I find that when I read older poetry, the rhyme scheme is sometimes broken and I assume that the problem comes from changes in pronunciation over time. For example, Poe keeps up a pretty impressive ...
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0answers
178 views

using the word found in a poem [closed]

I have the line: Whereupon the new found its gallows. In this case, could found double as "found having come upon" and "found having outfitted or equipped" and be used without having to used ...
2
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2answers
604 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.
2
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3answers
235 views

Loathe. The atypical use of the verb [closed]

I have a quick question about the atypical grammar of mine. I am a poet using iambic pentameter. The question is whether the following is grammatically correct: I she loathes. That I loathe. ...
2
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4answers
316 views

Can bacon or beans suggest some sort of alcohol?

I just read this poem: The Englishman by G.K. Chesterton St George he was for England, And before he killed the dragon He drank a pint of English ale Out of an English flagon. For ...
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3answers
729 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 ...
5
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2answers
375 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 ...
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1answer
360 views

Meter in Tennyson's *Maud*

How should Tennyson's Maud be read? I.e. what is its meter? Here are the first four lines: I HATE the dreadful hollow behind the little wood, Its lips in the field above are dabbled with ...
1
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2answers
962 views

How to cite Shakespearean Blank Verse or Free Verse in an MLA Paper [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to quote multiple lines of verse inline If I am using a quote that is only one line, I would not need a / between lines. But, when do I use a / - for free verse or ...
2
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4answers
19k views

Difference between meter and rhythm in poetry

What is the difference between meter and rhythm in poetry? The explanations found from googling were highly confusing.
8
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7answers
831 views

Term for poetry that mimics what it describes

I'm blanking on the term for when a verse mimics that which it describes - for example, a poem talking about a confusing encounter would become confusing itself - each time I search for it I keep ...
8
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5answers
4k views

What is the meaning of “pole to pole” here?

In the poem Invictus by William Ernest Henley (Youtube) I failed to grasp the meaning of the line "black as the pit from pole to pole": Out of the night that covers me, Black as the pit from ...
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3answers
1k views

“Poems” or “poetry”

Can poems and poetry be used interchangeably, or is that incorrect usage? In normal conversation, they are used as synonyms often.
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2answers
1k views

Is this an example of litotes?

In Macbeth's Tomorrow speech To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day, To the last syllable of recorded time; And all our yesterdays have lighted ...
3
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1answer
559 views

Is there a “correct” way to perform scansion in poetry?

Is there a foolproof or "rigorous" way to accurately and repeatably perform scansion in English poetry? It seems highly subjective at times. For example, I can pretty easily grasp the iambic ...
4
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1answer
233 views

Human Face Divine

I recently read that there is a grammatical construct known as a Miltonic Structure, after John Milton. It said that the structure consists of an adjective + noun + adjective, like "human face divine" ...
5
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3answers
11k views

What do you call the “narrator” of lyric poem?

In a narrative poem, the entity telling the story is called the narrator. The narrator is different from the author, in that the author is the real person who wrote the poem, while the narrator is a ...
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2answers
2k views

How does one tell the difference between long and short syllables?

Currently in the process of playing with Limericks and the meter they use usually requires a meter of long followed by two short syllables or vice versa. My question, how do you differentiate? Is it ...
4
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0answers
169 views

Older pronunciations of the “-ity” suffix [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Rhyming conventions of Early Modern English Andrew Marvell's poem To His Coy Mistress from the mid-1600's follows an AABBCCDD[...] rhyming pattern. Therefore, it is ...
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3answers
2k views

What does the grave accent mark on words mean?

What exactly does the grave accent mean in English? An example from Shakespeare’s Sonnet 30: The sad account of fore-bemoanèd moan
2
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2answers
564 views

Syntax in poetry

Could you please explain why the syntax in the following stanza is wrong? Surrounded by that sturdy assertiveness that walled England the din of traffic in my mind quietens,
9
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1answer
360 views

What's the point of omitting the “e”, as in “sceptered” going to “scepter'd”, in English poetry?

These are a few of my favorite lines of Shakespearean poetry: Methinks I am a prophet new inspir’d, And thus expiring do foretell of him: His rash fierce blaze of riot cannot last, For ...
2
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2answers
163 views

Changed upon the blue guitar?

I had seen the following excerpt from this poem in a rhetoric workbook a while ago as an example of a word construction: They said, "You have a blue guitar, You do not play things as they are." ...
2
votes
3answers
692 views

Is “e'er” a true English word?

Are poetic contractions, such as "e'er", "o'er" and "ne'er" (and other less common ones), English? As in officially recognized?
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3answers
751 views

Meaning of “The most I ever did for you, was to outlive you, / But that is much”

What did the poet mean by the following lines? The most I ever did for you, was to outlive you, But that is much. — Edna St. Vincent Millay I am not able to understand the meaning ...
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3answers
1k views

What does “noon hour” mean?

I came across the following sentence in a book. I wonder how should I interpret "noon hour": "And how shall you rise beyond your days and nights unless you break the chains which you at the ...
3
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4answers
361 views

Is cruel standard use as a noun in poetry? Are there terms for non-standard English specifically in regard to use in poetry?

I hope this question isn't off-topic. I heard a madrigal with the following verse which bothers me somewhat, grammatically. Cruel, wilt thou persever? Peace to leave ever? Peace shalt thou have and ...
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5answers
753 views

What does “high” add to the meaning of this sentence of Tagore's poem?

Do not seat your love upon a precipice because it is high. What is the meaning of the word high in this sentence?
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2answers
12k views

What is the difference between a “stanza” and a “verse”, as applied to English literature?

What is the difference between 'stanza' and 'verse' in English Literature (Poetry)? I've read one of my classmate's essays and the word 'verse' cropped up - I thought that the word 'verse' was usually ...