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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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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91 views

For whom the bell tolls - origin of “ask not” instead of “never send to know”

"Ask not for whom the bell tolls" is a popular cliche. My understanding is that it comes from John Donne's Meditation XVII (1623). But in Donne's poem, the line is any man's death diminishes me, ...
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4answers
497 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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0answers
59 views

Poems without repeating syllables [closed]

Was there such a poem at any time? To write without repeating syllables a significant amount of text. Say at least 60 syllables, but the greater the better. I'm looking for such poems and other texts. ...
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1answer
44 views

In poetry, what can I use to refer to someone without gender?

I am translating a poem from Korean. The poet is deliberately avoiding a gender reference (or, deeming it unnecessary) by using a neutral impersonal pronoun. In Korean there are generally few inbuilt ...
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1answer
71 views

At the sight of blackbirds [closed]

In... At the sight of blackbirds Flying in the green light, Even the bawds of euphony Would cry out sharply. (Wallace Stevens) .. is it that (1) the bawds of euphony are seeing the blackbirds ...
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1answer
34 views

poetic or artistic uses of prefix “proto”

The prefix "proto" is found in technical writing, meaning "first" (as in the first form of a chemical compound or biological process). But it's an evocative word for me as a composer when used to ...
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3answers
53 views

Meaning of 'be bond to' in “since ye are bond to that magic” in 19th-century poem [closed]

I am reading a poem by Rudyard Kipling, Kitchener's School (http://www.kiplingsociety.co.uk/poems_kitchener.htm) and I am wondering about the precise meaning/possible connotations of the verb 'be bond ...
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40 views

In terms of poetry, what is the Thomas code?

I was reading a book review of Wittgenstein's Mistress on goodreads, and I came across the sentence, "Without such accessible lecture notes, I may not have ever cracked the Thomas code and may never ...
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2answers
104 views

Variety of English used by the Romantic poets| -eth/-s for the third person singular in particular

I have recently been reading poetry by John Keats and Rabindranath Tagore. Both these poets, being active in the 19th century, by which time I think English was quite as it is today, wrote still in ...
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1answer
153 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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72 views

What is the 'opposite' of ekphrasis?

Given that ekphrasis means, according to the Poetry Foundation, "an ekphrastic poem is a vivid description of a scene or, more commonly, a work of art", is there a term to describe the 'opposite' ...
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1answer
34 views

Explanation of two lines needed [closed]

"Seems silly that a man my size so full of vim and zest, Could find himself defeated by a small pain in his chest.” - Small Pain in My Chest by Michael Mack Can someone please give a sophisticated ...
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4answers
26k 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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1answer
38 views

Unable to understand this quote [closed]

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line, Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it. The Rubaiyat of Omar ...
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1answer
74 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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2answers
18 views

Meaning of “and the bright eyes of danger”

In Robert Louis Stevenson poem, Youth And Love: I., there is a line that I can't quite understand. and the bright eyes of danger. Here is the complete poem: Once only by the garden gate Our lips we ...
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4answers
2k views

Parsing the first two lines of “Western Wind”

The 16th century poem "Western Wind" goes as follows: Westron wynde, when wilt thou blow, The small raine down can raine. Cryst, if my love were in my armes And I in my bedde ...
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2answers
71 views

What does Interpretation by Vikram Seth mean? [closed]

In the poetry collection All You Who Sleep Tonight by Vikram Seth, is this four-line poem entitled Interpretation: Somewhere within your loving look I sense, Without the least intention to ...
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1answer
75 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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1answer
61 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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1answer
69 views

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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1answer
57 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 co-...
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2answers
38 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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2answers
154 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 ...
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169 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 of ...
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3answers
353 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 sought....
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3answers
770 views

What was Princeton 6 in Jamaican English?

I got an Old Raggae album and started listening to "Bam Bam" by Sister Nancy (youtube) After listening several times, I could start making out the English words (lyrics): A me seh one thing Nancy ...
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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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2answers
33 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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2answers
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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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1answer
90 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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“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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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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1answer
134 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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3answers
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“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
75 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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54 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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“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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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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1answer
54 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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1answer
557 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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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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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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11answers
670 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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3answers
64 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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1answer
439 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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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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1answer
186 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, ...