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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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 ...
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What are the rules in composing a Haiku? (aside from the syllable count)

Aside from the syllable count what else do I need consider when writing a Haiku? I'm referring to the English imitation of a Haiku. I have been told that the first two lines should be descriptions ...
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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
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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, ...
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Rime of the Ancient Mariner?

I recently read the beautiful poem by Samuel Coleridge. Why did he call it a rime? I looked up rime on the dictionary, and it means a thin layer of ice; so was the name playing around with the rhyme ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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“The world forgetting, by the world forgot.”

This is from Alexander Pope's Eloisa to Abelard, also appeared in the movie Eternal Sunshine of Spotless Mind(2004). Could anyone parse this sentence for me? Where's the predicate? What does "the ...
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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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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 ...
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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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Etymology: “main” meaning sea or ocean

In Kipling's "The Land" he writes: Then did robbers enter Britain from across the Northern main And our Lower River-field was won by Ogier the Dane. Here "main" seems to mean sea, i.e. the ...
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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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A poetic/literary term for “Ice Age”? [closed]

Is there a poetic/literary term for "Ice Age" (besides "glacial epoch")?
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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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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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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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Help with older English couplet

I was translating a text, but then the author quoted an old poem by an author named John Ball. I have seen it written in two different forms: "Be war or ye be wo; Knoweth your frend from your foo" ...
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Is this correct: “Aloof the hallow things shall always be”?

I'm writing a poem, and I wondered if, to a native speaker, this would sound awkward (or grammatically incorrect): Aloof the hallow things shall always be. As a variant of The hallow things ...
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How to understand these verses from the poem “The road not taken” by Robert Frost

I actually have two questions regarding this poem: The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, ...
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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“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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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" ...
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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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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 ...
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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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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.
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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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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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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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Shakespeare and Maths: Metre and Completeness

Shakespearian sonnets have a particular structure where each line of the poem contains ten syllables (due to the use of iambic pentameter). This is, one might think, because ten sounds 'complete' to ...
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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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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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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." ...
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“Made a rhyme without effort” in English from Spanish “Hice verso sin esfuerzo”

In Spanish we can say "Hice verso sin esfuerzo", which means something along the lines of "I made a rhyme without effort", whilst rhyming. What would be an English equivalent of this phrase? I've ...
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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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Deciphering of William Henley's “Bus-Driver”: put 'a bit on'?

This beautiful sonnet, "Bus-Driver" by William Henley, is studded with idioms, some of which are hard to understand. I've bolded one part (of the two) I don't understand: He’s called The General ...
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“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 ...
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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 ...
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What figure(s) of speech or expression are in play here?

I recently heard a somewhat poetic song lyric that I couldn't pin down. The writer says of a failed relationship: We broke a diamond with our bitter words. I get diamond as a metonym for ...
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Term for poems structured by repetitive devices

Terms such as "blank verse", "free verse" and "heroic couplet" are used to refer to poems with particular forms. I am curious to know whether there exists a term for poems that are strongly ...
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What do you call “rhymes” which are spelt but not sounded the same way?

Here is an example from T. S. Eliot: And even the Abstract Entities Circumambulate her charm; But our lot crawls between dry ribs To keep our metaphysics warm. I expect most people would say ...
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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?