Questions tagged [poetry]

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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411 views

What does the translator mean in English in this translation of a verse by the Urdu poet Ghalib? [closed]

Here is the translation of a verse by Ghalib [1797–1869], originally written1 in the Urdu language: Neither Asad besought cruelty, nor was thy tyranny fond of the insanity; to whatever extent I ...
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Did noted 17th century poet Katherine Philips make a grammatical error?

Does the last line of the first stanza of Katherine Philips's poem, To Mrs. M. A. at parting have a grammatical error? It's surprising that a renowned poet and translator at that time would use the ...
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How many syllables in "every"?

I've come across answers that say something along the lines of, "Well I've only heard people pronounce it ev'ry." Yeah, well if people started mass-jumping off of buildings, that doesn't mean I'd do ...
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Usage of the word "moan" in Keats's poems

In John Keats's poem La Belle Dame sans Merci, he writes, "She looked at me as she did love,/ And made sweet moan." Keats seems to use the word "moan" in a similar sense in the third stanza of Ode to ...
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2answers
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What is it called when poems rhyme the second-last word in two lines?

There's one thing I've seen occasionally in poetry (the only examples that currently spring to mind are from Edgar Allan Poe, but I know I've also seen it elsewhere) where instead of using two ...
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In the poem GREEN BERET by HO THIEN, is this line considered as using irony? [closed]

In the poem Green Beret by Ho Thien, there are the lines: in that same instant, protected by frail tears far stronger than any wall of steel Is irony being used in the above lines?
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What are fanners?

In the Rudyard Kipling poem The Bee-Boy's Song there is a section that goes: Tell 'em coming in an' out, Where the Fanners fan, What are these fanners that the bees are so curious to know about?
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342 views

"And was Jerusalem builded here" - in the early 1800's was "builded" standard usage?

In the poem "Jerusalem" by William Blake the line ... And was Jerusalem builded here ... appears. Today I think most people would write that line as ... And was Jerusalem built here . I'm ...
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"As .. as I am" in the beginning of sentence [closed]

Is this sentence gramatically correct? How does it sound? I suppose that nobody would probably say it this way in a casual conversation, but does it sound awkward or rather poetic to native speakers? ...
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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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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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441 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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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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89 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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218 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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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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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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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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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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803 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 deceive, ...
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1answer
804 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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625 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 translation ...
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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
105 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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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 ...
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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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'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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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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456 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, Singing ...
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Is there a word for the sadness over "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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Is "...myriad of movement ..." correct or not? [closed]

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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104 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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422 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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108 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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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 supposed to ...
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656 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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112 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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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 fit ...
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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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"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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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 What ...
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11answers
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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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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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"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
201 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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379 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 big ...
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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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1answer
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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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556 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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