Down and Out in Paris and London was George Orwell's first book. He wanted to experience poverty at first hand so chose two great cities for his experiment. It's still of relevance today.
Shelley, the English Romantic, wrote "Hymn To Intellectual Beauty" in 1816, inspired by his visit to Lake Geneva. It's an attempt to capture the elusive Spirit of Beauty, the unseen mysterious Power.
In The Rain in the Trees, W. S. Merwin combines aspects of Romanticism and postmodernism in his approach to nature.
Seamus Heaney wrote this poem whilst watching his father digging in the garden. It is his most popular poem, using the metaphors of pen and spade to explore time and family commitments.
When Marie Howe's young brother died of AIDS complications, she wrote What the Living Do as a life-affirming poem. Despite the trivial day-to-day things we do, wanting more life, remembrance is vital.
In his first month out of the University of Texas decades ago, Dearen wrote the first line of a book that would require three decades to complete.
William Shakespeare's sonnet 144 brings together two loves: a man right fair and a woman coloured ill, making this a sonnet of the triangular love affair. Agony in ecstasy, heaven in hell, doubt.
The speaker in Emily Dickinson's "The wheel is in the dark!" is making a statement about knowing without sense perception.
A brief estimate of Nirad Chaudhuri's idea of nationalism, its various categories, and its practical implications as expounded in "The Autobiography of an Unknown Indian".
"But what are kings, when regiment is gone, but perfect shadows in a sunshine day?" What are rights without responsibilities? This article examines the tragic irony of kingship in Marlowe's Edward II
Dickinson's "There is a word" features one of the poet's many poems that may qualify as riddles. She keeps the reader guessing until the end when she finally reveals the "word" that "bears a sword."
Sonnet 128 is purely for fun; the speaker plies his clever creativity as he dramatizes his feigned jealousy of the keyboard on which his lady is playing music for him.
Attorney Fallas's life was dedicated to acquiring knowledge about ministering to the mentally challenged in order to care for his son, who suffered brain damage while being born.
The article discusses a writing workshop and reading given by author Susan Froetschel. It includes a review of Froetschel's book Royal Escape.
From missing flights to doomed Everest summits, these books are sure to put some hair on your chest.
This linguistic analysis and critique of Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse and Lilith: A Metamorphosis by Dagmar Nick will help you better understand both classic novels and their significance.
One of Emily Dickinson's poems on the subject of human pain, exploring the physical, mental and emotional anguish we experience when grief hits. Full of metaphor and cold imagery.
Though Bone is an anti-hero in Rule of the Bone, he experiences many losses of innocence that shape him into the person he becomes.
"Win Bigly" by Scott Adams is equal parts an introduction to persuasion, political commentary, and psychology.
Betty Robinson was the first woman from the United States, or anywhere, to win an Olympic track and field gold medal (1928). 'Fire on the Track' is the main title of the book that tells her story.
The irony in the title of Thornburg's "Serving the South" serves the hatred spewed by a Northern bigot on a fancied journey through the South land of the United States.
An analysis of Baldeo's character in "The Tiger In The Tunnel" by Ruskin Bond to understand the elements of heroism exhibited by a humble tribal watchman set against the indomitable forces of Nature.
Barney Hainsfeather's epitaph reveals a unique complaint of a man who, in death, finds himself buried in the wrong cemetery.
An excellent book for the relationship of the French military to the French nation before the Great War, but not as convincing for the French nation's relationship to the French army.
The first poem in Emily Dickinson's Complete Poems is a Valentine aimed at persuading her brother to marry and is quite atypical of the poet's style in her canon of 1,775 poems.
Sonnet 126 is a problem; it is not technically a sonnet. It has only 12 lines, six rimed couplets. It is located between the so-called "young man" sequence and the "dark lady" sonnets.
The good reverend is miffed that his lifetime of sermons, contained in an old trunk and purchased at auction by a bar-keeper, were burned like a pile of waste paper.
The speaker in sonnet 134 descends into a vulgar discussion, lamenting the sexual attraction he suffers because of the lustful lady.
'Christmas' was written by one of Britain's most loved contemporary poets. It is an evocative poem about Christmas customs and the Christian faith.
Sonnet 127 begins the "Dark Lady" series of the Shakespeare sonnets. The speaker begins by railing against artificial beauty.
Carl Sandburg, inspired by a book of Japanese haiku, wrote this little poem whilst passing near Chicago harbor. Fog is one of his best-known short poems. It captures the silent mystery of the cat.
Mark Doty was out shopping when he came across a fresh fish display and was struck by the elegance of the mackerel. His poem explores individuality, grief and the mystery of the common good.
In sonnet 133, the speaker bemoans the fact that the cruel lady has not only captured his heart but also his alter ego, that is, his other self who creates his poems.
Emily Dickinson's "One Sister have I in our house" is a tribute to her sister-in-law, Susan Gilbert Dickinson, who married Emily's brother, Austin
The theme of madness defines Shakespeare's "Hamlet." While many characters display symptoms of madness, madness or mental illness are most readily apparent in Hamlet and Ophelia.
There aren't many books about the decolonization of French West Africa, but End of Empire sets the bar high for any others.
Despite a slight scientific error, Dickinson's "Frequently the woods are pink" offers a marvelous little jaunt around the Sun without leaving the Dickinson estate.
A detailed psychological study of the Boss's character in Katherine Mansfield's story "The Fly," in context of the anxieties and despair of post-war England and its psychological implications.
In a uniquely dramatic way, Dickinson's speaker reveals the simple truth that people was happier when they are on their way home.
Contrasting and comparing Frankenstein and Metamorphosis, I analyse the concept of the monstrous shown in the texts.
An in-depth article on the question regarding who is the hero of Milton's "Paradise Lost." The article takes into account multiple critical approaches to reach a final verdict.
There are good authors and then there are great authors. These are the greatest writers to have ever graced the page with the swipe of a pen.
"Barry Holden" is serving as a juror in the murder trial of Dr. Duval, who stands accused of murdering his pregnant lover, Zora Clemens.
Again addressing his muse, the speaker in sonnet 125 concludes that despite his dedication to poetry creation, all he has to give his muse is his own soul.
A clear elaboration of the most misunderstood poem "Kubla Khan", which shows how Coleridge's poem is neither a fragment, not incoherent but a direct statement of his poetic theory.
After years of teaching groups of seniors about writing their life stories, I'm sharing here my tips on Memoir Writing. I hope you are writing your own memories for future generations.
After an illness from which she seemed to recovering, the vague, pathetic Pauline Barrett decides to take her own life because of the loss of marital intimacy.
Sylvia Plath's pregnancy poem "You're" is full of powerful imagery and metaphors. Her sensitive, creative nature comes out in this two stanza poem.
Addressing his poem, the speaker of sonnet 15 is striving to analyze, through dramatization, the depth of his genuine affection for his art.
Analysis of the poem "Only a Dad" by a very talented and wonderful poet, Edgar Guest. I will also comment on what this poem means to me, personally.
Edgar Lee Masters' character, John M. Church, a devious attorney, frames his lament in a versanelle style poem.
An article on the comic devices used by playwrights to make their comedies have a universal appeal, with numerous examples from the classical plays, Shakespearean drama, and later English comedies.
Addressing his sonnet, the poet/speaker again affirms that despite the ravages of time and wrong thinking that may obliterate and denigrate art, his sonnet will live on.
The Adventure of the Dancing Men is a famous short Sherlock Holmes story from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle that sees the consulting detective having to decipher a code that looks like a child's drawing.
American Orientalism contains the seeds of a brilliant cultural history, and a detailed policy history, but fails to combine the two.
Sonnet 99 features 15 lines, instead of the traditional 14. The extra line transforms the first quatrain to a cinquain, altering the rime scheme from ABAB to ABABA.
Countee Cullen's poem deals with God and the awesome power he wields, over humans and the mole. Still, a black poet can sing. It is a traditional 14 line sonnet in iambic pentameter with full rhyme.
Addressing the sonnet, the speaker/poet in Shakespeare sonnet 106 celebrates the poem’s ability to skillfully portray beauty that outshines that of the ancients.
While most noted for his American classic, Spoon River Anthology, a sequence of epitaphs, Edgar Lee Masters did write and publish other works, including other poems. "Silence" is one of those poems.
The speaker in "My Prisoner" begins with a prison metaphor that transforms into a cloister, wherein the devotee/speaker will retain his Divine Captive.
The speaker in sonnet 101 again addresses the Muse directly, asking her to continue to accompany him on his journey in creating an enduring poetry to bestow on posterity.
The House of Seven Gables is the title of a novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne. It is also a place in Salem, Massachusetts that can be visited and admired. Learn about the real house and the fictional one.
As the speaker directly addresses his poem, he declaims on the immortality of the poetry that he is creating. As he does so, he employs the seasons to assist in dramatizing his notions.
In this simple observation of nature, the speaker of Paramahansa Yogananda’s "Methought I Heard a Voice" demonstrates his awareness of the divinity suffused throughout the scene.
The speaker in sonnet 118 confesses to his muse that he has learned that the use of artificial stimuli to retain his ardor for writing is not effective.
In Paramahansa Yogananda’s "Leave Thy Vow of Silence," the ardent speaker lovingly but somewhat forlornly supplicates to his Creator to remove the veil of separation between Himself and the devotee.
The Sea in Synge's "Riders to the Sea" is an agent of both destruction and sustenance. The article analyzes Synge's sea as a literal and figurative backdrop, connected to the action of the play.
Rev. Lemuel Wiley's account of himself is short and sweet: he had a long career of saving souls and saving the Bliss family shines brightest in his memory. Although Mrs. Bliss would disagree.
In sonnet 124, the speaker dramatizes the nature of his "dear love," the motivating soul-power that guides his craftsmanship and keeps his creative juices flowing.
An analysis of Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan, Chapter 13: Of the Natural Condition of Mankind as Concerning Their Felicity and Misery, and the theme of equality for body and mind, thus equality by nature.
A study of Shakespeare's portrayal of Viola in "Twelfth Night," focusing on the ingenuity, practical wisdom, and exceptional maturity that make her one of the most powerful female stage characters.
This Innovative Petrarchan sonnet features the epitaph of a woman who seems to be a very decent human being, even if she has to toot her own horn.
The epigraphic inscription accompanying "Divine Love Sorrows" says, "The music of Fritz Kreisler’s ‘Liebesleid’ inspired Paramahansaji to write these words for it."
John Milton's celebrated epic poem exploring the cosmological, moral and spiritual origins of man's existence. -- Amazon
Qualifying as a riddle, Emily Dickinson's "I have a Bird in spring," offers a profound statement about the speaker's ability to see beyond the Earth level of physical reality.
Sonnets 108 and 126 should possibly be grouped with the "marriage poems" 1-17, in which the speaker pleads with a young man to marry and produce lovely children.
Isa Nutter suffered from a seemingly mysterious illness, but his complaint gradually reveals his problem along with how he apparently solved it.
Upton Sinclair's impact on Jacob Riis' work is apparent; however, the stereotypes of Riis' time overshadows his attempts at noble work.
Daniel Sempere, 10 yrs old, selects an obscure novel from the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, not knowing that his selection of Julian Carax and uncloaking his mysteries will endanger and begin his life.
Addressing his muse, the speaker begins to soften the harshness that once accompanied his complaining when he spoke of separation from his musical inspiration.
The misspelling of "rime" entered English through Dr. Samuel Johnson’s mistake about the word’s origin. The error is so pervasive that many editors will not allow a writer to use the original term.
Petit, the Poet, muses on missing out on the life around him, as he fashions a poem that presages the postmoderns while it ticks.
The ditzy character, known only as "Russian Sonia," would have her listeners think she actually muses on the "thing called life."
Stephen King really outdid himself with his Opus, the Dark Tower series. Once you read a few pages of Book 2, you will not be able to stop. The first book lays the groundwork, but don't skip it!
The speaker of Paul Laurence Dunbar's "Sympathy" metaphorically elucidates the stifling condition of a human soul locked in a human body through the employment of a "caged bird."
In sonnet 103, the speaker addresses his sonnet, concentrating on its expression of beauty and worth above the contributions of both his talent and the inspiration of his Muse.
Quentin is a high school boy who lives next door to the girl of his dreams, who takes him for a night of adventure then disappears. He must unravel her clues to find the paper town and the paper girl.
A pious discourse about forgiveness sparks a brawl among churchgoers and reinforces the theme of religious hypocrisy and cruelty in Wuthering Heights.
Sara Smythe is managerette of new luxury apartments in NY. 100 years later, Bailey is renovating the apartments. How did Sara wind up in jail for murder? An engrossing tragedy of the lost Gilded Age.
Eve Merriam's neat little poem "How to Eat a Poem" is aimed at children but is wholesome enough for adults too. She encourages the reader to open up and taste the poetic experience.
How Edgar Allan Poe, an important 19th-century American writer, is connected to the Baltimore Ravens—an improbable, but true connection.
Kim Addonizio's poem is sharp and provocative and concentrates on a red dress, a metaphor for independence and feminine expression. In simple, direct language What Do Women Want? conveys a hard truth.
Even as he defends her physical beauty, the beguiled speaker in sonnet 131 introduces the notion of the ugly "deeds" of which the dark lady persona proves capable.
As with much of Lahiri's work, Unaccustomed Earth considers the lives of Indian American characters and how they deal with their mixed cultural environment. - Wikipedia
In "Alone", the speaker repeats the message that as humans we need each other if we're to make it through life. Nobody can make it alone. The soul needs to share with and care for others.
In sonnet 132, the speaker dramatizes the dark lady’s “pretty ruth,” likening her “mourning” eyes to the sun in the morning and then in the evening.
In sonnet 121, the speaker soliloquizes about the damage caused by gossiping critics who attempt to destroy what they do not understand.
Mrs. Charles Bliss is lamenting her marriage, but even more strongly she is lamenting the advice offered her and her husband early on by a clergyman and a judge.
Emily Dickinson sent her poem, "Sic transit gloria mundi," as a Valentine message to William Howland, who served as a law clerk in her father's office.
The themes of gender relations and traditional gender roles play an important part in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night.
The speaker in sonnet 105 creates an artist’s holy trinity of "fair, kind, and true," a reflection of his beloved subjects of beauty, love, and truth.
Filled with the beautiful poetry of magic and the thrilling dangers of corruption, "Uprooted" is saga for anyone who’s wondered what became of the beauty who lived in a tower with a dragon sorcerer.
A curious, short poem from Charles Simic, "The Partial Explanation" has a simple narrative yet is cleverly structured to capture the inner emptiness of the speaker, waiting for food as day darkens.
Scout has many experiences with loss of innocence throughout Harper Lee's novel To Kill a Mockingbird and learns many lessons along the way.
Poetry analysis of Donne's "Goe and catch...", pointing out the central symbols, imagery and theme which make it a representative metaphysical poem.
In Sonnet 116, the speaker dramatizes the nature of love, not lust or ordinary affection, but the abiding love that he declares is the "marriage of true minds" that time's fickleness cannot destroy.
The six couplets in Paramahansa Yogananda’s “Evasion” testify to the difficulty of capturing the Divine.
Sonnet 129 dramatizes the pit of promiscuity, where copulation engaged in solely out of lust engenders all manner of evil consequences.
Dickinson's speaker employs an extended metaphor that likens the human's path through life on a troubled planet to a simple walk through the woods—a woods that is, however, anything but ordinary.
Middlemarch by English author George Eliot, can be an intimidating book. Here you will find some helpful hints on how to begin to think about one of its principal chapters, Nicholas Bulstrode.
Many heroes will rise in this last installment of the series, and prejudgments will be shattered when “I open at the close” and beloved characters greet death like an old friend.
An in-depth analysis of Shakespeare's Sonnet # 73, focusing on the tone, imagery, diction, and poetic merits of the beautiful poem "That Time of the Year..."
The speaker in Sonnet 130 is playing against the Petrarchan tradition of placing the lady friend upon a pedestal to demonstrate affection.
Dickinson's "The Guest is gold and crimson" dramatizes sunset as a guest who visits every door, every day. This poem functions as a riddle, as the speaker never names the subject she is describing.
Sonnet 111 reveals a biographical tidbit that points to the Earl of Oxford, Edward de Vere, as the true author of the Shakespearean oeuvre.
A Christmas poem by England's Great Nature Poet, William Wordsworth. The poem is about an old Christmas Eve custom of village musicians visiting homes in the Parish to entertain and offer good wishes
One man's journey and what he was thankful for in the end. A book discovered while on a reading binge. I am reading all of Cain's novels and this is a review of my impressions of "The Moth."
Where I'm From is a poem all about identity and the places and things of memory that make us what we are. From clothespins to those special moments that create our uniqueness and George Lyon's.
This article explores the reasons why 'Jane Eyre' is considered a feminist text. It explores the characterisation of Eyre, the author's proto-feminist actions, and messages conveyed in the text.
An overview of Sir Walter Raleigh's "The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd" and an analysis of the recurring motifs of mortality, lack of reasoning, love versus lust, and time.
Let America Be America Again is a plea for freedom and equality for all those who are oppressed. Langston Hughes was poor and on a train ride through Depression hit USA - far from the American Dream.
A biographical analysis of Virginia Woolf and her use of fictional characters to reflect the struggle of mental illness in her life and in her marriage.
Judge Selah Lively demonstrates that his character remained as small as his physical frame of 5'2". After succeeding at a legal career, he sullies his success by petty behavior.
Tennyson published Ring Out, Wild Bells, a New Year's poem, in 1850. The sentiments that are expressed therein are still relevant in twenty-first century society.
Jefferson Howard claims he fought a valiant fight. What he fought for, he never reveals. But he claims that he was a courageous and even audacious man, disdaining churched but enjoying bars.
John Reed's "Operating Room" is based on his real-life experiences. A poem with atmosphere and strong imagery, it was written in 1917 but still has a modern edge. Contains similes and metaphors.
In sonnet 122, the speaker addresses the Giver of his gift of poetry, dramatizing the ability of his memory to retain the love and inspiration of the Divine Giver.
A Reading of T.S.Eliot's "Preludes" to understand Eliot's concept of poetry, focusing on the images and symbols.
A humorous foray into summer love and second chances at Butternut Lake, featuring a librarian mother who loves Jane Austen, her rebellious teen, and a sympathetic listener, a Labrador named Murphy.
The speaker addresses his Muse directly, even calling her "Muse"; he audaciously instructs her to inspire only the artist who has skill and right understanding, that is, of course, himself.
The speaker in sonnet 123 again accosts his adversary, Time, dramatizing his faith that his art can outpace Time’s scythe: Time moves in haste; art evolves with intent.
The flaming atheist, Wendell P. Bloyd, blames his ultimate death on his blasphemy, which, in fact, merely consisted of his misinterpretation of a few lines from the Genesis creation story.
The speaker in Robert Frost poem, "To E. T.," expresses his musings about his friendship with a fellow poet, who died serving as a soldier in World War I.
Dickinson's speaker declares then elucidates her declaration that having seriously earned, or "merited" pain, is a marvelous, soul-enriching experience, leading to ultimate liberation into Spirit.
A psychological thriller about five women who carry ghosts and long-buried secrets, and the one reporter whose curiosity led to unraveling the tragic truths that began at a demolished apartment site.
The speaker in sonnet 102 dramatizes the principle of moderation, even minimalism, as he explains his reasons for self-restraint in portraying the subject of love.
The speaker in sonnet 98 again addresses his Muse, who is again absent. The speaker explores the nature of this absence in spring, which seems like winter without her.
Sophie experiences many losses of innocence throughout the novel at the hands of the Nazis, her family, her lovers, and herself. These losses are too much for her to bear in the end.
Painful yet hilarious, this book is one of the most brutally honest and necessary books of our time, about mental disorders, hope, and humor, even when you sometimes have to ride the spiral downward.
The English Renaissance brought many changes to European cultures including advances in medicine, navigation, weaponry, and architecture. Shakespeare's representations of individual love were unique.
Two young boys’ wanderings along dangerous coastlands and discovery of a rifle will lead to such monstrosities, one will suppress them as an adult, leaving only his brother to tell their horror story.
The original altar to God is the spine in the human body. By pulling the fallen consciousness from the base of the spine back to the brain, the human soul regains the paradise that it has lost.