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.
Dystopian stories with short summaries and links for easy reading. For all fans of dystopian fiction.
Sonnet 130 is an anomaly. Shakespeare breaks with convention and creates a parody of tired Petrarchan ideals. His lover has wires for hairs, her lips are not red as coral, her breasts are dingy brown not white and her breath reeks. Praise beauty? Not in sonnet 130. Yet his love for her runs deeper?
Langston Hughes's short poem I, Too gives a voice to the African American people, for so long treated as second class citizens in their own country. Using metaphor within free verse, Hughes focuses on the individual rights of a first person speaker, denied a seat at the table. From book Weary Blues
An in-depth analysis of "Daddy," a dark and powerful poem by Sylvia Plath, written a year or so before her tragic death. Plath's 16-stanza song of a tortured daughter is full of symbolism and allusion.
Death of a Naturalist is a blank verse poem that looks back on childhood, contrasting a boy's innocence with that of disillusionment in the perception of nature. The death is metaphorical: the boy loses his love of nature when fear invades his mind because of the menacing frogs 'cocked on sods'.
One of Keats' five odes, Ode On A Grecian Urn explores the idea of beauty as truth through Keats' own 'negative capability' and the strength of the imagination. Pictures on an ancient urn inspire the speaker to question the transient nature of human happiness and love. Art endures but also teases.
A deer is hit by a car driven by a teenage drunk who reacts by taking the severely injured animal back home. Big mistake? An angry father puts an end to the agony of the deer but what about the teen?
An early poem of Heaney's that takes the reader back to his childhood and the devastating death of his young brother. In a subtle, controlled form, powerful imagery emerges out of this family scene.
This article looks at the meaning in "There Will Come Soft Rains" by Ray Bradbury. It has a summary, and it looks at themes, irony, character and other things.
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.
Using a structured approach to compare and contrast two or more poems gives you a better chance of gaining top grades. This article will help you understand the meaning of comparison and show you how to shape an essay effectively.
A Vietnam veteran, Yusef Komunyakaa faces his past whilst visiting the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington DC. With strong images and figurative language this poem explores reality versus memory.
Donne's love poem, an aubade, contains a metaphysical conceit, an argument, a figure of speech involving imaginative use of unusual metaphor. The Good-Morrow is about the unity of love, two hemispheres forming one globe, the speaker waking up wondering what the lovers did 'till we loved?'
Design is a traditional sonnet, with a twist, that explores the nature of intelligent design and questions whether or not that design is malevolent. A spider, a moth's wings and a flower are involved
Wilbur's poem The Writer is an extended metaphor neatly combining a trapped bird and a boat to figuratively create the writer's journey. The writer happens to be his daughter who is busily tapping away on a typewriter as he listens knowingly. The struggle to create can be a life or death situation.
Robert Frost's Dust of Snow focuses on the most trivial event - a crow in a tree sending snow particles down onto an unhappy speaker. What is special is the way the bird does it, completely changing the mood. Frost uses ambiguous stressed keywords, rhyme, enjambment and symbolism. Nature helping man
Such keen observation, such vivid imagery together with simile and figurative language make this apparently simple poem so much more than the catching of a big fish. Elizabeth Bishop's poem, with short terse lines and evocative description, is a neat summing up of the human versus nature issue.
A really short poem that can spark off many a debate on the subject of being a nobody versus being a somebody. Written in Emily Dickinson's dashed off style.
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.
The famous poet Virgil Wikimedia Commons Dido, the Phoenician Queen in Virgil's The Aeneid, is a tragic character who is a victim of the will of the gods. Enchanted by the god Amor, Dido becomes hopelessly enamored with Aeneas and abandons all else...
In depth analysis of Elizabeth Bishop's timeless Sestina, a complex unrhymed poem about a grandmother and a child in the kitchen of a house. A repetitive, magical and mysterious poem.
John Keats, romantic poet, wrote this ballad in 1819. It is mysterious, with hints of personal anxieties and sexual desperation hidden within the experience of a man, now alone, having loved a beauty.
Anne Sexton's poetry is unique in that it confronts mental illness head on, gives direct access to the heart and soul of a troubled mother, artist and poet. 'I hold back nothing,' she wrote. So true.
Twenty classic books written by poets who broke new ground in the field of modern poetry. Are your favourites here? A guide to help you choose your own poet of the modern era.
Ferlinghetti's Two Scavengers in a Truck is an immediate snapshot of a scene in San Francisco, where garbage men look down on a wealthy couple in their Mercedes at a red stoplight. Free verse rules, irony underpins and the speaker questions the democratic system and the social divide.
maggie and milly and molly and may is a short poem from e.e.cummings that is greater than the sum of its parts. Full of varied rhythm and rhyme, it tells the story of four girls who go down to the beach, each one relating to an object or creature they discover. Experimental and entertaining.
D. H. Lawrence's "Afternoon in School: The Last Lesson" features a teacher, who dramatizes the uninspired performance of his lackluster students. The teacher has become weary from vain attempts to instruct them as they refuse to learn.
Sylvia Plath's Morning Song is from her book Ariel and focuses on female reaction to motherhood. Using simile, metaphor and vivid imagery Plath takes the reader through the highs and lows of what it means to have responsibility for a baby. Unsettling, powerful, complex -the reluctant mother Plath.
One of Robert Lowell's best known confessional poems, Skunk Hour depicts modern life on Nautilus Island, Maine, and reveals the sad secret of one not right in the mind. An influential poem.
Charles Bukowski was a prolific writer who produced a lot of poetry books in his lifetime (there are over sixty books currently in publication at the last count). It wasn't easy to choose, but here are what I believe to be the 5 best Charles Bukowski poetry books.
Ulysses, a blank verse dramatic monologue, is Tennyson's poem of hope, positivity and inspiration. After losing his best friend Arthur Hallam, who died suddenly whilst travelling, Tennyson wrote Ulysses in an attempt to regain his own life. To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
This article looks at the meaning in the short story "The Use of Force" by William Carlos Williams. It includes a summary and a look at its themes, symbolism and irony.
Wordsworth's Ode Intimations of Immortality focuses on an ideal childhood in which freshness and celestial light gave all things a blissful quality. The speaker, older, now philosophic, explores the changes since those halcyon days, how the glory and the dream have gone but truths that wake remain.
Countee Cullen's poem dramatizes an allusion to the Mother Goose nursery rime, "Monday's Child," specifically the line, "Saturday’s child works hard for a living."
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.
A summary and full analysis line by line of T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land, one of the most influential modern poems. Inspired by the Grail legend it is full of religion, occult symbolism and mythology. Multiple voices, shifts in time and space, street dialogue and foreign languages combine in new form
A short poem, an extended metaphor exploring the tension between mother and daughter as the child grows up. When to let go?
The speaker in Walter de la Mare’s "Silver" dramatizes the silvering of things as they appear without the sunlight. Sunlight is gold; moonlight is silver.
What is Gothic literature? Gothic is a genre with a rich history that still exists today through the works of authors like Stephen King. Learn more about its elements and characteristics.
Pat Mora is a leader in the field of Hispanic poetry. Her poem A Voice tells of a mother who was not allowed to speak English at home yet who overcame her fears to find a voice and new freedom.
If you've just been sorted into your Hogwarts House, it can be difficult what to do next. This article provides a handy explanation of each house, including each house's colours, founder, house ghost, head teacher, main characters, associated traits, strengths and weaknesses.
Sonnet 129 is a powerful statement about sexual desire, guilt and the physical side of love. Shakespeare's take on the dangers inherent in pure lust.
Derek Walcott's A Far Cry from Africa explores the bloody history of colonial Africa, in Kenya, where Mau Mau fighters fought the British in the 1950s. Walcott's mixed race roots divide his loyalties.
The word epic has been derived a Greek word epikos, which means a word, song or speech. An epic is well-defined as a long story in verse dwelling upon an important theme in a most elegant style and language.
Snake, one of D.H.Lawrence's celebrated animal poems, is a personal account of a meeting with a Sicilian viper. This analysis will guide both student and poetry lover through the layers of meaning.
Yeats as a 60 year old official Irish senator in a schoolroom full of children has to redefine his outlook on love, labour and life. How to reconcile past and present, love and pain, body and soul. Greek myth, Platonic theory help Yeats in his quest for spiritual unity. Ottava rima form.
Review several complex characters to uncover the true monster in the popular gothic novel Flowers in the Attic!
Kipling dramatizes humanity's imprudent notions, measuring them against the wisdom of the ages as found in an important learning tool for students.
The fox in the poet's imagination eventually becomes the poem, emerging into the snow of the blank page as the poet sits writing a poem about a fox.
Blessing is Imtiaz Dharker's short poem on the theme of water and poverty. It is a snapshot of life in the city slum, where children gather round a burst pipe as if it's a god. Simile, metaphor, personification and vivid imagery combine to produce a sensual poem highlighting how crucial water is.
The canines in this story reflect their masters innate characteristics and also foreshadow events about to unfold.
A Dream Within A Dream is a rhyming poem all about life and time and human perception. How real is reality, how unreal the dream? Edgar Allan Poe in philosophical mood, dreaming on.
Short poems are easy to read and fun creating. Classical forms of poetry are often short. This article examines and gives examples of specific short poetic forms like the haiku, tanka, nonets and other types of short poems
Grace Nichol's Praise Song For My Mother is a traditional African poem, usually spoken, to celebrate the lives of family members and elders. Full of symbolism and vivid imagery, it is a fitting tribute to an impressive mother.
This article looks at the meaning in the short story "One of These Days" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, including themes, some questions and a summary.
Classic Dylan Thomas poem. A detailed analysis for both students and lovers of poetry. This article will guide you through the themes of Nature and Time in the cycle of life as created by Dylan Thomas, the tragic romantic poet.
The Trees by Adrienne Rich has a basic theme of freedom - for the trees as they leave their indoor life and move out into the forest, and for the speaker who is witness to this exodus. Using metaphor, simile, personification and imagery, Rich creates double worlds, exploring the nature of change.
Eliot's Journey of the Magi is a reflective, dramatic monologue, that utilizes allusions, symbols and metaphors to produce a poem about birth, death, spiritual and cultural renewal.
This article explores the origin of drama. It also shows us the development of drama through various stages. The origin of drama is deeply rooted in the Church.
Hawk Roosting is a powerful poem that focuses on a hawk as it sits overlooking its domain. Ted Hughes gives the hawk a human mind, personifies it, and explores the raptor's reason for existence. Contains raw and savage language. Some think the theme is political dominance, the hawk being a fascist.
Okay, class, put down your wands! Let's have a little Latin language lesson so we can better understand Harry Potter.
John Donne's "The Flea" is an erotic metaphysical poem employing a conceit, or extended argument. The male speaker wants to make love to a woman, who resists. The lead role is the humble flea, which sucks the speaker first then the woman. Their blood is mingled in the flea, a symbol of sexual union.
The world of literature is filled with horrid descriptions, and T. S. Eliot has contributed some of the most horrid. The mind of the Eliot observer, however, is most often the locus of the horror.
On 4 Privet Drive, Surrey, a baby was delivered to the most unmagical family that ever lived. But on Harry’s eleventh birthday, a letter arrives, inviting him to Hogwarts, the famous school of magic and wizardry, where he will make his first friends, and discover how his parents really died.
A poem full of drama, powerful language and poetic device, Wind is typical Ted Hughes in that here is described a struggle with nature, a battle with the elements. Six stanzas of tense physicality.
Maya Angelou's poem is full of imagery and figurative language, aimed at children and adults alike. Life Doesn't Frighten Me is about bravado and having a strategy to overcome fear.
Sound devices are literary techniques that entail the way words sound in a poem. Sound or musical devices exemplify the difference between prose and poetic language. They enhance the meaning of a poem and make it easy to memorize.
A sonnet that combines Greek mythology and world events, resulting in a powerful poem, a metaphor for the violence inherent in the cyclic nature of human history, as seen by the mystic Yeats.
The speaker in John Donne's Holy Sonnet VI now finds himself very close to leaving his body. He speculates about his journey, after death has uncoupled his soul from its physical encasement.
Robert Browning's dramatic monologue is all about power and the psychology of possession. The curiously disturbing Duke of Ferrara, who is telling lies, or truths, to an emissary of the next family he will marry into, comments on his last duchess, now a painting on the wall. A satire on the elite?
Prayer Before Birth is a poem Louis MacNeice wrote during World War Two. He was living in London and German rocket bombs were landing. The speaker in the poem is an unborn child, destined to be born into a violent, disturbed world. A powerful monologue addressed to God and humanity.
A short sharp poem that likens thistles to warriors rooted in the soil where old Vikings lie. In free verse, Hughes' poem uses personification, simile and figurative language to portray thistles as weapons fighting on the battleground that is nature. Blood, violence, regeneration—typical Hughes.
Shakespeare sonnet #18, “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day,” is one of the bard’s most widely anthologized, and most widely misunderstood, sonnets. Hint: there is no person in this poem.
eBooks offer many benefits over traditional print books. Here are 10 reasons why they can be better than print.
One of Frost's darker poems, about identity, full of the mystery of the night and the inner world of a speaker who is walking all alone, beyond the city lights.
Shakespeare's radical sonnet 20 explores the sexuality of the fair youth, real or imagined, who has strong feminine characteristics but was made for women's pleasure. A unique sonnet, 14 lines of feminine endings. Here is the master mistress, a woman in a man's body, a transgender?
Two brothers are walking through a field of snow. An innocent walk turns into a serious question and answer session when they notice snow angels. Have the angels been shot? Were they trespassing?
Wilfred Owen's poem Exposure explores the trauma and suffering soldiers experience on a WW1 battlefield within 24 hours. Using personification, metaphor and pararhyme within a cyclic, repetitive structure, Owen creates a powerful atmosphere that challenges war propaganda and civilian ignorance.
Full analysis of Those Winter Sundays, a short, atmospheric poem in which a child looks back in time to cold winter Sunday mornings and the dutiful acts of a hard working father.
One of Shakespeare's most popular love sonnets, sonnet 18 is a tribute to the 'fair youth' with the poet comparing his lover to a summer's day and finding the lover more lovely. Full analysis includes critical look at rhythm, rhyme and syntax.
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.
Larkin's 'atheist poem' in which he explores the spiritual significance of the church, despite the decline of religious ritual in the western world. Contains dry wit and keen perception.
Seamus Heaney's Storm On The Island is a monologue poem in blank verse. The speaker describes how life is shaped by the storm, how the architecture withstands such forces. With powerful language and imagery.Some think the poem a metaphor for the historical troubles on the island of Ireland.
What can we learn from Hamlet's soliloquies? How does Shakespeare show his talents through these soliloquies? This article will attempt to answer both of these questions.
Should we read the Jack Reacher books in order? And what is the reading order anyway for Lee Child's books?
A poem about cultural identity and the confused feelings of a teenage girl who receives presents from her relatives in Pakistan. Moniza Alvi's poem is full of colour and detail and is a personal exploration of her feelings at that time. Metaphor, simile and contrasting language enliven this poem.
Sylvia Plath's The Night Dancers contains some of the most powerful lines of poetry. A line by line analysis and summary of the poem - written only months before her death.
The speaker in Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" is of two minds—to stay and watch the lovely woods fill with snow, or to keep his promises and move on. What should readers take from this? What poetic devices are used in this quintessential American poem?
Jack and Jill is an evergreen delight for children. The rhyme dates back many centuries. There is so much speculation on it's origins and history. These range from the sublime to the ridiculous.
Seamus Heaney's Blackberry-Picking is all about childhood ideals versus adult realities and the passage of time. The first stanza outlines the joy of picking, that lust for the juicy fruit, whilst the second stanza contrasts the fate of the berries, their inevitable decay and loss of goodness.
Hansel and Gretchen (or Gretel) is well known story with very rich smbolism and several possible interpretations. Let's summarize it and check some of its deeper truths.
Elinor Wylie's Wild Peaches is a series of four traditional rhyming sonnets that convey the dreamy mind of the speaker as she contemplates escaping an upside down world with her male companion. But is she convinced that a good life can be had out in the wilds? Musical lines carry subtle imagery.
The Adventure of the Empty House was effectively the return of Sherlock Holmes. Ten years after the Final Problem, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would resurrect Holmes, enabling the solving of more cases.
With a title taken from Shakespeare's play Macbeth, Frost's poem Out, Out is about life and death on a rural farm. In an idyllic setting a young boy is working a buzz saw but a fateful accident brings about his sad demise. Is his death insignificant? Who is responsible? Blank verse, deep imagery.
Frost's Fire and Ice could have been inspired by Dante's Inferno, Canto 32, where in a fiery hell sinners are up to their necks in a lake of ice. Conversely, a chat with astronomer Harlow Shapley about the end of the world may have spurred Frost to write this compact rhyming classic. Desire or hate?
A curious poem full of metaphors and strong imagery, written for comic and disturbing effect when Sylvia Plath mistakenly thought she was pregnant. Nine lines, one for each month of pregnancy.
This poem, from Songs Of Experience, is about the suppression of anger in our relationships. Is it wise to bottle it up until it bursts out uncontrollably? Or is it better to let it out?
This article discusses the context of Yeat’s wistful poem about unrequited love and offers an analysis of the poetic form and techniques in the text
This is a critical, literary and culturally contextual analysis on the critically acclaimed crime novel "Murder On The Orient Express" by Agatha Christie.
Sunday Morning, a poem in blank verse, focuses on the idea that traditional religious faith in the old gods has gone and needs to be replaced by a fresh new natural paganism. Stevens explores human belief in his own inimitable way. Vivid imagery, exotic language. Where do truth and beauty reside?
Musashi Miyamoto is a Samurai (Ronin) who knows no equal. A master of swordsmanship, weapons, and the Niten Ichi-ryū School and Strategy. Nearing the end of his life Musashi wrote two masterpieces, containing all his wisdom and years. The Dokkodo and Go Rin No Sho. The Dokkodo is an interesting....
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.
Orwell has been criticized for his misogynistic portrayal of women in 1984. However, a careful look at how the female characters impact the male characters, in particular Winston, and the Party suggests that they have great importance in the plot, leading to a different interpretation.
Revisions to classic fairy tales often hide a rich past of instructive, though morbid, lessons taught through the prominent use of cannibalism.
Emily Dickinson's poem, "The Brain - is wider than the Sky," compares and contrasts the human brain with the sky, the sea, and God.
To A Skylark is a poem praising the song and spirit of the lark as it rises from the ground and soars heavenward. The poet aspires to sing like the bird, and be taught by it, a symbol of the Ideal, full of joy and flood of rapture. Fine romantic lyrics explore the gap between human and nature.
Emily Dickinson's genius for capturing the unusual and transcendent is precisely expressed in this, one of her longest and best known poems. Summary and full analysis.
In depth analysis of Mending Wall, a blank verse poem about territorial rights, barriers and how we communicate with each other. Frost's poem is full of intrigue, tension and neighborly goings-on.
A short Victorian poem which Henley wrote whilst in hospital. Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela and Winston Churchill have all used the poem for inspiration and guidance. Invictus means unconquerable.
We Real Cool packs quite a punch despite being a lean poem. Written from experience of teenagers in a pool hall, Gwendolyn Brooks combines slick diction with an unusual poetic form, creating rebels.
According to the Shakespeare character, Jaques, in the play, As You Like It, Act II, Scene VII, a man's lifetime undergoes seven distinct ages.
Marge Piercy's feminist poem belittles the stereotype of the perfect woman, suggesting that the patterns of behavior and body image touted by society cause little girls to kill themselves . . .
Discover some emotional, tragic, and touching short stories that will make you sad and, possibly, make you cry. Each selection has a short description and a link for easy reading.
Character analysis is an important part of any college freshman or sophomore literature class. But they aren't always the easiest things to do. Take some advice from an English teacher, and you'll be writing those character analyses in no time!
Vladimir Propp created the Proppian Analysis in his study of fairytales, which highlights many similarities within ancient and modern tales. Though complex, it can be simplified to some basic elements
A short story contains 3,500-7,500 words, while a novel contains 40,000 - 320,000. Learn all the differences between a short story, novelette, novella, and a novel.
This article offers a comprehensive plot summary of 'The Free Radio' and the analysis of Rushdie's most important themes and features.
The sound of camp gear clanging as the horses thunder along becomes a melancholy image that pulls together this ballad as it sadly concludes in heartache.
Emily Dickinson's classic short poem with full text and analysis. An extended metaphor, it brings the concept of hope that much closer to human understanding.
Seamus Heaney's Follower is a poem about his father, a man who worked the land. With full and slant rhyme, assonance and alliteration, it works its magic on the reader as the horses plough the furrow.
An analysis of Max Ehrmann's didactic prose poem "Desiderata." The wise advice in these calming lines from 1927 still holds strong in the twenty-first century. The advice given in “Desiderata” is an excellent focus for the practice of mindful meditation at the start of each day.
"A Good Man is Hard to Find" by Flannery O'Connor is saturated with symbolism and foreshadowing literary techniques. Learn more about unlocking the hidden meanings in her most successful short story about the deteriorating state of faith in the South during the 1950s.
Wallace Stevens's The Snow Man is a short poem that delights and puzzles, and 'resists the intelligence'. The setting is a bleak landscape of snow and evergreens; it's January, the speaker is thinking about the way ice and snow form on trees. He himself is nothing, that is, he's the mind of winter
Andrew Marvell is best known for this seduction poem, or carpe diem poem, To His Coy Mistress. With wit, intellect and conceit the speaker tries to persuade a virgin lady to have sex with him.
Wendell Berry's short poem "The Peace of Wild Things" sums up the human need for time spent in nature, away from stress, headline news and anxieties about the future. The main theme, that of human nature versus nature, is explored through allusion and simple language relating to stillness and calm.
Pen names, or pseudonyms, have been used throughout history for various reasons. I use the pseudonym Cydro, although I can't cite a reason for source. Check out these authors that were a lot more successful than I am, and the reason they chose their pen names:
Full analysis of Byzantium, Yeats's great mystical poem. This poem's theme is that of the creative human soul and the spiritual struggle for purification. Eternity lies in perfecting Art. Based in Yeats's dream city Byzantium, where divine art, golden imagery and symbols create a unity of being.
Countée Cullen's "Incident" dramatizes an event in the life of a young boy that ruined his memory of his visit to the city of Baltimore.
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.
Agatha Christie remains one of the most popular and famous of mystery writers. She often used poison to dispatch her victims. This article covers some of the common, and readily available, poisons she used, plus also the not-so common poisons.
A short poem all about poetry and how we, as readers, should approach a poem. Is it to be tied up in a confessional chair, beaten? Or is a poem like a hive,built from light, full of hidden sweetness?
One Art is a traditional villanelle, a form which contrasts nicely with Bishop's casual language and her observations on the art of losing. Ever lost your keys, a watch, a house, a country?
Red Riding Hood is one of the classic fairy tales—everybody knows it. Less known, however, is the powerful symbolism behind the story. Let's explore it along with a short summary, a comparison of two different versions, and various theories and interpretations!
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.
Island Man is a poem about cultural identity and explores the mind of a Caribbean man waking up in London but still dreaming of his life on the island of his birth. Grace Nichols uses metaphor, enjambment and other poetic devices to juxtapose dull city life with ideal island life.
Robert Frost's dialogue poem features a country man mulling over whether to sell some of his fir trees to a city merchant looking for Christmas trees to sell in the city.
Valentine is an alternative love poem that explores the idea of love through metaphor and structure. No sugar coated valentine's gift from this speaker; an onion is preferred. An onion repels but is like the moon and has many layers. It also makes you cry. A poem of truth and pain.
Experimental, innovative, plain weird, romantic - this love poem is unconventional in style, so typical of e.e.cummings.
Judith Wright's "Hunting Snake" is a poem that focuses on a snake pursuing its prey and the reaction of the witnesses, two people out walking. With poetic devices, sibilance and enjambment among them, this poem celebrates nature and innocence lost.
She Walks In Beauty is a lyric poem by the archetypal romantic, Lord Byron. With full rhyme, alliteration and simile, written in iambic tetrameter, it explores the feelings of a speaker inspired by female beauty. Is beauty based on inner purity and goodness alone, or a mix of light and dark?
"Solitude" is Ella Wheeler Wilcox's most widely noted poem; the following often quoted lines are taken from that poem: "Laugh, and the world laughs with you; / Weep, and you weep alone." The poem essentially avers that while a negative attitude repulses others, the positive attracts them.
Full text. A love poem, The Last Ride Together is a dramatic monologue of a rejected lover. The structure is formal but the content is a fine exploration of the passions between a male and a female.
We've all heard quotes from Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, but have you ever stopped to wonder what they mean? Here are 10 life lessons from Alice in Wonderland.
Wilfred Owen's WW1 poem is about reconciliation. Two soldiers meet in Hell, one having killed the other in battle, and their dialogue is a powerful and moving creation full of truth about humanity.
Allen Ginsberg's Howl is an evocative poem in three parts. A counter-cultural work full of emotional, sexual, religious and social themes. Explicit language and image create a raw, surreal world, drug fueled, full of pain and glory. Howl inspired Dylan, broke the rules, began the 'Beat' revolution.
Sonnet 29 focuses on the depressed state of the speaker who is full of envy, self-pity and hopelessness. He despises those better looking and more talented. He's down, until he thinks about his lover.
Discover some of the best science fiction stories available online, including some very short sci-fi tales. The selections include a brief summary and links for easy reading.
"I shunned the face of man; all sound of joy or complacency was torture to me; solitude was my only consolation--deep, dark, death-like solitude." Aurielle Voices It has often been argued that the definition of a monster is something inhuman,...
Maya Angelou's poem is a clear, strong message to all who think a woman has to be a fashion model to be phenomenal. You don't have to fit other people's ideas of beauty, you just have to be yourself.
A British classic whose success continues, and another of my many favorites. Here are the reasons that make “Pride and Prejudice” a wonderful book to read over and over again.
A villanelle with powerful, repeated lines inspired by the prolonged illness of the poet's father, who became blind in his final few months.
This article includes a summary and looks at the meaning in O. Henry's "The Gift of the Magi", including themes, allusions and the title.
James K. Baxter's Farmhand is a portrayal of an awkward young farm worker, who lacks social skills yet cannot suppress his instincts. He's only at home when working on the farm, with familiar landscape and machinery. Is he emotionally damaged? Baxter explores individuality, what it is to be human.
When I have fears that I may cease to be is a sonnet by romantic John Keats. The speaker is fearful of the nothingness that awaits him before he's had time to fulfil his potential as a poet and lover and gain fame. Iambic pentameter dominates. Full end rhyme, metaphor and other literary devices.
Shakespeare's sonnet 60 is all about cruel Time and its effect on beauty. Full text with summary and in depth analysis - rhyme, meter (metre), metaphor, symbol, biblical and mythological allusions.
Heathcliff may be painted as a black villain but Bronte, through genius storytelling, shows up the real villains in a Gothic tale teaming with thoughtless and cruel characters.
Langston Hughes, champion of black causes, wrote this short, powerful poem questioning the delay or postponement of individual and collective dreams.
Scout has many experiences with loss of innocence throughout Harper Lee's novel To Kill a Mockingbird and learns many lessons along the way.
Matthew Arnold's poem Dover Beach is an intelligent take on the nature of existence and the future of humanity. A honeymoon poem, the conclusion is that love will prevail despite the gloom and doom.
Neoclassical Poetry is a type of poetry, which follows the pattern of poetry authored by the poets of ancient time i.e., Greek and Rome. Pope and Dryden were the leading writers of neoclassicism.
Need help on a memory essay? I give full instructions, organizing tips and sample essays to help you write.
Derek Walcott's Love After Love focuses on loving the inner self, healing oneself following relationship breakdown. With metaphor, strong imagery and religious allusion the poem's speaker instructs the reader in the art of self-love. What change there can be when we accept the stranger needs love.
This article analyzes some themes from "A Rose For Emily", contains a summary, and looks at foreshadowing and the meaning of the title.
Sylvia Plath's free verse poem Stings is one of five in her Bee Sequence, written during her break up with fellow poet Ted Hughes. Using powerful imagery focused on the hive, a metaphor for society, the poet explores her own identity in relation to the fated Queen Bee.
This article deals with "Harrison Bergeron" by Kurt Vonnegut, including a summary, a look at themes, power, the media, and other elements from this short story.
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.
Gabriel Okara's Once Upon A Time focuses on culture clash, namely how Western culture changed the old African culture, for the worse. A father tells his son how people once were genuine and honest and how he wants to relearn how to laugh, like his son, still innocent. Nostalgic, heartfelt.
Wilfred Owen's powerful poem is all about the horrors of the first world war. Insensibility gives the reader different angles on what it is to die in battle, and how soldiers lose their feelings.
Langston Hughes wrote "Goodbye, Christ" in 1931. It was published in a left-leaning publication called The Negro Worker in 1932.
'The Emperor's New Clothes' is a fairy tale for children, but it is also a perceptive commentary on the human condition. In this review I look at the story, its history and its great wisdom
Dickinson lived a rather reclusive life. She guarded her privacy. In her poetry canon, she often creates little poetic dramas exploring the great joy her solitude created for her.
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.
The first sonnet in Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Sonnets from the Portuguese features a speaker who expresses the fruitlessness of dwelling on death and the melancholy such musing will create.
W.H. Auden's The Unknown Citizen is an ironic take on the Unknown Soldier, whose monument represents all those anonymous victims of war. It praises and mocks a model citizen. Who is free and happy?
This poetry analysis discusses the poetic devices used in Kath Walker's poem 'Son of Mine' that allude to the purpose of the poem - reconciliation between black and white Australians.
A sonnet written for her husband, poet Robert Browning, who she eloped with in 1846 to escape her reclusive London life under the strict control of her father. She must have really loved Robert.
Maya Angelou read this poem at Bill Clinton's inauguration in 1993. Inspired by traditional song, it takes a rock, river and tree, gives voice to them and sends a message of hope to all humankind.
An overview of classical Japanese poetry waka and a short introduction to haiku, senryu, haiga and tanka.
The difference between postmodernism and modernism in literature is not always easy to establish. This article will give you an overview and comparison of both cultural currents.
An elegy to the jazz singer Billie Holiday, The Day Lady Died is full of New York buzz, time schedules and cultural associations. Life in the here and now, until a headline sparks a memory.
We find the speaker in bed with his lover, having a go at the sun for rudely intruding through windows and curtains. Donne's aubade has all the classic elements - wit, wordplay and warmth.
Line by line analysis of this classic poem. If you love ice-cream, mystery and the way language works its magic, then read on to learn how a master poet creates the perfect art form.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning's speaker asks questions of her belovèd, in order to receive assurance of his love as a shelter from her anxiety as she prepares to move from her childhood home.
Sylvia Plath's satirical and sharp take on the social conventions that condition people to the 'market' that is marriage. Women are viewed as a product, objectified by men in stiff black suits.
Spring And All is a poem William Carlos Williams wrote to back up his radical theory of poetics - basically the poem as a field of action - in which the here and now of things is portrayed through the imagination, written in the American grain. Life experience refreshed, impressions being the form.
Annabel Lee is one of Poe's best known poems. The theme is loss of love based on the death of a beautiful maiden, narrated in first person by the speaker. Haunting, dark and gothic.
Sonnet 55 focuses on time, immortality and the power of poetry. The essence of his lover will be preserved forever, in the poem. It will outlast fine monuments, wars, death and unclean time.
Sailing To Byzantium, in ottava rima form, is a symbolic spiritual search for Yeats, who was obsessed with Byzantium art and culture in later age. A mix of the personal and the mythical, this poem with its famous opening line, That is no country for old men...ends with the song of a golden bird.
Escape the urban hell of the city and make for the island of your dreams, where peace comes dripping slow. A timeless classic from Yeats, with music and rhythm all his own. Full analysis of The Lake Isle of Innisfree.