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.
Dystopian stories with short summaries and links for easy reading. For all fans of dystopian fiction.
A librarian's reviews of the best new children’s narrative nonfiction books for grades K-6. These are books which convey factual information in a story format and use the techniques of storytelling. These nonfiction books are emphasized in the curriculum of the common core.
Didn't have time to read the story? Read this comprehensive plot summary instead. Contains the analysis of Rushdie's most important themes and features.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
John Milton's celebrated epic poem exploring the cosmological, moral and spiritual origins of man's existence. -- Amazon
The poet's baby son gets a wild-eyed stare that can look “through the ceiling of the room, and beyond,” leading the father to suspect that he might have a budding poet to contend with.
Heaney's Punishment poem explores the violent nature of human tribal revenge, comparing a young, Iron Age body found in peat bog with that of the 'betraying sisters' of the modern era in Northern Ireland. Heaney uses history and the methods of punishment; his rich language is sharp and personal
In her work, "A New England Nun," Mary E. Wilkins Freeman illustrates a woman's struggle with the commitment of marriage. This essay examines how Freeman illustrates the feminine struggle to be independent while being dedicated to a man.
'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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Need help on a memory essay? I give full instructions, organizing tips and sample essays to help you write.
James Wright's popular poem is both real experience and found love. Two men stop to visit two ponies just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota. For the speaker this simple meeting is transcendent.
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.
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.
A Reading of T.S.Eliot's "Preludes" to understand Eliot's concept of poetry, focusing on the images and symbols.
This is a literary analysis of feminist, sociologist, and novelist, Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" discussing the use of mental illness in literature.
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.
The 17th century marked a shift from an age of faith to an age of reason. Literature represents the turbulence in society, religion, and the monarchy of this period. Life for the English people changed as religious controversy and civil war shook the nation. These issues reformulated the role of individuals in society, perspectives of faith, and social structures in England. Writers of this period offer their own philosophies as proof of the issues and influenced the masses. Specific examples of
Line breaks are a fundamental aspect of poetry and can play a part in meaning, sound, rhythm and syntax. Knowing where and why a line has to be short or long can help both reader and poet. This guide to lineation gives many examples and explains the basics of enjambment, caesura and end stops.
The speaker in Holy Sonnet XIX makes a most fervent declaration regarding his spiritual striving for deliverance into the arms of the Ultimate Reality. He offers a confession and sincere statement of continued seeking for the mindset of "fear" or loving respect that his Heavenly Father will accept.
Emily Dickinson's As Imperceptibly As Grief is a subtle and melancholic study of summer passing, as metaphor for life fading away. With varied meter, personification, full rhyme and slant rhyme the language reflects the day ending. Seasons pass, life transitions. Sad but beautiful.
Choose Life The poem “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night”, by Dylan Thomas is a son’s plea to a dying father. His purpose is to show his father that all men face the same end, but they fight for life, nonetheless. “Old age...
Sylvia Plath's poem "Mirror" is a reflection on what it means to be a woman uncertain of the future, haunted by the past. When we look into the mirror, is what we see what we get?
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.
This is a fantastic memoir of Frank McCourt who grew up as an Irish child in extreme poverty. Despite its serious nature there is humor and this is a true story of survival.
The speaker in Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" is of two minds; stay and watch the lovely woods fill with snow, or keep his promises and move on. What should readers take from this? What poetic devices are used in this quintessential American poem?
'The Cold Earth Slept Below' is an example of Shelley's interest in both the sublime and in the Gothic tradition in literature. The poem has parallels with a tragic event in his personal life.
A suffering speaker talks with his Beloved Creator, as he prayerfully contemplates his mortality and immortality.
eBooks offer many benefits over traditional print books. Here are 10 reasons why they can be better than print.
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
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?
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.
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
Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley's poem is a simple yet profound plea to a young female for a kiss, for physical union. To persuade her the speaker turns to Nature, where things mix and mingle naturally. Using personification, metaphor and pulsing rhythm, Shelley puts forward his dubious argument
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Poor Mrs. Wertman must sit and cry, listening to the eloquence of the son she turned over to the Greenes to raise. His eloquence in political speechifying makes her that proud, but she has to keep her trap shut, can't let anyone know she is actually his birth mother.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Having A Coke With You is a fresh, conversational poem that captures the moment when ordinary things like Coke and an orange shirt with yoghurt become transcendental, immediate essences of love.
The Adventure of the Speckled Band is a Sherlock Holmes short story written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The Speckled Band tells of murder most foul, undertaken by an evil villain.
"A Girl's Garden" is a beautiful and complex poem by the late Robert Frost that emphasizes the value of lessons learned through experience.
These slogans in the novel 1984 underscore the destructiveness of believing in contradictions and encompass one of the overarching themes of the book.
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.
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.
Stanza forms appear in poetry with all kinds of variations across cultures, generations, and poets. Check out these standard types of poetic stanza forms.
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.
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.
Aunt Jennifer sits sewing her tigers of wool into a panel. They do not fear men, unlike their creator who has lived in the shadow of a dominant husband. A short poem exploring the role of women.
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
Two lovers meet by a pond in winter but there is little to warm them. Even the sun seems cold and indifferent. Love has been cruel and the memory of that meeting is still painful. Classic Hardy.
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.
This article looks at the meaning in the short story "The Lesson" by Toni Cade Bambara. It includes a summary and a look at themes.
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.
This is an analysis of the play, The Black Hermit, written by Ngugi wa Thiong'o. It includes a summary of the acts or chapters and the issues or themes, both major and minor, highlighted by the playwright in this play.
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.
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.
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?
Shakespeare's Sonnet 1. The first sonnet concentrates on beauty and the need to keep procreating by those who are blessed with good looks. Aimed at the Fair Youth, it entreats him to marry and have children before he dies.
the shoelace is Bukowski's real life take on what can drive a man into the madhouse. Forget God, death, suicide and love, a mere shoelace snapping can do it. Tongue-in-cheek, packed with trivia, sharp, comic and crude observation, this poem is a rant, a riot, weird homage to small tragedies.
Pablo Neruda was one the 20th century's greatest poets. Here is a list of the five most famous poems he ever wrote!
The most popular of Oscar Wilde's plays, The Importance of Being Earnest appears to be a comedy of manners. But the humor goes deeper than that, as Wilde satirizes Victorian society and expectations.
This article will compare John Donne's Holy Sonnet 14 (Batter My Heart) and John Milton's Sonnet 18 (On the Late Massacher in Piedmont) in terms of sonnet conventions, structure, form, themes, and effectivity.
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.
Anaphora is an incredibly simple, yet powerful literary tool. It's used to generate an emotional response from the listener and to create memorable and thought provoking ideas in the user's audience whether in the media of political speeches, literature, theatre or music.
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.
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.
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.
Only five lines long, this war poem is based on Jarrell's own experiences with bomber aircraft. The turret gunner was hunched upside-down in the belly of the airplane, vulnerable to enemy fire.
Sylvia Plath's poem The Arrival of the Bee Box is one of five bee poems she wrote focusing on identity, creativity and control. Plath searches for her true poetic self and her womanhood using metaphor and powerful imagery. Reality fuses with dream-like narrative.
Holy Sonnet XVIII speculates about the church of Christ: how it continues, if it will continue with grace, how it may remain comprehensible to Christ's followers. The teachings of Christ, His church, and body of His followers form a unity represented in this sonnet as the "spouse" of Christ.
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?
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.
Rita Dove's "Testimonial" is a free verse poem about learning, innocence, discovery and responsibility. "The world called, and I answered" is a famous line that suggests there is a need for a positive response by all of us. By becoming conscious of the world around, the speaker becomes self-aware.
In Dorothy Sayer's Gaudy Night, Latin quotations carry important subtexts that are inaccessible to modern readers. Here are my translations and interpretations of these phrases, to help you discover nuances which dictionaries and online translators cannot give you.
The poem, a sonnet, is a tribute to a small falcon, the kestrel, a master of flight. Hopkins uses sprung rhythm and full rhyme to create a work of beauty and religious awe for the reader.
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.
Kate is an amazingly strong character displayed in Shakespeare's play The Taming of the Shrew. Here you can see how Kate may be the tamest of the sisters.
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.
Carol Ann Duffy's War Photographer is a poem that takes you into the mind of a person paid to take images of human suffering, the result of violence. It provokes and in the end questions what it is to witness war and to feel helpless in the process. Yet where would we be without images of war?
In Pride and Prejudice, Austen uses both situational and verbal ironies as a strategy to narrate one of the most popular stories of Victorian England, that of Elizabeth and Darcy. The article examines how irony becomes a potent device of such a narrative exploration of characters and society.
"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 detiorating state of faith in the South during the 1950s.
The curious history behind the popular nursery rhyme sing a song of sixpence takes us to Tudor times of Henry VIII to the Pirates of the Caribbean via the splendours of gastronomy.
When closely analyzed, many characters in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland exhibit mental illnesses. Was this a conscious decision? If so, why did Carroll do this? Continue reading to find out!
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.
Greed, material wealth, obsession with consumer goods - Humanity versus Nature - Wordsworth's sonnet still resonates today. A summary and close analysis of this classic English poem.
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.
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!
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.
Shakespeare's Sonnet 27 focuses on the mental anguish of the speaker who wants to sleep but cannot stop thinking of his lover. This sonnet concentrates on restlessness and obsession, the passions that emerge despite physical fatigue. The speaker's eyes are closed yet the mental journey continues.
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.
Forgetfulness, from Billy Collins, focuses on the gradual loss of memory all humans experience from time to time but especially in old age. Using personification and metaphor amongst other figurative devices, this poem builds up examples of forgetfulness with wit and charm and a comic element.
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
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.
In the ancient tale of Gilgamesh women represent not only great wisdom and power but also temptation and ruin.
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.
An adolescent love poem that looks back at a first date, with the emphasis on oranges and new potential. Full of images and contrasts, this insightful poem is an extended metaphor of sorts.
The character of Macbeth has seven different soliloquies within the play. Four of them are exceptionally well known. The other three soliloquies are not quoted as frequently, but they are essential to Macbeth’s character development.
Even after three hundred years, arguments abound as to Milton's true proclivities towards the female gender. Is he a misogynist, a product of his time, or a closet feminist?
Analysis of Tennyson’s Ring Out, Wild Bells, a New Year's poem published 1850. The sentiments about the need to let go the past, the unfair inequalities in society,and wishes for a better future for everyone,are still relevant in the twenty-first century.
The speaker in Hayden's "Monet's Waterlilies" finds solace while viewing the artistry of the French Impressionist, Claude Monet.
The Night Circus is a popular novel that is about an on-going competition between two magicians in a traveling circus that only runs at night. On a deeper level the book draws inspiration from The Tempest and the character Prospero. Using Shakespeare's influence we see that The Night Circus is about what it takes to tell a great story.
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.
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.
'Come live with me and by my love' by Christopher Marlowe is one of the most loved pastoral poems of all time. This article gives an explanation and contextual analysis of this 16th-century appeal to a sweetheart to join the speaker in a country idyll.
The anonymous English poem “Weep You No More, Sad Fountains” provides rich imagery, melancholy metaphors, and insight into the Elizabethan period. Poetry lovers are still enjoying the work today.
Owen fought on the frontline in WWI and wrote this poem from direct experience. This poem is a powerful, graphic message to all who think it is sweet and proper to die for one's country.
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?
James Joyce changed the face of modern fiction with his stream of consciousness writing style but did you know he was directly influenced by a little known French writer, Edouard Dujardin?
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.
Dilip Chitre's most popular poem depicts an uprooted father returning home from work to a family that doesn't understand him. A poem about alienation, lost love and the struggle to find meaning.
A powerful war poem, a sonnet, written whilst Owen was in hospital in 1917. The poet highlights the madness of war and the many young men who die 'as cattle.' Part elegy, part cry for justice.
Emily Dickinson’s "There's been a Death, in the Opposite House" offers a unique glimpse at the skill of this poet, as she speaks through a created adult male character to paint a description of a scene involving the death of a neighbor.
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?
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.
"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,...
Langston Hughes, champion of black causes, wrote this short, powerful poem questioning the delay or postponement of individual and collective dreams.
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.
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
Margaret Atwood's ironic take on the classic Greek myth of the sirens and their irresistible song. A feminist poem with a subtle twist, Siren Song lures the reader into a false sense of understanding.
Robert Frost's Gathering Leaves is more than just an innocent poem about fallen autumn leaves. It questions the cycle of life and our role within it. Short quatrains with rhyme add up to an intriguing poem.
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.
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.
An unusual little poem in which a jar on a hill in Tennessee turns the wilderness round and round. The theme is power and order out of chaos.But where does the anecdote take the reader? Full analysis.
A mother deer is knocked over and killed on the road but when another driver stops to investigate he discovers this deer is pregnant, the fawn warm inside. What does he do? The poem will reveal all?
Carol Rumens' "The Emigree" is a thoughtful poem about displacement and being forced to leave the country that is home for foreign shores because of conflict. The first-person speaker looks back with fond memories of her country despite the reality of tyrants and war.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The speaker in Langston Hughes' "Cross" laments his having been born of a mixed racial couple, a white father and a black mother.
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.
William Carlos Williams wanted to capture the simple moments in daily life, using ordinary words in extraordinary ways. This Is Just To Say is an apology note to his wife and contains cold plums.
A traditional fourteen line sonnet full of texture and unusual rhythms. Hopkins the religious poet seeks to express his love of the divine in nature, contrasting the effects humans have on the world.
American author Annie Dillard's 1974 book, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Chapter 2: "Seeing" is all about the way people see the world. This essay offers a unique interpretation of Dillard's ideas about vision and reality. Sometimes imagination can be the opposition to happiness when reality becomes blurred by perceptual values of the extreme: light and dark. This essay is how I explain Dillard views how the mind and the sense of sight interact, therefore what that means to us.
Full analysis of Robert Frost's fascinating poem.There is a decision to be made. Which road to travel down, which path to take in life? Frost's thoughtful poem on free will and the choices it allows.
Ralph Waldo Emerson's short poem has attracted much critical attention, in focusing on the ambiguity in the use of the term, "hypocritic."
Night, written by Elie Wiesel, is one of the most famous pieces of Holocaust literature. The story focuses on more than just the Holocaust, however - it is also centered around Wiesel's father.
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.
In "The Unknown Citizen," possibly one of his most memorable poems, Auden uses irony to perfection: what the speaker asserts on the surface is not what he really means at all--a masterful deception.
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.
An allegorical poem, "I died for beauty but was scarce" focuses on two people in the afterlife, one who died for beauty and one for truth. Emily Dickinson's fascination with life after death explored.
Erotic fantasy or religious experience? Emily Dickinson was known as the virgin recluse but Wild Nights suggests that her passions ran deep and her yearnings for release were genuine enough. A poem about a liaison with God or a relationship with someone she knew? Ambiguous and metaphorical.
Experimental, innovative, plain weird, romantic - this love poem is unconventional in style, so typical of e.e.cummings.
A classic fairy tale takes on a whole new perspective in Anne Sexton’s poem, Cinderella. Sexton’s perspective on the acclaimed childhood story is fairly different than what popular culture and the media wishes to present.
A villanelle with powerful, repeated lines inspired by the prolonged illness of the poet's father, who became blind in his final few months.
Humans suffer every day somewhere, somehow. But normal life goes on as if tragedy and pain did not exist? Through a study of the paintings of the Old Masters, this poem explores the consequences.
Flannery O'Connor's violent short story "A Good Man is Hard to Find" also has some surprising moments of humor and redemption. Summary and analysis.
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.
A poem written to flatter a loved one, a list of 'you are' lines that stretches to metaphorical overload. Litany is tongue in cheek work from Billy Collins, an exercise in and parody of, anaphora.
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.
The speaker is becoming increasingly more intense as he continues to explore the plight which has sent him on his journey from sensuality to spirituality. He implores his Heavenly Father to remake him and thus utterly destroy his old attitude that led him astray.
This article offers a comprehensive plot summary of 'The Free Radio' and the analysis of Rushdie's most important themes and features.
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.
"Still I Rise" is one of Maya Angelou's best poems. It's a defiant, hopeful, and uplifting lyrical poem that stirs the heart, prepares the soul for struggle, and gives us food for thought.
A short poem with rhythm and rhyme, Frost's talent for the simple yet profound stays with the reader long after the poem is read. Nature, the seasonal cycle of life and human existence in eight lines.
A young girl waits for her aunt in the dentist's waiting room. She picks up a National Geographic magazine, looks at the pictures, then her world changes and she thinks about becoming a woman.
Frost's blank verse poem explores the nature of reality and idealism using the symbolism of birch trees, a boy and an ice-storm. Acute observation, memory and imaginative thinking under tight control.
Read some of the greatest, most anthologized short stories ever. These selections have held up through the years as standards of the form. Each story has a short summary and a link for easy reading.
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?
Dickens places Pip in a world layered with guilt in "Great Expectations" to show the reader the effect that environment has on development.
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...
A detailed analysis and meaning of "The South," a poem written by the famed African American poet Langston Hughes in the 1920s.
Love alters not..Shakespeare's sonnet 116 is one of the ultimate definitions of true love, an ideal most of us humans strive to achieve. Love is not Love which alters..according to the Bard.
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.
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.
A scholarly study of Jean Rhys' short story "The Day they Burned the Books" with a reader-response. Explores topics in multicultural literature such as values, identity, otherness, and heritage.
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.
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.
Springtime makes us act a bit silly. Reciting rhymes and poems seems to come naturally. Here are some old favorites. Many are well known, but I hope you discover some that are new to you.
The speaker in Barrett Browning's Sonnet 14 insists that her paramour love her only for the sake of love and not for any qualities that she possesses, such as her smile or the way she speaks.
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.