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.
Visionary, disturbing, political. The Second Coming is a poem of powerful imagery and symbolism. Spiritual forces are at work in the world and a 'rough beast' is slouching towards Bethlehem. Humankind is at risk from mere anarchy.
An intriguing life account of Jean Giono, the famed regionalist writer, autodidact, professed atheist, and incarcerated pacifist from Provençal France.
In "I measure every Grief I meet," the speaker examines the nature of human suffering. The poem is long by Dickinson standards, filling out a whopping ten quatrains.
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.
The speaker in Frost's Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening is of two minds; whether to stay and watch the lovely woods fill with snow or keep his promises and move on. His confused horse shakes the harness bells. Move on? Or what?
Lady Lazarus, Plath's regeneration poem, is an intense dramatic monologue that creates a myth out of suicide, the need to die in order to be reborn. Beyond confessional, it is self-parody, art exhibition, a naked tease. Here is art posing as a revengeful woman. Provocative and painful.
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.
Shylock, in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, embodies emotion unfettered by moral or intellectual constraints. Shylocks' speech at the beginning of act four, scene one distances him from the rest of society and perpetuates his ostracism as his actions validate Antonio's attacks upon his character and depict him as a creature without morals but only emotion, and as an entity of pure evil when, despite the fact he realizes his own flaws in logic and all appeal to his compassion and mercy, he
Scout has many experiences with loss of innocence throughout Harper Lee's novel To Kill a Mockingbird and learns many lessons along the way.
Sonnet 20 from Sonnets from the Portuguese finds the speaker in a pensive mood, dramatizing her awe at the difference a year has made in her life.
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.
You will find a comprehensive list of fables and their authors below. From Aesop to Rudyard Kipling, prepare yourselves to discover many creative writers and their stories!
The speaker in this Robert Frost poem muses on the connection between the natural world and the human world, as Frost's speakers often do.
A villanelle with powerful, repeated lines inspired by the prolonged illness of the poet's father, who became blind in his final few months.
Langston Hughes, champion of black causes, wrote this short, powerful poem questioning the delay or postponement of individual and collective dreams.
A satirical sonnet by the master of experimental syntax. E.E.Cummings shows off his unique talent for unusual form and content by exposing the cliche ridden nonsense that is next to of course.
Louise Erdrich's poem is based on the experiences of many Indian children who were taken from their tribal homes and 'educated' in boarding schools. They were not allowed to speak their native language, grow long hair or make contact with family. A poem about identity, roots and state oppression.
Interested in Greek Mythology? Then you'd be interested in this is a critical review on Stephen Fry's 'Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold'.
The speaker in Frost's "A Prayer in Spring" is saying an uncomplicated prayer focusing on love and gratitude that is traditionally on display during the season of Thanksgiving.
The word ballad has been taken from Latin word ballare, which means dancing song. Ballad is a shorter narrative poem, which comprises of short stanzas. Ballad is a poem, which is meant for singing.
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.
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.
Emily Dickinson's The Soul selects Her Own Society is a short poem that focuses on selective inner needs and spiritual isolation. One of several poems featuring the soul - the poet's search for understanding and identity. With short lines, dashes, slant rhyme and mixed metaphor.
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 their house colours, founder, house ghost, headteacher, main characters, associated traits, strengths and weaknesses.
The speaker in Hayden's "Monet's Waterlilies" finds solace while viewing the artistry of the French Impressionist, Claude Monet.
Hart Crane's last poem, The Broken Tower, written in Mexico, is full of symbolism, metaphor and vivid imagery in a musical lyric. The poet imagines the struggle between inner turmoil and creativity.
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
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?
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
Ruins of a Great House is Walcott's poem on colonialism, power and decay. History, Slavery and the English language combine to reveal a complex, ambivalent relationship between the speaker and the system that brought both cruelty and culture into the lives of once free people of the Caribbean.
'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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
This is a description and criticism of a well-known English poem that describes scenes of rural distress during the 18th century.
Moniza Alvi's An Unknown Girl focuses on identity. A girl in an Indian bazaar draws a henna peacock on the hand of the speaker. For a few rupees the speaker can gain new brown veins, as if she had a fresh identity, a new way of being. But soon the design fades and with it her identity. Who is she?
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 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.
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.
Imagine a future where emotions hardly exist, babies are hatched, social destiny is preconditioned and casual sex has displaced violence. Welcome to Huxley's Brave New World, a dystopian novel in which everyone is blissfully happy and never question their place in society. Or do they?
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.
Unable to move in her hospital bed, Amber is told she is in a coma by everyone around her. Able to hear conversation, and piece together events, the truth behind this unbelievable narrator's story is more depraved than one could imagine.
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 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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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?
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.
"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.
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.
An in-depth analysis of William Shakespeare's King Lear that scrutinizes how Shakespeare used what we know to be as a fool to show wisdom and how even kings can be quite foolish.
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 the ancient tale of Gilgamesh women represent not only great wisdom and power but also temptation and ruin.
An analysis of the imagery used in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s most famous speech, "I Have a Dream" and why it was so effective.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Auto Wreck is a poem of vivid imagery written at a time when car crashes were relatively rare. It is a commentary on the actual accident scene but also explores human fragility and death.
Despite being written in 1948, many parts of George Orwell's fictional dystopian society have become reality. The prevalence of surveillance and loss of privacy, the state of perpetual war with shifting landscapes and changing enemies, the truncation of language and fake news are the new norm.
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'.
Analysis of "London Snow" by Robert Bridges, a poem that creates an image of the transformational enchantment of snowfall in London; which at the time the poem was created (1890) was noisy, crowded, and heavily polluted.
In the poem The Lovers of the Poor, well meaning ladies from the Betterment League can't stand the poor people they give money to. Hypocrites? Brooks uses sarcasm and caricature to show them up.
This article has an analysis of "Raymond's Run" by Toni Cade Bambara, with a summary, themes and questions.
Langston Hughes is writing a poem of someone who feels that America does not live up to what it should be. The tone and symbolism is angry and resentful.
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.
The Lion and Jewel is a novel written by Wole Soyinka. It narrates the battle for power between a young girl and an elderly chief. It tells the story of a village that is torn between breaking from traditional ties and accepting the modern-way of life.
Written as part of a fund raiser for the new Statue of Liberty, The New Colossus gave new meaning to the Mother of Exiles, a welcoming light for the homeless hudded masses coming to America.
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 the novel Emma, Jane Austen addresses many issues important to women, making her a feminist of her time.
The "rags to riches" stories that Horatio Alger Jr. wrote in the late nineteenth century helped the population of the United States believe the myth that anyone could work hard and become rich, a "self made man". His readers ignored the moral...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There are several dozen translations of Victor Hugo's classic novel Les Miserables. Here's a simple guide to use when finding the best translation to read.
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.
"Puss in Boots" is a famous fairytale, but its moral is pretty questionable. The title character achieves everything through trickery and his masters become rich doing nothing.
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.
Nothing's Changed is a poem that burns with frustration and anger. A man goes back to District 6 in Cape Town, South Africa, and concludes that the blacks are still oppressed and poor, despite the end of apartheid, a brutal system segregating white and black.
Pablo Neruda was one the 20th century's greatest poets. Here is a list of the five most famous poems he ever wrote!
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...
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.
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.
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.
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!
Sonnet 153 alludes to Roman mythology through the characters of Cupid, god of love, and Diana, goddess of the hunt.
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.
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.
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.
Fifty fun and interesting questions about novels and stories to ask your bookworm friends and start engaging conversations.
The themes of gender relations and traditional gender roles play an important part in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night.
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
Robert Frost's Home Burial is a dramatic poem focusing on the reaction of a mother and father to the death of their young son. The subsequent burial carried out by the father causes friction between the parents and they cannot come to terms with the grief. Based on Frost's real life loss of a son.
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.
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.
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.
Romantic poet John Keats wrote this sensuous, pastoral ode knowing he was closer to death than at any time in his young life. To Autumn is bursting with rich natural imagery - full analysis.
Adult ignorance of a child's literal mind often causes the child to lose self-esteem. Neither children nor adults can accept what they cannot understand. Adults become entangled in their metaphors and do not realize that those metaphors need to be interpreted for children.
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.
A black female poet speaks to the white establishment in this short poem. Taken from her home in Africa, Phillis Wheatley ended up in Boston where she wrote verse and eventually to became free.
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.
Many critics have described Rebecca as a gothic tale. Loosely interpreted, the gothic tale is one that combines elements of horror and mystery, romance and death, into a sensational blend. Rebecca is in fact a multi-layered work that contains intriguing themes that work at various levels..
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.
Experimental, innovative, plain weird, romantic - this love poem is unconventional in style, so typical of e.e.cummings.
Didn't have time to read the novel? Read this comprehensive chapter-by-chapter plot summary instead. Contains the explanation of Carter's most important themes and features.
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.
Poe's "The Sleeper" takes as its subject a beautiful woman in death, the subject that Poe claimed in his essay, "The Philosophy of Composition," to be the most poetic.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Need help on a memory essay? I give full instructions, organizing tips and sample essays to help you write.
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.
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.
What is the oldest story ever written? - The Epic of Gilgamesh was written over 4,000 years ago on cuneiform clay tablets. It recounts a king's quest to overcome death, and the original story of the Great Flood.
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
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?'
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A look at the novel "Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza" by world-renowned feminist, cultural activist, and author Gloria Anzaldua.
This article explores the arguments for and against the idea that Charles Bukowski was a misogynist. It includes an assessment of Bukowski's background, criticism of his novel, Women, and the infamous kicking incident filmed during a Barbet Schroeder interview.
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.
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.
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.
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.
These slogans in the novel 1984 underscore the destructiveness of believing in contradictions and encompass one of the overarching themes of the book.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A Feminist and Formalist Literary Analysis of The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant: Two Different Approaches to Interpreting the same Literary Work.
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 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.
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
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.
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.
R. S. Gwynn's conflation of several sources—the Snow White story, the seven deadlies, biblical allusion, along with a tortured take on Catholicism—purports to portray dysfunctional marriage.
One of the most influential poems of modern times, T.S.Eliot's dramatic monologue takes us into the mind of an ageing J. Alfred Prufrock. Do I disturb the universe or eat a peach? Vivid imagery combines with personal angst and existential crisis. Full analysis.
Full analysis of Sylvia Plath's 'hospital poem' written shortly after a miscarriage. She's stuck in bed in a white room and next to her are the flowers she did not want, the vivid 'too red' tulips.
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.
The famous Philippine fable, Ibong Adarna in English and Filipino / Tagalog versions are here. If you're looking for the summary and the characters, I've included them, too. I love this mythical story! Cheers for fairytale lovers!
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.
The main themes of Hate v Love, Nature v Nurture and Good v Evil in the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.
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?
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.
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.
eBooks offer many benefits over traditional print books. Here are 10 reasons why they can be better than print.
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.
What if you're a poet in love? A look at some of the more unusual love poems by famous and unknown poets. Here is passion, sex and romance, with some weird twists.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The speaker metaphorically likens the end of summer to the departure of the soul of a loved one, creating a little funeral drama in a church with a final prayer offering.
The apple harvest is complete, the apple picker exhausted. Will he sleep a natural sleep or remain troubled as he dreams? Frost's metaphorical, strange poem has a complex rhyme scheme, a core mystery.
Mary Oliver's poem Mindful has inspired many readers to pay more attention to the everyday delights of nature. The natural world is her life classroom where profound lessons can be learned.
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.
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 scorpion sting the mother received on a dark, rainy night attracts many people, all out to heal her pain. Will the superstitious triumph over the rational? A child watches as the story unfolds.
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.
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.
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.
The pagan tribes who authored the epic Beowulf and the characters within the story have a unique culture. There are four major parts of Anglo Saxon and Germanic culture that is vital to understanding Beowulf. Anyone looking to analyze the epic must first understand Bards, paganism, the warrior king culture and Anglo Saxon Christianization to form a complete analysis of Beowulf.
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.
Modern American literature evolved from the early foundations of the country’s literary ancestors. The European explorers brought their writing system with them to the New World. They wrote journals, letters, and narratives of their experience in this new place. When the European explorers discovered the New World it was already inhabited by millions of Native Americans. Despite not possessing a writing system the Native Americans had a vast oratory literary collection of culture, history, and r
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.