Walt Whitman's Patrolling Barnegat uses long, driven lines to conjure up the spirit of a storm on the beach at Barnegat. A poem full of repeated, disturbing energy, the dynamic language takes the reader along headfirst into the elements. Someone else is out there; a patrol? Whitman's complex past?
Stanza forms appear in poetry with all kinds of variations across cultures, generations, and poets. Check out these standard types of poetic stanza forms.
Through varied forms of the idiom, "give the lie to," the speaker's refrain emphasizes the disingenuousness that is being decried throughout the poem.
Pretty is Stevie Smith's ironic poem on the use of the word pretty. Nature may be pretty to some but what does this really mean? Is nature always pretty? Pretty much. Using strong imagery, unusual syntax and repeated language the poem questions what it means for humans who think nature pretty.
The little sparrows is a short poem set on a local American street. Sparrows, an old man, dog dirt, a minister and a pulpit are all compared. It's a thought provoking study that deals with the tensions between real life and ideal thoughts. Short lines rule.
An in-depth analysis of Shakespeare's Sonnet # 73, focusing on the tone, imagery, diction, and poetic merits of the beautiful poem "That Time of the Year..."
The 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.
Sonnet 73 is a beautiful and unusual love poem. An extended metaphor featuring trees, birds, the sun - and how, as humans age, they reflect the passing of seasonal time.
An overview and analysis of the second tale in Geoffrey Chaucer's "The Canterbury Tales," "The Miller's Tale," and a focus on narrative point of view, characterization, theme, symbolism, and allusion.
Aphrodite is a woman who changes herself to be whatever her current man wants her to be. She may not realize that she does this. She is the muse who inspires men to write poems and songs.
This is a brief overview of the 16 major archetypes for reference if anyone is looking. These are not to be confused with the Jungian motives or character roles in a story.
Children’s literature offers a wonderful mixture of magic and reality. This article aims to explore child development theories through the lens of James and the Giant Peach.
The speaker in Sonnet 13 muses on the idea of composing a verse about her newly found emotion of love, but she hesitates for she fears touching the grief that still molests her.
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.
In the ancient tale of Gilgamesh women represent not only great wisdom and power but also temptation and ruin.
There are many similarities between the fictional Siddhartha, and his historical counterpart, though Hesse did take some creative liberties in his novel.
The Trees is a poem that reflects Larkin's love of spring and his fascination with natural cycles of renewal. Subtle rhythm and rhyme capture the mysterious growth of leaves, mortality, a tree's age.
The speaker in John Donne's Holy Sonnet XIII continues his search for consolation that he will be forgiven his earlier sins of the flesh.
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.
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.
Emily Bronte's Love and Friendship uses metaphor and simile to compare and contrast romantic love, the rose, and steady friendship, the holly. Love is something passionate and exciting but can fade, whereas friendship is more stable and evergreen, able to withstand seasonal changes.
Despite being a late starter, Charles Bukowski had many lovers in middle life. He wrote about his women extensively in his poems and fiction, often with humor. This article takes a look at the wives and girlfriends of Charles Bukowski.
In Sonnet 137, the speaker is musing, basically through questions, on the evil consequences from acting upon what the eye sees instead of what the heart believes.
Emily Dickinson's poem, "The Brain - is wider than the Sky," compares and contrasts the human brain with the sky, the sea, and God.
Dante's Beatrice attraction was not based on unrequited love or adulterous lust. The poet's feelings for Beatrice were motivated by pure spiritual bliss.
This short poem from Naomi Shihab Nye relies on personification to carry the main message. Written in free verse, it is a clever take on loneliness and how different people relate to being alone.
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.
"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,...
This is a critical, literary and culturally contextual analysis on the critically acclaimed crime novel "Murder On The Orient Express" by Agatha Christie.
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.
Poem number 827 in Johnson's The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson offers a glimpse of the poet's satisfying daily existence.
A mother to daughter poem, about letting go, with a mythological twist. When Demeter lost her daughter Persephone to Hades in his underworld, the mother wrote a prayer.
This article looks at the meaning in Katherine Mansfield's short story "Miss Brill". It includes a summary, and a look at themes, foreshadowing, symbolizing and other elements.
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.
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.
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.
The name of the poet is unknown, but it was translated by John L. Foster; this poem offers a glimpse of an ancient culture. Because it is a translation, its accuracy cannot be affirmed.
An analysis of Robert Frost's "Into My Own", as well as an exploration into how it applies to my personal life and the life of other young adults.
Buried beneath the stream of consciousness sentence structure in Faulkner's Barn Burning is the story of a boy and the father he both loves and hates.
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.
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.
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...
Discover the masterful story telling in Jules Verne's classic, The Mysterious Island. This review also covers the parallels and differences between the book and the hit television series, LOST.
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.
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.
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.
This article analyzes some themes from "A Rose For Emily", contains a summary, and looks at foreshadowing and the meaning of the title.
A haiku is a nature poem consisting of three lines. It contains an observation or experience from a moment in time. It often contains a seasonal reference and juxtaposition as well.
Representation is important. These six young adult fantasy and science fiction novels feature main characters who identify as bisexual.
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.
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.
William Shakespeare's Sonnet #2 has a procreation theme, the speaker urging the mysterious 'fair youth' to have children, thus sustaining his beauty, before he gets too old and tattered.
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.
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.
This book is the perfect retreat for anyone who’s ever worked their hardest and failed anyway, about a girl who's always loved baking fresh bread, and featuring a handsome honey-maker and a puffling.
The Oven Bird, an unusual sonnet, is more than a mere song from a bird - it is a poem about the world of words the poet himself creates, despite the diminished state of language,time and life itself.
"The Illegal" is a novel written by Lawrence Hill that explores important topics like immigration, disability, corruption, and other typical elements of a novel including romance. This book discussion answers some questions that help summarize and analyze the books plot, themes, and structure.
(Spoiler Free) A review for the perfect "who done it" novel. "And Then There Were None" is for anyone looking for a quick, easy, and engaging read.
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.
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.
The speaker in "Two Tramps in Mud Time" dramatizes his encounter with two unemployed lumberjacks who covet the speaker's wood-splitting task.
How to Understand Shakespeare gives tips on getting to grips with the language, style and form of Shakespeare's plays and sonnets.
The speaker in Edna St. Vincent Millay's Italian sonnet, determines that she will make Chaos docile by putting him inside the sonnet cage. She will then be in position to restore him to order.
Modern, contemporary short stories from various authors with descriptions and links for easy reading.
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.
Robert Frost's "A Girl's Garden" dramatizes a little story often told by the speaker's neighbor, who enjoys telling her little tale about growing and nurturing a garden when she was just a girl.
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.
Young is Anne Sexton's early look back to her own adolescence, a time when her relationship with parents and the wider world was changing. Between childhood and adulthood; figuratively imagined.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Deserted Farm is a short poem full of imagery and atmosphere. The speaker is looking at the remains of the farm and contrasting the demise of the farmer's family with the hope growing lilacs hold.
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?
Pike is one of Ted Hughes's best known animal poems. Brilliant imagery and keen insightful language make this a powerful tribute to what is according to some, the freshwater shark. Fishing was crucial for Hughes, he re-connected deep to nature when out with rod and line. Summary and full analysis.
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 Reading of T.S.Eliot's "Preludes" to understand Eliot's concept of poetry, focusing on the images and symbols.
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.
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?
An analysis of Dylan Thomas's poem "Fern Hill." Themes include creation, life, and the passage of time.
The English Romantic poets are artists of a movement that spread out from England, across Europe and to America. Influenced by radical ideas and revolutions, their lives are as poetic as their words.
The speaker in Langston Hughes' "Night Funeral in Harlem" wonders how this poor dead boy's friends and relatives are able to afford such a lavish funeral.
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.
John Milton's celebrated epic poem exploring the cosmological, moral and spiritual origins of man's existence. -- Amazon
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."
Dylan Thomas created a speaker to beg his father to rail against death in "Do Not Go Gentle"; in this poem, the poet's speaker dramatizes the truth that death cannot conquer the soul.
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.
Robert Frost employs an extended allusion to the Garden of Eden myth from the Judeo-Christian tradition.
Since the 1960s, in Western culture, "duty" has been a dirty word. It smacks of kowtowing to authority, not being allowed to "do your own thing"; it cramps your style. This poem demolishes that perverse sentiment.
Binsey Poplars is a protest poem Hopkins wrote when he discovered a row of aspen trees had been felled. Full of sprung rhythm which Hopkins considered closer to common speech patterns, and inscape.
Jacksonville, Florida, native James Weldon Johnson composed his tribute to his adopted New York City in a surprising Petrarchan sonnet.
Jean Bakula's well written review of Eat, Pray, Love makes it clear that each person who reads this thought provoking true story will take something valuable away from it!
Brooks' poems, "The Boy Died in MyAlley," portrays the theme of evil and the accountability each individual faces in opposing it. The speaker, of course, cannot resolve the issue.
Gerard Manley Hopkins' "Spring" celebrates the Resurrection of the Lamb of God, along with the greening of the landscape and the new birth of foliage, flowers, and fowl.
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.
In Robert Herrick's "To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time," the speaker's carpe diem agenda is to command young unmarried women to hurry up and marry before they become old and haggard, and thus so undesirable that they are unable to attract a mate.
Robert Frost wrote some memorable poems and became one of America's most popular poets. He sought to produce a 'sound of sense' in his work. But what does this phrase mean?
Shakespeare wrote some of the most famous tragedies of all time. Each of his tragic characters were responsible for their own downfall due to their fatal flaws.
This Room is an extended metaphor in free verse and also contains personification, onomatopeia and alliteration. The basic theme is of personal growth within change, reaching for the light and the positives when life may be dark and unpredictable.
The Dirge by Christina Rossetti is a poem about grief and regret following the death of someone who has led a life too short. It compares the human life cycle with the cycle of the seasons.
This article looks at the meaning in the short story "The Landlady" by Roald Dahl, including a summary, foreshadowing, irony and theme.
Kim Addonizio's poem is sharp and provocative and concentrates on a red dress, a metaphor for independence and feminine expression. In simple, direct language What Do Women Want? conveys a hard truth.
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.
Thom Gunn's Considering the Snail is a close-up study of a determined snail as it moves through wet grass. The form of the poem mirrors the movement of the snail; enjambment and fluid rhythms take the reader along at a slow, sensual pace. A short exploration of willpower and progress.
Joyce Carol Oates's short story "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" can be analyzed from a feminist perspective, though the main character, Connie, is anything but a feminist role model.
Why is Beowulf an epic hero? Hubris is not the heroic qualities of an epic hero. A summary and character analysis reveals that his hubris makes him a tragic hero.
Isobel Dixon's Plenty is a poem that contrasts childhood past and adult present; relative poverty with that of comfort and plenty. Central to the theme is the mother, struggling to cope. Simile, hyperbole, assonance and other devices all help make this a moving poem about family memories and love.
Noted primarily for his novels, Richard Wright also did some dabbling in poetry. He seemed especially drawn to haiku.
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.
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
Her Kind is an early poem by Anne Sexton, published in her first book To Bedlam and Part Way Back. It is full of dark imagery, written as the poet was battling against depression and inner demons.
Some people view The Cherry Orchard as a tragic play. Chekhov holds the stance it is a comedy. Let's look at why it would be a comedy.
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.
Paul Laurence Dunbar and James Weldon Johnson, both celebrated African-American poets, wrote poems using “Negro Dialect,” but for different reasons.
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?
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.
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.
Poetry analysis of Donne's "Goe and catch...", pointing out the central symbols, imagery and theme which make it a representative metaphysical poem.
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.
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
Looking at the possible influence of an Irish vampire legend on the creation of Bram Stoker's Dracula.
In Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, the images of light and dark are one of the most constant visual motifs throughout the play. Characters, such as Benvolio, Juliet, and Romeo, who exhibit goodness, innocence, and love are often seen either giving...
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.
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.
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.
Sophie experiences many losses of innocence throughout the novel at the hands of the Nazis, her family, her lovers, and herself. These losses are too much for her to bear in the end.
These two Dickinson poems seem to grow out of a singular event on a certain day, likely in early spring, when nature is waking up bringing its flowered beauty to the eyes and ears. No one is better prepared to report on that beauty than this poet.
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.
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.
A writer's notebook or inspiration journal is a great way to inspire yourself through quotes, writing prompts, poems, pictures, or really anything else you find interesting.
Herein lies a detailed analysis of Edgar Allan Poe's famous short story "The Cask of Amontillado." This story of a vengeful murder is still popular today, even 150 years after it was published.
Rudyard Kipling's poem dramatizes the notion that females in all species, often thought to be demure and soft, are actually more iron-willed than their counterpart.
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.
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.
Cheng's The Planners focuses on urban development and planning models. The rapid increase in building has erased history and turned landscape into a grid. Nature is on the run because of the anonymous decisions of the planners. Metaphor, personification and irony add to the unease of the speaker.
"Flower Gathering" is one of the finest early poems in the Robert Frost collection. This simple poem is about so much more than walking around and looking for flowers.
The Robert Frost poem, "A Soldier," expresses an insightful view regarding the meaning of a soldier's duty; it is a fascinating blending of the English and Italian sonnet.
The case of the Red Headed League is the second short story to feature Sherlock Holmes. In this case Holmes investigates when Jebez Wilson loses his part-time job.
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.
Thom Gunn's The Man With Night Sweats is a powerful poem about a gay man dying of AIDS, which hit the gay community in a big way in the 1980s. Thom Gunn lost many friends. One of 17 elegies this poem is a sensitive and carefully handled exploration of what it is to face pain and inevitable demise.
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.
n her peerless mystical voice, Dickinson's speaker dramatizes a selection of the countless ways in which Mother Nature looks after her charges.
Discover some exceptional short stories that have been recognized with a major award. The selections include a brief introduction and a link for easy online reading.
There is something odd about Nate's new apartment. Weird neighbors, doors with no handles, padlocks closing off areas...When Nate and his new neighbors decide to investigate the strangeness of their building they get more supernatural oddity than bargained for when they find out the grizzly truth.
India has a number of novelists who write in English.The celebrated contemporary authors are Arundhati Roy, Kiran Desai, Aravind Adiga, Anita Nair, Chetan Bagat, and Jeet Thayyil.
This article explores a unique reading of Moby Dick and through it argues that Melville creates sympathy for the animal and condemns the brutality of man.
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.
The Boscombe Valley Mystery is one of the early stories about Sherlock Holmes written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It is a tale of murder where the police arrest the wrong person.
If thinking requires understanding, then many postmodernist poets are guilty of thinking without thought, exemplified by this Atwoodian loose-mused atrocity.
Poetic Form can be understood as the physical structure of the poem: the length of lines, their rhythms, their system of rhymes and repetition.
the epic of Beowulf cannot be complete without analyzing Beowulf's Death. this page will examine Beowulf's death. Its purpose is to answer the questions: How did Beowulf die? Why did Beowulf die?
An essay comparing and contrasting the styles and backgrounds of prolific American poets Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman.
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.
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.
Fifty fun and interesting questions about novels and stories to ask your bookworm friends and start engaging conversations.
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.
Much speculation has arisen over the mystery surrounding Heathcliff's parentage. Did Emily Bronte provide important clues?
An analysis of ‘Silver’ (1913) by Walter de la Mare. Exquisite visual imagery sparks the senses of the reader by evoking the effect created by the phenomenon of a silver moon in a slumbering rural environment. Particularly noteworthy is the skilful use of alliteration and repetition.
Robert Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" seems simple, but its nuanced phrase, "And miles to go before I sleep," offers much about which to speculate.
Roethke's villanelle is full of mystery and explores the nature of human identity. We think by feeling.What is there to know? Life is for living so learn by going where to go. A philosophical message.
Spring Storm is full of figurative language which is why it is popular as a common core study poem. In it, an angry young man bursts out of the house; there's a storm brewing but who knows why?
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.
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?
John Donne's Holy Sonnet X, "Death, be not proud," remains one of the most anthologized poems of the Holy Sonnet sequence. The speaker addresses the conceptual force of death in order to rebuke it and relieve it of its power over human thinking.
"Dora Williams" is reporting from Camp Santo in Genoa, Italy, instead of from the Spoon River graveyard.
At winter solstice near a weathered pub beside the Thames river, a man washes up, banged-up and nearly dead, with a very young girl, as lifeless as a mannequin. Until she wakes up. Full of town secrets, and old legends, Once Upon a River is about a place where miracles and myth follow the river.
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?
Emily Dickinson sent her poem, "Sic transit gloria mundi," as a Valentine message to William Howland, who served as a law clerk in her father's office.
One of Emily Dickinson's many poems about death that takes the reader into the mind of someone dying or already dead yet able to communicate, somehow. Unusual syntax, short breathless phrasing, dashes galore and that suspension of reality Dickinson is so good at evoking. Ambiguous, rhyming, lyrical.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
William Carlos Williams worked out of the American idiom, choosing local subjects, looking for new and fresh ways to use language. To A Poor Old Woman is about solace and a bag of tasty plums.
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...
The epigraph to James Weldon Johnson's poem, "Go Down, Death," identifies the poem as a dramatic "funeral oration."
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.
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.
D. C. Berry's "On Reading Poems to a Senior Class at South High" employs an extended metaphor of fish, first frozen in a package and then swimming in an aquarium, to express the speaker's surprise that high school students actually enjoyed his poetry reading.
Climbing My Grandfather is an extended metaphor focusing on a young boy who 'climbs' his grandfather, a mountain of a man. Autobiographical, full of detail and climbing language, this poem, a single stanza, reflects the awe and wonder and risk a boy takes getting to know his grandfather.
In the second poem of the “Minerva” series, the poetess’ father, “Indignation” Jones, fulminates against Spoon River society.