102 Answered Questions for the topic Poetry


Had Keats read any of Homer's works before reading Chapman's translation of them?

In "On First Looking into Chapman's Homer," John Keats writes: > Oft of one wide expanse had I been told <br/> > That deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne;<br/> > Yet... more

Using two-syllable words?

Is it ever okay to use two-syllable words as unstressed in a rhyme or poem?e.g. In this sentence using "pigeon" as two unstressed syllables:>The śmall pigeon r&#225;n to the édge of the... more


What is "the Poetic Genius"?

In ["All Religions are One"](https://www.glyndwr.ac.uk/rdover/blake/allrels1.htm), William Blake develops an argument around a concept called "the Poetic Genius". From the modern, surface meaning... more


A figure of speech combining two phrases?

I have read somewhere that it is typical of poems such as Nibelungenlied to use a figure of speech which in fact merges two phrases into one by the mean of a common word. An example could be the... more

Why are haiku usually of 17 syllables?

One of the characteristics of Haiku is that the poems are usually of 17 syllables (5-7-5). Exceptions exist, of course, but 17 is the norm. Why 17? How did the originators of Haiku come to settle... more


What does "toby" mean, in London slang of Orwell's time?

In the George Orwell poem ["A Dressed Man and a Naked Man"](https://www.orwellfoundation.com/the-orwell-foundation/orwell/poetry/a-dressed-man-and-a-naked-man/), two men are haggling for the... more

Could Ozymandias be interpreted as referring to the power of the Church/pope?

The poem's central line that establishes the theme of power: >"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Does the "king of kings" part happen to be a subtle reference to the English papacy by any... more


Style of poetry that plays with typographic rivers?

> In typography, rivers, or rivers of white, are gaps in typesetting, which appear to run through a paragraph of text, due to a coincidental alignment of spaces. >... more

Who wrote the poem that begins "What have we not done for this country"?

About 15 years ago I read a popular history (in the sense of popular science, not popular politics) of the 20th century which includes a short poem that I believe went as follows: > What have... more


Meter and number of syllables per line in "The Raven"?

After reading some analysis of "The Raven", I've become confused about how syllables are counted. For example, in the second line: *Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore* A... more

What did "Moloch" represent in Allen Ginsberg´s poem "Howl"?

In Allen Ginsberg´s poem "Howl", what did "Moloch" represent? > What sphinx of cement and aluminum bashed open their skulls and ate up their brains and imagination? >Moloch! Solitude!... more

Sentence structure of a stanza in "Ozymandias"—how the grammar works?

>Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed. I do get that it says that the one... more


What is the symbolism of the Western Wind (or Zephyr)?

I was reading some poetry and I stumbled upon the four-line ['Western Wind' by Anonymous](https://www.poetrysociety.org/psa/poetry/poetry_in_motion/atlas/newyork/western_wind/), written in the 16th... more

Does "The Soul selects her own Society" by Emily Dickinson have a simile?

Here is the poem "The Soul selects her own Society" by Emily Dickinson. > The Soul selects her own Society — Then — shuts the Door — To her divine Majority — Present no more — > >... more

What does the "good night" symbolize in Dylan Thomas's "Do not go gentle into that good night"?

*Do not go gentle into that good night* by Dylan Thomas, he begins with "Do not go gentle into that good night". He also uses this as one of two alternating refrains. In this poem, what does the... more


What are the "dark Satanic mills" in Blake's Jerusalem?

The short poem *Jerusalem* by William Blake - not to be confused with his much longer epic poem of the same title; I'm talking about the "did those feet in ancient times" one - contains the... more

Meaning of "We make the wise distinction still, soever made in vain" in a poem by Dickinson?

[A poem](https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/We_send_the_Wave_to_find_the_Wave_%E2%80%94) by Emily Dickinson: > We send the Wave to find the Wave— An Errand so divine, The Messenger enamored... more

Doesn't Burns' use of parallelism reinforce "My Heart's in the Highlands" visual images?

Here is "My Heart's in the Highlands" by Robert Burns (https://www.bartleby.com/360/8/24.html). > My heart’s in the Highlands, my heart is not here; My heart’s in > the Highlands a-chasing... more

What do the "mirror" and the "lake" represent in "Mirror" by Sylvia Plath?

In ["Mirror" by Sylvia Plath](https://allpoetry.com/poem/8498499-Mirror-by-Sylvia-Plath), the speaker in the poem says, > Now I am a lake. But, also at times implies that the speaker is a... more
Poetry Literature Meter


Analysis of a self-written stanza in terms of meter?

A long time ago I used to write poetry, and there was one particular stanza that has always stuck with me and seemed inherently rhythmic, but I’m not familiar with the relevant terminology and so... more

Who chained the albatross to the mariner's neck?

In the long poem by Samuel Coleridge, _The Rime of the Ancient Mariner_, the mariner talks about an albatross being chained to his neck: > Instead of the cross, the albatross > About my... more

Looking for a poem about the (fictionalized) writing of The Canterbury Tales Prologue?

A friend of mine used to quote a poem that told the fictionalized story of Chaucer writing the first lines of the Prologue of *The Canterbury Tales*: > "Whan that Aprill with his ... ". When... more

What is the deeper meaning of "The Tyger"?

William Blake's poem ["The Tyger"](https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/43687/the-tyger) is part of his collection [*Songs of Innocence and of... more


Confused about the meter and rhythm of Ulysses by Tennyson?

Ulysses is written in iambic pentameter. There are a few spondees and trochees thrown in for good measure, but I'm confused in some places, like here: > I cannot rest from travel: I will drink... more

What did Lorca mean by ‘crocodiles’ in his poem ‘The King of Harlem’?

The poet Federico García Lorca, when he was studying at Colombia University visited Harlem with a friend of his, Nella Larsen, a black novelist. It made a tremendous impression upon him and its... more

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