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Poem Essay Topics & Paper Examples

What Does America Mean

When someone is called an American, it does not mean they were born in the American country. The nationality of an individual should be seen in their personality, experiences, way of speaking, and in their beliefs, rather than in their place of birth. Cultural, social, and traditional values are among the qualities that give a person their nationality and American authors most often reflect their nationality in their writing style. An American must be authentically American at heart, mind, and soul. An American author not only writes about events, issues, culture, or traditions from this country, but they also identify with them. The author Randall Jarrell, spent a large part of his life writing about a variety of topics. A…

Internal Conflicts in Paradise Lost

John Milton summarizes the content of the entire poem in the first thirty-two lines. However, the reader is left with uncertainty when he declares: “That to the height of this great argument / I may assert Eternal Providence, / and justify the ways of God to men” (I. 24-26). Milton is unclear about which ways of God he wants to justify. The cause and effect text structure in lines 1-32 adds to the confusion as Milton contradicts himself when he says that he will try to “assert Eternal Providence” and “justify the ways of God to men. In Milton’s attempt to explain the ways of God to man with “this Eternal Providence,” he provides a contradictory tone to the reader…

Comparaison Between Mcmxiv & Anthem for Doomed Youth

In both of these poems Anthem For Doomed Youth and MCMXIV talking about war, Wilfred Owen and Philip Larkin try in different ways to engrave in their readers minds the atrocious actions that war provoked with different language, voice but also form. First of all, the poems are written in a different way. Anthem For Doomed Youth with his ABAB CDCD ABBACC rhyme scheme is in fact a sonnet. However, a sonnet is usually used to glorify love and romance whereas Anthem For Doomed Youth focuses on the First World War. We can assume that Wilfred Owen surely wanted to contrast these two opposite subjects to create an ironic atmosphere. We can already guess the poem is going to be…

Yeats’s Versification in ‘Adam’s Curse’ and ‘the Wild Swans at Coole’

How do the characters of Therese, Laurent and Meursault change after they have committed their respective murders? The protagonists in both the novels “Therese Raquin” by Emile Zola, and “The Outsider” by Albert Camus, ultimately commit murder. This is the turning point in both cases, and the way in which their various characters change because of this will be analysed and compared. In Therese Raquin, after the murder of Camille, both Therese and Laurent react at first with shock, Therese flying into fits of hysterics and Laurent with a rationality that seems to be his coping mechanism at first. However, as time passes, it seems as though the characters begin to relax again, although Zola foreshadows upheaval to come: “it…

Disabled by Wilfred Owen

When you hear ‘death’ you think of pain and suffering. The poem Disabled by Wilfred Owen shows that he regrets some major decisions he made in his very short life; such as going to war. Throughout the poem he states how much he regret going to war. He used lots of terms to describe his pain and suffering in the war and also after coming home from the war. How he is against all wars. He informs young men on how the war really is. Another source I looked at was the movie Gallipoli. The protagonist was so eager to go to war. He was so excited thinking it was going to be fun and above all he was out…

September 1913

Unlike some of his earlier work, this poem adopts a new tone and style which expresses a hatred for the Catholic Bourgeoisie. [2] Yeats’ new use of unpleasant adjectives such as ‘greasy’ is very much indicative of the tone, as he expresses that religion and the middle class is crafty and sly. Moreover, the use of the strong ABAB rhyme scheme maintains a spiteful and accusatory tone. The poem focuses on manifesting Yeats’ new stance of belief exploring his new political mind and celebrating those, whom he believes worth of praise. Notably, in all four of the refrains, Yeats mentions John O’Leary, who was an Irish separatist ‘of a different kind’. His political stance was much less self-interested, compared with…

Analysis of a Poem

Andrew Marvell’s poem To His Coy Mistress gives the reader a chance to delve into the mind of the narrator as he tells of his love for his mistress. This seems to be a simple enough theme, and indeed poets have been sounding out their barbaric yawps for quite some time over this issue of love, but what is so intriguing and memorable about Marvell’s take on love is how romantic it is (romantic in the romance way and not in the Romantic time period of poetry). He gives more of a narrative account of his love instead of the more fantastical accounts which accompany any number of Poe’s poems to his ‘lost Lenore’ or even of a less stable…

Bred in South Auckland

I think Glen Colquhoun’s purpose in creating this poem was to make people, like myself, realise our self-worth and embrace our individuality. He mocks his everyday habits to show us that we can’t always be put into categories, just because a person does something like ‘…I read the newspaper. ’ That doesn’t mean the person has to be stereotyped into a certain group, in this case ‘Some people think I am a typical Pakeha’. I really enjoyed reading the way the author made fun of his everyday habits to tell that there is more than one way of viewing our identity, instead of being guided to a racial or cultural stereotype. I found it easy to believe him when he…

Sparrow by Norman Maccaig

“Sparrow” by Norman MacCaig has a strong social issue of the class system and how the classes differ. MacCaig talks about the issue of the class system in relation to survival of to fittest. The poem itself talks about birds like sparrows and other birds in general, which are metaphors for people. Word choice, sentence structure and enjambment were strong in improving my understanding of the social issue of the class system. MacCaig uses word choice to describe the sparrow and other birds in relation to different types of classes within society. MacCaig begins by describing the sparrow by saying “He’s no artist”, “a proletarian bird. ” meaning someone whose only contribution to the state is his offspring and calls…

The Tyger Symbol Analysis

The symbol of the Tyger is one of the two central mysteries of the poem (the other being the Tyger’s creator). It is unclear what it exactly symbolizes, the Tyger could be inspiration, the divine, artistic creation, history, the sublime (the big, mysterious, powerful and sometimes scary, or vision itself. Really, the list is almost infinite. The point is, the Tyger is important, and Blake’s poem barely limits the possibilities. Line 7: “Wings” are what the creator uses to “aspire” to the creation of the Tyger. Essentially, they are the power or inspiration that allows the creator to “dare” go about the task of creating the Tyger. Smith Tools (“Hammer,” “chain,” “furnace,” “anvil”) Stanza 4: In the poem, these tools…

A Nice Citizen

He will have to learn, I know, that all men are not just, all men are not true. But teach him also that for every scoundrel there is a hero; that for every selfish Politician, there is a dedicated leader… Teach him for every enemy there is a friend, Steer him away from envy, if you can, teach him the secret of quiet laughter. Let him learn early that the bullies are the easiest to lick… Teach him, if you can, the wonder of books… But also give him quiet time to ponder the eternal mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun, and the flowers on a green hillside. In the school teach him it is far…

Translation and Half-caste

Half-Caste is a poem written by John Agard. It presents another culture through dialect and uses complicated terminology. The poem is quite emotional and John Agard uses many techniques to present his ideas and views on Half-Caste. The poem is all about the different definitions of Half-Caste, it is undefined. Agard compares the word half-caste to Tchaikovsky’s piano, Picasso’s canvas and English weather. Firstly, John Agard uses rhetorical questions throughout the poem; ‘what yu mean?’ this shows that nobody knows what Half-Caste means it is down to the reader’s own opinion. This is repeated a lot throughout the poem. Rhetorical questions were very effective in this poem as it made the reader think imagine what the phrase half-caste means. Another…

Migrants Hostel

Migrant Hostel is an important poem when expressing belonging and not belonging as both sides of the concepts of belonging are shown through connections with character groups as well as places. It explores the barriers that prevent belonging through a variety of techniques that allow readers to fully understand the types of barriers that can prevent belonging. Stanza 1 and 4 show that characters may encounter barriers which prevent belonging. In stanza 4, the hostel is a barrier that holds the migrants back and prevents them from belonging. The barrier at the main gate is not only physical, but mental as well. It physically holds them back from continuing with their lives; whilst it also prevents them from feeling that…

Analysis of Ode on a Grecian Urn

Keats’ ode could be approached from two perspectives – a literal and a figurative one. As long as the poem belongs to a style of writing known as ekphrasis (poetry that concerns itself with the visual arts), and the speaker describes several scenes he observes on the urn, we can just follow his eye. In doing so, we could say that the end of the first stanza introduces us to a number of young men and women involved in a scene of sexual passion: “What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape? ” Stanza II and III offer a marked contrast to this atmosphere of intense desire. The speaker depicts here a scene of romantic courtship (a young man piping songs…

Leap, Bryan Doyle

Before the Leap In 2002, Brian Doyle, an editor for the Portland Magazine, wrote the critically acclaimed poem, “Leap”, in remembrance of the victims September 11th, 2001. Brian has also authored ten major books including The Grail, The Wet Engine, and the novel, Mink River. Doyle has written numerous essays and poems since 1999 including Credo, Saints Passionate & Peculiar, and Two Voices. Additionally, Doyle’s books have been finalists four times for the coveted Oregon Book Award and his essays have been featured in publications like The American Scholar, Harpers, and The Atlantic Monthly. Upon reading the title of the poem, “Leap”, by hailed author, Brian Doyle, and considering the title of the section in the text book, “Faith and…

Sylvia Plath and Spirited Away

The inner journey is a metaphysical process in which an individual travels into their own psyche often resulting in form of self realization. Although the journey is not physical, an inner journey is a powerful tool in which one can enhance their knowledge of the world and their own human nature, commonly encountering imaginative obstacles which assist in the individual’s self-realization. The texts that I will use to illustrate the inner journeys are “You’re” and “A Birthday Present” by Sylvia Plath and The animated film “Spirited Away” directed by Hayao Miyazaki. Sylvia Plath utilizes the inner journey as a way to explore aspects of her life through the medium of poetry. Her poem “You’re” explores the emotional journey of an…

The Bereavement of the Lion-Keeper

The Bereavement of the Lion-keeper is a poem about a relationship between an old Lion-keeper with his Lion who eventually died at the end of the poem. In my opinion, the relationship between the two of them is actually a metaphor of a relationship between two individuals where each of them loves each other equally. However, when the lion died, the Lion-keeper does not know how “to let go of love”. It depicts a situation where one of the two individuals die and the other one unable to let go, to move on with life. The sad feeling has been suggested even from the title of the poem, using the word “bereavement” which means the state of sorrow over the…

An Analysis of Robert Francis’ Poem The Hound

In Robert Francis’ poem “The Hound,” the writer creates a sense of fear by comparing how mysterious and unpredictable dogs are to life using an extended metaphor to show life as uncertain and one has to wait to see what it brings at them. In lines 1-5, the writer states: “Life the hound/Equivocal/Comes at a bound/Either to rend me/Or to befriend me.” The speaker compares the habits of a hound to life to show even though they are not alike, they are similar in the way of not knowing the next thing that can happen. They are both questionable and suspicious because no one knows what will happen next and there is a possibility of it tearing one apart. Additionally,…

My Last Duchess

In the Poem My Last Duchess by Robert Browning the heartless and haughty speaker explains a painting of his last wife while inadvertently revealing a darker side to his last marriage than one might view from they outside. The poem depicts a dense stream of conscious feel to it by using language and sentence structure common to conversation earlier to the time period it was written. The use of “’twas not” , and the English spelling of “favour” suggests the poem occurred in a time period in which husbands held power over their wives with such things as “nine-hundred-years-old names” and money. Browning’s great usage of dated speaking style creates a historical medium from which the event which slowly unfold….

Analysis of the Epic of Gilgamesh

The Epic of Gilgamesh is an extraordinary poem showing the tragedy of mortality. The poem is the earliest primary document discovered in history dating back to 2000 B. C. E. The document tells a story about a King named Gilgamesh who was created by gods as one third man and two thirds god. The epic tells the advetures that Gilgamesh goes on throught his life to determine his meaning. A lot of people in Mesopatamia in this time period felt as though they needed to dicover why they were here and what was going to happen after they died. The culture in which Gilgamesh existed did not believe in an afterlife, and if they had any thoughts that there was…

Charge of the Light Brigade and the Last of the Light Brigade

The themes of The Charge of the Light Brigade and The Last of the Light Brigade both have to deal with soldiers battling for their country; however, the key difference that separates the two is that the theme of The Charge of the Light Brigade has more of a positive tone than The Last of the Light Brigade The themes of both The Charge of the Light Brigade and The Last of the Light Brigade bot have to deal with soldiers battling for their country; however, the tone of the two different poems is different that differentiate the two. In The Charge of the Light Brigade, the tone of the poem has more of a positive aspect: “Boldy they rode…

The Stolen Boat as an autobiographical poem

The excerpt, “From the Prelude” has been taken from William Wordsworth’s autobiographical poem, ‘The Prelude’, which consists of fourteen books. This poem has been taken from Book I, the subtitle of, “From the Prelude”, and it is written in blank verse in which the poet has recorded his early life. In this book, the poet records the different stages by which his love for Nature underwent a change. As a child, the poet had an animal love of Nature. When he grew up, this love was changed into sensuous love of Nature. The poet learnt to love and enjoy the different colours, shades, smells, and sounds of Nature. When the poet became mature, he developed a spiritual love for Nature….

Elizabeth Jennings ‘Old Woman’ Analysis

This poem is written to tell us the fact that no matter how much we think we can control the directions of life, but as time passes, we will be convinced to accept our destiny. This is illustrated through an old woman who tries to arrange her life and the things around her to the way she wanted but it all turns out that she has little control over them and mostly are gone as years go by. This poem is a metrical verse of 4 sestets. The first two sestets shows the disappointment of the old woman despite how badly she “arranges” and wants her husband or children to stay with her but her “love is now a flicker…

Refugee Blues – W.H. Auden

Poet – Wynstan Hugh Auden, born as a doctor’s son in February 1907 in York, United Kingdom, counts as one of the greatest English poets of the twentieth century. Theme – abuse of human rights experienced not only by German Jews but by other Jews and by refugees anywhere. Structure – The poem contains twelve stanzas of three lines each. The first and second line of each stanza rhyme. The two rhyming lines of each stanza tell the story, while the third line contains a refrain (like a chorus) that develops the theme of the poem. Analysis – The use of the word blues also reinforces the musical theme of the poem as the sub-genre of jazz – this style…

‘Mirror’ & double-layered poem

‘Mirror’ is a double-layered poem: The mirror, personified and equipped with senses, sees and depicts its world in the most honest terms; then we see our own world from the mirror’s perspective—how raw and tormenting it is. Why the author chooses to personify a mirror as the poem’s narrator is firstly because it is an object most closely associated with a woman who seeks to see “what she really is” (11). When she is young, the mirror cheerfully reflects and praises her youthful beauty, letting her contemplate on her own appearance. When she is old, it cruelly reminds her of time’s meddling in her fading beauty and how life has passed and left her behind. Secondly, the mirror reflects the…

Analysing Slyvia Plath’s “Mushroom” Poem

The poem “Mushroom” discusses the persistent struggle as the central theme. The lines that depicts the struggle are “our hammers, our rams, earless and eyeless, perfectly voiceless” as personified by the mushrooms. Plath’s made use of allusions in the form of the last stanza “our foot’s in the door” The structure of the poem has 23 lines, with nursery rhyme quality along with many repetitions of phrasing and sounds to depict fertility. Plath used the style of poem for younger children. The persona of the poem is the author herself who had two failed suicidal attempts and re-evaluated by the persona in the poem either from a perspective of a rebellious present. The literary devices used in the poem are…

The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock

Imagination, literary conventions, and recognition of specific poetic devices can introduce even the most novices of poetic readers to a level of comprehension that might have been overlooked in casual reading. Most tend to read through a poem without putting much thought into the details and the purpose of those details being placed as they are. Although not always intentional; authors use certain literary conventions and poetic devices to draw the reader in so that they too may envision what was in the author’s mind at the time they wrote the poem. The rest is up to the reader. How much imagination one contributes to the poem is infinitely unrestricted. The study of poetry has and will always be a…

Analysis of Widower in the Country by Les Murray

Les Murray’s poem ‘Widower in the Country’ highlights the painful effect of the death of a loved one. His tone in this poem is one of grief and loneliness, and through strong imagery and emotive language, the composer draws out empathy and interest from the reader. This poem describes how repetitive life becomes after someone very close to you passes away. The composer conveys a strong feeling of grief and pain in the poem. The composer creates an empathy towards the widower, by expressing just how lonely he feels after his wife had died, and he had to stay in the place that they had shared together. Through the use of multiple metaphors, “The Christmas paddocks aching in the heat/The…

The Rape of the Lock

The Rape of the Lock is an outstanding mock- epic in the English Literature written by Alexander Pope. It is considered a humorous poem, as well as a combination of the classical models of epic and satire. Since the poem is based on an actual incident among Pope’s acquaintances, he is persuaded to write the story to mock his friends so they do not take the situation too seriously. Besides, the author focuses on the upper class in London, which seems to have lost the value of important matters. First of all, it can be said that the upper-class characters portrayed in The Rape of the Lock, especially Belinda, are mocked because it seems that they are narrow-minded as regards…

Lord of the Flies Narrative Poem

I, the island, all alone in the sea, Have been invaded by humanity. A plane crashed while escaping war, And left several schoolboys upon my shore. In my jungle, a scar their tube did make, And simultaneously, my peace it did take. Two boys blew into a shell from my beach. All came to whom the sound did reach. They decided that they needed a chief, And Ralph was chosen, to Jack’s grief. The boys thought that survival would be fun, But were they ready to get the work done? Their happiness didn’t last and fears did rise. A snake-beast was spotted by a littlun’s eyes. They decided to build a signal fire upon my mountain head, But out of…