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Poetry Essay Topics & Paper Examples

Portraying the Carpe diem Theme through Poetry

The two poems, Robert Herrick’s To The Virgins, To Make Much of Time and Andrew Marvell’s To His Coy Mistress, both employ the “carpe diem” (seize the day) theme. Using both stock and original imageries, they effectively send the message across the reader that Time runs and keeps running so that one should enjoy the pleasures of love and romance while in one’s youth. However, the manners in which the two poets express this theme differ from each other. The tone, metaphors and other poetic devices present in the two poems convey varied effects to the mind of the readers as to how the carpe diem theme should be considered. Herrick’s poem is the simpler and more urgent of the…

Blackberry Picking – Seamus Heaney Analysis

Seamus Heaney is an Irish poet who was born in Mossbawn farmhouse and spent fourteen years of his childhood there. Many of his poems are based on personal experience; ‘Mid-term Break’, for example, was based on the death of his younger brother; and are laid out in settings akin to those he is familiar to. His poem, ‘Blackberry Picking’, is set on a farm and explores the simple luxury of picking fresh, ripe blackberries, his inspiration quite possibly being his own childhood. Thematically, the poem explores the idealistic nature of childhood, and the importance of waking up to reality as one grows older. The beginning of the poem is filled with a vivid passionate recollection of the seasonal picking of…

Rape of the Lock Satirical Devices

From the excerpts studied in The Rape of the Lock, Alexander Pope skilfully uses the mock epic genre to satirize the trifling nature of his society through exaggeration, parody and juxtaposition in rhyming couplets. The epic form makes everything larger than life which Pope uses to reveal the absurdity of the society he lives in. A simple card game is turned into a complex “combat on [a] velvet plain,” which exaggerates the little action that actually takes place in the Canto. In the card game called Ombre, hands are not just hands. They represent armies of different suites. Face cards are “four kings in majesty revered, with hoary whiskers and a forky beard” ,”four fair queens whose hands sustain a…

Ezra Pound

The Young Genius: Ezra Pound’s influenced poetry on Benito Mussolini and the Fascist movement, time of his stay in St. Elizabeth’s Hospital and the concept of Imagism. “If a nation’s literature declines, the nation atrophies and decays.” (Ezra Pound Quotes) Ezra Pound was not a man of many words, but he certainly did have a knack for turning simple words into something beautiful. Pounds’ poetry was influenced by his fascination with Benito Mussolini and the Fascist movement, the time of his stay in St. Elizabeth’s Hospital and the concept of Imagism. It is safe to say that Ezra Pound did not live a boring life growing up. He was born on October 30, 1885 in Hailey, Idaho. However, he was…

The Chimney Sweeper Timed Write

These poems have many similarities, but also have some differences. Diction, poetic techniques, and the tones of each poem are some of the similarities and differences. The author’s purpose for writing both these poems is to show how things change from innocence to experience over time, and to show how it affects the people involved. These poems are similar in the way that the author uses meter, figurative language, and poetic technique. Irony is also a big part of the way the poems can be seen as similar. In the first poem the author writes, “So if all do their duty, they need not fear harm.” This is ironic because if the kids do carry their duties out, they will…

Easter 1916

William Butler Yeats did not readily support the nationalist ideals in Ireland not so much because he valued the independence of his country so little but rather questioned the means by which it was being promoted. Regardless of Yeats’ political sentiments, he had high regards for the cultural and social heritage of his country as attested to by his earlier works and futures efforts to establish traditional art and literature institutions. The setting of the poem reflects the rise of many political ideologies in Europe that brought into institutions of leadership and society. In Easter, 1916, Yeats recalls the Easter Rising of April 24, 1916 that resulted in military action in Dublin as well as the execution of several leaders…

Comparison of Poems the Magpies and Ozymandias

In the two poems, The Magpies by Denis Glover and Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley a common theme is that of man’s immortality. In The Magpies this theme is made especially apparent through the comparison of the immortality of Elizabeth and Tom with nature’s ability to remain constant due to its continuous regeneration. Meanwhile, in Ozymandias a king has a statue built however just like him the statue does not survive and is actually left abandoned and forgotten in the desert. This theme of immortality is also shown through a range of techniques such as the structure, choice of language, imagery, movement and sounds. Likewise, this theme is illustrated through the distinctive tone of the author in each poem. The…

Horses by Edwin Muir

This poem presents us with a post apocalyptic world in which evil triumphs over good –“and their great hulk were seraphim of gold/, Or mute ecstatic monster on the mould. ” Or what a child might believe to be the Apocalypses –Perhaps some childish hour has come again. This is because in the first stanza he is only looking at regular horses but as he starts to watch the “through the blackening rain” they start to turn evil; but by the by the time the last stanza come about they start to fade away and the “black field and the still standing tree” return. He also constantly uses rhymes through the whole poem, it been such a basic poetry tool;…

The Listeners

The Listeners “The Listeners” by Walter Del La Mare is a poem, which has an unexpected ending. I will show how the poet creates mood and atmosphere through imagery, alliteration, rhythm and rhyme. I felt this poem is very strange because it is ghostly and spooky. “The Listeners” is about a “traveller” who comes to an empty house in the forest floor and keeps on knocking on the door asking ” I s there anybody there? ” but no one answers and he is some how perplexed. This poem is very spooky because of the alliteration used: “his horse in the silence chomped the grasses”. The mod of the poem is very intense and the intensity is created by the…

The Lamb

In Blake’s poem “The Lamb” it has two main themes childhood and spiritual development. Throughout the poem Blake writes about a creator and innocence. The poem begins with a child asking a simple question of “Little Lamb who made thee”? (pg. 134) As children we have all asked this question wanting to know where did we come from or how did we get here? Even after many years scientist and bible scholars still argue over this issue. The child in the poem wonders how the lamb got its wool coat and how it survives outdoors in the elements. He knows it is not by chance or luck. The child thinks that it must be someone greater who created him and…

Fight Against Death

Dylan Thomas’s poem, “Do not go gentle into that good night”, is a poignant commentary on death, inspired in part by the impending death of his own father, who faced deteriorating health and frailty during the last few years of his life. After analyzing this poem it gave it more depth and me a better understanding of the poem. I will be covering the structure/form, theme, and symbolism. The first element I will use to analyze this poem is structure/form. This poem is a nineteen line poem with five tercets and a quatrain. This poem is written using the fixed poetry format of villanelle, in which there are only two rhyme sounds. The refrains are; “do not go gentle into…

Out, Out by Robert Frost

Having Shakespeare’s Macbeth as the primary inspiration for this poem has actual made the message of the entire poem much related to life and the length that it particularly runs. The idea that the author would likely want to send to his readers is rather related to the fact of how much life is less valued by many simply because of being focused in things that they believe are more important than their lives. Using the boy as a primary character In the poem naturally intends to mirror that fact that life could be ended even during one’s youth. Doing away with misleading idea of child labor, the poem authored by Robert Frost simply aims to give a brief description…

Proud to Be a Woman

“First Bone of a Woman” by Patricia Wellingham-Jones and “Afternoon in the Garden” are two poems that present the creation of the first woman and explore the nature of womanhood through the behavior, speech and descriptions of her. The authors addressed the story of creation differently through the use of alliteration, figurative language and symbol. “First Bone of a Woman,” describes in full detail the configuration of the female body as it is being constructed and focuses on the beauty and strength of her figure while “Afternoon in the Garden,” involves a complete and detailed version of the first woman’s day in the Garden of Eden and the meaningful discoveries she encounters that are not explored in other versions: “Then…

Nikki Giovani Comparing Poems

Nikki Giovanni uses good choice of words and figurative language to put the reader in a vivid world. She uses vivid verbs, personification, and other elements to really give the right picture in your mind. Her method works because the readers get hooked onto the poem and want to read it. One of my favorite poems is “poetry.” Poetry is a poem about poets using poetry to express themselves and not to impress anybody. She uses metaphors to show what poetry is, she says “A poem is pure energy.” These types of metaphors help the reader picture what the poems trying to say. She also uses personification to also have a better understanding. Another one of Nikki Giovanni’s poems is…

Shakespeare’s Sonnet #129

Shakespeare was one of the most influential writers of his time and fortunately we have the opportunity to study his work and interpret what his sonnets complex meanings could be. The sonnet that I chose is number 129 in his collection. I chose this sonnet because the theme and story really spoke to me and my current situation in life. I know how it is to long and lust for someone so much that it hurts beyond words. To lust and even have but know its not right. The love that Shakespeare writes about is something that many people go through. The feeling of going back and forth because you are sure you want it and then know you don’t….

Invictus and The Alchemist Response

The poem Invictus written by William Ernest Henley is a poem written about courage in the face of death and holding on to ones own dignity despite the indignities life places before us. In the first stanza the poem’s speaker prays in the dark to “whatever gods may be” a prayer of thanks for his “unconquerable soul.” Several things are apparent from the outset: First, the speaker is in some sort of metaphorical darkness, perhaps the darkness of despair. Second, he does not pray for strength, but gives thanks for the strength that he already has. Third, he seems rather flippant about who he is or is not praying to; it is almost a prayer to himself at this point,…

The Flesh and the Spirit

Anne Bradstreet’s poem “The Flesh and the Spirit” shows us the duality of man that her audience was having to deal with at the spiritual level. While this poem was written back in 1643 it still shows us as Christians what we have come from and how easy it would be to go back to a life of the “flesh”. This poem also goes about giving us details about what we should be striving for and what we have to look forward to if we strive toward the real or ultimate goals or rather possessions. The poem is written in two different parts starting with the ways and things of the flesh, that being material possessions that are for our…

The Passionate Shepherd to His Love Summary

“The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” is a pastoral lyric, a poetic form that is used to create an idealized vision of rural life within the context of personal emotion. Pastoral poems had been in vogue among poets for at least seventeen hundred years when Marlowe wrote this one. The Greek poet Theocritis, in the third century B.C.E. (Shipley 300-1,) was the first pastoralist poet, and he, too, wrote about shepherds. All pastoral poetry, including Marlowe’s, is to some degree influenced by this original practitioner. The poem is written in very regular iambic tetrameter. Each line contains exactly four heavy stresses, and the metrical feet are almost always iambic. Similarly, most lines contain eight syllables, and the few that don’t…

Those Winter Sundays

When you first read the poem “Those Winter Sundays” you will quickly find out who the speaker is and what their relation is to the father in the poem. Line 1 says “Sundays too my father got up early” which indicates that the speaker is the child of the father in this work of literature. Robert Hayden uses several different poetic techniques to make his point and have the reader really think about what they are reading. In “Those Winter Sundays” there are several different alliterations Hayden uses in this poem. First we need to know that alliteration is the commencement of two or more stressed syllables of a word group. In “Those winter Sundays” there are a few alliterations…

Woodspurge Analysis

“The Woodspurge” is a sixteen-line poem divided into four-line stanzas that describe a grief-stricken narrator in an outdoor setting. In his depressed state, the narrator emotionally observes the details of the woodspurge, a species of weed that has a three-part blossom. The poem’s first stanza presents a countryside and begins to suggest the narrators’s state of mind. The narrator is not walking toward a specific destination; he moves in the direction the wind is blowing and once the wind ceases, he stops and sits in the grass. The fact that his walking and stopping are guided merely by the wind indicates aimlessness and passivity The narrator’s posture in the second stanza indicates that he feels exceedingly depressed. Sitting on the…

Critical Comparison of Two Frost Poems

Frost attempts to bring to the reader his character ‘s experiences with the world. The thoughts of the character are limited to his immediate surroundings but through the poet ‘s careful pick out of words they echo to the reader ‘s own understanding, of the general concept of life and his world and his place. I will examine, two of Frost ‘s poems: The Road Not Taken, and Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. I will, compare both poems by the effect of its words, sounds, and images and how this is significant and which effect does it have. The character in Frost ‘s poem The Road Not Taken has an immediate and acute interaction with his world as…

John Clare

John Clare (1793-1864) was born on July 13 at Helpstone, a village in Northamptonshire, close to the Lincolnshire fens. His father, Parker Clare, worked as a farm laborer. In his spare time his father was also a rustic wrestler and ballad singer. Clare attended a dame school in his native village, and then went to Glinton School in the next village. When his father became ill with rheumatism, Clare began work first as a horse-boy, then ploughboy, then as a gardener at Burghley House. In 1812 he enlisted in the militia, returning home eighteen months later. He met Martha Turner in Casterton, who joined the Clare family just before the birth of the first of their eight children. Clare’s first…

Oranges and Fair Trade

In both poems “Oranges” and “Fair Trade” by Gary Soto, the author explores the recurring theme of compassion and pride. Both poems have several ways to show the theme. The poem “Oranges” is about young love and knowing how it once felt. At the beginning of the poem, I get the sense that the boy is a little apprehensive in meeting his girl as he states, “Cold and weighted down / with two oranges in my jacket. ” Certainly two oranges aren’t going to weigh anyone down, therefore the image described must be the nervousness along with the anticipation of seeing meeting her. As I walked toward / her house, the one whose / porch light burned yellow / night…

Australian Poets: Oodgeroo Noonuccal

This week we will be talking about an aboriginal poet Oodgeroo Noonuccal, also known as Kath walker, who lived from 1920 until 1993. Oodgeroo came from the Noonuccal tribe in Queensland. Once she had completed primary school she left because she believed that even if she stayed in school there wasn’t the slightest possibility of getting a better. Oodgeroo travelled the world telling others about the dreadful conditions the aboriginals were living under and campaigned for equal rights across Australia. Oodgeroo has published many poems including: Understand old one, Municipal gum, Namatjira and We are going. Although she did not begin publishing her poems until she was encouraged by a well known writer, when she was in her forties. Oodgeroo…

Indian Writing in English- Nissim Ezekiel

Indian poetry has flourished over the last 4000 years. Today, it is composed and written in more than twenty Indian languages, including English. It has always echoed the voice of the times and revealed the pains and passions of the people. Its growth has also reflected our rich cultural heritage. The history of Indian poetry makes us aware of its glorious past in contrast to its present state. Today, as the world is shrinking and the communication network projecting man on the global scene much faster, the past values are getting lost in the struggle man is involved with. Issues confronting man have multiplied and so have his efforts for survival. Poetry today is facing the test of time. Poets…

William Carlos Williams Themes

William Carlos Williams has a tendency to hyperbolize and glorify objects in order to demonstrate their importance to the functioning of human society. This is done to the effect of creating “unsung heroes” out of everyday objects and encourages the reader to understand the value of little things in all situations. Interestingly, he does all of this without personifying his subjects. In “The Great Figure”, Williams describes a fire truck rushing down an urban street in the rain to put out a fire. In “Red Wheelbarrow”, Williams fondly describes how “so much depends/upon/a red wheel/barrow” (Williams). Since both poems are quite brief, one must not only look at the words being used, but the poetic structure itself to find the…

Lord Byron

Lord Byron is considered to be one of the most important poet in his time. He was as famous for his personality as he was for his poetry. The way his life affected what he wrote made his poems even better. His works, life, and writing style are what made Lord Byron one of the most important poets of the Romantic Movement. George Gordon Noel Byron (Lord Byron) was born on January 22, 1788 in London, England. His dad, Captain “Mad Jack” Byron married his mother, Catherine Gordon, for her money. Throughout their marriage he spent away most of her fortune before he died in 1791. When Lord Byron’s father died he was left with nothing. After his father died…

Carpe Diem

Seizing the day has a profound meaning behind it, in Latin it is known as Carpe Diem. Carpe Diem refers to having no fear to do something, taking chances and risks. In the movie “The Dead Poets Society” a character named Knox has a crush on a girl, while she was already dating another guy. Knox was trying to seize the day by trying to spend time with her. There are many more examples of carpe diem in this exceptional movie, but this I feel is the most pertinent. Many of the poems that we read in class were also related to the live life like it is the last. The movie and the other poems are key in explaining…

William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth’s frequent references to nature in his poetry shows that he paid close attention to the details of the physical environment around him. His poetry relates to nature by focusing primarily on the relationship between inner life with the outer world. William Wordsworth uses literary devices such as personification, similes, and the impressions nature makes on him to show the importance of the relationship that man should have with nature. Personification is used to make it easier for his readers to relate themselves to nature. The use of similes demonstrates the importance of experiencing nature as if it were oneself because it allows one to experience nature on a different level. His impressions of nature are used to show…

How Does the Writer Tell the Story in Godiva?

Godiva is poem written by Alfred Tennyson about a well known myth regarding a woman named Godiva. The Earl who ruled Coventry wanted the people to pay more tax which they could not afford. Godiva asked him to lower the tax, and the Earl told her he would repeal the tax if she rode through the town naked. Godiva therefore agreed to this, and the townspeople stayed inside and shut all the doors and windows so no one would see Godiva, allowing her to keep her dignity. Godiva rode through the town naked on her horse, however someone peeped through a hole to see Godiva exposed. His eyes shrivelled into his head and he never saw Godiva naked. She saved…