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Poetry Essay Topics & Paper Examples

Song/Poem Analysis

When you think of the term “daddy” what thoughts come to mind? For most it is an affectionate or familiar term, but not for all. In his poem, “My Papa’s Waltz”, Theodore Roethke depicts an altercation between a father and son. In contrast to the poem, Holly Dunn emphasizes love and tenderness between a father and child in the song “Daddy’s hands.” Each writer is showing the important role a father plays in a child’s life from very different points of view. Both pieces have a very different portrayal of a father and are shown through the use of dominant poetic techniques. “My Papa’s Waltz” is written to resemble a waltz, traditional and elegant. The irony shown in what Roethke…

Life of John Milton

Milton continued to write poetry during this period of study: his Arcades and Comus were both commissioned for masques composed for noble patrons, connections of the Egerton family, and performed in 1632 and 1634 respectively. Comus argues for the virtuousness of temperance and chastity. He contributed his pastoral elegy Lycidas to a memorial collection for one of his Cambridge classmates. Drafts of these poems are preserved in Milton’s poetry notebook, known as the Trinity Manuscript because it is now kept at Trinity College, Cambridge. Family Milton and his first wife, Mary Powell (1625–1652) had four children: * Anne (born 7 July 1646) * Mary (born 25 October 1648) * John (16 March 1651 – June 1652) * Deborah (2 May…

The Wife’s Lament

The Wife’s Lament is a poem that is well known as an Anglo Saxon elegy, although to this day, it is still challenged by some scholars to be, in fact, a riddle. The Wife’s Lament is an elegy that tells the story of a female narrator mourning for her husband, and she is reflecting on her great loss. The poem shares the same characteristics with those of an elegy, which include the passing of time, pain, exile, separation and longing. This Anglo Saxon poem has also been characterized as a riddle, where the narrator displays an element of mystery in her writing. Most Anglo-Saxon elegies are monologues spoken by an unidentified character that appears to be cut off from human…

Leaving the Nest

When children graduate from high school and move away to college, it can be devastating for parents. The children leave to gain independence from their parents. They feel they are going on with a new adventure in their lives and gaining a new experience as an adult in the world. They are in a parent’s life for so many years that they cannot imagine life without them in the house. They become sad at the thought of not hearing the laughter or tears every day. Two poems that pick up on this experience are “On a Daughter’s Leaving Home” and “At the San Francisco Airport”. These are not just poems about children leaving home but about the emotions all parents…

The Poetry of Derek Mahon

Derek Mahon is a poet of outstanding skill and exceptional ability. I enormously enjoy Mahon because of this. He takes on piles of different personnae as a poet. It is clear to see that people and places are a prevailing feature of his poems. The six of his poems I have studied for my Leaving Certificate are mainly based around a person or a place . Mahon writes about a broad array of themes in a variety of tones.In his poems his language is used sparingly but effectively. Person – I found the poetry of Derek Mahon to be unique and I look up to his power to imagine how other people think and feel.Mahon evokes various human personalities as…

The Unknown Citizen Explication

Several conflicts are dramatized in The Unknown Citizen, the most prominent being: conformity of the middle class, government manipulation, and the loss of individualism to the standards of an average citizen. The speaker of this poem is non-traditional as the poem is, in fact, an inscription on a “marble monument erected by the State. ” The inscription is dedicated to a “JS/07 M 378”—presumably, “The Unknown Citizen,” although this term only appears in the title. The Unknown Citizen is essentially an elegy, a lament for the dead, written by either a government official or a strong believer in the government. This becomes clear through the speaker’s repeated use of possession, such as in line 12, “…our Social Psychology workers found…”…

Analyzing Dickinson’s Poetry

To analyze Dickinson’s poetry, this paper will involve the analysis of three of her works, `Safe in their Alabaster Chambers”, “I Heard a Fly Buzz-when I died”, and “The Brain-is wider than the Sky”. 1. The poems were written in the first person. Since most of her poems tackled the depressing situation of death, the speaker of the poem can in fact be a dead person. However, it seemed that ED may also be assuming an all-observing, all-seeing speaker like God. In the Brain-is wider than the sky, it even seemed that God was in fact the speaker since “the weight of God” was compared to the “brain”.  As for the poem’s audiences, it may be that the literary works…

Woman, Land and Nation

The word “ecocriticism” was probably first used in William Rueckert’s essay “Literature and Ecology: An Experiment in Ecocriticism” (1978) and was subsequently accepted in critical vocabulary when Cheryll Glotfelty, at that time a graduate student at Cornell, revived the term in the meeting of the Western Literature Association in Coeur d’Alene in 1989, and recommended the use of the term to refer to the scattered critical field that had been known as “the study of nature writing.” Glotfelty defines ecocriticism as “the study of the relationship between literature and the physical environment. Just as feminist criticism examines language and literature from a gender-conscious perspective, and Marxist criticism brings an awareness of modes of production and economic class to its reading…

A Commentary on the Geranium by Theodore Roethke

The poem “The Geranium” by Theodore Roethke tells the story of a bachelor, formerly a party animal, now a lonely, aging man, through a sustained metaphor which uses the speaker’s geranium as a symbol for the disregard of his own health. The plant is never well, nor is he, due to the speaker being as inconsiderate to the geranium as he is to himself. With imagery, alliteration, and symbolism, much is learned about the speaker through a simple geranium to which he is intrinsically intertwined. We can see right from the beginning with lines such as “limp and bedraggled . . . / . . . like a sick poodle / Or a wizened aster in late September,” (2-4) that…

A Photograph-Shirley Toulson

What does the word ‘cardboard’ denote in the poem? Why has this word been used? In the poem, the word ‘cardboard’ stands for the frame that supports and borders the photograph. The photograph shows the poet’s mother as a twelve-year-old girl with two of her cousins, Betty and Dolly. The word ‘cardboard’ has been used to depict that the photograph is many years old. The use of cardboard as a photo frame was common in old times. What has the camera captured? The camera has captured a happy moment from the childhood days of the poet’s mother. The photograph was taken when the poet’s mother (at the age of twelve or so) went to a beach holiday with two of…

Analysis of William Blake’s Garden of Love

William Blake was an English poet and painter that lived from 1757 to 1827, but first acknowledged as a great writer after his death. He was fascinated by the bible, but against any organized religion. Some people believe he was homosexual because his poems often referred to that, but he was married and had kids for a time. He was against all the rules and empty norms Christianity had, and thought marriage had too many rules. Analysis The first two stanzas have a rhyme scheme of ABCB, but the last one is ABCD with an internal rhyme in the last line. All three stanzas are divided up in 4 lines each. The poet speaker talks about the past, where he…

The Patriot by Nissim Ezekiel

The poet being living during a time where india was achieving independence from the british is reflected in the poem. hence the growing alienation and dissatisfaction among people liveng in the country is reflected in the poem. The poem is written in a colloquial language is Indian English that is mended to convey a very serious and patriotic meaning to the readers. now a days every one are interested in English and want to master in it. But today’s youth is going on fashion and foreign things . He also uses the touch of Indian words like goonda fellow, indirabehn , lassi, ram rajya ,hindiwallahs, so on. the poet tells us the greatest known fact that an average Indian subscribes…

“Dulce Et Decorum Est” by Wilfred Owen

In the poem “Dulce Et Decorum Est”, by Wilfred Owen, Owen uses imagery and diction to convey the meaning of the poem. Throughout the poem, Owen paints visual pictures in the reader’s mind. His word choice also emphasizes what he is expressing in the poem. Diction and imagery are two literary devices that help the reader understand that they should feel sorrow and understand the intensity of war, the purpose of the poem. Owen puts a mental image in the reader’s mind, which is a picture of a war scene. The soldiers are trucking on “limped, blood shod” and through the treks. He is showing that the soldiers are injured and exhausted, which tells the reader they are at war….

The Solitary Reaper: a Response

William Wordsworth is considered by many to be one of the most efficient, and studied poets of English Literature. With his many talents, and aid by his sister, Dorothy Wordsworth, he had produced many stories and songs during his period. Wordsworth has been compared to the finest author in English Literature, William Shakespeare. Wordsworth’s talent is viewed in his many poems, including “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud”, “Ode: Intimations of Immortality” and “The Solitary Reaper”. In the year 1803, Wordsworth, his sister, and his dear friend and fellow poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge had taken a trip to visit the Scottish highlands. While there, they all witnessed solitary reapers, which were not a very uncommon sight. The poem “The Solitary…

Olive Senior

Olive Senior is a Jamaican poet of high repute and is the author of Gardening in the Tropics. In this poetry volume Senior seeks to tackle history, moral issues, travel and environmental crises. Senior’s poems are pervaded with irony, humour and sarcasm and her tone is conversational and calm. Senior’s style of writing aids in creating a diacritic voice which is evident in the poems “Seeing the Light”, “Meditation on Yellow” and “Stowaway”. Senior in an interview with Kwame Dawes entitled “Talk Yuh Talk” admits that she has been haunted by the absence of the Tainos and was always unsatisfied with the image of the Tainos being a simplistic group of people that existed before Columbus’ arrival and then they…

Sergei Yesenin

Sergei Alexandrovich Yesenin (21 Septembe1895 – 28 December 1925) was a Russian lyrical poet . He was one of the most popular and well known Russian poet of the 20th century.His first book of poems ,Ritual for the dead( Radunitsa in Russian)was published in 1916 .Together with Anatoly Marienhof, they founded Russian literary movement of imaginism.Imaginists created poetry based on sequences of arresting and uncommon images. They widely used metaphors, sometimes producing long chains of them in their poems.He also took part in World War I.He is also known for his dramatic suicide.Yesenin suffered from alcoholism,experienced a mental breakdown and was hospitalized for a month .Almost immediately after his release , he hanged himself from the heating pipes in his…

Is Thomas Hardy Obsessed with the Past?

Many of Thomas Hardy’s poems are centered on the feelings summoned up when reminiscing about the past. On the surface, it seems as though Hardy is ‘obsessed with the past’ as many poems are laced with memories which conjure up feelings of nostalgia. It is important to consider, however, that this doesn’t necessarily mean that he is infatuated with bygones. It may also be the case that Hardy’s poetry is a means for him to comprehend and come to terms with the present. Hardy tries to reclaim the past in his poem, ‘Under the Waterfall’. Fundamentally, the narrator – thought to be Emma – experiences a Proustian moment as she plunges her arm into a basin of water. This stimulation…

Meeting at Night and Parting at Morning Commentary

In the two poems, “Meeting at Night” and “Parting at Morning”, Robert Browning tells about the meeting of two lovers at night who are in love with each other. In order to meet the woman, the man undergoes a long journey through the sea and land. However, even after all this trouble, he must be secretive because they are not allowed to see each other. The second poem, however, tells of the very next day, when the man leaves the woman and seems to move on. Browning structures these two poems in order to give the reader a better understanding of the meaning of the poem. At the beginning of the poem, the man seemingly recounts his journey, briefly describing…

Compare How Time Is Presented in Hour and One Other Poem

Both poems ‘Hour’ and ‘To His Coy Mistress’ present the power time has between two people. ‘Hour’ is a poem about two lovers who have one hour together and explores the ideas of material possesions and a modern reinterpretation of love. Where as ‘To His Coy Mistress’ is a poem where the man is trying to convince the woman to sleep with him and exploring the idea of living and enjoying your life whilst your young. Both of the poems use different types of poetic techniques to depict how time can effect the relationship of two lovers. In ‘Hour’ Duffy uses a metaphor at the start of the poem to allude how love has less power than time. When Duffy…

Bishop’s poetry

I agree with this assessment of Bishop’s poetry. Her poems on the syllabus certainly pose interesting questions about identity, awareness and one’s place in the world, indeed the universe, and they do so by means of a unique style. This style is influenced by Bishop’s acute awareness of the poet’s craft and her ability to work with both traditional forms (sestina and sonnet, for instance) and free verse. The questions that interested me most are those posed in ‘Questions of Travel’. These fascinated me because Bishop dedicated so much of her life to travel, yet in this poem she questions the motives behind travel and exploration. One stylistic feature that is characteristic of Bishop is the conversational tone and it…

Peter Skyrznecki

Our idea of belonging is a result of the choices that we make. We feel a sense of acceptance wherever we choose to belong. This is explored in Peter Skrzyneckis poem Feliks Skrzynecki and St Patricks showed the ides of alienation and belonging. They are shown through various techniques such as an allusion, direct speech and many more poetic techniques. Feliks Skrzynecki is a poem that shows a tribute to Peter Skrzyneckis father. Through the use of powerful and vivid imagery, the poet successfully conveys Feliks as a man who is comfortable, content and secure in his own identity. In this poem, concepts of belonging and not belonging occur within place, family, community and culture. The first stanza emphasizes the…

A Subaltern’s Love Song

“A Subaltern’s Love Song” is a rhapsodic poem that details the poet’s real-life infatuation. Betjeman does not use the military definition of subaltern here, but instead is referring to someone in an inferior position. The author struggles, somewhat happily, against his love interest as she continually bests him at tennis. In Literature, poems can often be very difficult for one to comprehend and interpret the author’s perspective. Many people grew only being exposed to the basic “Roses are red, violets are blue” form of poetic expression, so anything that fails to employ simple rhythmic phrases can be somewhat aloof to some people. Poetry is one of the most artistic forms of literature because it influences the author to express big…

Dangling Wires and Meatworks Poetry

Through the medium of poetry, composers are able to powerfully convey ideas and express personal opinions of the world around them. Robert Gray, an Australian poet who is known for his effective use of visual imagery, clearly evokes ideas and express personal concerns of ‘Global warming’ ‘sacrafice’ His incorporation of explicit language techniques, such as diction further accentuates his perspective towards the world around us. Flames, Dangling wires and Meatworks are a great examples of how Gray uses language devices to powerfully voice his opinions. Gray is a poet with many opinions and ideas to express, he effectively puts these ideas through poetry. One of Grays many influential poems Flames, dangling wires is a great example of how he conveys…

Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes had become one of the most resounding names in American Literature. Of course, the primary reason for his success would be his adept use of words and the message he wants to convey. However, his racial profile could have also come into play in his popularity. But no one could deny the talent of Hughes in his work. His works display intricate design and a significant message such as on “Salvation. ” Langston Hughes had become one of the best known writers because the messages that he wants to convey are of great value to the society, particularly the value of being proud of one’s race. He was born into a relatively large family wherein he had eight…

William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth (1770-1850) belongs to the first generation of the English Romantic poets. He was born on 7th April, 1770 at Cockermouth, Cumberland in the Lake Districts of Northern England. He lost his mother only at the age of eight and his father at the age of thirteen. Thereafter he had to depend on the generosity of his relatives. He was sent to the Grammar School of Hawkshead in the heart of the Lake districts. In his boyhood he got close contact with the nature, which charmed him very much. At seventeen, he was sent to St. John’s College, Cambridge. He was a mediocre student and graduated from this college in 1791. He had a great passion for travelling. During…

How is Conflict Portrayed in the Poems in the Conflict Section?

The nature of conflict is a clash or coming together. There are many different types of conflict; it can come in varying scales of size and intensity. For example something which starts off as a family feud may end up as a World War. We can look at the causes of conflict, what actually happens or the effects. Tennyson’s ‘Charge of the Light Brigade’ paints a picture of the glory and honour of soldiers in battle as it happens. It describes an incident during the Battle of Balaklava during the Crimean War. Sheers’ ‘Mametz Wood’ focuses on the aftermath and futility of war. Hughes’ ‘Hawk Roosting’ looked at the causes of conflict, someone who has power but wants more and…

“Beast” by Richard Wilbur

In “Beast” by Richard Wilbur, Wilbur uses poetic structures, paradox and the idea of balance between nature and humanity to display in the reader’s mind that nature is something that should not be looked down upon rather should be feared. In the first few stanzas, Wilbur displays the natural process that nature goes through, for example, he introduces paradox when the “ripped mouse” is “safe in the owl’s talon” stressing that there is balance within nature itself, additionally highlighting that nature is the source and creator of balance. Furthermore, Wilbur adds another paradox by showing that a “freed beast is in slumber”, confusing the reader because free beast would roam the world and cause chaos and havoc to those that…

War Photographer

The poet creates a gloomy and depressing mood, which is evident through the language used throughout the poem, and the vivid imagery that the poet creates in our minds. These aspects help to express the theme of the poem, which is the cruelty of war and human suffering. Firstly, the poet uses language to bring out the overall glum mood of the poem. In the first stanza, cumulative listing is used with the line “Belfast. Beirut. Phnom Penh. ” This overwhelms the reader with the immense number of places where war is common, bringing about a sense of gloominess and wide spread depression. Furthermore, by using the phrase “Something is happening”, the poet captivates our interest by creating a mood…

My Grandmothers House by Kamla Das

Kamala Das is one of the best poets in contemporary Indo-Anglian literature. Kamala Das, born in Kerala in 1934, is a bilingual writer. She writes in Malayalam, her mother tongue, under the pseudonym Madhavikkutty. Her poetry is an exploration of the geography of her own mind, and the lyric is an instance of such self-exploration. Through images of repulsion and horror, she brings out the emotional emptiness and sterility of her married life, and the intensity of her misery as a wife who had to submit to her husband whom she found repulsive, and with whom she had no emotional contact at all. She has won many prizes for her work . some of them being the P. E. N….

Sonnet 16 – John Milton

John Milton is considered to be the most significant English author after William Shakespeare. Although his chief work is “Paradise Lost”, he also wrote other wonderful poems, prose, as well as sonnets, in which he tackles a number of subjects which range from religious to political. Rarely is one piece of writing limited to one or the other of those fields. Among all the sonnets, Sonnet 16 is special because it refers to Milton’s blindness. It was written soon after the poet became blind and starts with a mood of discouragement and grief “When I consider how my light is spent…” but ends in a note of resignation for the situation occurred: “They also serve who only stand and waite….