The poems Poetry/Drama – Flashcards

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The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner by Randall Jarrell
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From my mother's sleep I fell into the State, And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze. Six miles from earth, loosed from its dream of life, I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters. When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose Summary : speaker is the ball turret gunner.the gunner finds himself in his ball turret underneath the bomber. It is so cold at altitude that the sweat-soaked, fleece lining of his flight jacket has frozen. Setting 1940's WWII war plane on a bombing mission. Paradox is the speaker is dead. The speaker fell from childlike innocence into the knowledge of violence and war. So, the ball turret becomes a metaphor for the womb. But unlike a mother's womb, which is warm and nurturing, the womb of "the State" is freezing—a harsh, cold environment that doesn't seem very life-sustaining. Imagery: Sleep, Birth, Animality "fur"- he was being treated like an animal by the government. Villain is the state and government Lines 3-4: The speaker is six miles from earth up in the plane where he feels cut off from earth. ( earth feels dreamlike). •The speaker wakes to a new reality—his "nightmare" existence in the ball turret, enemy fighters attacking. •Usually, in life it is hard to contemplate death. It seems far off and mysterious—we can only imagine it in a dream-like way. In lines 3 and 4, this is reversed: life is the dream and reality is death—the "black flak and the nightmare fighters." Line 5:•The gunner's remains are cleaned out of the turret with a steam hose.•Remember the way the gunner "hunched" in the turret like a fetus in the womb? Well, if we carry that reading through to this last line, we have the gunner being reborn from the turret/womb. But instead of being born into life as a child from a mother, the gunner is born into death from the womb of "the State." •Essentially, in this line of thought, it's as though nations breed death. - nothing heroic about his death or noble
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Ars Poetica by Archibald MacLeish
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A poem should be palpable and mute As a globed fruit Dumb As old medallions to the thumb Silent as the sleeve-worn stone Of casement ledges where the moss has grown - A poem should be wordless As the flight of birds A poem should be motionless in time As the moon climbs Leaving, as the moon releases Twig by twig the night-entangled trees, Leaving, as the moon behind the winter leaves, Memory by memory the mind - A poem should be motionless in time As the moon climbs A poem should be equal to: Not true For all the history of grief An empty doorway and a maple leaf For love The leaning grasses and two lights above the sea - A poem should not mean But be Summary: The poem opens with the speaker comparing a poem to a "globed fruit" that's mute and silent. He then goes on to stress the idea of a poem being "wordless as a flight of birds." It should also be motionless in time, leaving all memories of the mind behind. A poem should also avoid so-called truths. It should be without the histories and grief of mankind, but also for it. In addition, it should be "for love" and "two lights above the sea." Above all, a poem should not mean but be.
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Sound and Sense Alexander Pope
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True Ease in Writing comes from Art, not Chance, As those move easiest who have learn'd to dance, 'Tis not enough no Harshness gives Offence, The Sound must seem an Eccho to the Sense: Soft is the Strain when Zephyr gently blows, And the smooth Stream in smoother Numbers flows; But when loud Surges lash the sounding Shore, The hoarse, rough Verse shou'd like the Torrent roar. When Ajax strives, some Rock's vast Weight to throw, The Line too labours, and the Words move slow; Not so, when swift Camilla scours the Plain, Flies o'er th'unbending Corn, and skims along the Main. Hear how Timotheus' vary'd Lays surprize, And bid Alternate Passions fall and rise! Summary:A poet and critic of writing explains his idea of what makes for good poetry. He says that writing quality poetry requires learning and practice. Good poets don't just learn to rhyme and write in correct form, they know how to match the sound of their words to the content. After stating his theory, he displays his mastery of poetry by giving examples of his principles in action.
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Metrical Feet by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
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Trochee trips from long to short; From long to long in solemn sort Slow Spondee stalks, strong foot!, yet ill able Ever to come up with Dactyl's trisyllable. Iambics march from short to long. With a leap and a bound the swift Anapests throng. One syllable long, with one short at each side, Amphibrachys hastes with a stately stride - First and last being long, middle short, Amphimacer Strikes his thundering hoofs like a proud high-bred Racer. If Derwent be innocent, steady, and wise, And delight in the things of earth, water, and skies; Tender warmth at his heart, with these meters to show it, With sound sense in his brains, may make Derwent a poet - May crown him with fame, and must win him the love Of his father on earth and his father above. My dear, dear child! Could you stand upon Skiddaw, you would not from its whole ridge See a man who so loves you as your fond S.T. Coleridge. Summary : In a poem addressed to his young son, S.T. Coleridge explains each of the most common metrical feet: the trochee, spondee, dactyl, iamb, anapest, amphibrach, and amphimacer. Whew! Best part is: he both defines these terms and demonstrates them within the line. This brief and clever learning experiment takes up the first stanza. In the second stanza, Coleridge tells his son Derwent everything he needs to become a famous poet: love for nature, a warm heart, and of course meter. Becoming a good poet will help him win his father's and God's love. But wait, Coleridge already loves his son a ton already. Aw, how sweet. No matter how original a poet may be they are oblivious because all they care about is technical,. You have to make original poems and not copy someone else's. The Whole poem has to embody the theme of " You can't just tack it on at the end." Ignore ignorant poets because the poem should seem natural and unforced. Good poets have mastered and learned the skill, it takes hard work.
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The Lamb by William Blake
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Little lamb, who made thee? Does thou know who made thee, Gave thee life, and bid thee feed By the stream and o'er the mead; Gave thee clothing of delight, Softest clothing, woolly, bright; Gave thee such a tender voice, Making all the vales rejoice? Little lamb, who made thee? Does thou know who made thee? Little lamb, I'll tell thee; Little lamb, I'll tell thee: He is called by thy name, For He calls Himself a Lamb. He is meek, and He is mild, He became a little child. I a child, and thou a lamb, We are called by His name. Little lamb, God bless thee! Little lamb, God bless thee! Summary: The Lamb is Jesus and represents Innocence and the Lamb is the shepherd of Christ. Looks like a children's poem due to the structure and repetition of a nursery rhyme. No harshness in this poem. The little boy talks to the Lamb and tells him about Jesus. Asks if the Lamb knows who God is in the first half. In the second half the child answers the question about who God is. The world is presented as sweet in this poem but is through the perception of the child who does not know of death and destruction
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The Tyger by William Blake
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Tyger! Tyger! burning bright In the forests of the night, What immortal hand or eye Could frame thy fearful symmetry? In what distant deeps or skies Burnt the fire of thine eyes? On what wings dare he aspire? What the hand, dare sieze the fire? And what shoulder, & what art, Could twist the sinews of thy heart? And when thy heart began to beat, What dread hand? & what dread feet? What the hammer? what the chain? In what furnace was thy brain? What the anvil? what dread grasp Dare its deadly terrors clasp? When the stars threw down their spears, And water'd heaven with their tears, Did he smile his work to see? Did he who made the Lamb make thee? Tyger! Tyger! burning bright In the forests of the night, What immortal hand or eye Dare frame thy fearful symmetry? Summary: Reverse counterpart of the Lamb. The Tyger is fierce and wild/ destructive. More of a questioning poem then a statement. Did God and why would God made a creature that is so destructive. How do we reconcile Good and evil? This poem ends with a question and questions throughout. Lack of uncertainty and questionable doubt. What kind of God could make both evil and good? More aimed towards adults- where did the tiger come from... heaven or hell? It hints that the tiger is being made on a forge as an artifact by blacksmith (God). When you read the poem it literally sounds like a hammer pounding - Blake suggests that we have a God that has a balance between good and evil
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My Mistress' Eyes are nothing like the sun- William Shakespeare
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My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun; Coral is far more red than her lips' red; If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun; If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head. I have seen roses damasked, red and white, But no such roses see I in her cheeks; And in some perfumes is there more delight Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks. I love to hear her speak, yet well I know That music hath a far more pleasing sound; I grant I never saw a goddess go; My mistress when she walks treads on the ground. And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare As any she belied with false compare. Summary:This sonnet compares the speaker's lover to a number of other beauties—and never in the lover's favor. Her eyes are "nothing like the sun," her lips are less red than coral; compared to white snow, her breasts are dun-colored, and her hairs are like black wires on her head. In the second quatrain, the speaker says he has seen roses separated by color ("damasked") into red and white, but he sees no such roses in his mistress's cheeks; and he says the breath that "reeks" from his mistress is less delightful than perfume. In the third quatrain, he admits that, though he loves her voice, music "hath a far more pleasing sound," and that, though he has never seen a goddess, his mistress—unlike goddesses—walks on the ground. In the couplet, however, the speaker declares that, "by heav'n," he thinks his love as rare and valuable "As any she belied with false compare"—that is, any love in which false comparisons were invoked to describe the loved one's beauty.
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I knew a woman- Theodore Roethke
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I knew a woman, lovely in her bones, When small birds sighed, she would sigh back at them; Ah, when she moved, she moved more ways than one: The shapes a bright container can contain! Of her choice virtues only gods should speak, Or English poets who grew up on Greek (I'd have them sing in chorus, cheek to cheek). How well her wishes went! She stroked my chin, She taught me Turn, and Counter-turn, and Stand; She taught me Touch, that undulant white skin; I nibbled meekly from her proffered hand; She was the sickle; I, poor I, the rake, Coming behind her for her pretty sake (But what prodigious mowing we did make). Love likes a gander, and adores a goose: Her full lips pursed, the errant note to seize; She played it quick, she played it light and loose; My eyes, they dazzled at her flowing knees; Her several parts could keep a pure repose, Or one hip quiver with a mobile nose (She moved in circles, and those circles moved). Let seed be grass, and grass turn into hay: I'm martyr to a motion not my own; What's freedom for? To know eternity. I swear she cast a shadow white as stone. But who would count eternity in days? These old bones live to learn her wanton ways: (I measure time by how a body sways). Summary: The poem 'I Knew a Woman' by Theodore Roethke is a very sensual poem as it depicts several lines pertaining to love making. Even though, it is a poem showing his supreme sense of love and remembrance for his beloved. He says that the woman he fell in love with was beautiful. She knew how to establish a perfect harmony with everything. Her friendship and love extended even up to the animal world. She talked with the birds, loved every being in nature and charmed the poet too. She knew various ways of making love. She taught the poet everything. She taught him how to love and how to dedicate somebody in love of someone else. The poet could not forget how virtuous she was in the arts of love. She showed him turn, counter-turn and touch. Gradually, the poet became deeply involved with her in love. He felt that his whole ego was dependent on her. That's why he feels that they became like a couple of gander and goose in love. He describes the beauty of her each and every bodily part. Her beautiful lips looked as if they were pursed to catch any music from the air. This eagerness of her just charms the poet very much. How can the poet forget such wonderful beloved? He wants to love her up to the eternity. His body must be old, the grass may turn into hay but he would love her forever. For him, she casts a shadow too powerful. He can't escape her influence and he doesn't want to escape either. So, the poem assumes its beauty much from the sense of in deftness which it carries. The poet is too indebted to his beloved. Actually, he feels that his every identity is there just because of her. The poem is also interesting due to its sensuality. He has described her sensuality with a hidden and symbolic language that it not only assumes a poetic beauty in itself but also conveys us the fact how deeply the poet was involved with the woman. The poet, therefore, doesn't hesitate to call herself a martyr to her.
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The Flea- John Donne
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Mark but this flea, and mark in this, How little that which thou deniest me is; It sucked me first, and now sucks thee, And in this flea our two bloods mingled be; Thou know'st that this cannot be said A sin, nor shame, nor loss of maidenhead, Yet this enjoys before it woo, And pampered swells with one blood made of two, And this, alas, is more than we would do. Oh stay, three lives in one flea spare, Where we almost, nay more than married are. This flea is you and I, and this Our mariage bed, and marriage temple is; Though parents grudge, and you, w'are met, And cloistered in these living walls of jet. Though use make you apt to kill me, Let not to that, self-murder added be, And sacrilege, three sins in killing three. Cruel and sudden, hast thou since Purpled thy nail, in blood of innocence? Wherein could this flea guilty be, Except in that drop which it sucked from thee? Yet thou triumph'st, and say'st that thou Find'st not thy self, nor me the weaker now; 'Tis true; then learn how false, fears be: Just so much honor, when thou yield'st to me, Will waste, as this flea's death took life from thee. Summary: The speaker notices a flea and points it out to the woman he loves. The flea has bitten them both, and now their blood is mixed inside the flea. He says that no one would consider it a sin or shameful for their bodily fluids to mix inside a bug, so why don't they just swap fluids in bed?Now she (quite rationally) tries to kill the flea, but the speaker stops her. He says the flea represents the joining of their blood, as in marriage. If she squashes the flea, she will be killing herself, the speaker, and, oh-by-the-way, committing sacrilege against the institution of marriage. She kills the poor, innocent flea. She thinks this disproves the earlier claim that killing the flea would kill them both. But Donne, as always, has a comeback ready: the fact that she hasn't suffered from the death of the flea in which their bloods were mixed means that "swapping fluids" isn't so dangerous to her honor as she thinks. In straightforward terms, his point is: "You have nothing to fear from having sex with me."
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A Valediction: Forbidden Mourning- John Donne
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As virtuous men pass mildly away, And whisper to their souls to go, Whilst some of their sad friends do say The breath goes now, and some say, No: So let us melt, and make no noise, No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move; 'Twere profanation of our joys To tell the laity our love. Moving of th' earth brings harms and fears, Men reckon what it did, and meant; But trepidation of the spheres, Though greater far, is innocent. Dull sublunary lovers' love (Whose soul is sense) cannot admit Absence, because it doth remove Those things which elemented it. But we by a love so much refined, That our selves know not what it is, Inter-assured of the mind, Care less, eyes, lips, and hands to miss. Our two souls therefore, which are one, Though I must go, endure not yet A breach, but an expansion, Like gold to airy thinness beat. If they be two, they are two so As stiff twin compasses are two; Thy soul, the fixed foot, makes no show To move, but doth, if the other do. And though it in the center sit, Yet when the other far doth roam, It leans and hearkens after it, And grows erect, as that comes home. Such wilt thou be to me, who must, Like th' other foot, obliquely run; Thy firmness makes my circle just, And makes me end where I begun. Summary: Speaker is forced to spend time away from his love but says that the farewell should not be mournful or sorrowful.. The parting between the lovers should be peaceful and unnoticeable as to not make a scene (Men pass peacefully without shame line) Their love should be no more noticeable then sphere quakes. The love of dull lovers who focus on the physical can not survive separation but the love he and his lover share is so refined and powerful that they need not worry about missing "eyes, lips, and hands". Though he must go their souls are still one and they are experiencing an expansion the same way that gold can be stretched by beating it to "aery thinness". The soul they share will stretch to take in all the distance between them. their love is compared to a drawing compass, her soul is the center and his is the foot that moves around it making their love perfect. The poem moves by association- one idea makes him think of another. He goes from talking about dead people to earth quakes.
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A Passionate Shepherd to His love- Christopher Marlowe
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Come live with me and be my love, And we will all the pleasures prove, That Valleys, groves, hills, and fields, Woods, or steepy mountain yields. And we will sit upon the Rocks, Seeing the Shepherds feed their flocks, By shallow Rivers to whose falls Melodious birds sing Madrigals. And I will make thee beds of Roses And a thousand fragrant posies, A cap of flowers, and a kirtle Embroidered all with leaves of Myrtle; A gown made of the finest wool Which from our pretty Lambs we pull; Fair lined slippers for the cold, With buckles of the purest gold; A belt of straw and Ivy buds, With Coral clasps and Amber studs: And if these pleasures may thee move, Come live with me, and be my love. The Shepherds' Swains shall dance and sing For thy delight each May-morning: If these delights thy mind may move, Then live with me, and be my love. summary: The shepherd lists all of the promises of things he will do if she accepts his offer. they'll explore valleys, groves, hills, fields, sit on rocks and watch the birds. Poem closes with a conditional request that he only wants the lover to come is she is moved by the delights and pleasures that were listed in the poem. It seems increasingly unlikely that he will be able to provide any of these delights. Ends in a cliffhanger because we never hear her reply. ~Pastoral Traditon~
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The Nymphs Reply to the Shepherd- Sir Walter Raleigh
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If all the world and love were young, And truth in every shepherd's tongue, These pretty pleasures might me move To live with thee and be thy love. Time drives the flocks from field to fold When rivers rage and rocks grow cold, And Philomel becometh dumb; The rest complains of cares to come. The flowers do fade, and wanton fields To wayward winter reckoning yields; A honey tongue, a heart of gall, Is fancy's spring, but sorrow's fall. Thy gowns, thy shoes, thy beds of roses, Thy cap, thy kirtle, and thy posies Soon break, soon wither, soon forgotten In folly ripe, in season rotten. Thy belt of straw and ivy buds, Thy coral clasps and amber studs, All these in me no means can move To come to thee and be thy love. But could youth last and love still breed, Had joys no date nor age no need, Then these delights my mind might move To live with thee and be thy love. Summary: She rejects the Shepherd's proposal. The deal is too good to be true. The flowers he promised will whither and die, or it will get too cold for them to hangout by sheep at the river. Each stanza dismisses or qualifies a promise made in the original poem. The nymph would only be convinced to take his offer if the delights such as a world in which youth lasts forever is true. An Allusion: People lie to get their way such as the shepherd Poem attacks Pastoral Tradition and how silly it is Rhetorical Argumentative Poem. Anti-romantic Written in Quantrains- Four iams per line
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To The Virgins to Make much of time- Robert Herrick
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Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, Old time is still a-flying: And this same flower that smiles to-day To-morrow will be dying. The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun, The higher he's a-getting, The sooner will his race be run, And nearer he's to setting. That age is best which is the first, When youth and blood are warmer; But being spent, the worse, and worst Times still succeed the former. Then be not coy, but use your time, And while ye may, go marry: For having lost but once your prime You may for ever tarry. Summary: From the title, we can tell that the speaker is addressing this poem to a group of virgins. He's telling them that they should gather their "rosebuds" while they can, because time is quickly passing. He drives home this point with some images from nature, including flowers dying and the sun setting. He thinks that one's youth is the best time in life, and the years after that aren't so great. The speaker finishes off the poem by encouraging these young virgins to make good use of their time by getting married, before they're past their prime and lose the chance. Is about the passage of time, and the fact that as we get older we change. We become less healthy and vigorous, less "warm" (10) and, eventually, die.
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In a Prominent Bar in Secaucus One day-X.J. Kennedy
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In a prominent bar in Secaucus one day Rose a lady in skunk with a topheavy sway, Raised a knobby red finger-all turned from their beer- While with eyes bright as snowcrust she sang high and clear: 'Now who of you'd think from an eyeload of me That I once was a lady as proud as could be? Oh I'd never sit down by a tumbledown drunk If it wasn't, my dears, for the high cost of junk. 'All the gents used to swear that the white of my calf Beat the down of the swan by a length and a half. In the kerchief of linen I caught to my nose Ah, there never fell snot, but a little gold rose. 'I had seven gold teeth and a toothpick of gold, My Virginia cheroot was a leaf of it rolled And I'd light it each time with a thousand in cash- Why the bums used to fight if I flicked them an ash. 'Once the toast of the Biltmore, the belle of the Taft, I would drink bottle beer at the Drake, never draught, And dine at the Astor on Salisbury steak With a clean tablecloth for each bite I did take. 'In a car like the Roxy I'd roll to the track, A steel-guitar trio, a bar in the back, And the wheels made no noise, they turned ever so fast, Still it took you ten minutes to see me go past. 'When the horses bowed down to me that I might choose, I bet on them all, for I hated to lose. Now I'm saddled each night for my butter and eggs And the broken threads race down the backs of my legs. 'Let you hold in mind, girls, that your beauty must pass Like a lovely white clover that rusts with its grass. Keep your bottoms off barstools and marry you young Or be left-an old barrel with many a bung. 'For when time takes you out for a spin in his car You'll be hard-pressed to stop him from going too far And be left by the roadside, for all your good deeds, Two toadstools for tits and a face full of weeds.' All the house raised a cheer, but the man at the bar Made a phone call and up pulled a red patrol car And she blew us a kiss as they copped her away From that prominent bar in Secaucus, N.J. Summary:The speaker of this poem is a woman in a bar. She is telling the other occupants of the bar about her life. She tells of how she used to be a 'lady' and had a very nice life. She had style and class. But as time went on her looks faded, her body changed, and people did not see her as they used to. She tells of how time takes you for a ride and there is no way to stop it. She is trying to tell young women that they may be beautiful and have class, but they may not have that always and may turn out just like her; in a bar with an aged body and no longer be a 'lady'. The theme of this poem is that through the course of life our lives change and people treat you differently as you become something you weren't before
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The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner by Randall Jarrell
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From my mother's sleep I fell into the State, And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze. Six miles from earth, loosed from its dream of life, I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters. When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose Summary : speaker is the ball turret gunner.the gunner finds himself in his ball turret underneath the bomber. It is so cold at altitude that the sweat-soaked, fleece lining of his flight jacket has frozen. Setting 1940's WWII war plane on a bombing mission. Paradox is the speaker is dead. The speaker fell from childlike innocence into the knowledge of violence and war. So, the ball turret becomes a metaphor for the womb. But unlike a mother's womb, which is warm and nurturing, the womb of "the State" is freezing—a harsh, cold environment that doesn't seem very life-sustaining. Imagery: Sleep, Birth, Animality "fur"- he was being treated like an animal by the government. Villain is the state and government Lines 3-4: The speaker is six miles from earth up in the plane where he feels cut off from earth. ( earth feels dreamlike). •The speaker wakes to a new reality—his "nightmare" existence in the ball turret, enemy fighters attacking. •Usually, in life it is hard to contemplate death. It seems far off and mysterious—we can only imagine it in a dream-like way. In lines 3 and 4, this is reversed: life is the dream and reality is death—the "black flak and the nightmare fighters." Line 5:•The gunner's remains are cleaned out of the turret with a steam hose.•Remember the way the gunner "hunched" in the turret like a fetus in the womb? Well, if we carry that reading through to this last line, we have the gunner being reborn from the turret/womb. But instead of being born into life as a child from a mother, the gunner is born into death from the womb of "the State." •Essentially, in this line of thought, it's as though nations breed death. - nothing heroic about his death or noble
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Ars Poetica by Archibald MacLeish
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A poem should be palpable and mute As a globed fruit Dumb As old medallions to the thumb Silent as the sleeve-worn stone Of casement ledges where the moss has grown - A poem should be wordless As the flight of birds A poem should be motionless in time As the moon climbs Leaving, as the moon releases Twig by twig the night-entangled trees, Leaving, as the moon behind the winter leaves, Memory by memory the mind - A poem should be motionless in time As the moon climbs A poem should be equal to: Not true For all the history of grief An empty doorway and a maple leaf For love The leaning grasses and two lights above the sea - A poem should not mean But be Summary: The poem opens with the speaker comparing a poem to a "globed fruit" that's mute and silent. He then goes on to stress the idea of a poem being "wordless as a flight of birds." It should also be motionless in time, leaving all memories of the mind behind. A poem should also avoid so-called truths. It should be without the histories and grief of mankind, but also for it. In addition, it should be "for love" and "two lights above the sea." Above all, a poem should not mean but be.
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Sound and Sense Alexander Pope
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True Ease in Writing comes from Art, not Chance, As those move easiest who have learn'd to dance, 'Tis not enough no Harshness gives Offence, The Sound must seem an Eccho to the Sense: Soft is the Strain when Zephyr gently blows, And the smooth Stream in smoother Numbers flows; But when loud Surges lash the sounding Shore, The hoarse, rough Verse shou'd like the Torrent roar. When Ajax strives, some Rock's vast Weight to throw, The Line too labours, and the Words move slow; Not so, when swift Camilla scours the Plain, Flies o'er th'unbending Corn, and skims along the Main. Hear how Timotheus' vary'd Lays surprize, And bid Alternate Passions fall and rise! Summary:A poet and critic of writing explains his idea of what makes for good poetry. He says that writing quality poetry requires learning and practice. Good poets don't just learn to rhyme and write in correct form, they know how to match the sound of their words to the content. After stating his theory, he displays his mastery of poetry by giving examples of his principles in action.
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Metrical Feet by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
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Trochee trips from long to short; From long to long in solemn sort Slow Spondee stalks, strong foot!, yet ill able Ever to come up with Dactyl's trisyllable. Iambics march from short to long. With a leap and a bound the swift Anapests throng. One syllable long, with one short at each side, Amphibrachys hastes with a stately stride - First and last being long, middle short, Amphimacer Strikes his thundering hoofs like a proud high-bred Racer. If Derwent be innocent, steady, and wise, And delight in the things of earth, water, and skies; Tender warmth at his heart, with these meters to show it, With sound sense in his brains, may make Derwent a poet - May crown him with fame, and must win him the love Of his father on earth and his father above. My dear, dear child! Could you stand upon Skiddaw, you would not from its whole ridge See a man who so loves you as your fond S.T. Coleridge. Summary : In a poem addressed to his young son, S.T. Coleridge explains each of the most common metrical feet: the trochee, spondee, dactyl, iamb, anapest, amphibrach, and amphimacer. Whew! Best part is: he both defines these terms and demonstrates them within the line. This brief and clever learning experiment takes up the first stanza. In the second stanza, Coleridge tells his son Derwent everything he needs to become a famous poet: love for nature, a warm heart, and of course meter. Becoming a good poet will help him win his father's and God's love. But wait, Coleridge already loves his son a ton already. Aw, how sweet. No matter how original a poet may be they are oblivious because all they care about is technical,. You have to make original poems and not copy someone else's. The Whole poem has to embody the theme of " You can't just tack it on at the end." Ignore ignorant poets because the poem should seem natural and unforced. Good poets have mastered and learned the skill, it takes hard work.
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The Lamb by William Blake
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Little lamb, who made thee? Does thou know who made thee, Gave thee life, and bid thee feed By the stream and o'er the mead; Gave thee clothing of delight, Softest clothing, woolly, bright; Gave thee such a tender voice, Making all the vales rejoice? Little lamb, who made thee? Does thou know who made thee? Little lamb, I'll tell thee; Little lamb, I'll tell thee: He is called by thy name, For He calls Himself a Lamb. He is meek, and He is mild, He became a little child. I a child, and thou a lamb, We are called by His name. Little lamb, God bless thee! Little lamb, God bless thee! Summary: The Lamb is Jesus and represents Innocence and the Lamb is the shepherd of Christ. Looks like a children's poem due to the structure and repetition of a nursery rhyme. No harshness in this poem. The little boy talks to the Lamb and tells him about Jesus. Asks if the Lamb knows who God is in the first half. In the second half the child answers the question about who God is. The world is presented as sweet in this poem but is through the perception of the child who does not know of death and destruction
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The Tyger by William Blake
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Tyger! Tyger! burning bright In the forests of the night, What immortal hand or eye Could frame thy fearful symmetry? In what distant deeps or skies Burnt the fire of thine eyes? On what wings dare he aspire? What the hand, dare sieze the fire? And what shoulder, & what art, Could twist the sinews of thy heart? And when thy heart began to beat, What dread hand? & what dread feet? What the hammer? what the chain? In what furnace was thy brain? What the anvil? what dread grasp Dare its deadly terrors clasp? When the stars threw down their spears, And water'd heaven with their tears, Did he smile his work to see? Did he who made the Lamb make thee? Tyger! Tyger! burning bright In the forests of the night, What immortal hand or eye Dare frame thy fearful symmetry? Summary: Reverse counterpart of the Lamb. The Tyger is fierce and wild/ destructive. More of a questioning poem then a statement. Did God and why would God made a creature that is so destructive. How do we reconcile Good and evil? This poem ends with a question and questions throughout. Lack of uncertainty and questionable doubt. What kind of God could make both evil and good? More aimed towards adults- where did the tiger come from... heaven or hell? It hints that the tiger is being made on a forge as an artifact by blacksmith (God). When you read the poem it literally sounds like a hammer pounding - Blake suggests that we have a God that has a balance between good and evil
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My Mistress' Eyes are nothing like the sun- William Shakespeare
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My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun; Coral is far more red than her lips' red; If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun; If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head. I have seen roses damasked, red and white, But no such roses see I in her cheeks; And in some perfumes is there more delight Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks. I love to hear her speak, yet well I know That music hath a far more pleasing sound; I grant I never saw a goddess go; My mistress when she walks treads on the ground. And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare As any she belied with false compare. Summary:This sonnet compares the speaker's lover to a number of other beauties—and never in the lover's favor. Her eyes are "nothing like the sun," her lips are less red than coral; compared to white snow, her breasts are dun-colored, and her hairs are like black wires on her head. In the second quatrain, the speaker says he has seen roses separated by color ("damasked") into red and white, but he sees no such roses in his mistress's cheeks; and he says the breath that "reeks" from his mistress is less delightful than perfume. In the third quatrain, he admits that, though he loves her voice, music "hath a far more pleasing sound," and that, though he has never seen a goddess, his mistress—unlike goddesses—walks on the ground. In the couplet, however, the speaker declares that, "by heav'n," he thinks his love as rare and valuable "As any she belied with false compare"—that is, any love in which false comparisons were invoked to describe the loved one's beauty.
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I knew a woman- Theodore Roethke
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I knew a woman, lovely in her bones, When small birds sighed, she would sigh back at them; Ah, when she moved, she moved more ways than one: The shapes a bright container can contain! Of her choice virtues only gods should speak, Or English poets who grew up on Greek (I'd have them sing in chorus, cheek to cheek). How well her wishes went! She stroked my chin, She taught me Turn, and Counter-turn, and Stand; She taught me Touch, that undulant white skin; I nibbled meekly from her proffered hand; She was the sickle; I, poor I, the rake, Coming behind her for her pretty sake (But what prodigious mowing we did make). Love likes a gander, and adores a goose: Her full lips pursed, the errant note to seize; She played it quick, she played it light and loose; My eyes, they dazzled at her flowing knees; Her several parts could keep a pure repose, Or one hip quiver with a mobile nose (She moved in circles, and those circles moved). Let seed be grass, and grass turn into hay: I'm martyr to a motion not my own; What's freedom for? To know eternity. I swear she cast a shadow white as stone. But who would count eternity in days? These old bones live to learn her wanton ways: (I measure time by how a body sways). Summary: The poem 'I Knew a Woman' by Theodore Roethke is a very sensual poem as it depicts several lines pertaining to love making. Even though, it is a poem showing his supreme sense of love and remembrance for his beloved. He says that the woman he fell in love with was beautiful. She knew how to establish a perfect harmony with everything. Her friendship and love extended even up to the animal world. She talked with the birds, loved every being in nature and charmed the poet too. She knew various ways of making love. She taught the poet everything. She taught him how to love and how to dedicate somebody in love of someone else. The poet could not forget how virtuous she was in the arts of love. She showed him turn, counter-turn and touch. Gradually, the poet became deeply involved with her in love. He felt that his whole ego was dependent on her. That's why he feels that they became like a couple of gander and goose in love. He describes the beauty of her each and every bodily part. Her beautiful lips looked as if they were pursed to catch any music from the air. This eagerness of her just charms the poet very much. How can the poet forget such wonderful beloved? He wants to love her up to the eternity. His body must be old, the grass may turn into hay but he would love her forever. For him, she casts a shadow too powerful. He can't escape her influence and he doesn't want to escape either. So, the poem assumes its beauty much from the sense of in deftness which it carries. The poet is too indebted to his beloved. Actually, he feels that his every identity is there just because of her. The poem is also interesting due to its sensuality. He has described her sensuality with a hidden and symbolic language that it not only assumes a poetic beauty in itself but also conveys us the fact how deeply the poet was involved with the woman. The poet, therefore, doesn't hesitate to call herself a martyr to her.
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The Flea- John Donne
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Mark but this flea, and mark in this, How little that which thou deniest me is; It sucked me first, and now sucks thee, And in this flea our two bloods mingled be; Thou know'st that this cannot be said A sin, nor shame, nor loss of maidenhead, Yet this enjoys before it woo, And pampered swells with one blood made of two, And this, alas, is more than we would do. Oh stay, three lives in one flea spare, Where we almost, nay more than married are. This flea is you and I, and this Our mariage bed, and marriage temple is; Though parents grudge, and you, w'are met, And cloistered in these living walls of jet. Though use make you apt to kill me, Let not to that, self-murder added be, And sacrilege, three sins in killing three. Cruel and sudden, hast thou since Purpled thy nail, in blood of innocence? Wherein could this flea guilty be, Except in that drop which it sucked from thee? Yet thou triumph'st, and say'st that thou Find'st not thy self, nor me the weaker now; 'Tis true; then learn how false, fears be: Just so much honor, when thou yield'st to me, Will waste, as this flea's death took life from thee. Summary: The speaker notices a flea and points it out to the woman he loves. The flea has bitten them both, and now their blood is mixed inside the flea. He says that no one would consider it a sin or shameful for their bodily fluids to mix inside a bug, so why don't they just swap fluids in bed?Now she (quite rationally) tries to kill the flea, but the speaker stops her. He says the flea represents the joining of their blood, as in marriage. If she squashes the flea, she will be killing herself, the speaker, and, oh-by-the-way, committing sacrilege against the institution of marriage. She kills the poor, innocent flea. She thinks this disproves the earlier claim that killing the flea would kill them both. But Donne, as always, has a comeback ready: the fact that she hasn't suffered from the death of the flea in which their bloods were mixed means that "swapping fluids" isn't so dangerous to her honor as she thinks. In straightforward terms, his point is: "You have nothing to fear from having sex with me."
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A Valediction: Forbidden Mourning- John Donne
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As virtuous men pass mildly away, And whisper to their souls to go, Whilst some of their sad friends do say The breath goes now, and some say, No: So let us melt, and make no noise, No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move; 'Twere profanation of our joys To tell the laity our love. Moving of th' earth brings harms and fears, Men reckon what it did, and meant; But trepidation of the spheres, Though greater far, is innocent. Dull sublunary lovers' love (Whose soul is sense) cannot admit Absence, because it doth remove Those things which elemented it. But we by a love so much refined, That our selves know not what it is, Inter-assured of the mind, Care less, eyes, lips, and hands to miss. Our two souls therefore, which are one, Though I must go, endure not yet A breach, but an expansion, Like gold to airy thinness beat. If they be two, they are two so As stiff twin compasses are two; Thy soul, the fixed foot, makes no show To move, but doth, if the other do. And though it in the center sit, Yet when the other far doth roam, It leans and hearkens after it, And grows erect, as that comes home. Such wilt thou be to me, who must, Like th' other foot, obliquely run; Thy firmness makes my circle just, And makes me end where I begun. Summary: Speaker is forced to spend time away from his love but says that the farewell should not be mournful or sorrowful.. The parting between the lovers should be peaceful and unnoticeable as to not make a scene (Men pass peacefully without shame line) Their love should be no more noticeable then sphere quakes. The love of dull lovers who focus on the physical can not survive separation but the love he and his lover share is so refined and powerful that they need not worry about missing "eyes, lips, and hands". Though he must go their souls are still one and they are experiencing an expansion the same way that gold can be stretched by beating it to "aery thinness". The soul they share will stretch to take in all the distance between them. their love is compared to a drawing compass, her soul is the center and his is the foot that moves around it making their love perfect. The poem moves by association- one idea makes him think of another. He goes from talking about dead people to earth quakes.
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A Passionate Shepherd to His love- Christopher Marlowe
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Come live with me and be my love, And we will all the pleasures prove, That Valleys, groves, hills, and fields, Woods, or steepy mountain yields. And we will sit upon the Rocks, Seeing the Shepherds feed their flocks, By shallow Rivers to whose falls Melodious birds sing Madrigals. And I will make thee beds of Roses And a thousand fragrant posies, A cap of flowers, and a kirtle Embroidered all with leaves of Myrtle; A gown made of the finest wool Which from our pretty Lambs we pull; Fair lined slippers for the cold, With buckles of the purest gold; A belt of straw and Ivy buds, With Coral clasps and Amber studs: And if these pleasures may thee move, Come live with me, and be my love. The Shepherds' Swains shall dance and sing For thy delight each May-morning: If these delights thy mind may move, Then live with me, and be my love. summary: The shepherd lists all of the promises of things he will do if she accepts his offer. they'll explore valleys, groves, hills, fields, sit on rocks and watch the birds. Poem closes with a conditional request that he only wants the lover to come is she is moved by the delights and pleasures that were listed in the poem. It seems increasingly unlikely that he will be able to provide any of these delights. Ends in a cliffhanger because we never hear her reply. ~Pastoral Traditon~
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The Nymphs Reply to the Shepherd- Sir Walter Raleigh
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If all the world and love were young, And truth in every shepherd's tongue, These pretty pleasures might me move To live with thee and be thy love. Time drives the flocks from field to fold When rivers rage and rocks grow cold, And Philomel becometh dumb; The rest complains of cares to come. The flowers do fade, and wanton fields To wayward winter reckoning yields; A honey tongue, a heart of gall, Is fancy's spring, but sorrow's fall. Thy gowns, thy shoes, thy beds of roses, Thy cap, thy kirtle, and thy posies Soon break, soon wither, soon forgotten In folly ripe, in season rotten. Thy belt of straw and ivy buds, Thy coral clasps and amber studs, All these in me no means can move To come to thee and be thy love. But could youth last and love still breed, Had joys no date nor age no need, Then these delights my mind might move To live with thee and be thy love. Summary: She rejects the Shepherd's proposal. The deal is too good to be true. The flowers he promised will whither and die, or it will get too cold for them to hangout by sheep at the river. Each stanza dismisses or qualifies a promise made in the original poem. The nymph would only be convinced to take his offer if the delights such as a world in which youth lasts forever is true. An Allusion: People lie to get their way such as the shepherd Poem attacks Pastoral Tradition and how silly it is Rhetorical Argumentative Poem. Anti-romantic Written in Quantrains- Four iams per line
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To The Virgins to Make much of time- Robert Herrick
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Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, Old time is still a-flying: And this same flower that smiles to-day To-morrow will be dying. The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun, The higher he's a-getting, The sooner will his race be run, And nearer he's to setting. That age is best which is the first, When youth and blood are warmer; But being spent, the worse, and worst Times still succeed the former. Then be not coy, but use your time, And while ye may, go marry: For having lost but once your prime You may for ever tarry. Summary: From the title, we can tell that the speaker is addressing this poem to a group of virgins. He's telling them that they should gather their "rosebuds" while they can, because time is quickly passing. He drives home this point with some images from nature, including flowers dying and the sun setting. He thinks that one's youth is the best time in life, and the years after that aren't so great. The speaker finishes off the poem by encouraging these young virgins to make good use of their time by getting married, before they're past their prime and lose the chance. Is about the passage of time, and the fact that as we get older we change. We become less healthy and vigorous, less "warm" (10) and, eventually, die.
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In a Prominent Bar in Secaucus One day-X.J. Kennedy
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In a prominent bar in Secaucus one day Rose a lady in skunk with a topheavy sway, Raised a knobby red finger-all turned from their beer- While with eyes bright as snowcrust she sang high and clear: 'Now who of you'd think from an eyeload of me That I once was a lady as proud as could be? Oh I'd never sit down by a tumbledown drunk If it wasn't, my dears, for the high cost of junk. 'All the gents used to swear that the white of my calf Beat the down of the swan by a length and a half. In the kerchief of linen I caught to my nose Ah, there never fell snot, but a little gold rose. 'I had seven gold teeth and a toothpick of gold, My Virginia cheroot was a leaf of it rolled And I'd light it each time with a thousand in cash- Why the bums used to fight if I flicked them an ash. 'Once the toast of the Biltmore, the belle of the Taft, I would drink bottle beer at the Drake, never draught, And dine at the Astor on Salisbury steak With a clean tablecloth for each bite I did take. 'In a car like the Roxy I'd roll to the track, A steel-guitar trio, a bar in the back, And the wheels made no noise, they turned ever so fast, Still it took you ten minutes to see me go past. 'When the horses bowed down to me that I might choose, I bet on them all, for I hated to lose. Now I'm saddled each night for my butter and eggs And the broken threads race down the backs of my legs. 'Let you hold in mind, girls, that your beauty must pass Like a lovely white clover that rusts with its grass. Keep your bottoms off barstools and marry you young Or be left-an old barrel with many a bung. 'For when time takes you out for a spin in his car You'll be hard-pressed to stop him from going too far And be left by the roadside, for all your good deeds, Two toadstools for tits and a face full of weeds.' All the house raised a cheer, but the man at the bar Made a phone call and up pulled a red patrol car And she blew us a kiss as they copped her away From that prominent bar in Secaucus, N.J. Summary:The speaker of this poem is a woman in a bar. She is telling the other occupants of the bar about her life. She tells of how she used to be a 'lady' and had a very nice life. She had style and class. But as time went on her looks faded, her body changed, and people did not see her as they used to. She tells of how time takes you for a ride and there is no way to stop it. She is trying to tell young women that they may be beautiful and have class, but they may not have that always and may turn out just like her; in a bar with an aged body and no longer be a 'lady'. The theme of this poem is that through the course of life our lives change and people treat you differently as you become something you weren't before