"Literature / Poetry" Essays

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Unknown Citizen by Wh Auden Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,499 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Poetry and the Unknown Citizen - by W.H. Auden

Introduction to Poetry: The late Stanley Kunitz received just about every prestigious award and appointment that a poet could achieve. He was named "United States Poet Laureate" in 200; he was designated "State Poet of New York"; he was "Chancellor Emeritus of The Academy of American Poets"; he won the "National… [read more]

Fred D'aguiar's Surreal Poems Term Paper

Term Paper  |  6 pages (2,039 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Contemplating death in light of race-related murders, Nichols notes that black and white commingle at funerals. "The dead / beside the white candles / will not be offended," (13-15). What attracts scorn and hatred from the community as skin color becomes a requisite article of clothing. Black on fabric does not offend. Yet as skin color, black is a detriment, a drawback, an insult. It is far from being "the number in which she comes into her own power," (8-10). Quite the opposite: black skin indicates a total lack of power, even a lack of life. Black skin weakens whoever wears it; black skin adorned with "amber earrings" or a "scarf of pink" does not rise to any occasion as the black dress does (16-17). While the little black dress imparts prestige and wardrobe success, the same shade of skin denotes degradation. As long as it is not skin, black becomes associated with respect, tradition, and conformity. When black is race, it connotes otherness. Nichols' references are both straightforward and metaphoric, but in "Black" the poet hints at the seriousness of black's plight. Invoking the Klu Klux Klan highlights the physical reality of racism, contrasted with abstract poetic prejudice. It's not just about the merits of black clothes vs. white.

The Klan's white robes were wielded as weapons of oppression; their whiteness signified power. Beneath the cloth, white skin gleamed proudly as it murdered black flesh. Black, therefore, symbolizes death. It is the other side of life, the lack of respect and light. Black does not reflect light, it "absorbs everything," (20). Black skinned people absorb cruelty, torture, and suffering. Nichols notes that although a black dress at a party acts as "sensual catalyst," possessing black skin will garner "those sudden inexplicable hostile glances," (23; 26). Black is absolute other, as night is to day.

In "White," Nichols provides the other side's story. White signifies light, dawn, day, and color. In contrast to the obliteration of blackness, white reflect life over death, wakefulness over sleep. Yet Nichols refers to somnambulism in a subtle stab at white's inherent weakness: "a sleepwalker," (9). White, though proud reflector of consciousness, conveniently forgets "the memories of ancestors, / all that blackness / against whiteness," (13-15). White-washed "walls of vanilla," those "great solid slabs" are metaphors for the sturdy dominant culture, which was built on the blood of blacks (10-11). False justifications for social and political oppression are "starched religiousness": racism cloaked in white robes (16). Nichols' imagery pits black against white, depicting the symbolic otherness of race through the world of physical objects. Her two poems "Black" and "White" overtly demonstrate the difference between these opposites in concrete and metaphorical manners.


D'Aguiar, Fred. "Mama Dot." Other: British and Irish Poetry since 1970. Ed. Caddel, Richard and Quartermain. Hanover: Wesleyan University Press, 1999. 45.

D'Aguiar, Fred. "Airy Hall Iconography." Other: British and Irish Poetry since 1970. Ed. Caddel, Richard and Quartermain. Hanover: Wesleyan University Press, 1999. 48.

Leonard, Tom. "100 Differences Between Poetry and… [read more]

American Poet Laureate Robert Hass Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,297 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Hass views English language as a device to explore and analyze his innermost feelings and doesn't use it for its own sake. This is something extremely important to remember. Hass viewed language as a weapon, which helps him express his sentiments on various subjects, some of them having a very haunting quality about them. For example in the poem titled Interrupted Meditation, the poet uses words and language, which not only flow easily but also manage to grasp every emotion that the poet feels with incredible ease. Reading the following lines from the poem indicate that Hass was more interested in accurate expression of emotions than anything else. Thus he seems to view English language as a tool, which helps him reach the very core of his heart.

We live half our lives in fantasy and words...

I'm a little ashamed that I want to end this poem singing, but I want to end this poem singing the wooly closed-down buds of the sunflower to which, in English, someone gave the name, sometime, of pearly everlasting."

Interrupted Meditations)

In the Sun Under Wood for example, Hass used his views on English language to express the emotions of various men and women and explored their psyche using simple everyday American terms. This is an effort worth praising as Gail Wronsky (1997) writes, "...what is profoundly revolutionary than the giving up of space on the page to these female voices is the fact that Hass has given the anima psychic space as well - has explored, as a poet, subject matters and emotions traditionally the provinces of women writers; he risks sentiment, for crying out loud! In "Regalia for a Black Hat Dancer," for example, among so many other things, we find "children's crayon drawings on the wall."

Hass has probably learned more about his language when he took up the task of translating Japanese haiku in English. This must have been an experience of profound impact because it taught him the importance of simplification of words in poetry. We notice that most Japanese Haikus are so simple they appear to have been falsely translated. But it is true that Japanese haiku poets use much simpler language than European poets who are responsible for heavily influencing American poets. In his collection of Japanese translation known as The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho,

Busan, and Issa, we notice how simplicity of Japanese language has left an indelible mark on Hass's use of language. Verses like: "It's not like anything they compare it to - the summer moon. / Lighting one candle with another candle - spring evening / New Year's Day - everything is in blossom! I feel about average" are beautiful examples of unfussiness of Japanese haiku. This simplicity is then highly evident from verses, which appeared in his collection Sun Under Wood.

Light a fire, thin smoke, not an ambitious fire, and sit before it and watch it till it burns to ash and the last gleam is gone from it,… [read more]

Power of Goodness in 1001 Research Paper

Research Paper  |  6 pages (1,923 words)
Bibliography Sources: 6


Since everything happens because of his will it is safe to say that everything that happens is just. In other words, when something bad happens to a character, then the event is either a punishment or something which will have a long-term positive effect. It seems that the power of goodness is absolute (Richard, 63).

But, if everything happens because it is the will of Allah it results that the human freedom is limited. Freedom is therefore another important theme in the book, the freedom of women on the one hand and the one of the human being on the other one. It seems that both a quite limited and from this point-of-view we may consider this a very important philosophical conception which gives insight from an anthropological and cultural point-of-view.

Speaking of goodness and its power, it could be stated that Scheherazade, through her own good nature succeeds into transforming the king in a good person as well. Thus we have a series of actions which condition the ones which will follow. The king had been betrayed and became evil in order to turn good after the one thousand and one nights of stories told by his wife (Gerhardt, 63).

Reading between the lines we can see that Scheherazade actually wanted to make his husband understand what goodness really is (forgiveness, humility, justice, humanity, etc.). And the means which she has at her disposal is story telling. In this manner the story and the act of story telling become the theme of the tales, while the tone of the narrator is a moralizing one since he is omniscient (Richard, 63).

Techniques such framing and patterning are used in other works as well, such ad the Divine Comedy or the Canterbury tales. The "One thousand and one nights" differ through the themes which are approached and the description of such numerous elements from Africa and the Middle East. The unusual things which occur are incarnations of the fight between good and evil and in the end it is goodness which wins.


Burton, Richard. "The Arabian nights study guide." Retrieved march 17, 2009 from http://www.bookrags.com/studyguide-arabiannightsburton/sum.html

Gerhardt, Mia. "The art of story-telling: a literary study of the Thousand and one nights." 1963

Hovannistan, R., Sabagh, G. (eds.). "The Thousand and one nights in Arabic literature and society," Georgia Review, 34. 1980

Irwin, R. "The Arabian nights: a companion." 1994

Pinault, David. "Story telling techniques in the Arabian nights." Brill Publishers. 1992

"The Arabian nights" in Classical and medieval Literature…… [read more]

Gender and Sexuality in Society in the Works of Charlotte Bronte Thesis

Thesis  |  11 pages (2,959 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 6


Gender and Sexuality in Society in the Works of Charlotte Bronte

The gander roles issue in Charlotte Bronte's writings is one that arises often right from the beginning. Jane Eyre, an autobiographical book is one that comes under the influence of this subject to deeper level than the others because the novel is indeed partly autobiographical. Villette is another novel… [read more]

Kill Cliches -- "Mending Wall" by Robert Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (1,159 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


¶ … Kill Cliches -- "Mending Wall" by Robert Frost and "Dulce et Decorum est" by Wilfred Owens.

Perhaps one of the most useful aspects of modern poetry as a literary medium is that poetry has the unique ability to take the words of a cliche and can deploy the intense language of the poetic medium and force readers to reconsider that cliche in a new light. Both "Dulce et Decorum est" by Wilfred Owens and "Mending Wall" by Robert Frost take common sense phrases that 'everyone' -- supposedly knows to be true. But both of these poets used language, the poetic speaker's unique perspective on his situation, and powerful images to undercut such accepted moral tropes.

In the case of the American New Englander Robert Frost, the cliche his poem "Mending Wall" attacks is "Good Fences make Good Neighbors." The speaker, the poet, is a farmer. He and his neighbor are engaged in what seems to be a common, annual act of mending the fences of their farms. The poem, like Owens' "Dulce et Decorum est," is located in a very specific place and time, that of Boston, 1915 in the case of Frost. But during this common act of a very specific time and place, Frost achieves a new perspective on the life of a terse, New England farmer. The poet wonders if there is something "there is that doesn't love a wall, / That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it, / and spills the upper boulders in the sun, and makes gaps even two can pass abreast." Frost attributes a kind of mysterious power to nature, a power that wishes to attack the artificial walls human beings set up between themselves, to demarcate one area of nature as their and another area as not theirs.

Unlike hunters and dogs, the repairs Frost makes, to his fancy, seem inexplicable. Also, the repairs to the fences are ineffectual: "We have to use a spell to make them balance: / 'Stay where you are until our backs are turned!'" Frost writes of the rocks his neighbor and he put up to block the cracks. Yet the neighbor the poet speaks to during this spring mending time stubbornly insists 'Good fences make good neighbors' even though "My apple trees will never get across / and eat the cones under his pines." Clearly, Frost suggests, something deeper is at stake in the clinging to the need for fences, in the absence of cows. But the specificity of the acts and references delineated in this description of spring "mending time" make the scenario seem real to the reader, as well as the speaker's questioning of the cliche that people must be fenced off from one another, both in terms of property and emotion, that people must be walled in and walled out from one another lest they come into conflict.

Ultimately, the neighbor is impenetrable, but the act of writing the poem for the author is cathartic and causes the reader, if not the… [read more]

Bells' by Edgar Allen Poe Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (653 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


For example the word tintinnabulation automatically makes one thing about jubilation and merriment.

The poem also gives different meanings to the chiming of bells according to the stage in which they appear. In the first stage, which is the happiest period of man's life, certain degree of innocence and spontaneity is connected with ringing of bells. What a world of merriment their melody foretells! In the second stage, bells indicate a rather rapturous time because of love that man has just found. What a world of happiness their harmony foretells! In the third stage, which is that of maturity, fear is evident from the sounds of bells (What a tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells!) while in the last stage, chiming highlights coldness of death (What a world of solemn thought their monody compels!)

The four stages have been carefully discussed and many believe that they have a lot to do with Poe's own life. Thus we can safely assume that Poe did not exactly live a very happy contented life. Instead of thinking about the positive side of maturity and wedding, he is focusing on the grimness of the situation. We must give Poe credit for using sound of bells effectively to highlight various states of mind. Bells have been used not only to accentuate emotions; their chiming also mocks man for harboring hopes for his future. In other words, bells do not always indicate the truth; their sound may often deceive people as it did in the early two stages. It is very important to see that the poet has not used the word foretell in the last two stanzas. This indicates that bells predicted something false in the first two stages while they only presented the reality in the last two.

In short, the poem is about four important stages of man's life and highlights the difference between reality and perception.


Edgar Allen Poe,…… [read more]

Chinua Achebe's Fifth Novel Term Paper

Term Paper  |  10 pages (4,071 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1


Beatrice has drawn praise from Ikem for the "odd short story and poem" she has written. Ikem is an admired poet as well as a journalist, and his prose-poem "Hymn to the Sun" is held in higher regard by his friends than all of his crusading editorials. Only Chris, the former editor of the Gazette, does not produce literature (this… [read more]

19th Century Romanticism in Wordsworth and Delacroix Essay

Essay  |  4 pages (1,346 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 2


¶ … 19th Century

Romanticism in Wordsworth and Delacroix

The Romantic period and movement covers a wide range of themes, styles and perceptions in art and literature. However, while there are divergent themes and approaches, there are also many areas of similarity. The Romantic era can best be understood through a clear grasp of the underlying ethos and the 'mood' of this genre in art. The ethos of romanticism, whether in literature or painting, conforms in general terms to certain central concerns. Among these central themes that emerge in Romanticism are the importance of the imagination; a heroic and defiant attitude to life, the belief in wider possibilities and experiences and a reaction to the society of the time.

With regard to the last point, many Romantic artists were deeply concerned with the perceived disparity between the beauty and order of nature and the often ugly degradation of the emerging industrial cites and environment in Europe in the 19th Century. Wordsworth is often considered a 'nature poet'; however, the theme of nature in his works should be seen in terms of a reaction to the poverty of life and imagination that he saw in the industrialized cities. Central to all the Romantics is a sense of reality that is greater and more vivid than the ordinary everyday reality. It is this desire for an altered and more idealistic reality that can be seen in many Romantic painters. Delacroix for example paints in vivid and passionate tones and colors and deals with dramatic and larger-than-life subjects, such as great battles and massacres.

As stated, one of the central themes found in the Romantic poets and artists is the duality between nature, as an ideal state, and ordinary reality. In Wordsworth's poem "Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey," nature becomes the symbol for the reality of knowledge and life that has been lost. Nature is described in vivid and intense terms and in contradistinction to the mundanity of modern civilization. This juxtaposition can be clearly seen in the following lines from the poem

These beauteous forms,

Through a long absence, have not been to me

As is a landscape to a blind man's eye:

But oft, in lonely rooms, and 'mid the din

Of towns and cities, I have owed to them in hours of weariness, sensations sweet,

Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart;

And passing even into my purer mind,

With tranquil restoration: -- feelings too

Of unremembered pleasure:

Tintern Abbey": lines 23-31)

These lines refer to the longing for nature and the intensity of feeling that the poet associated with those "beauteous forms." This feeling for nature is intensified by reference to its opposite - "this unintelligible world." The ordinary world of mundane existence is clearly seen to be inferior to the intensity of life that the poet finds in nature. The poet also refers to the knowledge and insight that nature provides in the lines:

While with an eye made quiet by the power… [read more]

Knight in History by Frances Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (1,037 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1


As a rule, society began to revere these romantic figures in their armor and astride their steeds. By the twelfth century, knightly heroics were being heralded in literature, poetry, and music. In fact, a group of "knightly troubadours" evolved who traveled the countryside reciting vs. Of various knights' escapades. These early oral histories have survived through the centuries and were some of the first records historians had to study regarding the knights and their lives. Of course, most of this literature was highly romanticized and stylized, but they indicate the importance of knights in society. Most importantly, these odes to knighthood resulted in a chivalric code evolving by the 12th century that clearly defined knights and their actions. Chivalry became one of the defining roles of knighthood, and actually defined much of the medieval period. The author notes, "... A knight should be courteous, generous, well-spoken, discreet, faithful in the service of love, he should have 'pretz e valours,' excellence and worth, as well as good sense (Gies 77-78). In turn, society looked to knights as their role models and heroes. This role in society seems far removed from their role as military fighter, but successful knights managed to blend both roles effectively, and this distinguished them throughout the Middle Ages.

The knights' role in society altered as they became more prevalent and accepted in the social order. Just as with most members of society, the knight's role altered from their earliest appearances to their gradual demise in the fifteenth century. Knights were rowdy fighters in the beginning, and by the end of their reign, they had evolved into landed gentry who were central figures in the economic and social areas of society. They were members of the aristocracy, and commanded legions of peasants and vassals underneath them. Sometimes entire towns grew up surrounding the knight's lands and castles. Their status in society grew, and so did their wealth.

Perhaps one of the most important points in the book is why the knights disappeared. The author maintains the invention of the gun had much to do with their demise. As warfare modernized, the mounted and armored cavalry soldier became increasingly obsolete. The knights and their ideals became outmoded and unnecessary, and by the sixteenth century, they all but disappeared. The author notes, "The knight was no more vulnerable to gunfire than anyone else, but expensive cannon and gunpowder strongly reinforced the trend toward national professional armies" (Gies 197). Thus, the knight had outlived his usefulness, and became an archaic reminder of a romantic past that was no longer viable or functional.

In conclusion, this book is an important documentation of knights in history. It is also a valuable tool for anyone doing further research into the medieval feudal society and how it functioned. Knights played an important role in society, from religious to military, and this book gives the reader a much fuller picture of their role and their motivations.


Gies, Frances. The Knight in…… [read more]

Compare Shahnameh and Turkish Literature Effects of the Shahnameh in the Turkish and Ottoman Research Paper

Research Paper  |  7 pages (2,367 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 7


Turkish Literature

Compare Shahnameh with Turkish Literature and Classical Ottoman Poetry

The Shahnmeh, which was written by Ferdowsi in the late tenth century and early eleventh century, is probably the most famous literary work ever written in that region. This is perhaps surprising since the poem was completed over one millenium ago. The fact that the poem took so long… [read more]

Tenets in Modernism Literature Term Paper

Term Paper  |  6 pages (1,860 words)
Bibliography Sources: 6



Lawrence and Derek Walcott: Tenets of Modernism

David Herbert Richards Lawrence (1885-1930) was an English essayist, literary critic, playwright, novelist and poet who published under the name DH Lawrence. Many of Lawrence's writings reflect his ideology regarding the adverse impact and dehumanization that occurs with industrialization and modernity; describing issues such as instinct, spontaneity, vitality and health (Poplawski 1995).… [read more]

Role and Importance of the Poets Essay

Essay  |  20 pages (5,946 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


¶ … role and importance of the poets has changed throughout the history of mankind. Back in the period, the Romantics believed that the poet represented the spiritual guide of the people, who helped the reader identify their most internal emotions, intuitions and imaginations.

Today, the role of the poet is less certain than during those days and this is… [read more]

Victorian Literature Was Remarkably Concerned Term Paper

Term Paper  |  10 pages (3,472 words)
Bibliography Sources: 10


" The constant movement of passion is not troped as an imaginative freedom, but rather as its own form of routine -- like the "ebb and flow / of human misery" in Arnold's "Dover Beach," the tidal image here is one of senseless repetitiveness. In "Dover Beach" it is the senselessness that Arnold emphasizes, where Victorian religious doubts render the… [read more]

Fiction in Comparison to Poetry Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (880 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3


The question of what the life insurance check will be spent on drives the conflict between Walter Lee and Mama and is the center of the plot. This debate represents a fight over materialism and integrity. However, the full implications of Walter's desires must be grasped to perceive the deeper levels of the debate. Wilkerson speaks about a restored scene of the play scene "which is key to this understanding. Inserted at the end of Act 11, Scene 2, the scene shows a brief moment between Walter and his young son, Travis. Walter, who has just been entrusted with the remaining $6,500 by his mother and who sees his dream of economic success within his grasp, speaks in a tender tone not heard before from him (Wilkerson, 1986, 445-446)." In this scene, Walter's son understands the motivations behind the conflict and that Walter's fixation was not just upon the physical, but upon deeper things as well. Like the suicidal man in Summer Solstice, we cannot see specifically what is making him tick. As J. Charles Washington notes, there is a prophetic significance to Walter that drives the play and gives us clues as to the deeper meanings (Washington, 1988, 112).

In the opinion of this author, the drama is a stronger genre because it allows a longer and more in-depth examination of the characters. Poetry is very short and can leave the reader grasping for details. However, poetry allows for a more focused "snapshot" of events. A well written poem can convey a lot of information in a short period of time and leaves the reader more room for interpretation. Both genres have narrators and conflict. However, this makes foreshadowing difficult in poetry, although not impossible. The drama allows for much more foreshadowing due to its length and the amount of time that the author can spend on developing the characters.


To sum up, in this short essay, we have conducted an examination of fiction in comparison to poetry and drama by drawing upon specific examples from the poem- "Summer Solstice in New York" by Sharon Olds and of drama from A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry. We have discussed what are features that define the different genres and also examined their different strengths and weaknesses.


Field, E., & Locklin, G. (1992). New geography of poets. (p. xvii). Little Rock, AR: University of Arkansas Press.

Washington, J.C. (1988). A raisin in the sun revisited. Black American Literature Forum, 22(1), 109-

Wilkerson, M. (1986).…… [read more]

New African by Andrea Lee Essay

Essay  |  6 pages (2,198 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


Human nature

Shows how many behave in specific circumstances

Reading everything but the Bible.

Exercise 5.6C: Evaluative Essay

Directions: Now that you've finished the reading in your textbook, you'll write an evaluative essay offering your well-considered judgment on a piece of literature. Your focus work can be anything you've read during this course or outside.

This essay is not just an opinion though; you offer your evaluation and then support it with reasons and evidence to support your reasons. It should be at least (5) five paragraphs long.

Calculating the value of literature is much like calculating the value of a work of art -- it's mostly personal taste with some somewhat objective criteria (golden ratios and such). So what makes a good book? Mostly, that's up to you. Did you enjoy reading it? Did it meet your objective in reading? Why you read has as much to do with the quality of the work as the work itself. However, in order to equitably evaluate literature, we need to look at why a writer writes, and not just why readers read. If Socrates is to be believed, only the examined life is worth living. Considering how enduring that thought has been, it probably has some merit, and we can apply that to why writers write -- to examine life. A piece of prose or poetry that somehow makes us see -- as writers and readers -- the truth of who we are, good and bad. That's the literature worth reading. James Baldwin's Autobiographical Notes are an enduring piece of literature because they are an examination of his life that teaches us something about our own.

From the outset of the Notes, Baldwin states that, "The story of [his] childhood is the usual bleak fantasy, and we can dismiss it with the restrained observation that [he] would certainly not consider living it again." Maybe we don't all come from homes with a plethora of babies, but it's safe to say that we are all disappointed with our childhoods in some way, and the perplexity is why we all feel like we're the only ones. The understated tone with which Baldwin says his childhood sucked makes you examine your own attitudes and see just how silly it is to dwell on the fact that life wasn't sunshine and daisies growing up. Life is how it is -- get over it.

Just moments after you read that, you read that Baldwin read everything he could lay his hands on, "except the Bible, probably because it was the only book [he] was encouraged to read." We can all chuckle at that and remember times when we refused to do something specifically because we were told -- didn't matter if we knew we should or even if we actually wanted to do whatever it was. We wouldn't do it because we were told and we are independent, self-assertive, intelligent beings, by golly, with no need of direction from the inferior intellect of our parents.

Finally,… [read more]

American Literature Comparing and Contrasting Ideas Ralph Essay

Essay  |  5 pages (1,477 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


American Literature

Comparing and Contrasting Ideas

Ralph Waldo Emerson and Fredrick Douglas both express their ideas and philosophies on a person's happiness and self-fulfillment. Both of these authors have very strong opinions on what they believe constitutes true self-satisfaction. In order to be truly satisfied with not only the way one is living one's life, but with how one carries… [read more]

American Literature Despite Their Different Backgrounds Essay

Essay  |  4 pages (1,537 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


American Literature

Despite their different backgrounds and experiences, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau shared a number of ideas. Compare their views on nature, the individual, and conformity.

Ralph Emerson and Henry David Thoreau were both great writers that had very vivid ideas on nature, the individual, and conformity. They were both outstanding leaders in the transcendentalist movement and… [read more]

Children's Literature the Genre Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (870 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


Children's Literature

The genre of children's literature is not new, in fact, historical records tell us that in the Greek and Roman educational tradition, children were grounded in language and grammar (and one would hope imagination) by reciting poetry and drama. Aesop's Fables have been part of the Western European children's library for at least three hundred years. "And thinkers from Quintilian to John Locke, from St. Augustine to Dr. Seuss, speculated on the ways in which we learn about our langue and our lives from [children"] literature" (Lerer, 2008, 1).

There is some scholarly debate, though, on what actually constitutes "Children's Literature." A broad concept holds that the genre includes books intentionally written for children, "excluding works such as comic books, joke books, cartoon books, and nonfiction works that are not intended to be read from front to back, such as dictionaries, encyclopedias, and other reference material" (Anderson, 2006, 2). The genre could also include books written by children, chosen for children, or chosen by children (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Snow White, and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland). Famous speculative fiction author Orson Scott Card comments, "one can make a good case for the idea that children are often the guardians of the truly great literature of the world, for in their love of story and unconcern for stylistic fads and literary tricks, children unerringly gravitate toward truth and power" (Card, 2001). In addition, though, literacy has changed -- with varying opinions on the efficacy of such -- but many books thought of as adult books when first published are now widely read in primary and secondary schools (e.g. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn). Certainly, the genre is rich with creativity, ideas, and in the contemporary world of multi-culturalism and globalism, ripe for addressing contemporary issues in a variety of innovative ways, albeit typically defined by adults rather than the intended audience.

For the purposes of this essay, though, we will confine ourselves to five major types of children's literature: Realistic, Fantasy, Traditional, Poetry, and Non-Fiction. We will begin with a broad definition of the genre, and then list the appropriate bibliography for that genre organized by grade level. The list is not meant to be comprehensive, but will provide a broad overview and perspective of the individual types of material one might utilize in a classroom.

Realistic Fiction -- Realistic fiction, within children's literature as well as adult, attempts to use situations that are contemporary and part of everyday life and culture to form stories and plot. Instead of an overly romanticized or stylized framework, realistic fiction opts for depictions of typical activities and…… [read more]

British and German Trench Poetry Side Research Proposal

Research Proposal  |  1 pages (385 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


¶ … British and German trench poetry side by side

Teaching British and German trench war poetry side-by-side

One of the difficulties in teaching World War I is that the memory of World War II is often much sharper in the minds of students. The more ambiguous causes of the First World War, and the complex feelings of both German and British soldiers can be lost if there is too much focus on the British War Poets alone. Examining both nationalities' poetic response to war enables a compassionate cross-comparison of both traditions. It enables students to identify both similarities and differences in the responses of German and British war poets, who were responding to the same experience of bloodshed, albeit from different sides of the front lines. It also shows the importance of literature and poetry in the culture of both nations to respond to national crisis, in a way that may be surprising to students today.

The author makes an interesting point that viewing 'the war' as a kind of common aesthetic culture may be a more fair way to evaluate poets such as Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon, than comparing…… [read more]

Sappho's Poetry: Implications for Classical Greece Research Proposal

Research Proposal  |  6 pages (2,025 words)
Bibliography Sources: 5


Sappho's Poetry:

Implications for Classical Greece and Modern Times

Throughout history, artists have reflected and offered commentary on the society of which they are a part. Because their works become immortal, people can have an understanding of different societies centuries after civilizations have disappeared. The works of poets, musicians, novelists, essayists, and the like allow readers across time to form… [read more]

Middle Eastern Poetry Is Often Peppered Term Paper

Term Paper  |  6 pages (2,274 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 5


Middle Eastern Poetry is often peppered with honest assessments of the physical and emotional turmoil of conflict. Poetry in the Middle East tends to be a voice of record, in stylistic descriptions of the conflicts of mind, body and spirit that demonstrate a life (or many lives) in the turmoil of conflict and change. Middle Eastern writers tend to write… [read more]

Confluence of Prose and Poetry Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,758 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 3


Confluence of Prose and Poetry

Women, under the auspices of a system of marriage that left this with very little recourse or power to prosper on their own often felt a sense of powerlessness that encompassed their whole mind and often showed in literature written by them. There are many examples of the kind of powerlessness that brought out within… [read more]

British Poetry of the 19Th Century Essay

Essay  |  5 pages (1,309 words)
Bibliography Sources: 8


¶ … narrative technique in poetry of the nineteenth century is to discuss the various meanings and symbols written in the words of that era. Victorian poetry, including Romantic poetry, included an eclectic mix. The authors of these kinds of poetry loved to experiment and broadened not only the range of English poetry, but also subject-matter, and method, to an unmatched extent. The writers of this era paid attention to narrative because that is how they felt the words would be expressed best. Their focus was that on description, feeling, and persistent thought. Foremost poets like Arnold, Browning, Tennyson, and Keats demonstrated consistent techniques that became synonymous with Victorian and Romantic poetry.

"To Marguerite: Continued" a poem by Matthew Arnold, was first published in 1852. It was intended as a sequel to "Isolation: To Marguerite." And was a part of the title, "To Marguerite, in Returning a Volume of the Letters of Ortis." When examining the poem, the first stanza delivers a metaphor consisting of comparison of humans to islands. These islands, encompassed by the world and life around them, is also surrounded by the sea. The most famous of his lines in the poem: "we mortal millions live alone" can be interpreted as commentary on the lives of people of the Victorian era. People although together, were a world apart, drifting into their own thoughts, feelings, and secrets thus setting the tone for the poem.

His feelings, the speaker of the poem, are for someone, a romantic connection, that he feels is impossible. The poem remarks on life, as incontrollable, dark, and most of all, disconnected, isolative. Using science to explain the once united and connected land mass on earth to the now fragmented nature of the modern world, one can see the hopelessness of this narrative. There is no resolve, no journey to connection, it is simply a capture of the feelings within the poem, of sadness, madness, and confusion.

Although there is some desire for hope: "Oh might our marges meet again!" (), there still lie unresolved despair as the connections the speaker seeks cannot and will not come. And the water, the "estranging sea" is what divides them, the water, the feelings, they are what keep land masses from becoming united into one. The sea is the framing device and the island an example of word play. Although Marguerite was never mentioned, it could be seen as a deleted affair as the romantic desire is there, but not directly expressed.

Browning's "Porphyria's Lover" possesses natural language. However unlike Browning's other, later poems, it lacks the dialectical markers or colloquialisms Browning is more known for. Additionally the pattern of the verses are a rhyming ABABB even though the rhythm of the poem copycats natural speech. The irregularity and power of the pattern proposes insanity hidden within the speaker's coherent self-presentation.

In terms of narrative, it uses a scene typically from Romantic poetry. A storm outdoors, the speaker, warm and comfortable in the cottage. The image of simplicity… [read more]

Chinese Literature Is Always Rooted Essay

Essay  |  4 pages (1,306 words)
Bibliography Sources: 4


Chinese Literature

Literature is always rooted in its historical, cultural, and political context. This is true for modernist literature, which comments on various issues ranging from post-colonial identities, post-colonial governments, and shifting gender norms. In "Love in a Fallen City," the Bai residence is presented as a microcosm of the greater Chinese world contending with modernity and social change. Some family members like the Sixth Sister are fully embracing modernity and seizing the moment. Others, like the Third Brother are too steeped in the past to move forward. Their conservatism proves to be their downfall even if there is some wisdom embedded in their ideals such as family values. In "The Drowning of an Old Cat" there are similar conflicts between the need to retain traditional values and the need to shift norms forward to the future. Like "Love in a Fallen City," the short story "The Drowning of an Old Cat" also refers directly to post-colonialism and shifts in Chinese culture. There is clear tension between the pull towards capitalism and toward socialism. In "Xiaoxiao," the past has a particularly compelling effect and is the backdrop for exploring gender roles and norms in traditional Chinese society. "Xiaoxiao" is set in mainland China, allowing the narrative to incorporate the unique nuances of Communism as it emerged at the beginning of the 20th century. In "Love in a Fallen City," "The Drowning of an Old Cat," and "Xiaoxiao," it is clear that modernist Chinese literature captures the political, social, and economic changes taking place in the trans-Chinese universe.

These three short stories almost serve as historiograhic texts, because they capture the political, social, and economic transformations taking place throughout East Asia. Chinese culture was starting to reveal its fragmentation. Dissatisfaction with outmoded models of political rule led to different factions in the government, reflected in differential visions of the future among the people in the society. These three short stories each show a different facet of early 20th century Chinese culture. In "Love in a Fallen City," the setting is Hong Kong, which was a colonial entity and thus in touch with the outside world's systems of government, economies, and social norms. This is why the characters in "Love in a Fallen City" discuss matters such as stock markets and divorce, which are not things that are discussed in the other two short stories. In "The Drowning of an Old Cat," the setting is Taiwan. Taiwan becomes the symbol of modern progress in Chinese society and the blending of tradition and modernity. The transition from traditional to modernity and the intersection between old ways and new is not always smooth but necessary. Taiwanese literature became nativist in its approach as a reaction against modernism, but also in order to distinguish itself from mainland and other Chinese literary trends. Therefore, stories like "The Drowning of an Old Cat" contain within them rich descriptions that are nostalgic in nature. In this story, there are many references to natural settings as if a reaction… [read more]

Didacticism in English Literature Research Paper

Research Paper  |  7 pages (2,121 words)
Bibliography Sources: 7


Didacticism in English Literature

From whichever, standpoint writers formulate and present their literary works thereemerges a myriad of lessons for the audience to learn from (Stock36). This occurs, not only from the character's perspective but alsofrom the viewpoint of the readers. Creative writers who worked with the likes of Julius Caesar, Canterbury Tales, Gulliver Travels and The Vanity of Human… [read more]

Drama Poetry Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (664 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1


Whereas, the Robert Frost poem, is leaving this open to interpretation and the experiences of the person. These contrasting factors will influence how they comprehend what is taking place and the meanings that are tied to them. ("Macbeth," 2013) (Frost, 1920)

What of the set direction and the dialogue?

The set direction in Macbeth is occurring through a more contemporary view. This is happening by having the characters dress and look like they are part of something which happened in the last 50 years. However, the dialogue is following the traditional script that was written by William Shakespeare in the 16th century. This is different from the Robert Frost poem, with these ideas being set in the time frame it was written and leaving it open to the interpretation of the person who is reading it. ("Macbeth," 2013) (Frost, 1920)

Some found the set direction distracting; some found it significantly enhanced the dialogue?

The set distraction enhanced the dialogue. This is taking place through having everyone using the language and lines of William Shakespeare's time in conjunction with specific actions the characters are involved in. This improves the dialogue and it enhances the audiences understanding of what was happening. It is at this point, when they can relate to these ideas and the lasting impact they are having on everyone. While Robert Frost, is using language from the 20th century and has a certain amount of rhythm to his lines. However, for the individual reading it, this will have an effect on how they interpret what is happening and the lasting impact on everyone. This is illustrating how the set of Macbeth, is improving the audience's comprehension and interpretation of what is happening (versus leaving it open). ("Macbeth," 2013) (Frost, 1920)


Macbeth. (2013). PBS. Retrieved from: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/gperf/episodes/macbeth/watch-the-full-program/1030/

Frost, R. (1920). The Road Not Taken. Bartleby. Retrieved from: http://www.bartleby.com/119/1.html… [read more]

Hammad Poetry Essay

Essay  |  1 pages (332 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1


Regardless, a poem's form must suit its content but there is no one 'correct' way to write a poem. I do not think that more modern poetry is 'better' than older poetry, or even necessarily enjoy it more. I do think that the art form must shift and change constantly if it is to reveal its ultimate aim, which is to speak truth and to use language economically and effectively. Regardless of the length of the poem, what distinguishes poetry from prose is that every word counts. In prose, words are occasionally used to simply get the reader from Point A to Point B, as in a prosaic description of a room. In poetry, there is always a particular significance given to the examples and images crafted by the poet that transcends surface meanings.… [read more]

American Poetry Is Dependent Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (672 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1


There is no background provided on this poem other than it investigates the "martyrdom of a 16th century Dominican friar," which does not really tell the reader if and how this poem addresses issues of democracy, or if it is a contemporary American poem. One of the most frustrating parts of this section is the lack of clarity on the author's behalf. For instance, I was constantly questioning who Giordano Bruno is because he is not introduced anywhere in the paper and the author begins talking about him assuming the reader will know what is being referenced. One of the arguments about Bruno that creates cognitive dissonance, and is somewhat illogical is the sentence: "This is how Bruno strikes us as both a familiar and foreign character, for his ideas are readily assimilated to the inclusive patchwork of the American intellect, while his persecution for such ideas by the state seems totally incongruent with the spirit of the Constitution." I have the most issues with the last part of the sentence, that "his persecution for such ideas by the state seems totally incongruent with the spirit of the Constitution" because there is no explanation given about how Bruno relates to the Constitution.

Overall, the premise of this paper is promising, however, the author needs to work on several issues in order to make it better. The author needs to have a concrete thesis and detail exactly what the paper will cover in the introduction. Additionally, there are many several sentence structures that make the paper difficult to read; simplicity is key when writing so that the reader does not become confused or lost. Also, people -- such as McHugh and Bruno -- need to be introduced properly; the author should never assume that the reader knows what he or she is talking about. The paper also needs to be better organized with body paragraphs focusing on a single aspect of the author's argument. I believe this paper can be strengthened through these…… [read more]

Representation of Death Term Paper

Term Paper  |  10 pages (3,843 words)
Bibliography Sources: 6


When God asks him why, he mocks Almighty God by saying essentially that any man could stand to see his son in pain and could stand there with pride as he took the whip and nails. He says with sarcasm that if God would have had a daughter, He couldn't have borne her passion (as if to say God doesn't… [read more]

Mongolian Poet Galsan Tschinag Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (733 words)
Bibliography Sources: 2


Poetry therefore provides the world with a sacred vehicle for self-expression. It allows the ego to express itself as it must, and in so doing ironically transform its self-centered nature to one that is focused on the transcendent. Peace is a prevailing motif in the poetry of Tschinag and Goethe, both of whom equate nature with peace. For Goethe, that peace is literally stillness and silence. "There is a stillness / On the tops of the hills." Tschinag writes, "For a long time I've been aiming / At the pinnacle / From which I / Shall rise up / As a storm." A space deliberately added between the penultimate and ultimate lines offers a full stop -- so that the phrase "I shall rise up" can be taken to mean an egotistical ambition or a spiritual one. Thus, poetry bridges the needs of the ego with the needs of the spirit.

The reader gains value from poetry from revisiting poems, studying them, and then writing poetry as well. To revisit a poem is to gain the genuine and deep insight into the deeper meanings behind the surface imagery and metaphors. The essence of the poem is embedded beyond the words. Studying poetry is like exercising an organ in the human body; one cannot expect to complete a marathon on first try. Returning to poetry and contemplating the intention of the poet enhances one's understanding and allows the poet to accomplish the goal of helping to connect the individual with the universal. Finally, to write poetry is to participate fully in the healing of humanity. Poetry can be a buffer against the stresses of modernity, or it can enhance an already peaceful existence. As Tschinag puts it, poetry is "the highest-developed organ in the body of human life."

Works Cited

Bly, Robert. "A Meditation on a Poem by Goethe." In News of the Universe. University of California Press, 1995.

Hacken, Richard. "Images of Migration and Change in the German-Language Poetry of Galsan Tschinag." Retrieved online: http://net.lib.byu.edu/estu//tschinag/migration.htm

Tschinag, Galsan. "Defense of Poetry." Retrieved online: http://www.poetryinternationalweb.net/pi/site/collection/article_item/int_article/363/Defence-of-Poetry-1999-Galsan-Tschinag… [read more]

Defense of Poetry Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (711 words)
Bibliography Sources: 2


In Tschinag's poem, though, the love between the narrator and the object of desire is almost secondary to the overarching theme and imagery of nature.

The first line reads, "Now I stood behind you within range." The word "range" has a double meaning, signifying mountains as well as "within range" of hearing or vision. Thus, the poet immediately establishes the connection between man and nature; or, as Tschinag puts it, the "interrelation between Nature and Man." The following line in the poem reads, "a load of storm your new hunter." Here, the storm is the natural metaphor and it represents the desire of the narrator for the beloved. "With the first snow I came to you," the narrator then states. As Tschinag states in "Defense of Poetry," snow and other elements of the Mongolian landscape are inextricably entwined with the Mongolian psyche. Thus, imagery of snow is indispensible in poetic verse. The narrator continues, "and in your presence I swore to heaven / to blow away all the traces of foreign winds on you." Ironically, the narrator reverts to the egotistical "I" point-of-view, by does not break the connection between man and nature. After all, the reference to heaven shows that the narrator has developed a sense of animistic power, feeling that heaven is skyward but immanent in all natural objects. This sense echoes Goethe's sentiment in "Wanderers Nachtlied II," in which the narrator uses the second person point-of-view to convey a sense of spiritual wonder at nature. The narrator is present, and yet the poem is not necessarily about the narrator's state of mind but about reconnecting the reader with ancient roots.

Works Cited

Bly, Robert. "A Meditation on a Poem by Goethe." In News of the Universe. University of California Press, 1995.

Hacken, Richard. "Images of Migration and Change in the German-Language Poetry of Galsan Tschinag." Retrieved online: http://net.lib.byu.edu/estu//tschinag/migration.htm

Tschinag, Galsan. "Defense of Poetry." Retrieved online: http://www.poetryinternationalweb.net/pi/site/collection/article_item/int_article/363/Defence-of-Poetry-1999-Galsan-Tschinag… [read more]

Father Figures Arabian Asian Literature Essay

Essay  |  7 pages (3,208 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3


He would never give up his morals, no matter how pressing the issue. Nabil is obviously irked by his father's righteousness, but even he cannot deny the fact that his father, in his irksome ways, is beyond respectable. The reader by now learns that the father plays the role of an adviser, prophesying the looming outcome.

The story progresses when… [read more]

Multi-Ethnic Literature Term Paper

Term Paper  |  12 pages (3,326 words)
Bibliography Sources: 9


It is noted by Ferguson:

"This was the first little magazine of the depression that sought to bridge the divisions among the older aesthetes like Alain Locke and James Weldon Johnson, her own bohemian Renaissance circle, and the emerging social realists like the Chicago group led by Richard Wright" (192). In an interview, West stated, "The reason I started it… [read more]

Multicultural Literature Research Paper

Research Paper  |  6 pages (2,417 words)
Style: APA  |  Bibliography Sources: 6


1: many different + culture = multicultural. Therefore just about all cultures or perhaps a wide array of cultures should be integrated with no discrimination. 2nd: several think that multicultural literature has been about diversity as well as inclusion towards cultures that have not been our very own. 3rd: quite a few think that multicultural literature has been limited to… [read more]

Modernism, and How the Literature Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (1,084 words)
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Both writers are products of minority race and their race and experiences influenced their writing. Morrison was African-American. Her books, famously The Bluest Eye, Sula, Song of Solomon and Beloved, deal with the struggles of growing up debased and disadvantaged in a humiliated sector of America. The novels detail the characters' travails as victims of child molestation; outcasts of society due to differences in race and gender; ravages of slavery (e.g. "Beloved"); and the difficulty of being different ("Sula"). Roth, on the other hand, filled his books (that include Goodbye, Columbus, Portnoy's Complaint, and Everyman) with his Jewish experience; Portnoy's Complaint deals with Jewish identity in America whilst Everyman describes the hardships of growing old in America.

Morrison deals with feminism and the experiences of living in America as an African-American. Roth describes old age and living in America as a Jew.

Aspects of Contemporary literature are similar to that of Modernism. For instance, Roth's Portnoy's Complaint reminds me of Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover (amongst other works) for a sexual reality that borders on pornography as well as description of fruition in reachignone's goals (and inherent meaninglessness of life). It is also created in the obsessively introspective style that is representative of Kafka and Joyce. Roth's connections to psychology are evident. He also blurs distinction between reality and fiction and leaves one with the same disturbing reflections on existence as one gain after reading the books of Joyce, Kafka and Laurence. The novels of Morrison, too, touch on the pain and agony of being different.

On the other hand, "Portnoy's complaint" touches on topics that are completely new to the Modernist era such as, predominantly, the identity of the assimilated Jew within American society and their relationship with Israel. Even the sexual component is less in sync with Lawrence's lust for life as it is one that is filled with political overtones of the Sexual Revolution, whilst Morrison's books detail subjects such as feminism, slavery, strive to succeed in an increasingly capitalistic and detached world, and African-American persecution.

The contrast between Modernist and Contemporary literature is vast. Both reflect the particular ages that they were created in. Modernism was authored in the late 19th to early 20th centuries when psychodynamics was on its rise; existentialist philosophy was the philosophy of the moment, and man, emerging from one World War was attempting to understand his way in the world and was disillusioned with existence. Religion, too, was supplanted by influential philosophers such as Nietzsche, and break in fall ways was conducted with the past. Modernism and post-modernism, represented by chaos, new experimental forms of style and creation, was the trend of the moment. Much of it was disjointed (as in the style of Joyce) and subversive.

Contemporary themes, however, were written by writers who lived after the Second World War and were dealing with life in the modern century -- in the examples given, in America. Themes included bigotry, technology, the Cold War; being a misfit, a minority, and despair at… [read more]

American Literature Listen to Sinners Essay

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9: Read A Dream within a Dream and Israfel. Post to the discussion group.

Poe's "Israfel" might strike a twenty-first century reader as a little odd: Poe has taken a quotation from the Koran, and writes about an Islamic angel. Does that mean Poe is writing an Islamic poem? Poe's quotation from the Koran describes an angel whose "heart-strings are a lute." In other words, there is no difference between emotion and music for Israfel -- which could be seen as just a definition of an ideal form of poetry. The poem that Poe writes about this idea distinguishes our world from Israfel's angelic world -- for us, "flowers are merely flowers," and the brightest sunshine in our world is like a shadow for Israfel. Poe is therefore using religion as a metaphor, even if the poem does contain some Islamic language (such as "Houris"). In some sense, this makes it easier for Poe to describe the poetic distance between a heavenly ideal and an earthly reality, if he can draw upon a religious tradition that he knows his readers will most likely not belong to.

10: Read Bartleby the Scrivener, a Story of Wall Street. Post to the discussion group.

How is Melville's "Bartleby the Scrivener" a "story of Wall Street"? It is worth noting what Bartleby's actual job was. What does a scrivener do? This is someone who is, using 21st… [read more]

Diversity of the Different Cultures Annotated Bibliography

Annotated Bibliography  |  4 pages (1,467 words)
Bibliography Sources: 15


Ages 8 and up


Chapter book

Lin, G. (2003). Dim Sum for Everyone.

This book is about culture of food. The girl in the book interprets the word dim sum as delicious. The story revolves around the whole aren't and culture of eating. There is nothing which brings together the whole of the nation or family, like eating together.… [read more]

Assigned Readings Essay

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American Literature Before 1865: Anne Bradstreet

A reaction to the Anne Bradstreet story

Ann Bradstreet holds a critical position in American history of writing art. She qualifies as the first American writer of poets. Her first works of poetry do not have many of her best poems. Some of her early works include "The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America": the first female literature to be published in America. Her works demonstrate a documented female struggle of a homemaker in opposition to the adversities of colonial life. Anne constantly struggled through out her entire life until her death. Anne had an exemplary faith and she deeply loved her family as shown in her "To My Dear and Loving Husband." Her works are written to reflect the prolonged periods of loneliness while her husband was busy running political errands. She became an inspiration role model because of her spirituality, humility, and her lack of interest on material affluence.

An impression of the story

The story of Anne Bradstreet gives an impression that the most vital qualities were her strong intuition. It is impossible to ignore her constant fascination with her inner guidance, human mind, and spirit. At a time when women could not air their views and ideas, Anne used her rich polyvalent knowledge and vocabulary thus doing so with ease with lines such as, "I prize thy love more than whole mines of Gold." She is deceptively unsophisticated in her writing style, and she gives an impression of a highly intelligent woman who strongly believes in unconditional faith. Even in her writing, the dreams of women were mere "empty wishes," according to her. Through these tactics, she managed to bring lyrical and commonsensical superiority to her works of literature thus making it pleasant for any person who is willing to read.

How the story relates to my life

Just as I use my diary to record key events in my life, Bradstreet recorded her feelings and notable events of her life in her poems. In one of her poems, she writes, "To My Dear and Loving Husband." This shows how she believes in love and how she values her family despite being a strong woman in a society that condemns women. She did not intend to publish…… [read more]

Children's Literature Despite Its Name, Literary Nonsense Research Paper

Research Paper  |  5 pages (1,583 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3


Children's Literature

Despite its name, literary nonsense plays an important role in the history of culture, and particularly in the case of children's literature. However, while literary nonsense in children's literature has frequently been discussed according to its potential for humor that can be enjoyed by adults and children alike, the relatively subversive nature of literary nonsense in children's literature… [read more]

Why Read Literature Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,491 words)
Bibliography Sources: 4


¶ … value of literature must apply to all human beings alike, not to some group…Men [and presumably women too] ought to value literature for being what it is; they ought to value it in terms and in degrees of its literary value…" (Draughon, Earl Wells, 2003, p. 114).

Literature is available to the literate person for many reasons. For… [read more]

Regional Differences in American Research Paper

Research Paper  |  4 pages (1,469 words)
Bibliography Sources: 5


" (Frost 10) This is illustrating how everyone will have choices and a sense of personal freedom. These ideas are reflecting the Northern society that Frost came from (with these views impacting how he sees the world). This is when these kinds of regional influences (i.e. personal responsibility and a classless society) became a major factor that is emphasized throughout… [read more]

Love and Their Inter-Relations in Manyoshu Research Paper

Research Paper  |  5 pages (1,697 words)
Bibliography Sources: 5


¶ … inter-Relations in Manyoshu

Poetic Wordplay

One of the recurring themes within Manyoshu, a collection of over 4,000 poems (Keene 1955, 33) written by a variety of authors -- some of whom were emperors and their paramours -- is love and the coping with the loss of one's love. The very nature of the Manyoshu lends itself to this… [read more]

Death and Dying Term Paper

Term Paper  |  8 pages (2,694 words)
Style: APA  |  Bibliography Sources: 6


In "Because I Could Not Stop For Death" (1890), Dickinson personifies Death, much like Donne did in his Holy Sonnet, and sees him, not as a slave or subordinate, but rather as a gentleman caller that accompanies her on her final carriage ride. This gentlemanly and chivalrous Death figure does not attempt to hurry the narrator in the poem to… [read more]

Children's Literature "All Work Essay

Essay  |  7 pages (2,790 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 7


" (18). In other words, Tom has made the activity seem as though it required special talent and insight to do it properly, and to make it enjoyable. But the larger joke is that, of course, Tom's initial capitalist scheme -- to possibly pay other boys to do the work for him -- is reversed here: he now gets Ben… [read more]

Historical Representations Literature Review Chapter

Literature Review Chapter  |  3 pages (896 words)
Bibliography Sources: 2


Sappho and Genji

Sappho and "The Tale of Genji"

Sappho and Genji

For most of history, and over most of the planet, women have had to play a secondary role in society. Whether in politics, the arts, or any other aspect of culture, women have traditionally been relegated to the background, and thus the examples of women artists throughout history have been few and far between. Two exceptions were the ancient Greek female poet, Sappho, and the 11th century Japanese noblewoman and author, Murasaki Shikibu. Because these two artists were women, their works have a unique point-of-view and present women in a way that is unique and refreshing; and while they were separated by thousands of miles and hundreds of years, they have many aspects in common. Both artists used vivid descriptive prose and expressed their personal feelings in their writings. But while they did have some aspects in common, the way women are portrayed in their work is very different.

Sappho was an ancient Greek poet who was born to an aristocratic family and lived sometime around 600 BC on the island of Lesbos in the Aegean Sea. Ancient Greece was a society dominated by men, but Sappho's works are centered on women. Before her time, Greek literature was the domain of the gods and goddesses, and written from their point-of-view. But Sappho steered Greek literature toward a more personal point-of-view; the view of the individual human being. She was one of the very first poets in Greek literature to write from the perspective of the first person, and her writings are her own personal reflections on the love and pain involved in her personal life. For instance, Sappho was involved in a relationship with a young woman named Atthis; and expressed her love for the girl stating, "I loved you, Atthis, once long ago, a little child you seemed to me and graceless." (Sappho "Atthis" [fragment 49]) in accordance with the style of the time, Sappho wrote her poems to be performed with musical accompaniment, and because this music was almost exclusively performed with a lyre, artists who created in this style are called "lyrists." Sappho's work is almost entirely devoted to love, longing, or her personal feelings. As a love poet, her tone is often soft and gentle; filled with erotic imagery and adoration, mainly toward other women.

The best available date for the birth of Murasaki Shikibu is 973 AD, more than fifteen hundred years after the Greek poet Sappho lived. In 11th century Japan, it was the custom to use written Japanese for common communications while all official and literary work was done in classical Chinese. Because Japan was a highly segregated society,…… [read more]

Using Children's Literature to Explore Social Issues Essay

Essay  |  4 pages (1,280 words)
Bibliography Sources: 5


¶ … Children's Literature to Explore Social Issues

Social Literature for Children

In many ways, the prudent application of children's literature in a classroom environment can be considered one of the most efficacious means of exploring the complexity of social issues within today's world. This statement holds particularly true for the educational processes within certain segments of Canada, which has become increasingly enveloped by a diverse, multicultural population that can be stratified into a number of socio-economic categories and ethnicities. Children's literature, then, can help developing learners adopt a stance of tolerance and acceptance that can conceivably aid tomorrow's generation in living in a world that is more equitable than the present one, since "the ultimate goal of social action is the creation of a fairer and more just society for all people regardless of race, culture, class, or gender" (Responding To Literature 419). The key to doing so within a Canadian setting is to identify what sort of social issues are most germane to residents of that part of the world, to select the proper literature that can augment the exploration and understanding of these social issues, and to discern the most didactic means for engaging children with literature that will ultimately shape their viewpoints and regards for today (and tomorrow's society).

Perhaps one of the reasons that children's literature can be so useful towards the excavation of social issues is due to the overarching importance of literacy within the cognitive thought processes and development of young people. This particular viewpoint cannot be emphasized enough, and is largely alluded to in the following quotation from Energizing Ontario Education, a treatise in which Ontario, Canada-based educators have outlined their current and future goals for their educational institutions.

"Literacy is defined as the ability to use language and images in rich and varied forms to read, write, listen, view, represent, and think critically about ideas. It involves the capacity to access, manage, and evaluate information; to think imaginatively and analytically; and to communicate thoughts and ideas effectively. Literacy includes critical thinking and reasoning to solve problems and make decisions related to issues of fairness, equity, and social justice. Literacy connects individuals and communities and is an essential tool for personal growth and active participation in a cohesive, democratic society (6).

The potential application as a medium for educating students about social issues and actually effecting social change through the proper usage of children's literature is fairly apparent in the preceding quotation. By combining a proclivity towards grammar, spelling, and the other mechanical components of language with the potential to shape thoughts regarding important social principles of "fairness" and "social justice," inducing literacy within children at an early age is a highly appropriate medium for getting newcomers to consider their surroundings and the reasons for why things are the way that they are.

Furthermore, a brief analysis of recent statistics regarding the demographics in certain portions of Canada reveal that there are a number of impending social issues which residents, and in… [read more]

American Literature Exercise 5.1B: Suspense Essay

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American Literature

Exercise 5.1B: Suspense

The author, John Hersey, manages to create suspense by simply revealing what the deadly, life-altering events that were going to occur were. By providing details about this catastrophic immediate future that waited everyone, the reader gets a sense of suspense just reading about what people were doing just moments before the event actually occurred. The… [read more]

Romantic Literature 1st Blog Page Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (1,109 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3


Romantic Literature

1st Blog Page

In the first blog page, this author will summarize the Book of Urizen by Blake as an archetype. This "book" which is a parody of the biblical Book of Genesis is named for the character Urizen in Blake's mythology. Urizen represents humanity's alienated reason as the source of its oppression. Blake describes Urizen as the "primeval priest" and explains how he came to be separated from all the other Eternals. Due to this, he creates his own alienated and enslaved realm of religious dogma. The characters Los and Enitharmon both are able to create a space within Urizen's fallen universe in order to give birth to their son Orc who represents the spirit of revolution and freedom (Blake, and Grant, 140-144). Although Frye in our text does not make mention of it, in the opinion of this author, it reminds them of the Genesis Apocryphon since it seems more Gnostic in form since Urizen appears more similar to the demiurge of the Gnostics than to a benevolent creator that we see in the Judeo-Christian tradition ("Bibliotecapleyades.net").

The unique archetype literally runs in Urizen's family as we see in the Book of Ahania. It was produced by Blake at the same time as produced the Book of Los. In this book, we meet Ahania, Urizen's son in the midst of the rebellion of another son, Fuzon. The creation story is essentially retold according to Ahania's telling of the story and from his viewpoint (ibid, 160). Certainly, one can not but be stunned by the parallel with the rebellion of Lucifer against God in the Bible ("McDonald Road.org") .

This would mean that he is not totally beholden to the traditions of the Bible. However, Frye goes on to comment that it could simply be that such unconventionality may simply be to the huge size of Blake's intellect. He had a very comprehensive knowledge of the world and his creation of a primeval "eternal" character such as Urizen could simply be his own poetic creation that fits in no standard existing archetype that existed before he put the book of Urizen to pen and ink. Indeed, in this vein one may see parallels with Dante, which would certainly mean no attack on Christian orthodoxy (ibid).

2nd Blog Page

In Milton, its hero is naturally, John Milton. In the story Milton returns from heaven and joins forces with Blake to explore the relationship between living writers and their predecessors in the craft. In addition, they undergo a mystical journey to correct Blake's own spiritual errors (ibid, 234).

The apocryphal musings of Blake bring us to Harold Bloom. Rather than focusing on Blake's work as an archetype, Bloom raises a much more basic thematic question, namely what is the purpose of literature anyway? In other words, the overarching theme of all Blake's greatest work was where he explored the heavenly visions, determining that one cannot remain there, but then must return to earth. The purpose is to analyze this… [read more]

Derek Walcott the Antilles Fragments of Epic Memory Essay

Essay  |  4 pages (1,350 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Poetry to Walcott is a gloss, a veneer on the original language. One has the phenomena of the original world -- houses, trees, vegetation, all creation let us say -- and then a veneer on this world that makes it present itself in a different way -- a more glorifying way to the humans that perceive tit and that, consequently, praise, or attempt to describe it. Poetry is the unreal foisted on the real. Put it this way, Walcott beautifully describes poetry as an "island that breaks away from the main."

What he was spectator to in reality, what he was seeing was a group of Indian boys performing Ramleela, the dramatization of the Ramayana in some small Indian village. The actors were dressed in red and black. They were waving their arrows whilst acting in a background that consisted of low blue mountains, bright grass, and masses of fluctuating clouds. But this is not the way that Walcott perceived it. To him, the music and tonality that permeated the action, the performers, and this scene clothed everything with a different light -- clothed it all with the light of grace and love, and doing so transformed it into an aura of infinitesimal levels of transcendental meaning and character. In fact, the entire scene was transformed into one that Walcott described was fit for gods and goddesses.

Poetry, therefore, for Walcott was an idealization of the reality. It was not the reality itself, but rather the way that the artist, or the individual person saw the scene, and, therefore, could be far removed from any actuality. It may be the way that the lover describes his beloved; or the way that the ecstatic person describes the day. The beloved may be an ugly, wretched hag. The day may be miserable. But, both caught up in their transportation, perceive the object and other in idealized, transcendental manners.

"Under an open shed on the edge of the field, there were two huge armatures of bamboo that looked like immense cages." In ordinary circumstances, these "two huge armatures of bamboo" would have been precisely what they were" simply two trees. Given the present circumstances, Walcott saw them as "the body of a god, his calves or thighs, which, fitted and reared, would make a gigantic effigy," correctly comparing his shift in perception to Shelley's conversion of a fallen statue into the King of Kings, Ozymandias and his empire. This is what poetry is: a distortion of reality.

It is interesting to note that the author seems to associate poetry in connection only with uniquely positive events. An unhappy person, too, sees reality in distorted manner, seeing a neutral day, for instance, in the exaggerated pitch of darkness, cloudiness, and heaviness. Bent under his suffering, percepts become distorted just as equally as they do to the transported individual. Yet, we do not describe reality in these circumstances to constitute poetry. And, it seems to me, that Walcott would agree. This, however, is thought-provoking for… [read more]

American Literature Frederick Douglas' Autobiography "The Narrative Essay

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American Literature

Frederick Douglas' autobiography "The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas" and Kate Chopin's short story "A Pair of Silk Stockings" put across accounts from the lives of two African-Americans living in the nineteenth century. Whereas the action in "A Pair of Silk Stockings" takes place somewhere around the turn of the century, Frederick Douglas' account is told from the perspective of a man who lived through slavery and who is determined to contribute to ending it. In spite of the fact that slavery is no longer present in Kate Chopin's short story, one can still understand that African-Americans were discriminated at the time and that they were associated with poverty.

Douglas is prevented from achieving freedom by the slavery system, as it was thriving during the period. In contrast, Mrs. Sommers is kept into place by the fact that she is poor. Her poverty influences her in having a feeling of inferiority, as she apparently wants to compensate by spending the little money that she has on pieces of clothing that she cannot afford. She feels that clothes are very important in raising one's self-esteem and that it is essential for her to invest her finances in her appearance. Similarly, Douglas considers that education will save him from the harsh living that he is experiencing in work camps. While Mrs. Sommers acknowledges that her success will not last for long, Douglas' perspective is less bleak, given that he is certain concerning his well-being in the North. Douglas practically longs to live a life like the one that Mrs. Sommers is living. Education and the hope that he will one day escape slavery is what empower Douglas to continue his efforts. In spite of their initial success in society, both Douglas and Mrs. Sommers reach a stage when they realize that they have to return to their complicated lives. Even with that, Douglas eventually recovers and realizes that his only chance to happiness stands in escaping slavery.

2) The character of Dexter Green in F. Scott Fitzgerald's "Winter Dreams" is focused on engaging in enterprises that will provide him with a place in the "wealthy people" club. The fact that his father owns a thriving grocery store presents him with the money scene and fuels him into wanting more from life. The fact that he does not hesitate to get a job as a caddy for the local golf club actually demonstrates that he is a hard-working individual who knows that one has to start from the bottom in order to achieve positive results. His encounter with his boss' daughter, Judy Jones, plays an essential role in motivating him to move further and to abandon his job.

Following college, Dexter seriously upgrades his social status by engaging in a laundering business with a partner. This motivates him to return home, partly because this will get him the chance to join the league of rich individuals and partly because money no longer stands as an impediment between him and… [read more]

Oranges the Purpose of Literature Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (809 words)
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These include: "touch," "gloves," "light," and "fire." All these words create a feeling of warmth to combat the prior imagery invoking feelings of cold. However, these are all pleasantly warm things. The fire at the end of the poem is not one of violent destruction, but imagery of a burning that saves a frozen body. By contrasting the two types of imagery, the writer forces the reader to remember what it felt like the first time that they fell in love, or at least the first time they had a crush. The cold is symbolic of the isolation a person feels when he or she is alone in the world. The warm images are designed to parallel the comfort and happiness a person feels when he or she has the love of another person.

Finally, it is interesting that Gary Soto uses a first-person narrator for his poem. Poetry, because of its very form, is a personal form of literature. To place the narration in a first-person, Soto is identifying heavily with the person who is narrating the story. A first-person narrator provides the text with authority. Instead of being told a story of a young boy who felt his first emotions of love and attraction, the reader is placed inside the mind of this young man and is allowed to feel what he felt in the same ways that he did.

These three components of poetry (tone, imagery, and narration) work together to force the reader to feel more strongly with the narrator of the work than if other literary devices were utilized. The aspects Gary Soto chose to focus on were intentionally used to ensure that the reader would have a personal reaction to the story of the poem. Soto does everything possible to have the reader placed in the mindset of the young man who is feeling his first love. He provides a tone of nostalgia which immediately asks the reader to think back upon their own youths to times when they also loved foolishly. Everyone has had the feeling of excitement when the person they desired touched their hand for the first time. Soto uses imagery like this to bring out those feelings in his readers. He also uses a first-person narrator rather than a third-person omniscient. This forces the reader to see through the eyes of the narrator and to experience this memory as he does.


Soto, Gary.…… [read more]

Poetry Anthology Project Term Paper

Term Paper  |  10 pages (3,415 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Power of Imagery Explored in Poetry

David Ignatow

William Wordsworth

Maurice Kenny

Denis Levertov

Robert Frost

Joy Harjo

Elizabeth Bishop


William Shakespeare

Louise Gluck

Poetry's best friend is the imagination. Without the ability to imagine, poets and readers would cease to exist. Poets utilize many elements to ignite imagination, with imagery being one of their most popular devices. From… [read more]

Children's Literature Author Study Term Paper

Term Paper  |  5 pages (2,120 words)
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Children's Literature: Author Study

Most children are well acquainted today with the series the Narnia Chronicles, written by CS Lewis. Born on November 29, 1898, in Belfast Ireland, Clive Staples Lewis is a world renowned writer whose fame goes well beyond the aforementioned series. For his contemporaries, especially for the American and British public, as well as for his students,… [read more]

Postcolonial Literature How Do Factors of Race and Gender Further Complicate the Relations of Class Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (1,042 words)
Bibliography Sources: 4


Postcolonial Literature

"Everytime I think I have forgotten, / I think I have lost the mother tongue, / it blossoms out of my mouth. / Days I try to think English: / I look up, / paylo kallo kagdo / oodto jai, huhvay jzaday pohchay / ainee chanchma kaeek chay / the crow has something in its beak." -- Sujata Bhatt

The immigrant is defined by his language; it is entangled with the "very roots" of his being (Kumar 17). As an immigrant struggles to find his identity in the world, there is one element that will always define him -- his language. "Those of us who do use English do so in spite of our ambiguity towards it…To conquer English may be to complete the process of making ourselves free" (17). This is clearly illustrated in A.K. Ramanujan's poem entitled "Self-Portrait," in which we meet a person who is writing in English thus obviously influenced by Western culture, however, when he sees himself in a shop window, his "self-portrait," he sees himself as the product of his racial ethos and nation. "I resemble everyone / but myself," he says. Here we seen an obsession with private ancestral memories, leading to a search for racial roots (Rukhaiyar & Prasad 125).

Likewise, China Achebe's Things Fall Apart was written in English, suggesting that he wrote it not for his Nigerian people, but he wrote it for the West. In the work, he critiques and attempts to correct the vision of Africa that was created by other writers of the colonial period. Achebe tackles the problem with communication between the Igbo and the missionaries. "Among the Igbo the art of conversation is regarded very highly, and proverbs are the palm-oil with which words are eaten" (5). This sentence shows the reader how the formality in the Igbo language caused confusion when dealing with the Europeans. The Europeans are direct and efficient in their dealings, but the Igbo value the art of rhetoric and incorporate metaphors and imagery, which, to the missionaries, seems highly inefficient.

Achebe writes Things Falls Apart from a peacemaking position. He is desperately trying to understand his past as a way of finding his identity. Rather than coming from a place of absolute pessimism, Achebe, in fact, is able to make the search for his identity in a postcolonial world a positive quest. He is using education, incorporating the Igbo language, to reinvent his own sense of self. He is showing that there can be an existence of two languages. By writing in English, he is recreating himself and finding an identity that may not be the one he was born with, but he is also making it clear that he hasn't forgotten where he comes from. In other words, he will find his own identity through the English language which will inevitably be infiltrated with his own culture and language.

Salman Rushdie's story "The Prophet's Hair" gives the reader a strong sense of how conformist Muslims profoundly believe… [read more]

Assessment on Poetry Assessment

Assessment  |  3 pages (870 words)
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¶ … poetry? Why or not?

An absolute YES, and for various reasons. From a practical standpoint, poetry allows students to experience the language, to make connections that are otherwise not apparent, and to entertain, get children to talk about language (and not just children), and to make intellectual discoveries that are not necessarily easy. Party of being a teach is motivating children to learn -- what better way to teach reading than to use poetry? Poetry helps in other ways, too: memorization, public speaking, the ability to explain abstract thoughts, and a way to translate words into art. What better way to translate prose into images, and have the students understand and explain such (Paschen, et.al. 2005)?

What has been your response to poetry and/or the students in your charge, and what do you think influenced such responses?

Clearly, it depends on the poem, and the way it is presented. If poetry is used in regularly to help children understand the emotional response to literature, it can be an enlightening and empowering experience. For instance, using holiday poems, or poems that express a particular sense of the emotion the child is feeling, an event, etc. makes it all the more viable and robust. The real power of poetry, though, is not just reading, but actually allowing the children to write and participate in the learning experience. There are so many different types of poems that children can use to express themselves, and frankly, once they are able to visualize that they can indeed express themselves in ways that are nonsensical, deep, meaningful, emotional, etc., they are often quite comfortable using this medium to help them understand and interact/react with their world (See also: Moore, 1999).

Poetry is meant to be seen on the page AND read aloud. Choose a poem from the anthology you read for this class. First, analyze how its look on the page - its font, the layout, the illustrations that accompany it. Then read it aloud, first to yourself and then to someone else, and analyze the effect of the poem?

" your response to it - according to how it sounds. (Consider the items authors choose from on the "Lit Techniques and Elements" posted earlier in the term).

Source: Always Surprised -- Owl Started This. From Cowing, S. (1996) Fire in the Sea.

1. Page layout -- Childlike drawing of owl in brown tones with oriental script; page shows poem on right, laid out for easy reading as well as story line.

2. Illustrations -- Almost primitive, one can tell it is an owl, but the wings, for instance,…… [read more]

Element of Literature Theme or Conflict Essay

Essay  |  7 pages (2,503 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3


¶ … Conflict

The Theme of Freedom in Three Works

What is freedom and how does it arrive? This challenging question has been answered in various ways through literature as well as philosophy. It remains a stable concern for every new generation of thinkers and for each new situation tackled in literary works. Narratives and poems have suggested alternative arrangements… [read more]

Children's Literature Picture Books Allard Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,160 words)
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One evening she transforms her parents and her little sister for a life on the town. The book is designed for a primary level audience.

Swanson, Susan. The House in the Night. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. 2008. Print.

A young girl is offered a golden key to a house. A giant bird leads her on a fantastic journey that begins small and is confined within the house but grows and takes on celestial proportions as the repetitive story continues. This book will most appeal to preschoolers and early primary level children.

Weisner, David. Flotsam. New York: Clarion Books. 2006. Print.

A young beachcomber is searching the beach for anything that has washed up when he finds a rare treasure, a Melville underwater camera. He develops the film and as he looks at the pictures, he finds amazing fantastic shots of underwater mechanical fish, civilizations living on the backs of starfish, and most amazingly, a picture of a girl holding a picture of a boy holding a picture, and so on. As he looks through the magnifying class, he discovers that the pictures continue back to the very first pictures ever taken. After taking a picture of himself with the amazing camera, he tosses it back into the water for the next beachcomber to find. This book is designed for a primary audience.

Willems, Mo. Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! New York: Hyperion Books for Children. 2003. Print.

The bus driver has to leave his post for a moment, and as he leaves, he instructs the readers not to let the pigeon drive the bus. The pigeon starts out sweetly requesting to drive, and he becomes more and more demanding as the readers tell him no, until finally he begins screaming. The bus driver returns and the pigeon leaves, only to find a tractor trailer where he begins the whole process over again. The book is geared towards preschoolers.

Zelinsky, Paul. Rapunzel. New York: Dutton Children's Books. 1997. Print.

This picture book is a retelling of the story of Rapunzel. Richly illustrated in Renaissance-like artwork, the Caldecott Award book adds a new twist: in this version, Rapunzel is pregnant with the Prince's baby and celebrates a hasty wedding in the tower after he manages the long climb up to the window via her reddish-gold locks. The book is appropriate for early readers and up.

Fiction for Middle-Elementary Grades

Clements, Andrew and Mark Elliott. No Talking. New York: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers. 2007. Print.

Dave, a fifth-grader, is astonished to learn in a report about India that Mahatma Gandhi spent one day of each week in silence to give his mind a rest. Dave attempts to give it a try, but being a constant talker, he finds it difficult to remain silent. He and a friend convince the entire fifth grade class to try the experiment. Despite a long-standing animosity, the boys and girls in the classroom form a bond during their periods of silence by trying… [read more]

Family:' Familial Love in Literature While Romantic Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (1,239 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 3


¶ … family:' Familial love in literature

While romantic, erotic, and even platonic (friendly) love may vary in their significance across cultures, it is difficult to name a society that does not give great significance to familial love. The genetic bond between family members is completely involuntary, and chosen by biology and circumstance, rather than the individual human will. However, despite the fact that it is almost impossible to survive without some sort of family ties, the subject of family love is almost invariably linked to violence, as in the case of Theodore Roethke's "My Papa's Waltz," "A Good Man is Hard to Find" by Flannery O'Connor, and Hamlet by William Shakespeare. The uncomfortable closeness of family love -- sometimes wonderful, sometimes terrible -- brings discord, tension, and even death in these tales.

"My Papa's Waltz" by Roethke depicts an intense, almost violent scene: the speaker's father arrives home after drinking, and begins to dance with the boy. The boy evidently admires his father despite the smell of whisky on the father's breath. And despite the fact the father beats the time of the waltz on the boy's head, the boy is still "clinging" to his father's shirt as the child is waltzed off to bed. The father is powerful yet undisciplined and the boy his absolutely no control over the relationship: "But I hung on like death:/Such waltzing was not easy." To experience his father's love, the boy must go along with his father's moods and whims. Yet the child loves his father enough that he allows himself to be swept up by the joy of the experience.

The father is slightly dangerous, as is evidenced by the alcohol he has been drinking and the dizziness of the boy. The father is not tender, or orderly, like the mother who is frowning at the father for being out drinking so late. The mother is obviously the everyday caretaker and discipliner, relegated to a world of pots and pans that rattle and slide from the shelves, rather than the subject of the boy's filial loyalty. The boy cannot resist feeling love for his father, and ignoring his mother even though: "The hand that held my wrist / Was battered on one knuckle; / At every step you missed / My right ear scraped a buckle."

In contrast, the family of "A Good Man is Hard to Find" by Flannery O'Connor is petty and squabbling and seemingly without affection. Everyone in the family is at odds, not just the father and mother as in the case of the Roethke poem. The story begins with the grandmother of the tale complaining that she wants to visit her family in Tennessee rather than go to Florida. Instead of showing her respect, her grandson says: "If you don't want to go to Florida, why dontcha stay at home?" He resists closeness with her, rather than embraces it. The family is close physically, as symbolized by their encasement in a car on their road trip,… [read more]

Postmodernism in American Literature Death Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (640 words)
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Postmodernism in American Literature

Death of a Salesman is, a play written by Arthur Miller, can be loosely considered as postmodern literature by virtue of its being written in 1949, after World War II when most critics supposed the postmodern era began. Looking at Miller's play on a deeper level and analyzing its elements, one can see that it indeed adheres to the postmodern movement.

The play is told from the perspective of the main character, Willy Loman who is a 63-year-old salesman. Willy Loman is a rather unsuccessful salesman, only receiving small commission. He is obsessed with achieving the American Dream of being materially successful and in the process, he loses his mind. There are a few times when the play focuses on the other characters such as Biff, Happy, Linda, and Charley and the perspective shifts from Willy's point-of-view to these characters' points-of-view. These shifts in perspective are characteristic of postmodern works as Tamara Ponzo Brattoli pointed out in her article about postmodernism.

In Death of a Salesman, when the perspective shifts from Willy Loman to the other characters, time, as well as place, does not change. This is in contrast to Willy Loman's perspective where the story is discontinuous and fragmented. This is illustrated in the breaks in continuity characterized by Willy Loman's daydreams. There are shifts in time when these breaks occur. A scene starts with the present time and as the scene is disrupted by Willy Loman's daydreams wherein shifts in time occur. The present day drifts to memories from the past or to imagined conversations with other characters. Take one scene for example, when Willy comes home from an unsuccessful sales trip and he complains to his older son, Biff. When Biff and his younger brother, Happy, reminisce their adolescence, Willy engages in a daydream where he commends his sons for washing his car. In this scene, Willy's sons are shown to be young.…… [read more]

Elizabethan Love Poetry Is Laden With Themes Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (939 words)
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Elizabethan love poetry is laden with themes related to morality, such as in relation to sexual relations. Many Elizabethan poems also address morality in the general context of ethics and social grace. Morality is sometimes referred to in a political context as well. William Shakespeare's Sonnet #29 is one such poem that addresses morality within the context of politics and social norms. Sonnet #29 displays the poet's remarkable ability to convey moral meaning without being pedantic. Moreover, the sonnet reveals a secular set of morals. Alternatively, a set of religious Christian morals is addressed in Mary Sidney Herbert, Countess of Pembroke's Psalm 51. Simply calling her poems psalms reveals Herbert's religiosity. The poem also reads like a guilt-ridden confessional and therefore has a different tone than Shakespeare's Sonnet #29. Shakespeare and Herbert demonstrate the distinction between secular and religious moral attitudes that emerged in Elizabethan England.

One of the differences between secular and religious morality is that secular morality refers simply to being in conflict with mundane social norms, whereas religious morality refers to a state of sin. In other words, Herbert suggests that following social norms is insufficient; a person must be in tune with God. Shakespeare, on the other hand, implies that social norms define morality. For example, the narrator of Shakespeare's Sonnet #29 begins by stating he or she is "in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes," (l 1). Shakespeare's sonnet completely lacks any reference to God in the context of moral righteousness. The narrator is concerned about his or her social standing and of being an outcast but not necessarily about angering God or facing spiritual perdition. Mary Sidney Herbert, on the other hand, describes moral virtue only within the context of a relationship with God. The narrator of Herbert's Psalm 51 places moral transgression squarely within the framework of spiritual sin and implores, "wipe, O Lord, my sins from sinful me," (l 4).

Another difference between secular and religious morality is the preferred method of absolution. When the narrator of Shakespeare's Sonnet #29 seeks absolution he or she does not petition the Lord. In fact, the narrator does not seem remorseful at all. The last line of the sonnet reads, "I scorn to change my state with kings," which suggests that the narrator feels morally justified for whatever action led to his being a pariah (l 14). On the other hand, Herbert's narrator in Pslam 51 repeatedly begs the Lord for grace and forgiveness. Likewise, the narrator of Herbert's poem expresses shame in a way that the narrator of Shakespeare's Sonnet #29 does not. "My filthy fault, my faulty filthiness," is an example of how the narrator feels inherently dirty and sinful (Herbert l 9). The narrator of Shakespeare's Sonnet #29 is angry at himself but does not feel so innately sinful. For example,…… [read more]

Romantic Modern Post Modern Literature Thesis

Thesis  |  4 pages (1,607 words)
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Romantic, Modern and Postmodern Literature

There is a great deal of debate about the demarcation points or the areas of transition between romanticism, modernism and postmodernism. On the one hand, many see the modernist movement in art and literature as being, in some senses, an extension of the themes and the intentions of the late romantics like W.B. Yeats; and… [read more]

Explication of Poetry Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (733 words)
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¶ … Art

Elizabeth Bishop's poem, "One Art," is a study on the ironies we encounter when as we move through life. While many of us strive to be masters of our art, or talent, we rarely desire to become a master at losing things. While this may be true, the poet demonstrates how this art can be easily achieved almost on a daily basis. Bishop illustrates how the art of losing is not difficult to mater through examples in her own life. She moves from seemingly unimportant things to perhaps extremely significant things and then to extremely important personal things that she lost to prove her point.

In the fist lines of the poem, the poet introduces us to her theory, that the art of loss "isn't hard to master / so many things seem filled with the intent / to be lost that their loss is no disaster" (Bishop 1-3). These first few lines are painfully honest and ironic in that no one sets out to be a master at the art of loss - it just happens in out lives. With this notion, the poet continues in the same vein by focusing on some things that she has lost without meaning to have lost them. For example, she points out that many of us lose something every day - from keys to time when we waste an hour doing something worthless. In this respect, we can see how losing can become an art without much effort at all. The second stanza, the poet elaborates on her theory by focusing on "places, names, and where it was you meant / to travel" (8-9). By doing these things, the poet points out, one is not actually involved in so much of a disaster as the art of losing.

In the fourth stanza, the poet turns to more personal losses, as she begins speaking in first person. She begins with seemingly small items of not much interest, including her "mother's watch" (10) and moves quickly to larger more significant items, such as her "next-to-last" (11) house. It is interesting to note that the poet draws attention to things that are lost and things that simply do…… [read more]

Responding to Literature Term Paper

Term Paper  |  1 pages (438 words)
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¶ … people view metaphysical poetry as contrived, but I tend to find this view flawed. The poetry is not a plot to confuse the audience, but it is more of a deeper meaning of a connection between two previously unrelated objects that the poet sees himself. Just because the reader might not understand that connection, does not mean that it is not there. I personally believe that there are some connections in metaphysical poetry which truly do work. A more obvious example of the conceits of this type of poetry as successful is in the work of George Herbert's "Easter Wings." Not only does Herbert make metaphysical connections with the words of the poem, he does so with the visual structure as well. The actual stanzas look like wings, and the rise and fall of the action coincides with the angles of the wing shape. This is a connection which brings the religious ideals into the visual frame of the reader.

John Donne's famous work "Death Be Not Proud," personifies death in a much different way than the normal idea of death as scary and fearful. In fact, Donne does the exact opposite, and strips death of all its fearful images saying that the act of taking life is not up to him, and that he is a…… [read more]

American Literature: From Colonialism to Realism Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (520 words)
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American Literature: From Colonialism to Realism

Some of the first American literature was authored in the Colonial period. Both European visitors and Colonists authored pamphlets and brochures explaining life in the colonies during this period. Captain John Smith is thus considered to be the first American author. Other major writers from this period include George Percy, William Penn, and John Lawson.

Central to the Colonists' concern were the religious disputes that had prompted them to re-locate to America. John Winthrop describes the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in great detail in a journal. Chief among the early American poets were Michael Wigglesworth and Anne Bradstreet.

After the Revolution, the Federalist papers - essays penned by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay - would become a classic of American political literature. Thomas Jefferson is also considered to be one of the most talented and prolific authors of this era, having penned the Declaration of Independence, Notes on the State of Virginia, and countless letters.

The post-Revolutionary period produced more than just political writing, however. It also gave birth to the first American novel - the Power of Sympathy by Hill Brown. American writers had yet to discover a distinctly American style, though. Many of the earliest American novels are heavily derivative of the Gothic style that was popular in England at this time.

It was not until the early 19th century that a distinctly American style of writing emerged in the works of such prolific authors as Edgar Allan Poe, Washington Irving, and James Fennimore Cooper. In the middle…… [read more]

American Poetry Term Paper

Term Paper  |  5 pages (1,408 words)
Style: APA  |  Bibliography Sources: 1


Robert Frost's Poetry

Robert Frost is America's poet. Living a life dedicated to poetry, Frost wrote some of the best and most-admired poetry in American literature. Frost is famous because his poetry reads well - it seems simple but there is always something else going on if one takes the time to look. Frost is also known for utilizing the… [read more]

Canon Defining African-American Literature Term Paper

Term Paper  |  6 pages (2,062 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 1+


¶ … African-American Literature

The African-American Literary Cannon

The African-American Literary Canon is not easy to define briefly. Still, the corpus of African-American literature is clearly modeled on a few distinct characteristics. First of all, the roots of African-American Literature have to be taken into consideration. While establishing a canon, the common tie which unites the different writers, over a… [read more]

New Revolution Literature Term Paper

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New Revolution Literature

The Literature of the New Republic 1776-1836

The Declaration of Independence of 1776 is probably the most significant moment in American history of all times. This date marks the end of America's War of Independence, when the thirteen colonies existent at that time finally were finally liberated from the dominance of the British Empire. Besides the undoubted… [read more]

American Literature, Like All Other Nationalistic Term Paper

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American Literature, like all other nationalistic literature has had an evolution that marks frequently changing opinions with regard to what are to be included in the voice of literature. What do we consider the "classic" works of American literature and how do such representations display what is American literature? What it means to be American literature has expanded, as the… [read more]

Personae in Literature the Yellow Wallpaper Crazy Term Paper

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Personae in Literature

The Yellow Wallpaper" crazy, obsessed, subjugated, depressed, sad. The author uses voice in this story, the voice of the narrator, which is disjointed, sad, and increasingly mad to show the narrator's sadness, subjugation, obsession, and depression. The voice of the narrator changes as the story moves on, showing her descent into madness, and it shows how her husband subjugates and patronizes her, in her own words. The voice in this story is a voice of despair, and only the reader knows how sad and depressed she really is.

After Apple-Picking" tired, busy, outdoorsy, natural, funny. The author uses voice in this poem to give a very clear picture of a man picking far too many apples to enjoy the job any longer. Some will go into cider, some will be eaten, and some will be stored. This voice shows the man is industrious but tired, ready for a long, deep sleep, and enjoys the outdoors, but not such consistent hard work. The poem is amusing, which shows the man has a sense of humor and can laugh at himself, but also that he is busy, probably a farmer, and intent on getting…… [read more]

Poetry Has Often Been an Innocuous Demand Term Paper

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Poetry has often been an innocuous demand of social and political change, as it can be quickly developed and then easily smuggled out of any situation in the coat pocket of the writer or another, or even written years later in memory of an event or situation, where life and/or liberty has been lost. The images that poetry often conveys… [read more]

Poetry as Social Challenge in Any Situation Term Paper

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Poetry as Social Challenge

In any situation of social or indeed personal upheaval, artists and writers play a central role in shaping the collective consciousness of their environment. Langston Hughes and Adrienne Rich are no exceptions. While Hughes takes a less angry position than Rich, both poets in their own way calls people to political action, and to an awareness… [read more]

American Literature Myth in the Poetry of Allen Ginsberg a Jungian Analysis Term Paper

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American Literature

Allen Ginsberg's epic poem Howel, is not only a personal statement of society, but also a classic poem full of illusions to mythology and psychology. It is a history lesson of the 1950s and 1060s, an era of chaotic change and social unrest. It is considered to be one of the principal works of the Beat Generation, being… [read more]

North American Literature Term Paper

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As Claudia states (p. 2079), when Mrs. MacTeer discovers Pecola has drunk three quarts of milk on her own, "Pecola, Freida, and I, listened to her downstairs in the kitchen fussing about the amount of milk Pecola had drunk."Then she gets her period right afterward, meaning she is definitely not a baby anymore, physically, although psychologically she still is. She has not even ever been told anything about her period coming at a certain age. Pecola has never had any love or guidance she needed, so she is like a baby and a young woman all at once.

In all of the twentieth century works of American literature mentioned, characters who are members of minority groups within the United States, either Chinese; Chinese-American, or African-American, feel alienated, often from themselves as much as their culture; moreover, both forms of alienation are interrelated. Maxine Hong Kingston, James Baldwin, and Toni Morrison all express, each in his or her own way, the major North American twentieth century literary theme of alienation.

Works Cited

Hughes, Langston. "The Negro Speaks of Rivers." The Harper American

Literature, Vol. 2, 2nd Ed. Donald Mc Quade et al. (Eds). New York:

Longman, 19931475.

Morrison, Toni. The Bluest Eye. In The Norton Anthology of Literature by Women. (Eds. Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar). New York: Norton, 1985,

pp. 2068-2184.

"Morrison, Toni, 1931 -- " Biography.com. Retrieved May 26, 2005, from:

'Thoughts on the American Novel: Toni Morrison." The Language of Literature:

American Literature. (Eds. Arthur N. Applebee et al.). Evanston, Illinois:

McDougal Littell, 1997.

Works Consulted

Baldwin, James. "Sonny's Blues." The Harper American Literature, Vol. 2, 2nd

Ed. Donald Mc Quade et al. (Eds). New York: Longman, 1993. 1774-1797.

Kingston, Maxine Hong. "No Name Woman." The Norton Anthology of Literature

By Women. Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar (Eds.). New York: Norton,

1985. 2337-2347.

Morrison, Toni. Beloved.…… [read more]

Medieval Romance Has Inspired Literature Term Paper

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The various images of beauty the poet paints about love and its exhilarating effect make "The Eve of St. Agnes" a wonderful combination of medieval and romantic elements. Here we see how the poet has moved away from moralizing in his poetry and instead settled on rich details and idealized characters.

Another poet that brought the medieval past alive in… [read more]

English Literature John Dryden Term Paper

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As exemplified in the discussion of Dryden's "An essay of dramatic poesy," the great English poet and critic considers literary criticism as a form of exercise in which writers are given a guideline on what their purpose should be in writing a creative literary piece. For Dryden, literary criticism attempts to create meaning to the writer's work; any literary work devoid of meaning and lacks the universal appeal Dryden talks about is considered as bad writing, and the writer, a bad writer. The most beneficial kind of literary criticism is similar to an important piece of literature: it must have a well-defined purpose and universality of message and language that every individual of any culture in the world can readily identify with and understand the literary work.

Pope, meanwhile, has a similar thesis as Dryden: literary criticism must have a well-defined purpose, especially when it concerns poor writing and writers. However, unlike Dryden's principle of universality in literary writing, Pope's style encourages the use of subjectivity and writing for the benefit, not of the general public, but also for the writer and selected people who can understand the conveyed message given in the literary piece. In effect, Pope's notion of literary criticism does not include the principle of universality; instead he stresses the importance of one's purpose in writing. This is expressed explicitly in his "An essay on criticism," wherein Pope expresses his discouragement for "senseless" and wrongfully interpreted and analyzed literary pieces: 'Tis hard to say, if greater want of skill Appear in writing or in judging ill; But of the two less dangerous is the offense To tire our patience than mislead our sense ... " From this essay, Pope elucidates on his subjective analysis of what literary criticism should be, that which must value purpose first and foremost, notwithstanding its subjective nature or lack of universal appeal.

Bibliography…… [read more]

English Literature. Robert Browning Term Paper

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" http://caxton.stockton.edu/browning/stories/storyReader$8

Barret made use of his intelligence and techniques of writing to help his husband in his literary work. Due to the involvement of his wife and her ideas numerous poems were written and developed which are counted amongst the top listers of Robert Browning's poems. His mastery of dramatic monologue is also one of the positive attributes of… [read more]

Poetry of William Butler Yeats Term Paper

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However, as his poetry matured, so did his images of Ireland, such as in a later work, "No Second Troy," which celebrates the noble beauty of Ireland, but laments the troubles the Irish people are facing under English rule. "That nobleness made simple as a fire, / With beauty like a tightened bow, a kind / That is not natural… [read more]

WWI and Literature World War Term Paper

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This realism marked most important literary pieces produced during and immediately after the Great War. Hemingway's war poems indicate the fact that he seriously thought about war and its futility. Some of the best war stories of this time include "In Another Country," "Now I Lay Me," and "A Way You'll Never Be."

But apart from people like Hemingway, American literature did not produce any significant war poets and/or verses that could show clear effects of WWI. Though there were vast number of verses created during this period, the quality was rather inferior as Harvey (1993) writes: "...more than 99 per cent of First World War poetry is not very impressive, and if 99.9 per cent of First World War poets were not as good as Wilfred Owen or Isaac Rosenberg."

WWI though had a serious impact on American literature of the time; still most of the fiction and poems produced during and immediately after the war were soon forgotten. Only few writers and poets stayed in picture after the war hysteria died down. But WWI had long lasting effects on American literature of later years, as realism became the most sought after style and theme.


A.D. Harvey, First World War literature. Magazine Title: History Today. Volume: 43. Publication Date: November 1993.

Fussell, Paul. The Great War and Modern Memory. New York: Oxford UP, 1975.

Hemingway, Ernest. Complete Poems. Lincoln: U. Of Nebraska, 1983.

Granville Hicks, The Great Tradition: An Interpretation of American Literature since the Civil War. Publisher: Biblo and Tannen. Place of Publication: New York. Publication Year: 1967.

Cowley, Malcolm. "Hemingway's Wound -- And Its Consequences for American Literature." The Georgia Review Summer 1984: 223-39.

Suzanne Raitt, Trudi Tate, Women's Fiction and the Great War. Publisher: Clarendon Press. Place of Publication: Oxford. Publication Year: 1997

Jane Potter, 'A great purifier': The Great…… [read more]

Metaphysical Poetry of John Donne Term Paper

Term Paper  |  6 pages (2,009 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


This poem is again juxtaposed with the extreme spiritual optimism of "A Valediction Forbidding Mourning," where the poet affirms the faith he has struggled through a lifetime to acquire. It is the completeness of both romantic love and spiritual truth.

This is also done in "The Flea," where the poet compares human life and death to the "murder" of a flea. The image appears trivial, but combined with the importance of human life, the effect is profound. Donne here finds meaning and perfection in the smallest thing, and even in repulsive things. The almost sexual image of the flea mixing the blood of lovers in its belly is conceivably repulsive to the 17th century reader. This may be tied in once again with the poet's profound insecurity in established rules of religion. By breaking the "rules" prevalent in the poetic genre of the time, Donne can be seen to rebel in the only way he is able to against the spiritual constraints that have been part of his whole life.

It is interesting that Donne's love poetry forms such a contrast with his religious poetry. It is as if in love Donne was able to express himself much more sincerely and profoundly than in his love for God. Like the lovers in "The Canonization"[6] the poet appears to be able to separate completely the concept of romantic love from both life in general and from religion. It was thus for him something pure and completely untainted by either death or sin.

It can thus be said that poetically John Donne found a much more fulfilling aspect of life in his relationship with his wife than in his relationship with God. The two relationships were however also intermingled, as Anne was for him the inspiration towards holiness. The fact remains that all of the poems created by this artist retains a profound beauty, and captures the spirit of his age with a depth that will be meaningful in the centuries to come.

The apparent parody of this poem can then also be seen as a "violent yoke." Lovers are placed on the same level as saints, who are by definition free of the constraints of romantic and physical love.


Brooks, C. "The Language of Paradox." In The Language of Poetry. Edited by Allen Tate. New York: Russell & Russell, 1960.

Eliot, T.S. "The Metaphysical Poets." In Selected Essays. London: Faber and Faber Limited, 1934.

Gardner, H. "The Religious Poetry of John Donne." In John Donne, A Collection of Critical Essays. Edited by Helen Gardner. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentic-Hall, Inc., 1962.

Gardner, H. Religion and Literature. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1971.

Winny, J. A Preface to Donne. London: Longman, 1981.


Donne, John:

Valediction Forbidding Mourning. http://www.luminarium.org/sevenlit/donne/mourning.htm

Holy Sonnets." http://members.aol.com/ericblomqu/donne.htm

Love's Infiniteness. http://oldpoetry.com/poetry/7568

Love's Usury. http://www.online-literature.com/donne/344/

The Canonization. http://www.online-literature.com/donne/345/

The Flea. http://vp.engl.wvu.edu/Aloud/conread.html

The Paradox." http://www.online-literature.com/donne/386/

The Will." http://www.online-literature.com/donne/375… [read more]

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