"Literature / Poetry" Essays

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Poetry Explications of Emily Dickinson's Poem I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died Essay

2 pages (599 words)  |  MLA Style  |  Bibliography Sources: 1

… ¶ … Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died

Life meets death in Emily Dickinson's poem, "I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died." This poem explores the notion of what happens after death, a topic for endless conversation. Dickinson's poem explores death and remains in doubt that there is an afterlife for to we can look forward. This poem is striking because it does not bring us the typical ideas associated with death. Instead, the poet brings us face-to-face with the worst-case scenario of death, which is that nothing happens, nothing awaits us, and all is black and still. This poem forces us to think about death from a darker perspective that does not bring solace. This perspective is disturbing and that is what gives the poem its strength.

The first stanzas in the poem tell a story of the early moments of the poet's death. While many think of death as a frightening experience, the poet treats the matter with a nonchalant attitude. The poet is aware that she has dies but expresses no real emotions about that are positive or negative. Instead, the experience is something that simply is. The poet is also aware of loved ones that are grieving her death. The second stanza opens with the poet seeing those she loved dividing her belongings. She is aware that there is mourning for her death for eyes were "wrung" (5) dry. These people were anxiously awaiting "when the King / Be witnessed" (7-8) but the dead poet does not. The most significant aspect of death is the fly because it is the thing that distracts the poet and it appears to be the only thing that the poet experiences on the other side of life. The last stanza takes us into the experience of the…… [read more]

Romantic Movement Explored in the Poetry Thesis

4 pages (1,321 words)  |  MLA Style  |  Bibliography Sources: 4

… ¶ … Romantic Movement Explored

in the Poetry of Keats and Shelley

At the heart of Romantic literature is the desire to experience life fully without restraint. Emotion and imagination hold hands in an effort to capture the most subtle essence of being alive and the poets during this literary movement illustrate how significant emotion and imagination are to being alive. When Charles Baudelaire suggests that the word Romanticism is directly linked to modern art because it explores "intimacy, spirituality, color, aspiration towards the infinite, expressed by every means available to the arts," he is correct to aim his comment at the Romantics because they were about so much more than simply writing. In fact, it could be said that the writing was the result of the experience for many of the Romantic poets. Their goal was to experience life completely and writing allows them to not only do this but share their experience with others as well. Two writers that exemplify the Romantic writers are John Keats and Percy Shelley. These poets became intimate with their life experiences and it was their experiences that caused them to see life from another perspective. It did not matter that these experiences seemed trivial. Two poems that represent this notion are Shelley's "Ode to the West Wind" and Keats' "Ode to a Nightingale." Each poem delves into the experience of being alive with an intimacy that represents the poets' desire to enhance the very aspect of being alive.

In Keats' poem, "Ode to a Nightingale," we see the poet experimenting with his sensibilities. The poem relies upon the experience to propel the reader into the poet's mind. Sight and hearing become invaluable tools for the poet as he attempts to be understood through the simple process of witnessing a birdsong. Imagination plays heavily in poem as the poet allows himself to fall hypnotized by the song. The song prompts the poet to consider his life and his identity and it leads him down a path that is not of this earth. The song causes his heart to ache and hit wits to become numbed. The song is leading him to sublime surroundings while he contemplates the beauty of nature. He states, "In some melodious plot/Of beechen green, and shadows numberless, / Singest of summer in full-throated ease" (Keats 8-10), indicating the power of the song to cause him to fall into a dream-like condition. Part of the poet's experience includes the ache that is accompanied with the notion that he is just a man. This thought brings a sense of pain and loss as he realizes that men cannot duplicate this type of song and the best they can do is sit beneath the trees and "hear each other moan" (24). Recognizing that the simplest of things, such as a bird singing, is significant because it is contrast to the busy action of the world. The poet even considers how his imagination could "cheat" (73) him while he listens to the song.… [read more]

Listening to Poetry Essay

3 pages (1,122 words)  |  MLA Style  |  Bibliography Sources: 1

… Listening to Poetry

Differences in Reading and Listening to William Blake's "London"

Although poetry often contains both visual and audible elements, a poem is not a poem if it cannot be read out loud and if that reading does not evoke some sense of melody, some musical reminiscence. After all, poetry is, simply, set to verse. Many poems, when read aloud, give the listener a far different experience than when they are simply read, silently, to one's self. William Blake's classic poem "London" is no different. A silent reading of the poem, compared an audible hearing of the poem as it is read by John Stallworthy makes a great difference in the understanding of both the poem's cadence and its meaning.

When comparing a silent reading of the poem with an audible hearing of it, a few key differences can be noticed immediately. First, the connections between images that Blake makes become emboldened through the hearing of the poem. When one first reads the poem without listening to it being read, one is doubtlessly aware of the many images that Blake presents. Of course, the beginning of the poem involves a narrator who is walking through the streets of London "mark[ing] every face [he] meets" (Blake). Some of those faces that Blake sees include an infant's, a soldier's, a chimneysweeper's, and more. While this is information that can be quite easily gleaned from the written version of the poem, it is not until the audible reading that one becomes aware of their connection. When looking at the poem on the page, the reader certainly identifies the images of "every cry of man," and "ever infant's cry of fear" as important, but in the audible version of the poem, speaker John Stallworthy recites each of these lines with the same tone and inflection, allowing the listener to understand that they are equal in Blake's eyes. Each of the images is connected to the other because each is a different kind of "[mark] of woe" (Blake). It is only through Stallworthy's treatment of these images that the listener can understand how they are connected, which is the very essence of the poem. Second, listeners have an easier time understanding the very essence of the poem when hearing it read simply because of the way in which John Stallworthy reads it. Reciting in the tone of the mournful observer, and speaking in a British accent, listeners could almost believe John Stallworthy was Blake telling them about the deplorable conditions in his London. Thus, an audible reading of the poem allows readers to feel more connected with its contents; it inspires emotional connection and understanding of the culture in which the poem was written.

In addition to these most obvious differences between the spoken and the written poem, the spoken poem also allows listeners to grasp much more easily the musical cadences of the work. For instance, the spoken poem emphasizes the use of meter and rhyme, allowing the reader to comprehend its musical… [read more]

Children's Literature Thesis

15 pages (4,810 words)  |  APA Style  |  Bibliography Sources: 15

… ¶ … children's literature to dispel the popular premise that a diametric difference separate good literature and good multicultural literature, as it asserts that children's literature may promote interracial respect, yet lack bias and still possess exceptional literary qualities.

Contemporary book publishers face the challenge of fulfilling their the responsibility to produce good children's literature, yet not compromise that responsibility… [read more]

Paul's Case by Willa Cather Essay

3 pages (876 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 6

… ¶ … Paul's Case

Faust -- In his book Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing Kennedy tells us only that it is a "tragic grand opera." (Quote: "Faust: tragic grand opera (1859) by French composer Charles Gounod.")Expand on his note. What is Faust noted for? In what other forms does the story appear?

Faustus is a great scholar who sells his soul to the devil for power and a vision of Helen of Troy, in Marlowe's dramatic version of the tale, and for the love of a beautiful peasant girl in Goethe's epic dramatic poem Faust. Although Faust has a great mind and is frustrated by what he perceives as the limits of his existence as a human being, ultimately Faust becomes distracted by petty, earthly, and sensual cares and sells his soul to the devil. He loses his chance at eternal life, the chance every person has to live if they are good and faithful and instead becomes obsessed with transient things. He is also very arrogant and thinks himself smarter than most mortals. Paul is a kind of modern-day Faust, although Paul has very little reason to think that he is superior to other people. However, Paul gives up everything for a few days in a fancy hotel in New York City, where he can drink champagne and gaze at socialites.

"Cordelia Street" (mentioned in paragraphs 19, 22, 24, 27, 51, 55, 57) --Who was Cordelia? What does her sad life symbolize that might be important in Cather's story?

Shakespeare's King Lear had three daughters. When dividing his kingdom amongst them after he grew too old to administer it himself, two of them (Goneril, the eldest, and Reagan, the middle child) praised him lavishly when he staged a competition amongst them for their birthrights. His youngest daughter Cordelia refused to praise him, and said she loved him according to her bond -- in other words, she was honest, and had no more nor no less to give him than her affection as his daughter. Lear was angry, and as a result, gave Cordelia nothing in return. However, Goneril and Reagan cast Lear out of their homes after they got their land -- Cordelia and her father tried to win the kingdom back, but Cordelia was killed after she is taken prisoner.

This story shows the importance of simple, homespun truth without added 'glitter' or false praise -- something that Paul never learns, even though he loves the stage where Shakespeare's plays are still performed.

"He had no mind for the cash boy stage" (paragraph 25) --Hint: Look up Horatio Alger.

Unlike a Horatio…… [read more]

Langston Hughes Thesis

6 pages (1,982 words)  |  MLA Style  |  Bibliography Sources: 1+

… Langston Hughes

The Impact of Langston Hughes's Life on His Work:

Racism, Jazz and Travel, and Work

A man with a famous past, Langston Hughes one could say that Langston Hughes was destined to make a difference in the African-American community. His great-great uncle was John Mercer, the first Black American elected to public office ("Langston Hughes"). At his birth,… [read more]

Ann Beattie Thesis

7 pages (2,371 words)  |  MLA Style  |  Bibliography Sources: 6

… ¶ … Ann Beattie's "Janus"

Great literature is often associated with revealing great passions, and large events happening. The English literature produced during the nineteenth century can be especially noted for the grand scope and sensationalism employed by many of its authors. Charles Dickens stands out as the foremost example of these sensationalist literary figures. In his novels such as… [read more]

Integrating Literature Into the Math Curriculum in Elementary Grades Research Proposal

6 pages (1,826 words)  |  APA Style  |  Bibliography Sources: 5

… Integrating Literature Into the Math Curriculum in Elementary Grades

The integration between mathematics and literature for the primary or elementary grades is a subject that has attracted considerable attention from educators and theorists. There are many verifiable online sources as well as offline journals and books that advocate the importance of the interrelationship between mathematics and literature - to the… [read more]

Poetry of Dennis Brutus, Nikki Giovanni Essay

8 pages (2,139 words)  |  MLA Style  |  Bibliography Sources: 4

… ¶ … Poetry of Dennis Brutus, Nikki Giovanni, June Jordan, and Amiri Baraka

While we always hear that life imitates art, it is also true and maybe even more so that art imitates life. Four poets that demonstrate how life is revealed through art are Dennis Brutus, Nikki Giovanni, June Jordan, and Amiri Baraka. These African-American poets bring life to… [read more]

World War I Journal Exercise 6.1A: Impressions Term Paper

6 pages (2,142 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 0

… World War I

Journal Exercise 6.1A: Impressions of War

My most vivid image of war comes, most likely, from a movie I watched when I was only a few years of age. It was a black and white movie and there are just a few scenes that still persist in my mind. The action was sometime in 1944 and it… [read more]

How English Literature Has Evolved and Changed From Medieval Times to Romantic Era Term Paper

4 pages (1,129 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 0

… English Literature

When surveying the chronological evolution of English literature over the centuries, one can readily trace the development of a style that shifts over time from a concern with collective endeavor to increasingly individualized forms of expression, which would culminate in the Romantic Movement. Whereas secular texts of the medieval period such as the Canterbury Tales were complicated works, filled with multiple characters and narrators, the Renaissance began to pave the way towards the exploration of singular consciousnesses. It was in the Romantic period, however, that poets ultimately sought out new ways of capturing something of the essence of man's inherent nature through the exploration of highly subjective modes of being. In this essay, we will trace the development of this strain through three representative works from three different periods - the Canterbury Tales, Hamlet, and the Marriage of Heaven and Hell.

Geoffrey Chaucer's the Canterbury Tales is considered by many to be the key English text of the medieval period. Greatly influenced by the famous Italian work the Decameron, the Canterbury Tales is credited with popularizing the usage of vernacular English in literature. It is one of the few great masterpieces of secular literature from the medieval period. The work takes the form of a collection of stories, each told by a different pilgrim on a pilgrimage from Southwark to Canterbury, where they intend to visit the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. With its rich lyrical inventiveness, the Canterbury Tales paved the way towards the Renaissance - the first Modern period in English literature. Most of the tales were concerned with expressing universal traits of human nature. Chaucer wrote the Canterbury Tales in Middle English, an example of which, from the Wife of Bath's Tale, appears below:

We wommen han, if that I shal nat lye,

In this matere a queynte fantasye:

Wayte what thyng we may nat lightly have,

Therafter wol we crie al day and crave.

Forbede us thyng, and that desiren we;

Preesse on us faste, and thanne wol we fle.

During the Renaissance, the vernacular language that Chaucer and other Medieval poets had advocated finally enjoyed widespread popularity, with the advent of the printing press. Hamlet is considered to be the most famous literary work in the English language. It is William Shakespeare's longest play, and was composed at the height of the Elizabethan Era of the English Renaissance, sometime between the years of 1599 and 1601. The Elizabethan Era saw the flourishing of drama - it enabled Shakespeare to become the playwright he is known as today. Shakespeare's most beloved tragedy is set in Denmark and tells the story of Prince Hamlet, who is driven to near insanity in plotting to get revenge against his Uncle, who has killed his father, married his mother, and taken the throne. Hamlet in many ways posed a challenge to previous conceptions of drama - namely, the play focused on character, rather than action. In this sense, it paved the way for Romantic literature,… [read more]

New Start as a Theme in American Literature Term Paper

7 pages (2,430 words)  |  APA Style  |  Bibliography Sources: 6

… ¶ … New Start" as a theme in American Literature

The history of the American literature can be considered to be in deep contact with the history of the American nation itself. It represents a close mirror image of the way in which the United States came into being. This is largely due to the fact that one of the… [read more]

American Literature Edgar Allan Poe- the Tell Term Paper

2 pages (856 words)  |  APA Style  |  Bibliography Sources: 3

… American Literature

Edgar Allan Poe- the Tell- Tale Heart

Poe's odd but brilliant story, the Tell-Tale Heart revolves around two main issues: madness and reason, or how these two can paradoxically coexist in the human mind. The story is but one of Poe's many pieces that describe a monomaniac disorder. Both monomania and crime are related through their irrationality. The monomaniac narrator of the story is obsessed with the vulture eye of the old man who will eventually become his victim. As he emphasizes in the beginning, his disorder cannot be defined as madness because of his precision of purpose and execution. His disorder is described only a heightened sense of perception, that makes him hear and see more than the average man, paired by an acute and uncommon nervousness. While the narrator is able to think coherently and plan his murder meticulously, he is obviously driven by an irrational obsession. At first, he is distraught with nervousness and almost oppressed by the old man's vulture eye. During his night watches in the old man's room however, the protagonist of the story becomes even more agitated because of the loud beating of his victim's heart that in his imagination acquires incredible proportions. His nervousness increases thus irrationally, until he commits murder. Poe is thus an avant-garde scrutinizer of the Freudian subconscious: he understands that the human mind is a complex mechanism, in which reason is often undermined by irrational and primitive instincts. Even if the situation in Poe's story is very uncommon and the disorder described is a very peculiar one, it can still find application in real life. The battle between reason and irrationality is one that I also find in my own life, even if to a lesser degree, since we all struggle with instincts and irrational drives at every step.

Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson is well-known for her allegorical poetry, in which nature plays a major role. Many of her poems are thus filled with metaphors and symbols taken from nature, such as birds, butterflies or insects. In one of these pieces for instance, Dickinson compares hope with a bird, obviously drawing on the bird's ability to sing and fly high in the air, soaring above the storms: "Hope is the thing with feathers / That perches in the soul, / and sings the tune -- without the words, / and never stops at all..." The fact that the bird sings "without words" is significant because it emphasizes the irrationality of hope as a feeling. The last stanza however twists the meaning of the first…… [read more]

Poetry Anthology for Many Readers Term Paper

15 pages (6,487 words)  |  MLA Style  |  Bibliography Sources: 1+

… Poetry Anthology

For many readers, poetry has an aura of separation form the world, an ethereal quality achieved in sublime language that carries the reader to a higher existence. Much poetry has this sort of metaphysical quality, and numerous poets have nurtured this image over the centuries as they work their magic and express the ineffable in choice and powerful… [read more]

Children's Literature Diverges From Adult Writing Term Paper

4 pages (1,310 words)  |  MLA Style  |  Bibliography Sources: 2

… Children's literature diverges from adult writing significantly in tone, language, subject matter, and complexity. This is particularly true of histories. In the context of children's histories one of the most visible differences is a lack of fine detail, a significant reduction in the amount of information covered, and a taming down of events. While these are all standard, what is even more significant in children's histories, is the necessary blending of story with history. For adults reading histories, an interest generally pre-exists the reading. But for children, histories are often taught within the context of school and, therefore, predate or even spark interest. This means that much less can be assumed about the reader and a much greater care must be taken to not only convey the core elements of the history of the person or event, but also that the story must be engaging enough to keep and hopefully capture attention. The line between fact and fiction, between truth and legend can become especially tricky to navigate when writing histories for children about real characters who have become part of popular legend.

This is the case with Pocahontas, Davy Crockett and John Henry. Each of these real people have become characters in the fabric of American history and have become much larger and more important than perhaps they actually were in their time. How authors portray these characters, their historical context, and the reconciliation between fact and fiction demonstrates different views on what children will want to listen to and want to learn more about.

Jean Fritz' version of the story of Pocahontas, the Double Life of Pocahontas, is considered to be one of the most historically accurate and relevant works of children's historical literature (and one of the most award-winning as well). At ninety-six pages, this book is well within the attention span and reach of the middle-school reader. The strength of her book is found in the accessibility of detail and in the language used. Fritz's portrayal of this earliest of American histories is filled with idiom that a child would immediately understand. The illustrations assist greatly in this. She describes the passengers aboard the ships heading to Virginia as being "sick to death of each other," including biological details that children latch onto "John smith reported that he made 'wild vomits into the black night'," and a simplicity of concept delivery that speaks volumes but uses limited verbiage, "[the Indians] seemed friendly, glad to exchange corn for tiny bells and pretty glass beads. (Pocahontas would love those beads.)." Pocahontas herself plays a significant role within the book, but she is not elevated to some form of ultra-heroic status that so often becomes the case when relaying her story. The truth as relayed by Fritz is that Pocahontas was a girl who managed to live two lives in two absolutely different cultures but that the real story is what swirls around her.

This kind of structure and character development is also present in Mary Pope Osborne's Davy… [read more]

Middle Eastern Writers Contemporary Term Paper

5 pages (1,894 words)  |  MLA Style  |  Bibliography Sources: 4

… Middle Eastern Writers

Contemporary Middle Eastern writers expectedly approach social and political themes in their writings. The writers' consciousness is inevitably influenced by the experience of suffering, hatred and conflict that dominates the Middle East. Some of the best known and appreciated Middle Eastern writers such as the Palestinian poet Taha Muhammad Ali, the Israeli Aharon Shabtai, and the Turkish… [read more]

Romantic Poet Term Paper

5 pages (1,759 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 3

… Romantic Poetry

The term romanticism related to a period of European history associated with the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth century. Romantic poetry is an expression of the period, the emphasis of such poetry was frequently nature as well as individual expression of emotions and imagination as a rejection of earlier classicism and strict social… [read more]

Realism of George Eliot Term Paper

5 pages (1,709 words)  |  MLA Style  |  Bibliography Sources: 5

… Realism of George Eliot

George Eliot's work is engaging on so many levels, she draws the reader in to the web of the situation that is depicted. One of the most engaging aspects of most of her work is the engrossing realism. The realism is so intense that if the reader could close his or her eyes, while still reading… [read more]

Goblin Market - Christina Georgina Rossetti Literature Term Paper

4 pages (1,546 words)  |  MLA Style  |  Bibliography Sources: 1

… Goblin Market - Christina Georgina Rossetti

Literature can be read on several different levels. Some people read poetry or prose for sheer enjoyment or intellectual/emotional enhancement. Others analyze the characters or relate the theme to their own lives or other works they have read. Another method is a close reading, which is a more subtle and complex process that entails… [read more]

Focus on a Literary Theme Form or Mode Postmodern Literature Term Paper

6 pages (1,734 words)  |  MLA Style  |  Bibliography Sources: 3

… ¶ … Mode: Postmodern Literature

Two examples of postmodern literature are Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Los Vegas and Don DeLillo's White Noise. Both books are similar in that they both feature unique literary devices common in postmodern literature. However, they differ in the fact that Fear and Loathing in Los Vegas maintains the author's presence while White… [read more]

Children's Poetry Term Paper

1 pages (420 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 2

… Children's Poetry

The book is entitled a Family of Poems: My Favorite Poetry for Children written by Caroline Kennedy and illustrated by John J. Muth using watercolors. It is a collection of beautiful poems by the Kennedy family. The 7 15/16 X 10 book has 144 pages, containing more than a hundred poems from the different parts of the world. It is a hardbound and picture book published by Hyperion/Hyperion Books for Children in New York on September 15, 2005. The illustration of the front cover depicts a little girl reading to her teddy bear in a bedroom. The book is sold at $19.95 in the United States as well as in the internet.

The book may contain simple language which makes it readable for kindergarten students who are fluent readers, but emergent readers may need the guidance of their teachers, parents, or other adults to help them read the book because of the relatively small font size and few illustrations per page. Children may find the book interesting because of the external and internal rhyme schemes as well as repetitions found in the book which usually characterize children's poetry so that they may easily appreciate the poems and join in during poetry reading. Joining in helps them develop or…… [read more]

Nature of Literature Term Paper

3 pages (1,384 words)  |  APA Style  |  Bibliography Sources: 3

… ¶ … American Literature?

The more broadly, deeply, objectively, honestly, and open-mindedly one reflects on the question of what is; or is not; (or should not be; or might not be; or possibly could be), American literature, the more complex the issue only becomes. It is like trying to explain "American Thought." True, Tocqueville did it in Democracy in America (1835; 1840) going on two centuries ago, but he would be much harder-pressed to define (if he even could) the vast complexity of all "American Thought" has grown into today (for better or worse). Moreover, today's America, in the first decade of the 21st century, is hardly the same place within which the Founding Fathers wrote the United States Constitution; the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence in the late 18th century. That century was the Age of Reason (a.k.a. The Enlightenment). Since then, other, later literary and philosophical modes of thinking and creativity have also included (and this is true as well for other parts of the world, especially but not only Europe) Romanticism; Modernism; Post-modernism; Post-post-Modernism. Keeping in mind all of those inherent challenges (and others) this essay shall address (or try to) the issue of what American literature either is or is not Clearly, what is often anthologized by textbook publishers today (e.g., Norton; Longman; Bedford, etc.) under the broad heading "American literature" reflects and ha reflected (albeit, arguably in a unique way) each of those various intellectual; philosophical, and creative modes and trends: from pre-pre-Enlightenment to present. To bear that out, one need only skim through any comprehensive American literature anthology (pre-Puritans to present) to notice the enormous amount of thematic; stylistic; descriptive and other diversity within.

What I categorize as "literature," on the other hand (American or otherwise) is anything written and published, even if it is very banal and dull (e.g., this year's IRS instructional and other pamphlets) or poorly-written or offensive in quality (e.g., internet and most other written pornography). Therefore, pornographic stories, although they are not to my taste, are as much literature (in my own although perhaps not others' view) as the wonderful, skillfully-crafted, often brilliantly creative and innovative short stories and essays published in the New Yorker each week. The latter I eagerly await and read as soon as I can; the former I can definitely do without! Still, each is literature, according to my own definition.

Webster's New World Dictionary (1995) is a bit pickier than I am, however, in its definition of "literature," i.e., defining the noun "literature" instead as: "1: the production of written works having excellence or form or expression and dealing with ideas of permanent interest"; and: 2: "The written works produced in a particular language, country, or age" (p. 303). I tend not to feel up to arguing with Webster's, so (while that is still not my own "working" definition of "literature" it is one I would definitely accept as being better-informed and more discerning than mine, even if still not the… [read more]

Consider the Influence of Islam on Middle Eastern Literature Term Paper

2 pages (642 words)  |  MLA Style  |  Bibliography Sources: 2

… ¶ … Islam on Middle Eastern literature. Islamic religious thought and teaching influences just about every aspect of Middle Eastern life, and it is so with literature, as well. Islam has influenced Middle Eastern literature throughout history in any number of ways, and it continues to be an important aspect of much Middle Eastern writing today.

The most obvious examples of ancient Middle Eastern literature include the Bible and the Qur'an, both incredibly holy books that have endured for centuries. Thus, religion, and burgeoning religion, is at the core of Middle Eastern writing and literature, and that influence continues to this day. One historian notes, "In the case of the Qur'an, historians have demonstrated links with the Hebrew Bible, the Gospels, ancient Middle Eastern literature such as the story of Alexander the Great, the Gilgamesh legend, and the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus" (Arkoun 39). Thus, many of the earliest legends and histories of the civilized world originated in the Middle East, and eventually spread around the world as history, legend, and myth.

Even when Middle Eastern literature does not directly refer to Islam, the Qur'an, or Mohammed; it still carries imagery of the Islamic culture of the area. Historian Arkoun continues, "The exploration of this vast, interrelated literature helps to show the continuity and creativity of a religious-literary imaginary common to Middle Eastern culture" (Arkoun 39). The culture depends on a blending of literature and writing. There is a commonality to Middle Eastern literature, from its lyricism to its often spiritual nature, and that has inspired writers from other cultures to include Middle Eastern imagery and culture in their writings, as well. One of these early writers was Edgar Allen Poe.

Middle Eastern culture spread around the world during the 1800s, and became quite popular in many literary circles. Poe's writing reflects his knowledge of the culture, blended with his own style. A Virginia college professor notes, "Poe's little stories, 'The…… [read more]

Educational Research: The Literature Review Term Paper

3 pages (964 words)  |  APA Style  |  Bibliography Sources: 3

… Educational Research: The Literature Review

The review of the literature is an important part of any study. Without it, there is no background of the issue and it is more difficult to understand what has gone before and what other researchers have found regarding the issue. In order to avoid this problem, the literature review must be comprehensive and discuss all of the relevant issues that will be the focus and background of the paper (Reed, 1998). What others have said on this same subject becomes very important when the current study is examined and this allows for the information collected and analyzed by the researcher in the study to be compared to what has already been done in order to determine whether the current study has the same indications for the issue or whether something new or different has been discovered (Reed, 1998).

New discoveries can lead to a re-examination of literature that has already been written on the topic and having the background knowledge of what others have found regarding the same issue can help steer the researcher toward the questions that should be asked and answered and/or the hypotheses that will be dealt with. Even if the researcher chooses to look at something new, there will undoubtedly be part of the literature review that will allow the researcher to have some background of at least part of the issue in question or similar issues that must be addressed, thus furthering the understanding of the researcher and the understanding of those that look at the subject in the future (Reed, 1998). It is with this in mind that the review of the literature focuses on key areas that are important to the current study and therefore allows the researcher to be aware of the direction that the study needs to take.

Process Followed to Conduct a Literature Review

There is a specific process that is usually followed to conduct a literature review, but some individuals modify that process somewhat to suit their own needs and abilities, which is generally acceptable within certain parameters. In order to conduct a literature review with a high level of quality the researcher must be very clear on what the research question actually is. Without knowing what is actually being studied the researcher may flounder when looking for literature. Once this has been addressed, the researcher will begin the often time-consuming process of locating literature. Having access to the Internet obviously makes a great deal of difference when it comes to how much literature can be found and how quickly, but oftentimes library research is still necessary.

When the researcher has found all of the sources (both Internet and library) that he or she wishes to use, then the researcher must begin to actually read these sources and determine what about them will be useful (Reed, 1998). Some researchers mark the pages of books or…… [read more]

American Literature Influenced by Mccarthy Term Paper

5 pages (1,909 words)  |  MLA Style  |  Bibliography Sources: 7

… McCarthy Blacklists

The Influence of McCarthyism on Literature

The McCarthy era began following WWII. Senator Joseph McCarthy started a witch hunt for communists. People were seeing, and reporting, communists behind every bush. Any activity which went against the status quo or the political power structure was considered subversive. Congress formed the House Unamerican Activities Committee and began a black list… [read more]

Consider the Influence of Christianity on Medieval Western Literature Term Paper

3 pages (1,083 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 1+

… Medieval Literature and Christian Themes

The Influence of Christianity on Literature in Medieval Europe

The influence of Christianity on Western literature in the medieval period of world history is significant enough to warrant review and analysis. This paper will address and put into perspective some of those influences - which are found in several published books and journals.

In fact, when one thinks about influential writings in Medieval Europe, the most popular book in that time period - not just the most popular religious book but also the most popular book per se - according to well-known American artist and author Jan Richardson, was the Book of Hours. This classic book empowered ordinary readers who were Christians to "keep a similar rhythm of prayer" with monks, nuns, and priests while they were loyal to the "liturgy of the hours," according to Richardson, writing in the journal the Other Side (Richardson 2003).

The "liturgy of the hours" reflected the eight different times during each day and evening that a prayer (called "offices") service was held. So, Richardson writes, observing the prayer moments in the same way that clergy observed those same daily prayer moments "helped [citizens] remember the presence of God throughout the day and night." In the Book of Hours there was a section called "Horns of the Virgin," which offered prayers "in honor of Mary." Richardson writes that the "brilliant paintings found in the Book of Hours are more than illustrations"; each illumination provides its own "revelations" and urges readers to "enter the story." scholarly look into the influence of Christianity on literature in Medieval Germany is found in the narrative, "Introduction to Anthropology" on the Notre Dame University Anthropology Web site (www.nd.edu/~gantho/anth1-163/introduction10-12.html).Medieval literature in Germany is usually broken down into several categories, the Introduction reports; the alignment that encompasses the first stages of Medieval Germany is the "Old High German period." According to the Notre Dame narrative, a great majority of the literature in the Old High German period that is still available are "Christian didactic works," relating to the conversion of Germanic Tribes to Christianity, and works "concerning the creed and confessions of sin."

Although the great literary "masterpieces" of Medieval Germany "often lack specific Christian references," the Notre Dame Introduction to Anthropology continues, "the impact of religious values is always present." In the book, the City of God, Christian concepts of "virtue and vice and interlaced with ingredients of a knight's courtly behavior. The Notre Dame narrative admits that there is "controversy among scholars" today as to whether some works which are not "obviously moral or didactic in tone" are expressing "normal medieval" ways of approaching subjects. Still, that having been said, it would be "equally questionable," the narrative asserts, to imagine that any literature, "however secular in conception," could have been written without being permeated by "the prevailing intellectual climate, which was thoroughly Christian."

And precisely what was the popular medieval religious culture - what were the thinkers thinking and how did people behave? -… [read more]

20th Century British Literature Term Paper

6 pages (2,023 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 1+

… ¶ … 20th century British literature. Specifically it will use Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Godot," Graham Green's "The Quiet American," and "Wide Sargasso Sea" by Jean Rhys, and discuss how the 20th century Britain produced an era of fragmentation and uncertainty. Each of these novels conveys the atmosphere of fragmentation and uncertainty in their own way. Each was written at… [read more]

African-American Poetry Studies: The Expression of Racial Term Paper

2 pages (596 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 1+

… African-American Poetry Studies: The Expression of Racial Tension in the Work of Hughs, Mccay, Cullen and Brown

The objective of this work is the review the work of four authors, specifically those of:

Langston Hughs - "Democracy";

Claude McKay - "If We Must Die";

Countee Cullen - "Uncle Jim"; and 4) Sterling Brown - "Bitter Fruit of the Tree" and to then discuss how each of these authors expresses within their written work the subject of racism.

Many feelings and emotions are expressed through the art of poetry and this is particularly true of the works of Hughs, McKay, Cullen and Brown in their expressions of racism in the poems studies in this research work.


In 1919 Claude McCay responded to mass riots in which whites assaulted black neighborhoods in approximately '...a dozen..' cities across America. McCay's poem "If We Must Die" states:

If we must die, let it not be like hogs

Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot,

While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs,

Making their mock at our accursed lot.

If we must die, O let us nobly die..."

It is clear that McCay is urging the black community to fight back... Or indeed to die for something other than for merely being a member of the black minority race in America as he states:

Like men we'll face the murderous, cowardly pack,

Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!"


In the poem entitled: "Democracy" the author Langston Hughs states:

Democracy will not come

Today, this year

Nor ever

Through compromise and fear." (Langston Hughs)

As the poem continues Hughs relates that each individual has the same 'right' as one another in terms of independence and the rights to own their own land.…… [read more]

William Butler Yeats Poetry Term Paper

1 pages (411 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 0

… William Butler Yeats: Poetry of phase 3 and 4

William Butler Yeats: Sailing to Byzantium

In this poem, the speaker is referring to the country that he has recently left. He sees the country as not being a fitting country for old men, because it is full of life and youth. He sees the young people lying within one another's arms, fish in the waters, and birds in the trees. Summer is happening there, and during the summer the young are so caught up in the music and magic of that season that they neglect those that are old. Even though these older people have a great deal of intellect and information that they can offer, the young people are not interested. They want, instead, to ignore the intellect in favor of the joy of being together in summertime, and the fish and birds that are mentioned appear to share this feeling.

Old men are seen to be paltry because they cannot sing and clap and do all of the things that they younger people do. The only way that the soul of a person can truly learn to sing, according to the speaker, is by studying the monuments that have been created by and…… [read more]

English Literature (Chaucer &amp Shakespeare) the Images Term Paper

5 pages (1,396 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 0

… English literature (Chaucer & Shakespeare)

The Images of Ideal Faith and Love: A Comparative Analysis of Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales ("Pardoner's Tale") and William Shakespeare's Love Sonnets (Sonnets 18, 116 and 130)

Fifteenth to sixteenth century- English literature is characterized by the expression of radical idealism, whether this idealism pertains to social issues or human emotions. Geoffrey Chaucer, who was well-known for his work "The Canterbury Tales," exemplified the English poet of his period (14th-15th centuries), demonstrating through his famous work his ideals on religion and expression of faith. On a relatively similar vein, English playwright William Shakespeare (16th-17th centuries) reflected the same belief of idealism, this time in the form of expressing human emotions, most popularly evoked in his (love) sonnets (Sonnets 18, 116 and 130).

This paper discusses the theme of idealism reflected in the works of Chaucer and Shakespeare. The discussion and analysis will demonstrate how both their works illustrate the prevalence of each author's ideals: for Chaucer, his ideals on what religion and expression of faith should be like, and for Shakespeare, how love is and should be.

While both poets have the theme of idealism as their dominant feature in their works, each also has his own manner of expressing this theme. That is, while Chaucer demonstrated the theme of idealism through real-life scenarios, via his characters' narratives, Shakespeare showed his 'version' of idealism through effective imagery.

Influenced by the ideology of idealism during his time, Chaucer reflected his ideals of Christianity and its followers through The Pardoner's Tale of "The Canterbury Tales." Like the other tales in "Canterbury," the Pardoner's tale is a satire meant to criticize the society that Chaucer lived in during his period. While in some of the tales, Chaucer did not explicitly expressed his disagreement with and criticism of the rampant corruption and hypocrisy within the Church and among its elements (the clergy and the lay), in the Pardoner's tale, these issues were addressed and made explicit through the persona of the Pardoner.

The Pardoner's role, at first glance, acts as 'bridge' between the Church and the people: as the Pardoner, he helps people be absolved of their sins through payments -- payments that are considered earnings of the Church. What sets him apart from the other pilgrims in "Canterbury" is that he has been honest in showing that despite his being an agent of God, he is not untainted by the culture of corruption and hypocrisy that are already rampant within the Church and the society. His honesty and recognition of his faults as an agent of the Church are explicitly shown in the following lines from the Pardoner's tale:

By this trick have I won, year after year,

An hundred marks since I was pardoner.

A stand like a clerk in my pulpit,

And when the ignorant people are set down, preach as you have heard before And tell a hundred more false tales

My hands and my tongue go so quickly

That it is joy to see… [read more]

William Butler Yeats the Early Poetry Term Paper

5 pages (1,694 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 1+

… William Butler Yeats

The Early Poetry of William Butler Yeats

William Butler Yeats is often referred to as the last romantic poet. His ability to manipulate the readers emotions and to present intimate topics that still connect with audiences in the modern age stand testament not only to his ability as a poet, but also to the poignancy and genuineness… [read more]

Robert Hayden Those Winter Sundays Term Paper

4 pages (1,348 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 1+

… ¶ … Robert Hayden's poem "Those Winter Days"

Is the poem lyric, narrative, or dramatic? How do you know?

One of the most intensely personal subjects for any human being, whether the person is a poet or a non-poet, is his or her relationship with their parents. The poem "Those Winter Sundays" by Robert Hayden is a quiet yet forceful lyric poem that depicts the poetic speaker's father during the father's characteristic Sunday winter routine in the morning. Unlike a narrative poem, this poem is not the story of specific day that was an unusual deviation from this weekly winter morning schedule. In weaving the poem's fabric, the speaker is not consciously taking on an alternative persona from the poet, as in a dramatic monologue, in which the poet explicitly creates distance between him or herself and the speaker character assumed in the poem. Instead, the narrator of the poem reflects upon the life of his father in classical lyric form, a lyric that is a personal meditation upon a particular, personal subject.

Denotations and connotations

Denotations of unfamiliar words: (literal meanings)

Splintering: n.

A sharp, slender piece, as of wood, bone, glass, or metal, split or broken off from a main body.

A splinter group.

v. splin tered, splin ter ing, splin ters v. intr.

To split or break into sharp, slender pieces; form splinters.


Severe or stern in disposition or appearance; somber and grave: the austere figure of a Puritan minister.

Strict or severe in discipline; ascetic: a desert nomad's austere life.

Having no adornment or ornamentation; bare: an austere style

Connotations of familiar and unfamiliar significant words in the poem

Blueblack: black and blue like a bruise

Chronic: an ailment that never really goes away, like arthritis

Splintering: painful, like a splinter caught in one's finger

Austere: Very removed, haughty

Offices: religious rituals, like the offices of a mass or working in an office

What is the tone of the poem? Irony?

The overall tone of the poem is mournful, almost like a eulogy, which suggests that the poet's father is dead, although this is not stated in the poem. The poem seems to mourn the relationship that the speaker had -- and never had -- with his father. The lines such as: "No one ever thanked him [the poet's father]," for putting on the fire early Sunday mornings, even though the father did not have to wake up for the "weekday" work that "cracked" his hands" suggests that the speaker wishes he could go back and thank his father for the father's kind and silent gestures. The last line is almost a cry: "What did I know, what did I know/of love's austere and lonely offices?"

The son seems to suggest that now he is mature enough to appreciate that even though people like the poet's father cannot always speak about how much they love someone, such outwardly cold people often show this love in other ways, like making a fire and polishing the young… [read more]

Symbolism in "The Origin Term Paper

5 pages (1,643 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 1

… It is hard to see this as less than Biblical. After all, Satan's realm is in the deeps of the earth, while God rules from the heavens. This line is reminiscent of the conflict between good and evil, between God and Satan that is all too familiar to churchgoers.

But if we were not sure of the relationship between the Deeps and the Clouds in Steere's poem, there is more. He explains that the Deeps were "Threatening to bring the Land under their power And it Devour" (557, line 10). If we assume that Steere's images are symbols for the conflict between good and evil, then the Deeps of the sea can be equated with Satan, the Clouds with God, and the Land would be the in-between realm in which human beings live. In other words, this line from "On a Sea-Storm nigh the Coast" indicates that the Deeps, aka Satan and his ilk, are threatening to consume the land and bring all of humanity by extension under its power. The role of humanity as pawns in a war between Heaven and Hell is all too apparent in Steere's characterization.

Steere, then, obviously had mixed feelings about the content of this poem. It seems evident that he believed in what he was writing, that these powerful images indicate a deeper religious conflict than is evident from his biographical information. "On a Sea-Storm nigh the Coast" is a symbolic representation of the battle between good and evil in Christian religious tradition. Hwever, lines from the poem also indicate that Steere was not convinced of God's beneficence in the matter. He wrote that it was as if the sea and sky had joined forces against the land. This indicates that Steere probably believed the battle between Heaven and Hell was one in which humanity was caught in the middle and subject only to the whims of the divine combatants.

Works Cited

Lauter, Paul (Ed.).…… [read more]

Imagery Helps Communicate Term Paper

6 pages (1,625 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 1+

… The "Reapers" first appeared in a longer work of his, called Cane, a fusion of poetry, prose, song, and various other forms ("Jean Toomer"). During the period of the Harlem Renaissance, which took place approximately during the decades between World War I and World War II, Harlem in New York became a Mecca for African-American writers and other artists. Jean Toomer's experimental novel Cane, like his poem "Reapers," is rich in vivid and often stark poetic imagery ("Jean Toomer").

As Toomer stated, of his origins:

Racially, I seem to have (who knows for sure) seven blood mixtures: French,

Dutch, Welsh, Negro, German, Jewish, and Indian. One half of my family is definitely colored.... And, I alone, as far as I know, have striven for a spiritual fusion analogous to the fact of racial intermingling. ("Photographs of Jean Toomer")

In seeing himself described primarily as a black writer (rather than as merely an American writer, a designation he much preferred) during the Harlem Renaissance, Toomer felt (and resented being) pigeon-holed, since he also believed that that unfairly limited, and categorized him as a writer and a person ("Jean Toomer"). Within "Reapers" itself, similarly, Toomer underscores the constraining power, of images, such as those created by the word "black." The poem "Reapers" is a powerful example of the ability of images made from words to both limit and delimit that which we imagine; perceive; and see.

Works Cited

Gibbons, Justin. "Studying Sounds of Scythes." Retrieved October 19, 2005,

from: .

"Jean Toomer." Wikipedia. Retrieved October 20, 2005, from:

McKay, Nellie. In "On "Reapers." Modern American Poetry. Retrieved October

20, 2005, from: .

North, Michael. In "On "Reapers." Modern American Poetry. Retrieved October

20, 2005, from: .

"Photographs of Jean Toomer." The Jean Toomer Pages. Retrieved October

20, 2004, from:

Toomer, Jean. "Reapers." Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. 9th Edition.…… [read more]

Style of Writing and Teaching Term Paper

8 pages (2,220 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 1+

… Bunyan also employs the technique of alternatives. He presents a problem and then gives some alternative solutions which help the reader learn more about such concepts as faith, logic and decision making. For example when Mistrust and Timorous threaten Christian, he thinks of the alternative escape routes present to him and employs logic to choose the safer route. (36) On… [read more]

Post Modern British and American Poetry Term Paper

4 pages (1,091 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 1+

… ¶ … postmodernism, author Peter Jacoby (1999) provided insights about and definitions of postmodernism as it relates to the art of poetry. Among these definitions of the postmodernist tradition in literature, the following quote embodied the nature of postmodernist poetry at present:

Truth is the product of interpretation, facts are constructs of discourse, objectivity is just whatever questionable interpretation of things has currently seized power, and the human subject is as much a section as the reality he or she contemplates, a diffused, self-divided entity without any fixed nature or essence.

In this passage, postmodernism was illustrated as a deviation from the modernist tradition of rational and objective thinking. Postmodernism advocates people's capability to express themselves in any form possible, whether these thoughts are logically sound or not. Indeed, postmodernist literature, especially when applied in the field of poetry, is a work in transition, a reflection of one's thoughts unbounded by the rules that govern poetry and human thinking. In fact, postmodernism is accorded the same treatment as modernism had when it first emerged: it was considered non-literary, but had managed to immerse itself as one of the dominant genres in literature for the past century. Postmodernist poetry, despite its being non-literary and sometimes, "anti-poetic," in form, structure, and principle, is still considered part of the ever-changing nature of written literature. And since postmodernism effectively portrays the state of human conditions for the 21st century society, it remains true to the promise that poetry helps convey the nature of human feelings and thoughts. For years to come, postmodernism would become acknowledged as another form of literary genre that marked humanity's progress towards intellectual development through the years.

Emily Dickinson's poetry reflects the return of Romanticism in the period of postmodernism. Identified as Neo-Romanticism, this new movement in postmodernist poetry reflected her contemplative thoughts on life, love, and religious beliefs. These themes were reflections of the earlier literary movement Romanticism, and Dickinson's utilization of these themes helped her poetry be categorized under the genre associated with Romanticism. However, her poetry is Neo-Romanticist in that she also incorporated non-literary elements in her poetry, such as not using the conventional structure commonly associated and used in traditional poetry. Her use of broken lines of verse in her poems was a technique uncommon in the poetical tradition, although this uncommon technique helped emphasize Dickinson's meaning that she wanted to convey in the poem.

Similarly, Walt Whitman's use of the free-flow form and structure and discussion of sexually blatant issues as themes in his poetry illustrated how he was one of the best examples of poetry exemplified in the postmodernist tradition. Similar to Dickinson's use of unconventional poetical structure, Whitman's style helped propel him to popularity from the modernist to postmodernist periods.

Because of these similarities in Whitman's and Dickinson's poetry, both poets are considered one of the early proponents of postmodernist poetry. They truly embody the spirit of poetry through the years because they were able to fuse the traditional themes commonly experienced by… [read more]

Politics, Literature and the Arts Term Paper

5 pages (1,748 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 1+

… Structurally, there is a similarity between Camus' play and Kafka's and Lang's films as well. It too is propelled by a transformation, but not by an ordinary worker, but by the tyrannical protagonist and Roman emperor. The transformation in Caligula occurs during the dictator's disappearance after his beloved Drusilla's death, and this transformation transforms the play as society, after Caligula's return and the becomes increasingly oppressive. However, rather than a revelation of truth, Camus shows a man who experiences a transformation of madness, and in a totalitarian world, a transformation of madness in the dictator and protagonist affects the entire world. Caligula's madness affects those who surround him, but in a controlling fashion rather than in a passive fashion as in Gregor. Still, both Camus and Kafka show the dangers of a society that limits human freedom and propels individuals into despair, in one case insect-like paralysis, and even in the ruling classes, a kind of megalomania in the absence of real love. And even Caligula embraces his own assassination, as Lang's thinkers feel alienated from love, and Freder seeks affection in the bowls beneath his supposedly ideal, but really love-destroying totalitarian world.

Works Cited

Camus, Albert. "Caligula." 1936.

Kafka, Franz. "Metamorphosis." Translated by Ian Johnston. Released October 2003. http://www.mala.bc.ca/~johnstoi/stories/kafka-E.htm

'Metropolis." Directed by Fritz Lang. 1926.… [read more]

Roles of Italian Women in Italian American Literature Term Paper

7 pages (2,280 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 1+

… Evolving and Multifaceted Roles of Italian-American Women in Literature: Through the Eyes of Women and Men

Whores. Temptresses. The Holy Madonna incarnate, and living in a tenement in New York City. The dutiful Catholic daughter, sent across an ocean far away to marry a man she does not know. The long-suffering wife of a construction worker or a wife-beater. All… [read more]

Frost Eliot Term Paper

2 pages (584 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 0

… American Literature

In the works of William Faulkner ("Light in August"), Jean Toomer ("Cane"), and Eugene O'Neill ("The Hairy Ape), the emergence of the theme of racism was illustrated as a social issue that was embedded in the daily lives and mundane activities of people at any point or period in American history. What was evident in these authors' works was the illustration of racism as a way of life, as part of the mundane, wherein the phenomenon simply happens without sufficient explanation or determined origin. Moreover, racism was almost always depicted by considering non-white or colored individuals as inherently untrustworthy and has the tendency to commit deviant acts and behavior. Take as an example Faulkner's novel, which featured Joe Christmas, a man of mixed race, who had been associated as bad man because, among other things, he has "negro blood." What was noticeable in people's judgment was that they did not discriminate him due to his irresponsible and criminal acts, but mainly due to the fact that he is a man of mixed blood origin. Their judgment of Christmas's personality was based primarily on his race, and his criminal behavior supported the people's pre-conceived notions that he was indeed a man not to be given the town's confidence. Racism in O'Neill's play, meanwhile, was a metaphorical distinction that points out how humanity had regressed rather than improved as time moved forward and civilizations improved. His satirical play centers on the moral degeneration of humanity as it became thoroughly industrialized and modernized, hence, humans have become "apes" once again. Lastly, Toomer's selections in "Cane" reflected the seemingly prejudiced treatment of colored people, as was explicated in the story, Becky. Despite Becky's being a white woman, she was still discriminated because she "had…… [read more]

Romantic Ideal in the Poetry Term Paper

2 pages (591 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 1+

… William Wordsworth

Like Blake, Wordsworth is also disenchanted with the evils imposed by society. He however focuses more strongly on the self created by the society in which he lives. In "Ode: Imitations of Immortality" laments the boundaries imposed upon children by education. According to the poem, children, who enjoy and appreciate everything, learn to become disenchanted by learning. The poet's cure for this is a return to childhood innocence and an enjoyment of nature. For Wordsworth then, nature is the cure for the blandness imposed by modern society.

Walt Whitman

Whitman's poetry disregards all rules, regulations and forces of propriety. He focuses utterly on the self, like Wordsworth does. In "I Sing the Body Electric" Whitman however focuses on the joy it is to be human without first going through the anguish found in Wordsworth's poem. Whitman's rebellion focuses on the complete enjoyment of the self, especially those considered taboo by society.

Each of the above poets therefore create their Romantic works through rebellion against the forces of society as they exist during the time of their writing. Whereas Blake focuses mostly on the physical discomforts imposed by society and severely criticizes these, Wordsworth provides a more gentle criticism and makes it the responsibility of the self to rebel against these circumstances and reconnect with joy. Whitman's rebellion is much more subtle, in that he focuses exclusively on the self in search of his or her soul. Each poem therefore reflects the dichotomy between the self imposed by society and the ideal of the happy childhood self that used to be since birth.


Blake, William. "The Chimney Sweeper."

Whitman, Walt. "I Sing the Body Electric."

Wordsworth, William. "Ode: Imitations…… [read more]

Poetry Explication Term Paper

2 pages (828 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 1

… Poetry explication of "Bushed" by Earle Birney

This is an explication of "Bushed" by Earle Birney. The following explication will deal with the story and situation of the poem as well as the central theme that informs its meaning. Special attention will be paid to the way that language and literary devices enhance and extend the central meaning of the poem.

The central focus of the poem is nature and the way that mankind reacts and relates to nature. The title of the poem also refers to someone who is lost or immersed in the wilderness of nature. The term 'bushed' usually refers to someone who has become confused and disorientated both physically and metaphorically. However the central theme of the poem, I feel, deals with the search for the an understanding of what it means to be human in relation to nature.

The first stanza or section reveals a paradox and a contradiction that seems to haunt the entire poem. This is stated in the first line of the poem

He invented a rainbow but lightning struck it. (1)

This line seems to indicate that the protagonist had certain ideals or plans but that these were "struck by lightning' in a metaphorical sense. In other words, there is a sense that a certain views about life that the protagonist had, have been changed or altered. The reason for this change is explained in the following two lines.

A shattered it into the lap-lake of a mountain so big his mind slowed when he looked at it. (2/3)

The immense power and meaning of nature has been almost too much for the protagonist and has changed his views about life. The immensity and power of nature "slows his mind' in that it is too much to absorb. The poet uses alliteration to emphasize this aspect in the second line - lap-lake - which suggests the beauty and natural rhythm of nature. Therefore the first section establishes the foundation of the poem by placing man directly in relation to the awesome meaning of nature. This confrontation in the wilderness or "bush" also results in an exploration of what it means to be human.

In spite of the "shattering" effect of nature on the protagonist's views and intentions, he perseveres in his confrontation with nature and builds a shack in the wilderness. He experiences the changes and the mysterious communications that nature sends by observing the natural phenomena around him. The poet makes use of colorful…… [read more]

Octavio Paz Transplanted Languages Term Paper

4 pages (1,200 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 1+

… Some feel that the European influence was not restricted to language alone but was could also been seen in themes and plots: "All too often the nineteenth century Spanish-American novel is clumsy and inept, with a plot derived at second hand from the contemporary European Romantic novel' (Franco, p. 56) Other felt that old Latin American works mostly reflected a strong and marked European influence even on character development, dreams and aspirations of those characters and almost everything else: 'If heroes and heroines in mid-nineteenth century Latin American novels were passionately desiring one another across traditional lines . . . those passions might not have prospered a generation earlier. In fact, modernizing lovers were learning how to dream their erotic fantasies by reading the European romances they hoped to realize.' (Sommer, pp.31-2)

This influence has more or less endured and withstood the test of time. European languages and cultures left an indelible mark on Latin American literature so much so that some critics feel that this influence renders local writers incapable of producing original work. Candido (1980) argued: "We [Latin American writers] never create original expressive forms or basic expressive techniques, in the sense that we mean by romanticism, on the level of literary movements; the psychological novel, on the level of genres; free indirect style, on that of writing . . . The various nativisms never rejected the use of the imported literary forms . . . what was demanded was the choice of new themes, of different sentiments. (pp. 272 -- 3)

Latin American and Caribbean literature experienced a massive transformation when they found themselves in the midst of a transplanted culture. This culture gave birth to terms and phrases that altered the language and from this, emerged literature which was accused of lack of identity and originality. But it must pays to remember that Paz admits to the part played by locals in acceptance of transplanted culture and languages. "Our literatures did not passively accept the changing fortunes of the transplanted languages: they participated in the process and even accelerated it. They very soon ceased to be mere transatlantic reflections: at times they have been the negation of the literatures of Europe; more often, they have been a reply." (Paz, Nobel 5). This adoption and acceptance of transplanted language and its incorporation in literature must not be viewed as a solely negative experience. Some critics and writers maintain that intercultural interaction of this kind gives richness and depth to literature of both sides. Harris argues that literature is "subtly enriched within and against other apparently alien imaginations," and cross-cultural reading indicates that "each work complexly and peculiarly revises another and is inwardly revised in turn in profound context" (p. 127).

Octavio Paz's views on transplanted languages and their use in Latin American literature is thus an acknowledged fact. Other critics and writers have also pointed to this problem. Some maintain that this cultural and linguistic conflict adds to the beauty and richness of Latin American literature while… [read more]

Courtly Love Your Purchase Term Paper

8 pages (2,336 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 0

… It was important for them to love without expecting anything in return. This intense devotion was basically devoid of any expectations of rewards and males were supposed to love without concern for consequences. "Well may that love prosper through which one hopes to have the joy of successful love and serving loyally!" Gace Brule declared. "But I expect nothing from… [read more]

Keats: Ode on a Grecian John Term Paper

6 pages (1,784 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 1+

… Keats: Ode on a Grecian

John Keats was the last to be born and the first to die of the great Romantics. He is considered by many critics as one of the most important of the Romantic poets.

His work encapsulates many of the central aims and intentions of Romanticism.

As a Romantic poet he found the meaning to life… [read more]

Morality in Literature Journey Term Paper

6 pages (1,789 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 0

… e., acts and thoughts that benefited society and/or the individual, Swift's discourse in "Gulliver's Travels" showed a pluralist view of morality. Gulliver's journeys enabled him to be exposed to various cultures and societies of creatures who have different understandings and interpretations of morality. One such example of a different moral culture were the Yahoos, who, despite their human-like characteristics, have an altogether different morality standards than humans. The Yahoos stood for everything the humans were against, but surprisingly, were considered by Gulliver as relatively 'more civilized' than humans are: " ... he looked upon us as a sort of animals whose share ... some small pittance of reason had fallen, whereof we made no other use than ... To aggravate our natural corruptions ... " His literal and spiritual journeys had taught him that humanity's morality can be contested, that in fact, morality can vary depending on the context it was applied. Moreover, his observations and experiences showed that despite the presence of moral standards, humanity has yet to prove itself worthy of the civilization that had been given them on earth.

Among these literary works, Swift's insights about morality as a process of spiritual journey and conquest for the true meaning of 'right' and 'wrong' was truthfully portrayed than Dante, Moliere, Shakespeare, and Coleridge's belief in good actions and thoughts as moral actions and thoughts as well. What Swift's "Gulliver's Travels" proved was that morality has numerous facets and can have multiple meanings and interpretations. Gulliver's experiences and integration in various cultures of the world led him to believe that indeed, spiritual journeys can bring one to the true meaning of morality, which is actually believing that morality can be varied, depending on the…… [read more]

Message, Different Genres Literature Term Paper

9 pages (3,281 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 1+

… However, Millay's tone and voice is always strong and direct. This creates the sense that women are not as they appear. Even if a woman's appearance might suggest weakness or control by others, this does not mean that the person is not strong and in charge. This is one way that questions are immediately introduced, with the message to men… [read more]

Poetry Term Paper

3 pages (1,237 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 0

… "The Faithful Wife" is written in a plain-speak prose, more casual than the previous two poems. The tone is so simple, in fact, that it fits to think that Greenberg would stand at the mirror, brushing her teeth, and thinking this poem to herself -- more than all else, it is a train of thought. She writes in the first-person and to her lover, whom the reader can presume is a lover in a committed, if not official, respect. The tone is direct, but hidden with a world full of litotes, and subtle understatements; she uses the literary tool to reinforce the delicacy of the meaning of the poem.

There is no direct rhythm or meter followed throughout the poem, although each line is spliced with caesura, reinforcing the natural tone of the poem. There is a noticeable lack of consonance and enjambment, allowing for an easy flow between the words and lines. The simple cadence of the prose is important, because Greenberg uses it to reach around the words and cloth the poem in intimate perspective. The construction of the poem makes evident to the reader that while the poem is to be read, the reader is the silent observer in a small room of conversation between two people intimately, and lovingly, connected; the observer has no voice, but is instead present to witness a quiet intimacy.

Greenberg begins the poem by saying, "But if I were to have a lover, it would be someone/who could take nothing form you." [1] The poem continues to describe how, if she were to take another lover, the lover would do none of the things she and the addressee do; they would speak a language, wear colors, and enjoy activities that the addressee is either unable to or does not enjoy. "He and I would speak/Spanish, which is not your tongue, and we would take/long walks in fields of burdock, to which you are allergic." [13]

If she were to take another lover, the lover would be nothing like the current one. But the word choice of her original sentence is critical, "If I were to have a lover, it would be someone/who could take nothing from you." [1] Contrasting the first line with the tile, "The Faithful Wife," does Greenberg intend to say that by taking a lover that is nothing like the current, fidelity is still maintained? Is fidelity only cheating when one lover chooses something present in the consummated relationship out of another relationship, too? Would it be cheating if the addressee of this poem, for example, were not allergic to burdock? Greenberg ultimately answers the question at which her discourse had been prodding: "It would be/altogether different. I would know him with my other body, / the one that you have never asked to see." [17] The partner to whom the wife is faithful is almost unfaith on its own; by not knowing the wife in the whole, there is a hole in the fidelity.

While each poet… [read more]

Multiculturalism Myth, Literature Term Paper

8 pages (2,403 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 1+

… Getting to the heart of this drama he is describing, which is far less obviously a ruse than the train making stops along its route picking up literary tools in chapter #2, one can't help but feel he is just toying with concepts in a sometimes-absurd little drama of his own. On page 2, he talks about the "cyclic consciousness… [read more]

Children's Literature Term Paper

5 pages (2,131 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 1+

… Symbolism in Children's Literature

Animals might be cute and attractive characters in children's literature but they usually carry great symbolic values. One of the most foundational examples of the way in which an animal character can be read as a symbol of society is found in Anna Sewell's Black Beauty. Within this work there are countless examples of the ways… [read more]

Psychology and Literature Term Paper

1 pages (330 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 0

… Bibliotherapy, or reading books to enhance personal understanding of self, can have a place in psychotherapy. Some books contain insights into why people act as they do as well as how our choices can have unintended negative consequences. It would not replace therapy but could give client and therapist a frame of reference from which to discuss some issues.

In the book East of Eden, people have to choose between doing the right thing or doing the wrong thing. One character, Cal, learns that he can actively choose good over evil, but Cathy/Kate, while she has freedom to choose, repeatedly makes poor choices and remains a negative character. She does not grow morally, but Cal does. In therapy, this book might be used to help a client learn to predict the consequences of his or her actions and to recognize that the behaviors we exhibit are choices, and that the person can change the choices he or she makes.… [read more]

Pride in Literature Term Paper

3 pages (999 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 0

… Odysseus's pride only causes him to get sidetracked on his way back home to Penelope, but the hero of Homer's Odyssey is not cruel and he does finally learn to temper his pride with wisdom as Gilgamesh did. In each of these three works, pride is featured as a major tragic personality flaw in powerful leaders, a flaw that causes hardship and death but that which can be overcome and learned from.

Pride takes on a different aura in the medieval epic Beowulf, in which the title character's pride is not portrayed so much as a flaw as it is an indicator of his bravado and glory. Beowulf's death is caused by his overconfidence in his abilities to slay the dragon, but he nevertheless emerges as an unsullied hero. In fact, he maintains his status and reputation precisely because of his pride, his unwavering belief in his physical prowess. Beowulf's pride does not become treachery or self-aggrandizement. Rather, Beowulf's personal glory immortalizes him and renders him a true victorious hero. Pride is therefore portrayed as a positive, empowering force that can be harnessed by a war hero and used as a weapon against fear as well as the enemy.

With the subsequent rise of Christianity as a world religion, pride takes on a far different flavor in world literary masterpieces. Pride is no longer just a character flaw exhibited by powerful rulers, and pride is certainly not a tool by which to obtain glory. Rather, pride is portrayed by Dante as an absolute sin. Pride as a sin renders the trait far more insipid than it is in classical or medieval literature. However, as Dante travels through Hell, he appears humble and willing to learn from his guide Virgil, but his removal from the horrors he witnesses in Hell gives Dante a different sense of pride than that exhibited by Beowulf. Rather than using his pride to promote his heroic qualities, Dante's pride helps him to feel superior to the sinners. Pride is implicitly mentioned as a deadly sin in Dante's Inferno, illustrating the impact of Christian morals on world literature.

Finally, Shakespeare blended the classical and Christian views of pride in his Renaissance plays like Othello. Pride is the title character's tragic flaw, leading to his ultimate downfall and indirectly to the deaths of his loved ones. Othello's pride is not heroic like that of Beowulf's or Achilles, although at first, his self-confidence renders Othello a charismatic leader. In fact, Othello demonstrates pride as an almost likeable trait, as when he proudly recalls his military victories to show how he won Desdemonda's heart. Othello's pride at first is machismo, similar to Beowulf's pride. However, his refusal to confront Desdemonda regarding her supposed affair was a mistake borne of pride. The severe impact of Othello's pride: including the death of Desdemonda and his own suicide, show that pride is as severe as any sin and is not simply a tragic flaw.… [read more]

Chinese Poetry Term Paper

2 pages (713 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 1

… ¶ … Chiang Lin-Chi Treats Me to Mudfish" by Mei Yao-ch'en. Specifically, it will discuss how it is typical of the tendencies seen in Sung dynasty poetry. This poem illustrates Sung dynasty poetry for many reasons, in fact, it is an excellent example of this type of poetry.

This poem is simple and easy to read, and that is one of the things that make it a typical Sung dynasty poem. By the Sung dynasty, poets were beginning to write poems that were less stylized and difficult to read. Poets were beginning not to use rhyming verse, (free verse), and this poem is written in that style. It does not rhyme, and the lines do not follow a specific style, they simply are arranged so that they tell the story of the fish effectively and with style.

Much of the poetry of this time referred to nature or natural subjects, just like this poem does. The author writes about cooking and eating a smelly fish, but he discovers it tastes quite good. The poem is written in simple language about something that many people have done, and it is even a bit humorous. The fish is the real subject of the poem, and the fish is part of the natural world that was so important to Sung dynasty poets.

The Sung period was an important one for poetry, because there were many poets writing and publishing their poems. Poems were expected to be more literary and less moralistic or philosophical (Mair 340). This poem seems simple, but it does have many literary qualities. It is well written, and it uses formal language even though the topic is not formal. For example, the poet writes, "Yesterday her invited me to dine with him / and I found it more delicious than the finest fish" (Yao-ch'en). That language is formal and very literary, but it still gets the meaning across to the reader. The message in the poem is not too heavy, either. Basically, the poet is telling the reader that they need to be open to new experiences, and not to judge things by their reputation, or…… [read more]

William Wordsworth's Political Poetry Term Paper

8 pages (2,372 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 1+

… Politics of William Wordsworth: A Comparative Analysis of his Poetry between 1798 ("the Tables Turned") and 1807 ("I Grieved for Buonaparte, with a Vain")

The political crisis that is the French Revolution that occurred in Europe between the periods 1789 to 1799 illustrates the influential effects of the Enlightenment movement and political ideas of the philosophes. The prevalent ideology of… [read more]

Teaching Classic Literature Term Paper

5 pages (1,740 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 1+

… All these students' needs should be taken into account. This can only be done when the focus is their, rather than the teacher's, concerns in terms of lifestyle and history.

Lessons of virtue and criticism are much easier to learn from a message presented in immediately understandable form, rather than works obscured by archaic language and paradigms. College curriculums on the other hand can contain classics for those who choose to study them. While I believe that the classics have much to offer in terms of the intellectual faculties mentioned above, I also believe that more modern works of literature can develop critical and intellectual faculties as adequately as can any work by Shakespeare or Homer. For a school curriculum I therefore believe it is much more adequate to give students reading material that will stimulate them rather than tax them and eventually defeat them.


Cantor, Paul A. "Shakespeare-"for all time"? - politicizing the teaching of Shakespeare's works." In Public Interest, Winter 2004. The National Affairs, 2004.

Donelson, Ken. "The Student's Right to Read." http://www.ncte.org/about/over/positions/category/cens/107616.htm

Kern, Andrew. "Teaching Classical Literature Classically." Memoria Press, 2004. http://www.memoriapress.com/articles/classicallit.html

La Vigne, Michelle. "Firing the Canon: Teaching Literature in Secondary Schools." Notes from the Hartland, 2004.

Stevenson, D. "The Teaching of Literature." In Parents' Review, 2004, p. 102-108. http://amblesideonline.homestead.com/PRTeachingofLit.html… [read more]

African-American Women's Literature Term Paper

10 pages (3,455 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 0

… African-American Women's Literature

Unlike any other marker of civilization literature demonstrates a vision of the social and psychological world in which we live. During the post civil rights era there have been a number of seminal authors who give meaning and message to their times and the times, which came before them. Literature during this period is a marker of… [read more]

Romanticism and Romantic Poetry Term Paper

4 pages (1,130 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 1+

… In the works of Blake and Wordsworth there is a conflict in their views of imagination and nature on one level and congruence on another more subtle level. On the one hand, William Blake radically rejected nature as part of the temporal and 'fallen' world and viewed nature as intrinsically inferior to the immutable and eternal forms of the imagination; while on the other hand, Wordsworth viewed nature as a conduit of the imagination; a means by which we can apprehend the eternal forms and power of the imagination.

William Blake's was vehemently opposed to the rationalistic and scientific empiricism of his time that was expounded in the views of Bacon, Locke and Newton. The mechanization and scientific understanding of reality was, according to Blake, a perversion of the 'holy energies of the imagination'. The vision of the imagination that Blake suggested was radical in that it was a total vision of reality through artistic imagination, without any mediation from nature or other sources. For Blake the power of the imagination enabled us

To see the World in a Grain of Sand

And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,

Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand

And Eternity in an Hour www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=71281007" (Keynes 431)

While symbols of nature are used in the above extract, Blake was strongly opposed to any veneration of nature or the natural; as he saw this as counter to the appreciation of imagination in itself.

In Songs of Experience, however, Blake is close to Wordsworth's perception of the developing industrial world and its view of reality. This is symbolized for Blake by the Image of the city.

In Songs of Experience he clearly states his perception of the modern city as representative of a world that has lost the essence of life and imagination. In London Blake views the pathos and tragedy of a city oppressed by laws and regulations that reduce its inhabitants to mere cogs in a machine:

wander through each chartered street

Near where the chartered Thames does flow,

And mark in every face I meet

Marks of weakness, marks of woe.

Songs of Experience)

One way of understanding the differences between the two poets is to view Blake's understanding of the imagination as being more 'active', while Wordsworth had a more 'passive' notion of the imagination. For Blake, imagination was the primary activity of the artist and he viewed imagination as a tool to shape and construct the world of our perception. Wordsworth's comprehension of imagination on the other hand is more receptive rather than aggressive and allows the images and forms from nature to shape the poetic flow and content. Both poets produced their work from a combination of outer and inner influences.


Keynes, Geoffrey, Ed. The Complete Writings, with Variant Readings. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991.


AFTER THE PUBLICATION OF LYRICAL BALLADS. Jul 14, 2004. http://facta.junis.ni.ac.yu/facta/lal/lal97/lal97-02.pdf.

Songs of Experience. Litencyc.com. July 14, 2004. http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=2004

Wordsworth's "Michael." July 14, 2004 http://www.mc.maricopa.edu/%7Edeberle/ModGenre.htm

Wordsworth, William.… [read more]

Psychoanalysis and Literature Narrative Term Paper

5 pages (1,404 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 1+

… She explores ideas including love and death, and examines cultural impacts on self-discovery. There are many feminist aspects prevalent in her works. The extent to which she utilizes a confessional technique, where she seeks to analyze the drives and needs that motivate characters by having them tell personal stories and confess strong feelings in which the characters sometimes aspire to… [read more]

Gender Criticism of Poetry Term Paper

6 pages (1,929 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 1+

… Book ended by the two Biblical allusions, which together signify the beginning and end of Judeo-Christian history, the speaker locates their romance within the timeline of this spiritual history."

Rossetti's poem is equally of a faith tradition, but lacks the highfalutin references of Marvell's work. The poem denies the fascination of women with male adoration, in his very beginning, "when I am dead, my dearest, / Sing no sad songs for me," although the fact that Rossetti calls her poem a song may be some yielding, cheeky reference to the fact that she, even as a dead, female speaker, does have a right to sing even after death, even after she has yielded her childbearing female body to the ground where it can make no more men, only green grass.

But ultimately, Rossetti's poem stands as a female acceptance to the natural rhymes of nature, and even in its religious resonance it refers to nature, rather than theological events. Rossetti stresses from her female perspective, that male monuments to women, either in the form of children or of gravestones do not last, nor do any human attempts at immortality. Even the sighs of a lover are absent from the ears of the poet:

shall not see the shadows,

I shall not feel the rain;

I shall not hear the nightingale

Sing on, as if in pain:

And dreaming through the twilight

That doth not rise nor set,

Haply I may remember,

And haply may forget.

Thus both Andrew Marvell and Christina Rossetti end their poems about the relationship of human sexuality and desire to mortality with a reference to the ultimate forgetting, that of death. But the female poet and speaker of Rossetti's poem does so haply, for she knows death is inevitable, and that human monuments are transient, no matter how permanent they may feel. In contrast, Marvell attempts to run with his mistress from this truth, although if the coy mistress of his address resembled Rossetti's speaker in her ideology, perhaps she was more apt to run from him than to seek out a refuge from the grave in his arms, however poetic.

Works Cited

Ephraim, Michelle. Andrew Marvell's "To His Coy Mistress": A Feminist Reading


Marvell, Andrew. "To His Coy Mistress" http://bcs.bedfordstmartins.com/virtualit/poetry/mistress_elements.html

Marsh, Jan. Christina Rossetti: A Writer's Life, 1995.

Rossetti, Christina. "Song: When I am Dead my Dearest." (1830-1894)

http://classiclit.about.com/library/bl-etexts/crossetti/bl-crossetti-wheni.htm… [read more]

Robinson, Whitman, and Wordsworth Poems Term Paper

2 pages (769 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 1+

… For example, the line lengths are long and they force us to read the poem smoothly, so we may pay attention to what the poet is saying. Sine these poems are about the death of an individual, the poet wants to pay close attention to their words. In Wordsworth's poem, the line lengths are shorter, which makes us read the poem quicker. This fits with the poems less serious subject matter.

We can see how each poet uses literary devices such as imagery, symbolism, and irony. In "Richard Cory," we see an example of imagery when we are told that Mr. Cory "glittered when he walked." (8). In "Oh Captain! My Captain," the poet describes "the bleeding drops of red,/Where on the deck my Captain lies (6-7). In "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud," the daffodils are "tossing their heads in sprightly dance" (12). Each of these images helps us see what the poet is talking about. We can also see irony in "Richard Cory." This is clear when we read the last line of the poem and we discover that despite his wealth, he was still unhappy enough to kill himself. In "Oh Captain! My Captain," the poet writes each stanza with a powerful and victorious beginning. These lines make us think that the poem will continue in this manner. However, the last lines of each stanza become sorrowful as the poet describes the dead captain. These devices help us understand the meaning of each poem.

In conclusion, we can see how each poet is reflecting on a personal issue and expressing his feelings in a way for the world to understand. Edwin Arlington Robinson, Walt Whitman, and William Wordsworth utilize the themes and tone of their poems to help with their expressions. They also employ other literary devices that allow us to envision their topics.

Works Cited

Robinson, Edwin Arlington. "Richard Cory." Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. Kennedy, X.J., et al., eds. New York: Longman Publishers. 2002.

Whitman, Walt. "Oh Captain! My Captain." Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. Kennedy, X.J., et al., eds. New York: Longman Publishers. 2002.

Wordsworth, William. "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud." Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. Kennedy, X.J., et al., eds. New York: Longman Publishers. 2002.… [read more]

Dylan's "The Times Term Paper

2 pages (903 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 1+

… The lyrics to Bob Dylan's song, "The Times they are a Changing," again present a fundamentally different view of human goals and desires than do the poems of either Hughes or Auden. To many people, Dylan's music, and this song in particular, represents the rebellion of the youth of the 1960s against the conformity of American society, and are a clear protest against the Vietnam War. Energetic and defiant, Dylan's lyrics declare that "The order is rapidly fading" and that "The line, it is drawn, the curse, it is cast." Here, Dylan is clearly suggesting that America's old ways of doing things are about to change, and that a new age of equality and opportunity are upon the nation. Dylan's lyrics reveal a theme of hope about the future where equality and opportunity and imply that this future will provide people with the ability to pursue their dreams and goals. Dylan's hopeful theme is a profound contrast against Auden's view of a future society as one where individuality has been crushed, and hopes and dreams have been sacrificed to conformity. Dylan's view of the future, where "the loser will be later to win" provides a hope for the fulfillment of the deferred dreams of Hughes' poem. Further, the waters that have grown, and the wheel that is "still in spin" likely represent social change that has been brought about in part by those whose dreams have been stifled, resulting in this frustration "exploding" in social change, as noted in Hughes' poem.

In conclusion, through their different treatment of the theme of deferred dreams, Dylan, Hughes and Auden reveal different implications for society. In Hughes' "Harlem: A Dream Deferred," he investigates the destructive impact of deferring dreams, while Auden's "The Unknown Citizen" looks at the impact of conformity on the loss of human dreams. In contrast, Dylan's "The Times they are a Changing" is a hopeful and defiant look at how social change can bring about the realization of opportunities and dreams.

Works Cited

Auden, W.H. The Unknown Citizen. In: Kennedy, X.J. And Gioia, Dana. 2001. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama (8th Edition). Pearson Longman.

Dylan, Thomas. The Times they are a Changing. In: Kennedy, X.J. And Gioia, Dana. 2001. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama (8th Edition). Pearson Longman.

Hughes, Langston. Harlem: A Dream Deferred. In: Kennedy, X.J. And Gioia, Dana. 2001. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama (8th Edition). Pearson Longman.… [read more]

English Literature Death in Venice Case Study

4 pages (1,207 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 1+

… Reader-Response Criticism of Thomas Mann's narrator in Death in Venice should most assuredly take into account, as Furst writes, the "further repercussions" of the "narrator's outbursts against Aschenbach." The skepticism a reader may - and should - feel towards the narrator only begins to grow, Furst writes (168), when juxtaposing the beginning - where the narrator "shows an understanding empathy for Aschenbach" - to the end, when the narrator's description of Aschenbach "is transformed into scoffing criticism."

Meantime, a look at this suspicious and dramatic changing of his tune by the narrator - through the prism of Cultural Criticism (CC) - may be helpful in terms of defining CC. The way the narrator changes his attitude towards Aschenbach could be seen as analogous to how a character in a film can be transformed (through film direction and script manipulation) from a good guy at the beginning, to an evil character towards the end. And that analogy with Aschenbach would remain true to the viewers in the theaters only if the character's changed appearance were without obvious cause - that somehow, a movie-goer could not detect anything untoward about the character throughout most of the movie. The question for the viewer at the end is why was there such a dramatic change in that character, when no scenes were presented that even hinted at such a transformation.

Another look at a situation in the book where Cultural Criticism (the non-elitist view) comes into play is presented in The Explicator (Bergenholtz, 1997). The writer of this article asks the simple question as to whether or not Aschenbach is a "tragic character," and then presents several conflicting views regarding the proper answer to the question. Bergenholtz points out that critic Erich Heller believes Aschenbach is indeed a tragic figure: "[He] describes the novella as the 'tragic story of Aschenbach's disillusion and downfall'." However, juxtaposed to that criticism, Bergenholtz continues, is critic Martin Travers, who "insists that 'it is not on a note of exaltation that Aschenbach is granted his exit, but rather on one of banality..." Travers believes that "It is not the noble genre of tragedy but that hybrid form of doubtful status, tragi-comedy, that provides the medium for his valediction."

And taking into account those opposing views of the character Aschenbach, Bergenholtz insists that "Aschenbach is not a romantic artist-hero but a parody of one." Bergenholtz takes this position because the novella focuses on his downward slippage rather than his rise to "artistic renewal."

Another critical look at the Thomas Mann book and its ramifications is offered in Symposium (Hirschbach, 2001). In critiquing Death in Venice: Case Studies in Contemporary Criticism, Hirschbach says that Lilian Furst "dwells on the deceptive abyss" between Aschenbach's life and his work "and accuses Aschenbach of misreading Plato and engaging in self-deception." This is a very good example of how the Reader-Response Criticism can be most effective; Hirschbach says Furst "challenges" the reader to notice details "of Mann's narrative strategy and combine them into a cohesive… [read more]

Jealous Woman in Asian Literature Term Paper

4 pages (1,160 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 0

… On the contrary, it is symptomatic of the transformation in female inheritance rights that dispossessed and disenfranchised women during the Kamakura and Muromachi periods. According to Brown's micropolitical interpretation, Aoi spiritual possession is caused by Rokuj?'s anger and resentment at her economic dispossession. Given that the play effectively demonizes Rokuj?, Brown claims that Aoi no Ue is a performance that both confronts and excuses patriarchal guilt:

Without reducing the plot to demonize Rokuj? To a full-blown conspiracy, I would argue that the staging of jealousy in Aoi no Ue [ ... ] was also an exorcism of the contingencies associated with the reversal of female inheritance rights, which played an important role in the further consolidation of Ashikaga shogunal authority and its differentiation from imperial authority.

(Brown 87)

The third section of Theatricalities of Power, 'Performativities of Power', continues its exploration of the 'micropolitics' of Noh Theater by showing how plays such as Ominanmeshi and Tomoe use the tropes of female suicide and female-to-male cross-dressing to consolidate and reproduce male supremacy in Japan. In these chapters, performance is conceived as a way of structuring and producing the real: it creates new identities and knowledge. Noh theater's productive role is emphasized in the final chapter of the book, 'The Hegemon as Actor', when Brown describes how the shogun, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, trained as a Noh performer and acted in self-commissioned plays that rhetorically displayed and cemented his prestige and authority:

The Taik? Noh plays written for Hideyoshi are [ ... ] unique in the history of world drama by virtue of the unprecedented role played by Hideyoshi in his own self-staging, thus blurring the boundaries between theatricality and politics to a degree unimaginable even on the Shakespearean stage.

(Brown 126-7)

A Connection

The triumph of Buddhist law and saving of Lady Aoi contrasts with The Tale of Genji; in the novel, Lady Aoi "dies giving birth to Genji's son" (Morris 31).

Heian / Kamakura Literature and The Tale of Genji

Medieval Japan reached its collateral's highest point with the flowering of the Heian period. During this period, Lady Murasaki Shikibu, a lady-in-waiting to the empress, wrote the classic love story called, The Tale of Genji (Kodansha 2). This literary work describes the elegant and refined society of the Heian period. Genteel's love affairs are the dominant theme in the Tale of Genji, which focused on Genji's romances. The story of Genji is essentially about Prince Genji, the young handsome son of an emperor. The Prince possessed all the virtues including "beauty, grace, talent, and sensitivity" (Puette 53).

In order to understand Genji's enchantment and femininely character, we must consider the background of Lady Murasaki Shikibu, and Genji's relationships with his women. According to conjecture, Lady Murasaki was born after C.E. 937. During that period her father was a famous poet and scholar (Dalby 10). Furthermore, many of Murasaki's ancestors were sufficient to be called men of letters, or poets. Therefore it is clear that Lady Murasaki Shikibu had a strong literary influence… [read more]

African-American Literature -- Alice Walker Term Paper

3 pages (842 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 1+

… .. inadequacies which might tell heavily against another novel seem relatively insignificant in view of the one great challenge which Alice Walker has triumphantly met ... I find it impossible to imagine Celie apart from her language; through it, not only a memorable and infinitely touching character but a whole submerged world is vividly called into being. Miss Walker knows how to avoid the excesses of literal transcription while remaining faithful to the spirit and rhythms of Black English" (Bloom, 1994:201).

Significant themes and effective character portrayals in the novel also provide readers with a new emerging literary genre, wherein Walker's story centers on an individual's journey to self-discovery. This is shown in Celie's transition from being an abused victim to being an empowered woman; this occurrence within the novel is termed "bildungsroman." This term refers to the "genre that focuses primarily on the gradual growth and development of a "self" from childhood to adulthood" (McDowell, 1995:36). This genre is evident in Walker's writings, as illustrated in the following illustrations / descriptions of Celie in the novel: " ... Celie's introduction to sexuality is rape, as her narrative unfolds, she ... discovers how vital healthy sexual experiences are to the development of her self-esteem and her creative powers ... " (42).

The combination of critical issues about African-American women and the theme of self-discovery in Walker's novel led to the emergence of the genre of Womanism. Womanism is defined as a literary genre wherein "African-American women support each other and relate to the world" (Microsft Encarta 2002). According to Abel (1997), the genre of Womanism is a primary characteristic of African-American literature, where women's needs are expressed, subjective meanings to their social realities are constructed, and free market of ideas (intellectual discourse) that relate to the politics, economics, and culture of Womanism occur (30). In effect, Walker has achieved, through her literature, in breaking the 'barrier' that divides African-Americans and white Americans, males and females, and most importantly, women against their selves. Alice Walker is indeed the bastion of African-American literature, liberating women black American females by depicting "the 'truth'" in her works and making them realize their commonality, and share these "common experiences" with each other to celebrate their womanhood and essentially, individuality.


Abel, E. (1997). Female Subjects in Black and White: Race, Psychoanalysis, and Feminism. CA: University of California Press.

Bloom, H. (1994). Black American Women Fiction Writers. NY: Chelsea House Publishers.

McDowell, D. (1995). "The Changing Same":…… [read more]

Poetry Term Paper

5 pages (1,366 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 1+

… He instead moved around all of the emotional possibilities but was always sure to write in a way that made his readers FEEL.

III. Style

A. The style of Robert Frost was well-known both then and now (Riley pg). It was simple, it was clean and it was easily understood. He was never one to complicate the poetry with such fanciful words that they had to be re-evaluated constantly to be understood. Instead he used a direct approach and style to his work.

B. Whether he was speaking of warm sunny days, or cold snowy nights Frost always used a style that was rhythmic. He was said once to take a jab at Carl Sandburg by saying he would rather play tennis without a net then to try and write free form poetry. Frost had a confidence about his style that also illustrated the fact that he did not have a tragic and misunderstood life.

C. One of the styles that have frequently been studied is the fact that his work often asked a question.

1. In A Road Less Traveled he leaves the reader trying to answer the question about what would happen had he chosen the road less traveled, or the road that was easily used. It is something that Frost frequently used to get his reader actively involved in his work.

IV. Works





1. The Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening is a light hearted and peaceful prose about the beauty and calm of a snowy evening. It is one of the works he is most well-known for because of the emotion it evokes in those who read it (http://www.robertfrost.org/poem1.html).

2. He provides a light touch to the poem as he ponders what his horse must think about stopping where there is no farmhouse and the reader can visually imagine the beauty and calmness of the woods covered with a layer of unbroken snow, lit by the moonlight.


A. The audience of Robert Frost seems to know no boundaries. Because of the many various topics he wrote about he was able to reach young and old alike. His varied topics including apple picking and roads less traveled allow readers from all walks of life to relate to and enjoy the emotions that his poems tug to release.

B. In addition his work has no historic expiration date. Because of the wide range of generational years the poems cover his work will be enjoyed for many years to come by many different audiences.

VI. Accomplishments

A. Robert Frost had many accomplishments in during his lifetime. He received four Pulitzer Prizes for poetry-1924, 1931, 1937, and 1943(Frost (http://www.arches.uga.edu/~atakah/project.html).

B. Frost was the first poet that was ever asked to speak at the presidential inauguration. He read The Gift Outright (Frost (http://www.arches.uga.edu/~atakah/project.html).


Robert Frost was arguably one of the most wide reaching poets in history.… [read more]

Ralph Waldo Emerson's Influence Term Paper

2 pages (550 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 0

… The theme of transcendentalism is evident in one of Emerson's poems, entitled, "The Amulet." In this particular poem, Emerson expresses his belief in immaterial concepts and ideas, as contradicted by the physical belief that the amulet elicits from the individual or its owner. The poet first establishes the "powers" that amulets can give to people before contradicting and illustrating the futility that humans get out of these amulets. In describing it, Emerson describes that the amulet "keeps intelligence with you / Red when you love... And when you love not, pale and blue." However, the strong power that the amulet possesses is contradicted in the last stanza of the poem. The poet develops his thought fully in the last part of the poem, where he finally states that: "... love / Died in its last expression." By saying this, Emerson shows how, despite the metaphysical powers of amulets have over forcing someone to love another, it sacrifices one important thing needed in loving, which is precisely love itself.

Whitman and Dickinson follows suit in illustrating the theme of transcendentalism in their poetry. In Whitman's "When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer," the poet expresses his dismay at the seemingly scientific and technical way of looking at Nature, one of the extraordinary wonders of the world. Dickinson, on the other hand, illustrates in her poem, "A Word is Dead," how a linguistic symbol like a word can possess 'human-like' characteristics. This point is illustrated when Dickinson expressed in her poem, "I say it just / Begins to live / That day." These two examples of poems show Emerson's influence in placing priority in humanity and…… [read more]

Rhyming in Poetry Ruba Term Paper

2 pages (638 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 1+

… Lines 5-8 are interchangeable among each other, where lines 5 and 7 supplement each other in the same manner lines 6 and 8 do. The line "... after the sunset fadeth in the west" is synonymous to the line "Death's second self" and "rest" in line 8. It is noticeable that Shakespeare assumes a remorseful tone in his poem, although he ends his poem in a loving and more positive note, using the rhyming words "strong" and "long" in the last two lines of the poem to suggest how he and his lover's love for each other will remain "strong" and eternal in spite of death.

Edgar Allan Poe's "Annabel Lee," meanwhile, assumes a defiant tone against the elements of nature, who have taken his lover Annabel Lee away from him through death. Unlike Shakespeare who assumes a remorseful persona in his poem, Poe remains strong by declaring his love to Annabel Lee. His strength and confidence of his and Annabel Lee's love for each other is illustrated in the line "Than to love and be loved by me." Poe makes it a point to rhyme Annabel Lee's name with lines that illustrate his eternal love for her, such as "Coveted her and me," "And bore her away from me," and "In her sepulchre there by the sea / In her tomb by the side of the sea." Through these rhyming lines found in each stanzas of the poem (consecutively), Poe achieves the main idea he wants to convey to his audience and attaining a continuous narrative flow despite the shifts in his poem from declaration of love to death and eventual reunification after both lovers' deaths.


Poe, Edgar Allan. "Annabel Lee." Available at http://bau2.uibk.ac.at/sg/poe/works/poetry/annabel.html.

Rhyme." Microsoft Encarta Reference Library 2002. Microsoft Inc. 1998.

Shakespeare, William. "Sonnet 73." Available at http://stellar-one.com/poems/shakespeare_william_-sonnet_73.html.… [read more]

English Literature the Medieval Period Term Paper

4 pages (1,275 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 1+

… Shakespeare also exploited most human emotions that run deep such as patriotism, love, and envy. The sonnets are Shakespeare's "contribution to popular vogue," says Abrams. The poems are of importance, say Abrams because the "vocabulary is simple and the metaphorical style of the sonnets is rich." (Abrams 867).

The Reformation has been described as a return to "pure Christianity" (Abrams 416). However, in England, the movement did not necessarily begin with ideological differences. An important aspect of sixteenth century poetry was the sonnet. Within this style of poetry, there many variations of the lyric including the love sonnet, tragic modes, mythical-erotic modes, and the heroic mode. Plays also experienced rejuvenation after the fifteenth century and in the Elizabethan era, the sub-genre of "revenge" and "tragic" tragedies surfaced. Christopher Marlowe was an important playwright of this movement, as well as Shakespeare. Shakespeare has been considered the greatest writer of English literature, who was able to "combine a keen appreciation of the exhilarating freedom of the Renaissance with a profound intuition of the spiritual needs and potentialities of man" (Britannica).

The Restoration movement is what Abrams calls "varied and vigorous" (Abrams 1777). The Restoration did retain the same appreciation of the "heroic poem," as did the Renaissance writers. The Restoration movement was distinct in its treatment of drama.

Writers of this era "excelled in representing -- and critically evaluating -- the social behavior of the fashionable upper classes of the town (1778). This was a time of political unrest and literature often reflected what would be come known as man's inner conflict. An example of this kind of literature is Absalom and Achitophel by John Dryden. Absalom and Achitophel is a reaction to the religious and political turmoil of that era. This poem illustrates Dryden's ability to combine the heroic and the satirical along with decorum. Another example of a writer who reflected the events that were happening around him was Daniel Defoe. Defoe wrote Robinson Crusoe, which was a series of tales that has remained popular for centuries. In this series, Defoe was able to recount a situation vividly, using specific detail and a very relaxed prose. Dryden, Defoe, and others were taking the literary movement to a new, more realistic realm. The Restoration was clearly an indication of the direction where literature would be moving.

The Modernist movement in English literature begins with the nineteenth century. One characteristic of the modernist movement was a "rise in pessimism and stoicism" (1728) And example of this kind of pessimism can be found in Thomas Hardy's work. The modern movement is also characterized by an anti-Victorian sentiment. In fact, Edward VII and the Edwardian England was "very conscious of being no longer Victorian" (1729). Abrams even states that Edward "stamped his extrovert and self-indulgent character on the decade in which he reigned" (A 1729). World War I then produced some "major shifts in attitudes" (1729). James Joyce, DH Lawrence and Virginia Woolf were major contributors to the modern movement. These novelists wrote about… [read more]

Death in Poetry Ruba Term Paper

2 pages (602 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 0

… .. I am sorry, but I quite forgot / It was your resting-place."

A.E. Housman's depiction of death in "Eight O' Clock" shows a man's countdown to death, using the title "Eight O'clock" as the dreaded time of the man who was "Strapped, noosed, nighing his hour," illustrating his position as a prisoner condemned to death. The last line saying "... The clock collected in the tower / Its strength, and struck," shows the power of time in determining a person's death, thereby establishing the relationship of time as one crucial element in the determination of death.

Philip Larkin's "Next, Please" illustrates the nature and effect of death upon the people in the society. Larkin treats death as a process wherein people will all go through, and instead of giving death immense significance and meaning to people, he instead characterizes it as a phase in people's lives with no causal effect to other people at all ("Yet still they leave us holding wretched stalks / Of disappointment...").

Lastly, Dylan Thomas's poem entitled, "Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night" once again demonstrates the power of time in relation to death, similar to Housman's "Eight O'clock." Thomas provides advice to his readers about how to live our lives, wherein we should grab every good opportunity that we can have in our lives, for death is uncertain. Living people's lives properly and correctly will help prevent the problem of letting go of life reluctantly because of 'unfinished businesses that people might have. Thus, Thomas' poem provides an insight of how life should be lived in order…… [read more]

Human Suffering Term Paper

6 pages (1,844 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 1+

… The poem ends with uncertainty, and implies the continuous subjection of the speaker to his father's abuse, bringing once again the uncertainty that the speaker felt at the initial part of the story: "You beat time on my head

With a palm caked hard by dirt / Then waltzed me off to bed..." Evidently, human suffering through physical abuse is effectively illustrated in "My Papa's Waltz" through imagery and symbolism.

Lastly, the play "Hamlet" by William Shakespeare is an effective narrative of the life of Prince Hamlet as he experiences emotional turmoil because of his father's death. The play displays human suffering because Shakespeare uses Hamlet's character as torn between avenging for his father's murder and implicating his mother and stepfather, his immediate family, in plotting against his father's murder. The play proceeds to show how Hamlet used the technique of posing himself as an insane man, in order to discover for himself whether his father's ghost had told him the truth about his death (a murder or not). Hamlet's emotional turmoil and suffering is depicted in his famous soliloquy, quoted as follows: "To be, or not to be: that is the question / Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer... Or to take arms against a sea of troubles / And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep / No more..." Hamlet's indecision, as was later found out in the play, resulted to his eventual death although he was able to avenge his father's murder with her mother and stepfather's death. Hamlet's tragedy and portrayal as a tragic hero shows how even the greatest of men cannot endure the pains of human suffering, as was shown in his death in the play, "Hamlet."


Faulkner, W. E-text of "A Rose for Emily." Available at: http://www.online-library.org/fictions/emily.html.

Plath, S. E-text of "Daddy." Available at: http://www.poets.org/poems/poems.cfm?prmID=1062.

Roethke, T. E-text of "My Papa's Waltz." Available at: http://gawow.com/roethke/poems/43.html.

Shakespeare, W. E-text of "Hamlet." Available at: http://the-tech.mit.edu/Shakespeare/hamlet/full.html.… [read more]

Symbolism in Poetry Ruba Symbols Term Paper

3 pages (898 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 0

… While this is the main theme and message in his poem, Baudelaire uses symbolism to keep the content of his poem 'alive' and interesting to the reader. The poem's body seems to be direct in its message in the initial part of the poem; however, as the reader reaches the last part of Baudelaire's poem, symbolism becomes evident. In discussing the evils of man and his sinfulness, Baudelaire uses imagery and symbolism in order to extend this message: "Like a poor prisoner who kisses and consumes / The tortured breast of an ancient whore." Through these lines and use of imagery, Baudelaire represents man's sinfulness as the 'consummation' (doing the act of sinfulness) of the 'breast of an ancient whore' (man's original sin, as referenced in the Bible). Another symbol used is the representation of Boredom as a 'delicate monster' that kills man greater than committing a sin or evil action. Lastly, Baudelaire uses 'the reader' of the poem as a symbol for his own self, which he described in the last line of the poem as "my likeness, -my brother!"

The last poem, "My Familiar Dream" by Paul Verlaine is a vague poem about a woman that the author often dreams of, which Verlaine describes as someone he loves and seem to know well. At the end of the poem, the readers will realize that the woman he often sees in his dreams are the 'voices of the dead' residing inside the woman he dreams of, or more precisely, residing in his individuality. Verlaine's poem is interesting in that he uses symbolism blatantly, although readers will never realize the significance of the symbolism used until the end of the poem. In the initial part of the poem, Verlaine describes the women in his dreams as someone "whom I love, who loves me," and understand him well. It is later in the poem that Verlaine reveals the importance of the woman in his dreams. Instead of a woman, what Verlaine had actually dreamt about is not the woman herself, but the "tone of dear voices, of those who have died." It becomes evident now that the woman is actually a symbol of the loved-ones of Verlaine who have died, that is why he describes the woman as someone who knows him too well, and someone he loves. It now becomes clear that he refers to his loved-ones who have dies, whom he had loved and understood him well, and whose memory still lives in his…… [read more]

Pearl Poet's Sir Gawain Term Paper

15 pages (5,193 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 1+

… This errant theorist was named Guest and was a historian of English rhythms. He claimed that Huchoun of the Awle Ryale was the poet responsible for Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. His primary argument was that in a blank space in the original manuscript of Sir Gawayne and the Grene Knight, a hand of the fifteenth century has scribbled… [read more]

African-American Literature the Implications Term Paper

25 pages (7,461 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 1+

… These African-Americans write to not only to express themselves, but to express feelings and thoughts that seem to collectively belong to a group of people, tied together by struggles in the past and in ethnicity that they are still working to overcome, even in present-day society. But the works of literature that have been produced by African-Americans indicate that, at… [read more]

Poetry of John Keats Inspires Term Paper

3 pages (969 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 0

… " The physical senses can only behold transitory beauty, while the spiritual senses perceive true, lasting beauty. "She cannot fade." Spiritual beauty is eternal, like the "happy, happy boughs" that "cannot shed" their leaves. Here, Keats also blends imagery from the natural world to convey a sense of beauty and timelessness.

Beauty is also associated with youth throughout "Ode on a Grecian Urn." Keats refers to the "fair youth" beneath the tree; in Keats' time, "fair" meant pretty. The eternal spring the poet alludes to in the third stanza symbolizes eternal youth, which translates to eternal beauty, "forever young." Because Keats' ode is on a Grecian urn, he is probably seeing pictures of young men and women frolicking. The images on the urn correspond with the symbolism of youth and beauty.

When old age shall this generation waste, thou shall remain," writes Keats in the fourth and final stanza of "Ode on a Grecian Urn." In other words, the passage of time will not destroy beauty. The poem ends by associating beauty with truth, which is eternal. "Beauty is truth, truth beauty." Beauty is not transitory like the objects in the physical universe, and beauty does not age. Beauty transcends time because it is a spiritual quality, like truth itself.

Keats ties together the concepts of timelessness and beauty throughout his works. However, Keats is not always optimistic about the ability of beauty to transcend time. In his poem, "Ode to a Nightingale," Keats describes aging as a loss of physical beauty. In the third stanza, Keats mediates on the physical condition of aging: "where men sit and hear each other groan; / Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs, / Where youth grows pale, and specter-thin, and dies." This is a more somber view of beauty than that in "Ode on a Grecian Urn." Keats speaks to the Nightingale, whose song is beautiful to the ear. He also refers repeatedly to flowers and also to wine, which induces a state of consciousness that allows Keats to appreciate mundane beauty.

Ode to a Nightingale," because it contains references to death throughout the poem, shows beauty as a victim of time. The beauty of the Grecian urn transcended time, as the urn itself symbolized eternity. Moreover, the pictures on the urn depict beautiful creatures like the Greek gods who themselves represent beauty and immortality. However, the nightingale symbolizes death, and death represents the end of beauty. Keats uses the nightingale to evoke images of sadness and "forlorn" feelings, which contrast with beauty. Death is where "Beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes." While Keats connects beauty and timelessness with "Ode on a Grecian Urn," the poet connects beauty with finiteness in "Ode to a Nightingale." In both these works, John Keats depicts the theme of beauty with sensual imagery connected…… [read more]

Flannery O'connor's Literature Term Paper

4 pages (1,233 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 1+

… Thus, Mary balances the liter and symbolic interpretations of reality.

Another popular short story that exemplifies her skillful style is "A Good Man is Hard to Find," which disrupts the mundane with satire and toughness. More than any of O'Connor's short stories, "A Good Man is Hard to Find" evokes powerful reactions from its readers -- it is funny but also horrifying. (Lauter 1936)

O'Connor was adamant that her stories be stories. She grew impatient when people tried to dissect her stories in order to find out some deeper meaning. She wanted the meanings of her stories to lie within the stories themselves -- she wanted them to be an experience, not an abstraction. In an essay, she e once wrote that "a story is a way to say something that can't be said any other way, and it takes every word in the story to say what the meaning is" (Lauter 1937). In "A Reasonable Use of the Unreasonable," she speaks of her quest as a storyteller:

often ask myself what makes a story work, and what makes it hold up as a story, and I have decided that it is probably some action, some gesture of a character that is unlike any other in the story, one which indicated where the real heart of the story lies. This would have to be an action or a gesture which was both totally right and totally unexpected; it would have to be one that was both in character and beyond character, it would have to suggest both the world and eternity. The action or gesture I'm talking about would have to be on the anagogical level, that is, the level which has to do with the Divine life and our participation in it. It would be a gesture that would transcend and neat allegory that might have been intended or any pat moral categories a reader could make. It wold be a gesture which somehow made contact with reality. (Lauter 1937)

Clearly it is possible to see how Christianity, the eternal realm of God, and the temporal realm of humanity are linked. To O'Connor, this is almost an unfathomable mystery and it is by that mystery that she wrote her stories. She describes belief "as the engine which makes perception operate" (Lauter 1937).

O'Connor had an eye for the unusual and she was very capable of selecting very descriptive details to create characters and situations that worked.

Her stories demonstrated several themes, including disfigurement, shallowness, pettiness and sometimes ugliness, badness, and meanness which she planted inside a dark comedy. It was sometimes through a shocking or violent act that her protagonists are forced to face some ugly realities. It was this powerful action that was to prompt the reader into thinking.

Flannery O'Connor was successful writer who was able to remove the reader from his or her situation and pull them into her stories. Her stories are distinct and they invite the reader to step beyond their world into hers.… [read more]

Australian Literature: An Anthology Term Paper

2 pages (685 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 1

… " The town has found its American Dream, but as with most dreams, they tarnish when they come true.

Carey shows graphically the folly of wishing for something you do not have, and the folly of trying to be something you are not. Australia is not the United States, and never will be. The people of Australia, rather than wishing for something they do not have, should learn to take joy in what it is they do have - the beauty of the magnificent land around them.

It seems as if the Australians feel like they are backward somehow, and should have more things that "all Americans" have, like full refrigerators, big fancy cars, and color television sets. What this small town in Australia has discovered the hard way is what Carey wants all Australians to discover - these things do not bring you happiness. The people of the small town are weary of their American Dream, but now they are stuck with it, as they derive much of their income from the insensitive American tourists. The townspeople are not happy, and understand that their Dream has become a bit of a nightmare. Perhaps Gleason really did not like them after all, and this is his legacy, to show them the folly of their dreams.

In conclusion, Carey's story illustrates how the people of his country need to learn to be happy with what they have, rather than wishing for something that seems shinier and brighter. "Having paid the money they are worried about being cheated" (Edelson 176). The Americans show their true side, and the Australians need to recognize what they have, a beautiful land filled with magnificent scenery, stupendous animals, and friendly people, is really one of the finest spots on Earth.


Edelson, Phyllis Fahrie. Australian Literature: An Anthology of Writing From the Land…… [read more]

Rousseau, Douglass, Both Prose Writers Term Paper

4 pages (1,303 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 0

… He is the arbiter of the diverse and he is the key. He is the equalizer of his age and land... If peace is the routine, and of him speaks the spirit of peace, large, rich... he encourages the study of man, the soul, immortality... his thoughts are the hymns of praise of the things - in the talk on the soul and eternity - God off of his equal place - he is silent - he sees eternity in men and women.

What makes Whitman different - his free choice of subject and his desire to follow his whims and his personal desires. He brings these into his writing - never mind if he violates the sensibilities of his readers.

William Wordsworth - Poet of Nature

Hornstein, Lillian

Wordsworth has produced some of the finest poetry on nature. He also assumed the leadership for the early part of the English Romantic Movement. He became involved in the French Revolution but as he grew older his ardor for the French Revolution and his liberalism cooled and he devoted the rest of his days to writing poetry.

Wordsworth is more famous for his nature poems for which he had a sensuous animal passion - there a moral influence and finally a mystical communion - Michael is a study in simple strength of character and which boasted of the healing power of nature. There are also his popular Lucy poems but perhaps his most famous poem is Ode on Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood.

Wordsworth is one of England's greatest lyric poets. He has also greatly influenced modern attitudes and sensibilities. It is Wordsworth who has conditioned our belief in the natural goodness of childhood, the moral value of the simple life, and inspiring and healing powers of Nature.

Basically what would identify Wordsworth with the other four writers would be his belief in the natural goodness of childhood - his admonition is to take care of the children for they are the future citizens of our country.

The factor which distinguishes Wordsworth from the rest of the writers is this deep intense love for nature which in itself is admirable - it is in nature by which we live - it nurtures us, it provides for our needs - we cannot isolate ourselves from nature.

Alfred Lord Tennyson

Poems were exquisitely melodious, but they reveal the defects of much of Tennyson's Poetry, superficial thinking and excessive artificially of style. His later works - Morte D' Arthur expressed the sentimental optimism of the era. Another poem Ulysses symbolized the Victorian conception of the ideal heroic spirit. This volume symbolized just what the period wanted: a moral poet-teacher, no social rebel but a meticulous artist. When his friend Arthur Hallam died,

Tennyson wrote that in his poems, the voice of the human race was speaking through him. It was certainly the voice of Victorian England speaking through him.

His poem Locksley Hall - lessened his reputation among the modern critics… [read more]

Paul Valery Was a French Term Paper

4 pages (1,201 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 1+

… They were well versed in many areas and combined talents to create fabulous works. Yet unlike Rushdie, who had gone into hiding and knew and appreciated the power of words, Valery and Breton saw these as a means to an end.

Haroun and the Sea of Stories is really about censorship and Rushdie espouses creativity and writing as the most significant tool for salvaging history, religion and cultures. In contrast, in Paul Valery's Tel Quel: "Literature is thronged with people who don't really know what to say but feel a compelling urge to write" ("Odds and Ends" 130). A sentence stating a rather harsh, but not exclusively negative, truth, since the "urge to write without knowing what" is presented for what it is: a power. An empty power, but one that, paradoxically, contributes to and perhaps suffices to "fill" literature. And Valery will say about some of the most beautiful verses that they work on us without telling us very much, or that tell us, perhaps, that they have "nothing to tell us" ("Poetry and Abstract Thought" 74-75). Such is literature, "reduced to the essentials of its active principle" ("Odds and Ends" 97).

So what could possibly tie these men together? They certainly had different viewpoints about the meaning of literature and true creativity and yet, they all created literary works that were considered profound for their era. In Introduction de la Methode de Leonard da Vinci (1894) he stated that "all criticism is the cause of the work as in the eyes of the law the criminal is the cause of the crime. Far rather are they both the effects."

Marguerite Yourcenar was a French novelist, essayist, and short story writer, who gained international fame with her metaphysical historical novels. In these works Yourcenar drew psychologically penetrating portraits of people from the distant past, but she also dealt with modern issues such as homosexuality and deviance. Yourcenar studied the artist's role in the world and the central figures of Yourcenar's fiction are men torn between society's demands and their passions, focusing on key moments of history.

Her works are defined by their realism and use of words to bring characters to life. Unlike Valery, her work is the final product of her efforts.

For Valery, with the exception of the Introduction and Monsieur Teste, the major portion of his work follows, as if by a perpetual breach, from a very serious and definitive decision not to write any more. It is literally a post-scriptum, a long codicil, wholly enlightened by a feeling of its complete uselessness, and even its total nonexistence as anything other than a pure exercise. Valery strongly suspected many pages of literature of having this for their whole significance: 'I am a page of literature'; we often find in him, implicitly or insistently, this inverse affirmation: 'I have nothing more to do with literature: here is proof of it.' His literary destiny was therefore this rather rare experience, one perhaps rich in its apparent sterility: to… [read more]

Imagist Poetry Term Paper

3 pages (878 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 0

… Six poets were identified as "official" members of the Imagist movement -- Richard Aldington, H.D., John Gould Fletcher, F.S. Flint, DH Lawrence, and Amy Lowell. Ezra Pound is omitted because by 1914 he had moved on to other poetic ideas. The influence of these central figures is apparent in later works by followers and adapters of the movement, such as William Carlos Williams and e.e. cummings.

Ezra Pound stands as a major creative force in the twentieth century, a poet who influenced many poetic movements and many of the major poets of the era. Works like "The Tree" and "L'Art, 1910" show the Imagist tendencies of Pound, in the first centering on the image of himself as a tree, in the second on a clear image of a smeared table cloth.

Amy Lowell's poems such as "A Lover" or "Meditation" are spare, these two poems shaped around the image of a firefly. Lowell remains a highly controversial poet who is supported by some critics and dismissed by others as too facile to be taken seriously. Clearly, though, she has to be seen as important for her role in creating and transmitting the Imagist movement.

Richard Aldington's poem "Lesbia" shows the Greek influence that shaped much of his poetry. John Gould Fletcher was another Briton who also wrote criticism and biography, and his poem "London Excursion: Station" is representative of his poetry reflecting on life in his home city and doing so using concrete images gathered from direct observation. DH Lawrence, the third Briton in the group, is best known as a novelist, but he contributed a number of poems to Imagist anthologies, including "Nothing to Save."

F.S. Flint is perhaps the least known of the original group, and indeed his poems were known in the United States only because they were included in the Imagist anthologies. He was a modest man whose one true voice was heard in his poetry, in affecting works like "Beggar."

William Carlos Williams and e.e. cummings were followers of the Imagist movement who show many of the same tendencies in their work toward concision and brevity. Williams with "El Hombre" offers what seems like a fragment of thought from which the reader may capture an image, while cummings in poems like "Impression V" seems to impart concrete moments from a stream-of-consciousness-like reaction to the poem's subject.

These poems only hint at the range of work produced under the Imagist banner and at the depth of influence the Imagists have had on later poetry. This anthology is a good beginning toward a…… [read more]

Poetry of Robert Frost Term Paper

5 pages (1,561 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 1+

… It might also imply the poet's recognition that individuation will mean treading on others (Robert Frost, Challenge of Darwin).

Carl Sandburg - "The Road and The End"

Unlike the individualized thinking of Frost, and the reflection of his viewpoints on life, Sandburg carries the spirit of the people in his writings. As was appreciated for being the voice of the Americans, Carl Sandburg emphasizes the voice of the nation in his writings. Unlike giving answers to one's personal questions that arise within, Sandburg responds to the thoughts that live in every person's life and mind. If Robert Frost can be said to be digging into his own experiences in his poetry, Sandburg can be called to be analyzing the experiences of his fellow countrymen, and responding to them with his poems, with him as a countrymen or the unified spirit of the nation, in most of them.

Works Cited

Carl Sandburg


Frost: A Literary Life Reconsidered. William Pritchard. 1984

Frost in Columbia Literary History of the United States. Ed. Emory Elliott

Frost, Robert. The Road Not Taken. Robert Frost's Lesser Known Poems;

Lentricchia, Frank. Modernist Quartet Cambridge. (71-74) Cambridge University Press, 1995.

Niven, Penelope. Carl Sandburg: A Biography. NY: Macmillan, 1991.

Robert Frost and the Challenge of Darwin. 1997

The Academy of American Poets - http://www.poets.org/

The Carl Sandburg State Historic Site: http://www.misslink.net/misslink/carlsand.htm

The CMU Poetry Index of Canonical Verse


University of Illinois - Department of English http://www.english.uiuc.edu/

Frost & Sandburg… [read more]

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