Study "Literature / Poetry" Essays 166-220

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Langston Hughes Thesis

… 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… [read more]

Ann Beattie Thesis

… ¶ … 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… [read more]

Integrating Literature Into the Math Curriculum in Elementary Grades Research Proposal

… 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… [read more]

Poetry of Dennis Brutus, Nikki Giovanni Essay

… ¶ … 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… [read more]

World War I Journal Exercise 6.1A: Impressions Term Paper

… 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… [read more]

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

… 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

… ¶ … 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… [read more]

American Literature Edgar Allan Poe- the Tell Term Paper

… 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

… 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… [read more]

Children's Literature Diverges From Adult Writing Term Paper

… 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

… 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… [read more]

Romantic Poet Term Paper

… 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… [read more]

Realism of George Eliot Term Paper

… 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… [read more]

Goblin Market - Christina Georgina Rossetti Literature Term Paper

… 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… [read more]

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

… ¶ … 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… [read more]

Children's Poetry Term Paper

… 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

… ¶ … 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

… ¶ … 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

… 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

… 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… [read more]

Consider the Influence of Christianity on Medieval Western Literature Term Paper

… 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 ( 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

… ¶ … 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… [read more]

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

… 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

… 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 and Shakespeare) the Images Term Paper

… 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

… 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… [read more]

Robert Hayden Those Winter Sundays Term Paper

… ¶ … 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

… 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

… 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

… 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,… [read more]

Post Modern British and American Poetry Term Paper

… ¶ … 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

… 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.

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

Roles of Italian Women in Italian American Literature Term Paper

… 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… [read more]

Frost Eliot Term Paper

… 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

… 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

… 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

… 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

… 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… [read more]

Keats: Ode on a Grecian John Term Paper

… 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… [read more]

Morality in Literature Journey Term Paper

… 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

… 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… [read more]

Poetry Term Paper

… "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

… 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… [read more]

Children's Literature Term Paper

… 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… [read more]

Psychology and Literature Term Paper

… 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

… 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

… ¶ … 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

… 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… [read more]

Teaching Classic Literature Term Paper

… 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."

Kern, Andrew. "Teaching Classical Literature Classically." Memoria Press, 2004.

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.… [read more]

African-American Women's Literature Term Paper

… 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… [read more]

Romanticism and Romantic Poetry Term Paper

… 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" (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.



Songs of Experience. July 14, 2004.

Wordsworth's "Michael." July 14, 2004

Wordsworth, William.… [read more]

Psychoanalysis and Literature Narrative Term Paper

… 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… [read more]

Gender Criticism of Poetry Term Paper

… 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"

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

Rossetti, Christina. "Song: When I am Dead my Dearest." (1830-1894)… [read more]

Robinson, Whitman, and Wordsworth Poems Term Paper

… 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

… 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]

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