In sonnet 44, the ever-profound, thinking speaker is contemplating the meaning of space and distance from his muse, as he dramatizes the differences between flesh and thought.
In "The Merry Guide," the speaker follows a memory-ghost of himself as a youth as he dramatizes his walks through the countryside.
A master of the versanelle, Persian poet Saadi, also widely known as Saadi Shīrāzī, portrays colorful imagery, while dramatizing philosophical views, often emphasizing a moral.
Shakespeare Sonnet 43 finds the speaker musing on the transformative powers of his poetic muse. She can turn night into day, while ordinary vision fails to inspire.
The speaker is contemplating the unified nature of art and artist, as he addresses his talent, personifying that talent as a lover who has tried to pursue his mistress, the poem. His conclusion offers him the comfort he continues to seek.
Holiday meals, especially Thanksgiving dinner, and sage seem to go together. But any dinner may offer an occasion to enjoy that sage flavor. Just whip up a batch of sage dressing to accompany your favorite flavors—and don't forget the gravy!
Noted primarily for his novels, Richard Wright also did some dabbling in photography and poetry. He seemed especially drawn to haiku.
The late Rod McKuen's musical and entertainment accomplishments are undermined by his claim to the title of "poet"; his "poems" exemplify the work of a poetaster—not a poet. Still he success in the music field remains stellar and undeniable.
In sonnet 41, the speaker is addressing his poem, dramatizing the differences between true poetic qualities and poetic license to create. He also declares his unity with his art, as he makes a promise to his future readers to remain genuine.
Sonnet 40 continues the hiatus from unity taken by the speaker that he declared in sonnet 39, but instead of praising the poem, he appears to be chiding it.
Elisavietta Ritchie's "Sorting Laundry" provides an entertaining look at a mundane household chore, while accomplishing a tribute to her love for her spouse. Terrence Winch's speaker plays with the notion that things in the past were better, when people felt safe unlike the paranoid present.
Since being discovered as a literary fraudster, Kent Johnson has become prolific in attempting to create plausible deniability; he has never admitted to the hoax he tried to pull off with the American Poetry Review back in 1996.
In sonnet 39, the speaker is dramatizing a division between himself and his poem, in order to think lovingly about the value of the poem without slipping into solipsism.
In Sonnet 38, the speaker is delineating a fine distinction between his talent and his "Muse" and essentially manages to create a useful tenth muse, not to add to the original nine Muses in The Theogony but to work to preserve his own poetic legacy.
Hailed as the most important nonsense poem in the English language, the poem, Lewis Carroll’s "Jabberwocky" serves to exemplify how language works and how it revitalizes itself.
The speaker of all the Shakespeare sonnets has honed a skill in praising his own talent while appearing to remain humble.
The speaker in sonnet 83 again offers a tribute to his poetry, as he dramatizes the nature of poetry cosmetics pitted against profound insight and inspiration.
Sonnet 81 offers a glowing tribute to the speaker’s poems. He often extols the virtue of his own poetry because he is certain it will live long after he is gone.
Addressing his muse, the speaker professes that his art will continue to be infused with the permanent beauty and spiritual strength that the heavenly muse provides.
The speaker in sonnet 80 is once again examining the nature of his most important subject, love in regard to his talent, as he recognizes the intervention of not only the muse, but also the Divine Muse or Spirit.
Sonnet 34 dramatizes its subject, extending a metaphor of weather with sun and clouds and with the troughs and crests that appear in the always evolving tumult of the speaker’s writing ability.
In sonnet 61, the speaker has found that his muse is playing coy once again, and he finds it difficult to sleep, wondering where the muse is, as he poses three questions only he can answer.
The speaker in sonnet 78 addresses his muse with appreciation for her ever constant influence and power that elevates his art above lesser artists.
Sonnet 33 offers an extended metaphor, dramatizing the phenomenon of clouds hiding the sun. The sun represents the speaker’s muse; the clouds are lulls in inspiration, as the writer faces another bout of writer’s block, but still manages to pull off a brilliant little drama, despite that malady.
Again addressing his muse, the speaker in sonnet 125 concludes that despite his dedication to poetry creation, all he has to give his muse is his own soul.
The speaker in sonnet 76 explores and dramatizes the fact that he always writes about one subject: his writing talent, which he calls his love.
Dickinson closely observed and investigated her surroundings; she also keenly examined her own feelings then dramatized those feelings in poems. In "There's a certain Slant of light," her speaker is infusing melancholy into her perception of light streaming through a window on a winter afternoon.
Emily Dickinson's "A Bird came down the Walk" is one of the poet's many fun poems loaded with clever plays on words, making a keen observation that serves to remind the reader of images stored in memory.
Sonnet 75 finds the speaker returning to contemplating his considerable talent as well as his belovèd muse who nourishes his inspiration in creating his sonnet dramas. But he also bemoans the dual nature of the thinking process that is sometimes fertile, other times quite dry.
Sonnet 74 reveals the speaker’s awareness that the triune nature of the human body’s composition and that nature’s relationship to art creation, as he closes out the theme on life’s brevity.
The speaker of John Greenleaf Whittier's "The Mystic's Christmas" understands fully the meaning of Christmas and the nature and soul-significance of Christ Consciousness.
The speaker in sonnet 73 is employing three different metaphors—a tree, a day, and a fire—to describe the effect that a temporary lack of inspiration exerts on the speaker's ability to create his little dramas.
The speaker/poet addresses his poem again, creating a drama about his death and advising the poem not to advertise the his merit after he has departed because he wants the emphasis to remain upon his works not his biography.
Emily Dickinson's masterful poem resembles a sculpture of grief; the poet has metaphorically carved out of the rock of pain a remarkable statue of the body of suffering.
Sonnet 68 is a companion piece to sonnet 67, continuing the theme of authentic art vs. the artificial.
In Shakespeare sonnet 32, the speaker seems more humble than usual about his poems, even as he creatively and colorfully personifies a sonnet, giving it the ability to read. The speaker is musing on the future of his body of work, speculating about its ability to remain relevant in a changing world
The 20th century literary fad that became the Modernist movement produced four major poets who straddled the time line between tradition and Modernism, yet nevertheless managed to help usher in the budding movement of Postmodernism.
In sonnet 9, the speaker queries the young man about another possible reason for his remaining single: does he fear leaving some poor woman a widow?
The speaker is elucidating and dramatizing the difference between the inner and outer qualities that constitute the human personality, with implications for the healing nature of art.
In sonnet 37, the speaker is addressing his poem. He is exploring the ways in which his art, particularly his poetry creation, enriches his life. His sonnets enhance his joy in life and afford him pride of accomplishment, somewhat as a child would do.
Abdul Wahab al-Bayati, modernized Arabic poetry; he was one of the first Arab poets to use free verse. He rebelled against political tyranny, suffering many years of exile from his native land. He lived the sentiment stated in, "The Arab leaders are the enemies of their peoples."
In sonnet 82, the speaker is addressing his favorite subject which is "love," as he dramatizes the superior nature that this subject offers to his art.
Beginning poets should be required to take a vow equivalent of the medical "Hippocratic Oath." If poets could be held to a standard of excellence, less doggerel would plague the literary world.
"Ezra Bartlett" fancies himself a religious philosopher, having served as chaplain. A seemingly lofty goal propelled "Franklin Jones.” After experiencing the process of dying, “Eugenia Todd” found relief from the trammels of Earth-pain. "Thomas Ross, Jr," describes a scene with natural forces.
The late poet, Malcolm M. Sedam, exemplifies the Socratic claim, "The unexamined life is not worth living." The late Thomas Thornburg represents the literary world with honesty and integrity. The essay "Meaning in Poems" rebukes a common error that poems can man anything one wishes.
Shelley’s "The Sensitive Plant" features a poetic drama of an Eden-like garden with the mimosa plant and a Mother-Nature-like personification, a presence that tends the garden. After the drama plays out, the speaker engages in a philosophical musing on the meaning of life and death.
Gerard Manley Hopkins’ "Pied Beauty" is an innovative curtal sonnet, dedicated to honoring and praising the Divine Creator. "The Habit of Perfection" dramatizes the importance of silencing and stilling each of the five senses in order to advance in the spiritual realm.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox remains one of those rare poets, who managed to sustain herself financially through their writing.
The poetry of E. E. Cummings holds a special place in the literary world. His unique style remains a recognizable and delightful experience for poetry readers. Although he remained quite traditional in his theme and subject choices, his creations on the page virtually always stun and surprise.
In 1913, Rabindranath Tagore, Indian Nobel Laureate, won the literature prize primarily for his prose translations of Gitanjali, which is Bengali for "song offerings." A true Renaissance man, he served as a poet, social reformer, and founder of a school.
The speaker in Phillis Wheatley’s "On Virtue" is describing the characteristics of that quality, as she supplicates to the heavenly realms to enrich and enliven her creative ability to produce useful, genuine, and delightful poems.
Hoyt W. Fuller, critic, editor, and founder of the Organization of Black American Culture (OBAC), has pointed out that Langston Hughes possessed a "deceptive and profound simplicity." Fuller insists that understanding these qualities in Hughes is key to understanding and appreciating his poetry.
The speaker in Phillis Wheatley’s "A Hymn to the Evening" offers her spiritually motivated song/prayer as a tribute to evening, the part of the day when nightly slumber is arriving in all its glory.
A poetic retelling of the story about Noah and the Ark, this narrative poem is one of Johnson’s seven sermons in verse appearing in his collection, God’s Trombones. At certain points in the story, the narrator offers his own interpretations, embellishing the tale and adding further interest.
Audre Lorde’s "Father Son and Holy Ghost" celebrates memories of a belovèd father, who has died and who served as a rôle model for moral behavior. The speaker’s devotion becomes palpable as she relives special features of her father and her reaction to them.
Former U. S. poet laureate, Rita Dove, offers a simple yet powerful tribute to one of America’s heroes, Rosa Parks, who through her act of defiance by simply continuing to occupy a bus seat, became known as the "Mother of the Modern-Day Civil Rights Movement."
Phillis Wheatley’s classically influenced poem, "On Imagination," explores the powerful force of human imagination. Wheatley demonstrates her remarkable talent for use of mythological allusion and the classical forms in which she was trained and in which she excelled.
Emily Dickinson's "He touched me, so I live to know" dramatizes an experience in mystical union with the Divine Reality. Often interpreted and examined as madness, Dickinson’s mystical proclivities more easily and thoroughly explain her elliptical writings.
David Althouse’s "How Pecos Bill Saved Christmas" features Pecos Bill from cowboy folklore. Barker’s "A Cowboy’s Christmas Prayer" offers a humble cowpoke prayer, and Brininstool’s "Christmas Week in Sagebrush" dramatizes a cowboy shopping spree.
Big Lie #1: Democrats and Republicans switched sides on race. Big Lie #2: The "Three/Fifths Compromise of 1787" enshrined slavery in the American Constitution because blacks were once considered to be only 3/5 human.
The speaker in Emily Dickinson’s "A Day! Help! Help! Another Day!" dramatizes the intensity with which an individual may view the simple act of the opening of a day. She concludes by revealing the superior power of the soul in overcoming all adversity.
Based on my practice of the yoga techniques taught by Paramahansa Yogananda, this original exercise offers a routine for quieting the body and mind, which may be engaged any time of the day that one feels stressed and in need of relaxation.
Margaret "Maggi" Britton Vaughn has served as Tennessee's poet laureate since 1995; in 1999, the position became a lifetime appointment.
Ulysses S. Grant served as the eighteenth president of the United States; he was the second president to serve as a Republican. His presidency well served the nation during its transition from war to peace, as he dealt with the KKK and its terrorist acts against black citizens.
Claude McKay’s reputation in the art of poetry is bolstered by his many classic poems that demonstrate his skill in creating universally thematic pieces that remain timeless. The speaker in McKay's sonnet, "America," dramatizes his ambivalent feelings for his adopted nation.
Yeats’ widely anthologized "The Lake Isle of Innisfree" remains one of the poet’s most famous poems. His poem, "Easter, 1916," dramatizes the Yeatsian musing regarding the Irish uprising labeled the Easter Rising, which happened one week following the Easter of 1916 in Dublin, Ireland.
In "I robbed the Woods," Emily Dickinson creates a speaker who confesses to a crime: she has robbed the "trusting" woods and "unsuspecting" trees, and she later wonders what those natural beings will say about her brazen act.
Amos Sibley is a preacher who wants to divorce his wife; he is detailing her shortcomings and explaining his reason for hesitating on the divorce. Mrs. Sibley offers a cryptic response of her own.
In this poem, Emily Dickinson’s speaker is contemplating her spiritual garden, wherein she plants and grows the metaphorical seeds for her poems. She introduced this garden in the poem, "There is another sky."
Although many dissembling frauds in both fields of poetry and politics have sullied those respective fields with pretense and duplicity, a healthy dose of skepticism, the one valuable tenet of postmodernism holds a place in genuine literature and authentic statesmanship.
Early American poet, Philip Freneau, has been designated as the "Father of American Poetry" and the "Poet of the Revolution." He was the first notable early American poet to have been born in the American homeland.
American poet, John Greenleaf Whittier, never married nor produced offspring, but he lived a full life, filled with political activism, working to abolish the institution of slavery, editing political and literary publications, and creating some of the most widely read poetry in the American canon.
The speaker in Emily Dickinson’s "By such and such an offering" is exploring the nature of duplicity by those who feign elevated status through appropriating experience that they have not in fact endured.
Walter de la Mare is one of the most under-rated and under-appreciated poets in the Western world. His works yoke together the physical and spiritual levels of being in entertaining and enlightening ways.
From her early childhood, Teresa de Cepeda remained a deeply spiritual soul. She gave generously to others who were less fortunate than she. Her life-long activity was to spend much time in meditation and prayer.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning's classic work, "Sonnets from the Portuguese," has become the poet's most anthologized work, studied by students in secondary schools, colleges, and universities, as well as by the general lover of poetry.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, finding Poe’s penchant for rime as bit much, labeled his contemporary, the "jingle man." But Poe’s literary chops have proven more valuable to the written word than a mere rimer.
In the controversial battle between the Oxfordians and the Stratfordians, I side with the Oxfordians; in this article, I elucidate the reasoning for my choice. After that elucidation, I offer an introduction to the Shakespeare 154-sonnet sequence.
One of the most noted names of the English Romantic Movement in literature, Keats left some impressive works, despite dying at the tender age of 25.
Edgar Lee Masters’ American classic, "Spoon River Anthology," brought the poet into the literary world, and no other work from his extensive writings has garnered more attention, including his sequel to the original, "The New Spoon River."
Sean Karns’ speaker in "Jar of Pennies" recalls his mother's clothes smelling like blood from her work at a slaughterhouse; he likens that smell of blood to that of a jar of pennies. Kitty Carpenter’s "Farm Sonnet" also revisits memories of her mother.
James Weldon Johnson was a Renaissance man, not only did he write some the most memorable poems and songs in the American canon, he served as a teacher, a lawyer, a diplomat, and a political activist in the Republican Party, helping to secure civil rights for African Americans.
Robert Hayden’s unique service to the world of poetry extends beyond that narrow world to his useful assistance in introducing to American culture information about the Baha’i faith, which influenced his own vision in seeing race through the lens of universality rather than tribalism.
Emily Dickinson’s mystical affinity informs many of her poems. She invested much of her poetic capital in acquiring knowledge of existence beyond earth-life, and many of her poems include messages from that great beyond.
John Donne’s early poems focus on a deceitful mind that hankers after sexual gratification. In his later life, he completely turns away from those feelings, understanding their destructive effect on his physical health, mental acuity, and spiritual development.
Addressing his muse, the speaker confesses that he has behaved in ways that he now detests and rejects, and he affirms his dedication to truth and love.
Rudyard Kipling is often referred to as a British poet laureate, but he turned down that honor as well as the knighthood after having those awards offered to him in 1907. He did accept the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907; he was the first English writer to be awarded that honor.
Many of Emily Dickinson’s poems suggest that the poet experienced a number of mystical awakenings—events that, no doubt, informed and directed her skill in speaking about ineffable subjects. This poem is one of her most profound in elucidating her situation after such an experience.
Emily Dickinson’s speaker in this jaunty little poem dramatizes an effusion of emotion after becoming enthralled by watching the many machinations of snowflakes as they dance their way through the air before landing on their targets of earthly entities.
Sonnet 30 is one of "The Muse Sonnets," mistakenly thought to be addressed to a young man, but no young man appears in this group of sonnets; no person appears at all. The "dear friend" does not refer to a person but to the speaker’s talent. He is addressing his ability to create poetry.
The super-human talented speaker, being quite human, sometimes suffers feelings of defeat, but when he thinks about his poetry, he realizes how fortunate he is to have such a talent and to be able to create the little dramas that grace his life and the lives of those who read his works.
The speaker in Shakespeare Sonnet 28 is suffering writer’s block and complains that both day and night seem to be conspiring to keep him from fulfilling his belovèd writing duties. He employs this time frame that remains all-inclusive, emphasizing that his mind is constantly focused on his issue.
The speaker of this thematic group of Shakespeare sonnets, "The Muse Sonnets," discovers that even when he is exhausted from a hard day’s work, his mind is wide-awake thinking about and planning the details of his next poem.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s "Christmas Bells" is a widely anthologized poem that celebrates the winter holiday. It features a phrase associated famously with the Christmas season in its chant, "Of peace on earth / Good-will to men."
The speaker in sonnet 26 acknowledges his duty to write poems. His talent is his Lord, and he promises to perform his duty without becoming boastful.
The speaker in sonnet 25 claims that only unconditional love is worth cherishing—fame and status are fleeting, but love will continue to give joy and gladness. Once again, the speaker is honoring his talent because the love he speaks of is not limited to that of another human being.
The speaker in Sonnet 24 compares the art of poetry to the art of painting, revealing the importance of heartfelt love, not mere ornamentation, in the creation of art.
The speaker in Sonnet 22 asserts that despite his physical aging and death, his talent for creating poems will eternally retain his love, inspiring future generations.
The theme of sonnet 21 of the thematic group, "Muse Sonnets," is similar to other sonnets that offer praise while portraying a realistic description of the belovèd, instead of the exaggerations that amount to untruths.
In Sonnet 20, the speaker is again addressing his poem, likening it to a woman’s charms but finding it less fickle and more capable of consistently shielding love.
In Sonnet 19, the speaker is personifying and challenging "time" to devastate his art as he does all living creatures as they age; then the speaker declares that time cannot do so.
Sonnet 17 is the last sonnet in the "Marriage Sonnets" sequence; the speaker makes a final plea to the young man, urging him to produce offspring—this time for the sake of the speaker’s own veracity.
Marriage Sonnet 16 likens the young man's struggle with time to that of war. Time is like a bloody tyrant engaging one on the battlefield of life.
In marriage sonnet 15 from the classic Shakespeare 154-sonnet sequence, the speaker employs a “Time” metaphor again within the when-then structure to persuade the young man that his only hope for deliverance from the decrepitude of old age is to produce offspring.
In marriage sonnet 14, the speaker says he does not have the power to predict the future by gazing at the stars in the sky, but the eyes of the young man tell all he needs to know.
The speaker in sonnet 12 is comparing the lad's youth to nature being undercut by "Time's scythe,” the sharp blade that slices through all lives. Nature's progression through the seasons of a year becomes a useful metaphor for human aging.
The older, persuasive speaker continues to urge the young man to marry and produce pleasing offspring. The clever speaker seems to strongly desire a son-in-law who will bestow a pleasing grandchild upon him.
In sonnet 10, the speaker challenges the young man’s sense of self, regarding his love and affection for others. The speaker exaggerates the lack as “murderous hate."
In Shakespeare Sonnet 7, the speaker, still trying to convince the young man that he should marry and procreate, is comparing metaphorically the young man’s aging process to the daily journey of sun traveling across the sky.
Sonnet 6 may be considered as a companion piece to Sonnet 5. The speaker opens by referring to the same metaphor he employed in the earlier sonnet, the distillation of flowers.
The speaker of Shakespeare sonnet 5 continues to create little dramas to convince the young man that he must procreate to preserve his youth and thereby reach a certain bowdlerized version of immortality.
In sonnet 4 from"The Marriage Sonnets" in the classic Shakespeare 154-sonnet sequence, the speaker engages a finance metaphor to enhance interest in his argument.
Shakespeare Sonnet 3 from the “Marriage Sonnets” concentrates on the young man’s image in the looking-glass. The speaker will be again appealing to the lad’s vanity as the former continues his persuasive effort get the young man married.
Shakespeare sonnet 2 continues the "Marriage Sonnets" with the speaker imploring the young man to marry and produce offspring before it is too late.
Emily Dickinson loved flowers, as well as all other creatures of nature. The rose became a symbol for her, signifying beauty and the evanescence of all natural beings. From a lament for a single rose, she begins to muse on the relationship of the Divine to His creation, including her own creations.
While this Shakespearean speaker waits for what he believes to be true inspiration, he goes ahead and writes whatever he can to keep his creative juices flowing. The speaker of sonnet 79 addresses his muse directly, sorting out once again his own contribution from that of the muse.
The speaker in sonnet 77 is conversing with his poetself, reminding that self of the importance of his continued artistic endeavors.
The speaker in Emily Dickinson’s "Garland for Queens, may be," is paying tribute to the beautiful flower, the rose. The treatment of this "Rose" contrasts greatly with the treatment of the "Little Rose" in Dickinson’s "Nobody knows this little Rose."
Emily Dickinson’s speaker in "If recollecting were forgetting" follows a line of thought that mirrors obliquely that of Aristotelian logic—searching for a way of thinking in order to find a way of knowing.
Roger Heston fancied himself a philosopher, who often sparred with another philosophically inclined Spoon River resident, Ernest Hyde. Heston’s demise is revealed with a start that leaves his philosophical stance on the issue hanging in abeyance.
Addressing God, the Divine Belovèd, Emily Dickinson’s speaker prays to remain a special musical and visual spark in the creation of everlasting, eternal, immortal bliss.
In Emily Dickinson’s skilled employment of paradox and metaphor, "Adrift! A little boat adrift!," the speaker offers a complex drama played out seemingly on an earthly ocean but is actually performed on the mystical sea, where life remains immortal and eternal.
Malcolm M. Sedam’s poem, “Maturity Pains,” can easily be misconstrued by failing to consider the capitalization of a single letter. The speaker in "Joseph" fancies himself an iconoclast.
McKay's “Spring in New Hampshire” offers a delightful reminder of the feeling one experiences as the grass turns green again. Wordsworth's narrative poem, "Michael," features a pastoral poem that heaps praise on the rural way of living, close to nature, away from the busy clamor of the city.
Sonnet 67 features a speaker focusing on the issue of genuine talent vs inferior talent.
In her customary fashion, poetaster Sharon Olds offers up this deeply flawed, dishonest hit-piece, "The Victims," which does little more than showcase a handful of stark images.
William Blake’s strong talent lay in his artistic endeavors as an engraver. His renderings of various historical and biblical events remain viable pieces of art. His efforts in the field of poetry, however, remain unsuccessful, despite his occasional accuracy in siding with truth.
The speaker in William Wordsworth's Italian sonnet is musing on the advantages of retrogressing to paganism, yet while still retaining the values of post-enlightenment Christianity.
The speaker of Philip Larkin's “Here” remains a vague presence; however, the speaker's mood and character might be discerned by merely observing his choices of images for display.
Langston Hughes' "Life Is Fine" resembles a rhythm and blues tune, a form that the Harlem Renaissance poet used often and well. Poet James Weldon Johnson also composed many songs. His bluesy "Sence You Went Away" features a southern dialect, also known as a "Negro" dialect.
The Ern Malley literary hoax was perpetrated out of two poets’ hatred of the avant-garde style of modernism and their desire to debunk what they considered to be fraudulent and demeaning to the art.
The speaker in Lord Byron's poem, "She Walks in Beauty," fulfills the prototypical theme of the Romantic Movement's conception of idealized beauty.
Benjamin Zephaniah offers a fun poem with a very serious message about turkeys during the holidays.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning's romantic poem, "Patience Taught by Nature," draws a sharp contrast between human nature—regarding the quality of patience—and other of nature's creatures including animals, trees, even the ocean.
In "Mrs. Meyers," Dr. Meyers' wife is testifying that her husband, whom she calls "Poor soul," reaped his just rewards for his actions in life. "Isa Nutter" suffered from a mysterious illness, but his complaint reveals his problem along with how he solved it.
"Francis Turner," a physically and mentally weak individual, finds solace after death, romanticizing a single kiss that led to a "secret" he shared with "Mary."
"Conrad Siever" contrasts his feelings for two distinctive segments of his land. "Rev. Abner Peet" is miffed that his lifetime of sermons, contained in an old trunk and purchased at auction by a bar-keeper, were burned like a pile of waste paper.
Science exposes the fallacies in the theory of race as a human classification; yet, the metaphor of color remains a strong societal force. Prejudice requires no rationality—only willingness to believe, despite the evidence. Thus, the metaphor of color continues to influence human relationships.
The use of political terms whose definitions are often misconstrued adds to the confusion that obfuscates the world of politics. This article offers clarification of the following oft-misunderstood terms: liberal, conservative, democracy, republic, left wing, right wing, fascism, and nazism.
The speaker in Emily Dickinson's "If those I loved were lost" is emphasizing the value she places on her loved ones. She likens their importance to significant events from the community level to the world stage, where bells ring to announce important happenings.
The speaker’s obsession with creating poetry in the presence of his divine muse is given a thorough examination, as he compares his creative mind and his physical eye.
"Solitude" is Ella Wheeler Wilcox's most widely noted poem; the following often quoted lines are taken from that poem: "Laugh, and the world laughs with you; / Weep, and you weep alone." The poem essentially avers that while a negative attitude repulses others, the positive attracts them.
In sonnet 120, the speaker returns to confronting the muse for mistreating him, but he has found a way to employ that maltreatment for the better.
Sonnet 119 finds the speaker again examining and dramatizing his "wretched errors," and they are errors that his "heart committed" but from which he learns a valuable lesson.
The speaker in sonnet 114 is again dramatizing an aspect of the struggle between the mind and the senses to determine the genuine. His interest in the real vs the fake keeps him alert as he journeys forth on his path to creating beautiful and useful poetic art.
In sonnet 112, the speaker compares his private relationship with his muse to his relationship with society, as he praises the advantages of his private life.
The speaker in Emily Dickinson's "So has a Daisy vanished" wonders if the dead Daisy and other departing plant creatures of the field have gone off to be "with God."
Billy Collins served as poet laureate of the United States from 2001 to 2003. As part of his laureate duties, he instituted the project titled, "Poetry 180 / A Poem a Day for American High Schools."
The speaker in Blake's "The Chimney Sweeper" offers a drama depicting the misery of children yoked into squalid labor conditions in 18th century London.
The speaker in Wyatt's most anthologized poem dramatizes the nature of regret after having fallen from favor.
While observing a honey bee buzzing his glass of wine, the speaker muses on the little critter's motives for leaving its natural habitat to carouse with wine bibbing humans beings.
The speaker in T. S. Eliot's "The Hollow Men" is bemoaning the spiritually dry direction to which his culture is headed. Using ugly images, the speaker dramatizes the lack of hope so often found in the poetry and art of his generation.
Dickinson's "Morns like these – we parted" offers an accumulation of evidence that she has observed a bird and then suddenly–one human act and the bird flies away. Her speaker in "Could live – did live" is speculating about the motivation that urged on the heart of an acquaintance who has now died.
Emily Dickinson’s "There's been a Death, in the Opposite House" offers a unique glimpse at the skill of this poet, as she speaks through a created character, an adult male, to paint a description of a scene involving the death of a neighbor.
"Sarah Brown" reveals a genuine character, employing the Buddhist term "Nirvana" to describe her afterlife experience. Unlike Sarah Brown, "Ernest Hyde," a reprobate attempting to rehabilitate his reputation through subterfuge, likens his mind to a mirror, wildly claiming he attained wisdom.
These two Dickinson poems seem to grow out of a singular event on a certain day, likely in early spring, a time during which nature is waking up bringing its flowered beauty to the eyes, ears, and noses. No one is better prepared to report on that beauty than this poet.
Mrs. Wertman must sit and cry, listening to the eloquence of the son she turned over to the Greenes to raise. His eloquence in political speechifying makes her proud, but she cannot let anyone know she is actually his birth mother.
Philip Freneau, America's first native-born poet, lived from 1752–1832. He was considered the poet of the revolution, and he did write many politically motivated poems, as well as political treatises. This poem to a flower shows off the poet's softer side, as he has his speaker address the flower.
The speaker of Edgar Lee Masters' "Robert Davidson" is confessing to an especially heinous crime against his fellow human beings: he deliberately undermined the vitality of others, something like a gaslighter.
The speaker in Emily Dickinson's "There is a morn by men unseen" is looking at a scene behind the mystic curtain that divides the ordinary world from the extraordinary world, a place tin which spirits dwell and have their being.
"I loathed my mother; she was constantly buzzing over petty details." (Please note: This story is fiction and does not depict any real persons living or dead.)
As poet, translator, and critic, Rachel Tzvia Back offers insight into the world of modern poetry. An award-winning translator, she contributes to the understanding and appreciation of the important, contemporary Hebrew poets that enrich the world literary canon.
Polanco's speaker attempts to assert his desire for freedom. While the sentiment is heartfelt, the execution of the verse remains a confused piece of nonsense. Borson’s piece, "Talk," contrives four groups of people and attempts to dramatize the manner in which each group relates to conversation.
In 1982, Derek Walcott admitted that he sexually harassed a student. After becoming president-elect, Barack Obama considered allowing this admitted predator to serve as his Inaugural Poet.
Lucille Clifton's poetic lament dramatizes the omission of the mention of slavery during a tour she took of Walnut Grove Plantation in South Carolina in 1989.
D. C. Berry's "On Reading Poems to a Senior Class at South High" employs an extended metaphor of fish, first frozen in a package and then swimming in an aquarium, to express the speaker's surprise that high school students actually enjoyed his poetry reading.
Wendell Berry's poem features the subtitle, "to remind myself," which alerts the reader that the poem exists primarily for the poet's sake, essentially to jog his memory.
The speaker of Frost's oft-anthologized "Departmental" observes an ant on his picnic table and imagines a dramatic, little scenario of an ant funeral.
D. H. Lawrence's Women in Love studies the 20th-century issue of the divided nature of the human mind. The flawed characters of Rupert and Ursula reveal an unsolvable problem that continues to plague the conscience of humanity as it struggles for proper behavior.
Former Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell’s 1992 essay, "Reflections on the Quincentenary" gives a useful glimpse of the history of the native and European clash of cultures. He does not put a happy face on the situation, but neither does he try to make it worse than it was.
If you believe that a poem "can mean anything you want it to mean," let me show you the fallacy of that notion. While some poems may be open to more than one interpretation, that does not mean that all interpretations are accurate.
The speaker in Emily Dickinson's "I had a guinea golden" is expressing melancholy at the loss of a friend whom she describes metaphorically in terms of three dear objects: a guinea, a robin, and a star.
The inspirational presence called the "muse" has been credited with the ability to create by poets, especially, but also by other writers, musicians, painters, dancers, sculptors, actors, and other artists. What is the muse? Is it real? Can an artist create without this force?
The speaker in Holy Sonnet XIX makes a most fervent declaration regarding his spiritual striving for deliverance into the arms of the Ultimate Reality. He offers a confession and sincere statement of continued seeking for the mindset of "fear" or loving respect that his Heavenly Father will accept.
From 1922–1928, poet William Butler Yeats served in the senate of the newly formed Irish Free State. In "Among School Children," the poet creates a speaker who dramatizes an event from the poet/senator’s official duties—visiting a classroom of children at an Irish school.
Holy Sonnet XVIII speculates about the church of Christ: how it continues, if it will continue with grace, how it may remain comprehensible to Christ's followers. The teachings of Christ, His church, and body of His followers form a unity represented in this sonnet as the "spouse" of Christ.
“Jim Brown” has decided that all of humanity can be divided into two groups, and he identifies those groups by what they are “for.” “Adam Weirauch” reports on his life’s failures. Masters has often successfully engaged this strategy for creating his characters.
The speaker in Holy Sonnet XVII begins his drama by examining his love for his late wife as the motivation for seeking the will of the Heavenly Father.
The speaker employs a legal metaphor to pray that his legacy will ultimately be sufficient to cleanse his soul to allow it eternal rest in the arms of the Divine.
The speaker celebrates the beauty of wildflowers, which metaphorically represent their mystical counterpart in the spiritual garden, created by the speaker’s powerful and fertile imagination.
In John Donne's classic work, The Holy Sonnets, the speaker is seeking assurance that he understands his own faith. This blessed understanding strengthens the speaker's remembrance of his own creation and helps him to realize that his earlier sins can be forgiven.
The speaker is becoming increasingly more intense as he continues to explore the plight which has sent him on his journey from sensuality to spirituality. He implores his Heavenly Father to remake him and thus utterly destroy his old attitude that led him astray.
The speaker in John Donne's Holy Sonnet XIII continues his search for consolation that he will be forgiven his earlier sins of the flesh.
In Anders Carlson-Wee's American (Innovative) Sonnet, the seemingly bi-dialectal speaker offers advice regarding the best attitude to assume while communicating with fellow human beings.
In John Donne's Holy Sonnet XII, the speaker explores his displeasure with what seems to constitute an imbalance in nature: humankind's privilege over the lower creatures on the evolutionary scale.
The speaker continues to consider his lot vis-a-vis pain and suffering. He muses on the factors of his faith that strengthen his ability to face his own destiny.
John Donne's Holy Sonnet X, "Death, be not proud," remains one of the most anthologized poems of the Holy Sonnet sequence. The speaker addresses the conceptual force of death in order to rebuke it and relieve it of its power over human thinking.
Emerson's short poem,"Days," has attracted much critical attention, in focusing on the ambiguity in the use of the term, "hypocritic." As a grieving father, Emerson penned his most famous poem, "Threnody," as a tribute to his son, who succumbed to scarlet fever.
John Donne's speaker in Holy Sonnet IX employs his reasoning to compare and contrast the behavior and consequences experienced by God's creatures of His creation as he fashions another installment of musings on the nature of sin and punishment into finely crafted pieces of art.
Thomas Rhodes' ego caused him to crave power and lord it over his fellow citizens, carving out for himself a widely hated persona. The character, John Horace Burleson, is a failed writer, whose ambitions did not match his abilities.
One of Spoon River's flawed characters, Georgine Sand Miner offers the typical personality that cannot hold herself responsible for her own actions.
Painter van Gogh created this series to decorate the walls of the bedroom of his painter/poet friend, Paul Gaugin. The friendship did not endure, but the paintings do.
Daniel M'Cumber reveals his miserable life to Mary McNeely, too late to benefit either of them, but his report offers the typical character flaws that afflict many of the Spoon River epitaphers.
The speaker is addressing his own soul, commanding it through reason to rely solely on his Divine Creator, Who has fashioned him into the very soul he must be.
Creatively expressed in a versanelle form, Emily Dickinson’s short, quirky poetic drama reveals an observation that makes a statement about human behavior which may become compulsive.
The speaker in John Donne's Holy Sonnet VII is commanding his beloved Creator to instruct him in true repentance, in order to receive the grace that he so strongly desires and needs.
Poor Mary McNeely spent her life mourning in her father's home for a lout not worth a second thought.
The speaker in John Donne's Holy Sonnet VI now finds himself very close to leaving his body. He speculates about his journey, after death has uncoupled his soul from its physical encasement.
In Emily Dickinson's "Distrustful of the Gentian," the speaker creates a fascinating little drama to explore the melancholy the erupts in her heart at the closing of summer.
The speaker in John Donne's Holy Sonnet V continues to lament his lot while commanding of his Beloved Creator that He use even the strongest methods for cleansing the speaker's heart, mind, and soul.