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By Nathan Scott McNamara. From Poetry Off the Shelf January Burning at a hundred and three with Sylvia Plath. The double standards of the mad genius myth. On the missing persons of love poetry. From VS April Learning Image and Description.

Paul Laurence Dunbar

Opening the luminous door in your writing. Prose from Poetry Magazine. Appeared in Poetry Magazine Melodrama. Defending the windy cliffs of forever. From Poetry Off the Shelf April Share the somatic pleasure of poetry on Soundcloud. From VS May Tracing the poetics of a lyrical genius. The creation of life and the masterful merging of metaphor and reality.

Elegies in the letters of Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell. Wreath for a Bridal limited edition , Sceptre Press, Lyonnesse limited edition , Rainbow Press London, England , Million Dollar Month limited edition , Sceptre Press, Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams: Martin's New York, NY , Alexander, Paul, Rough Magic: Axelrod, Steven Gould, Sylvia Plath: Broe, Mary Lynn, Protean Poetic: Concise Dictionary of American Literary Biography: Haberkamp, Frederike, Sylvia Plath: Kroll, Judith, Chapters in a Mythology: Malcolm, Janet, The Silent Woman: Perloff, Marjorie, Poetic License: Stevenson, Anne, Bitter Fame: Strangeways, Al, Sylvia Plath: Tabor, Stephen, Sylvia Plath: Van Dyke, Susan R.

Wagner-Martin, Linda, Sylvia Plath: Critical Quarterly, Volume 7, number 1, Secular and Sacred in Hughes, Larkin, and Plath," p. New Republic, June 18, ; June 6, , p. New Yorker, August 23, , p. A Life of Sylvia Plath, p. Partisan Review, winter, Poetry, March, , January, During this period Dante Gabriel was gathering around him the circle of young men who named themselves the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Although he assumed that Christina would participate, she was never a member of this artistic and literary group; she even refused to have her work read aloud in her absence at its meetings, on the grounds that such display was unseemly.

Certainly, Rossetti was involved in the early days of Pre-Raphaelitism. The art and poetry of the brotherhood has a strong sacramental element, and Rossetti had more in common with this early manifestation of the Pre-Raphaelite aesthetic than she did with its later developments. The poems, and others composed at this time but not published until later, show that Rossetti had by then attained her mature poetic style, in which pain, loss, and resignation are expressed in diction and images that strike the reader as simple, perfect, and effortless.

Collinson promptly returned to the Church of England, proposed a second time, and was accepted. Collinson has struck biographers as an unlikely suitor anecdotes generally portray him as a lackluster sleepyhead , and opinion is mixed as to whether Rossetti was ever in love with him. The engagement ended in the spring of when Collinson reverted to Catholicism. Religious issues play a central role in the story when Maude suffers a spiritual crisis, and Anglo-Catholic practices are described as she discusses with her cousins the heavily symbolic lectern cover they are embroidering, the question of a vocation as a nun, and the Eucharist.

Like the author, Maude is torn between pride in her work and moral qualms about that pride. When she returned to the city, the family moved to Albany Street. Gabriele Rossetti died on 26 April For most of her adulthood Christina was financially supported primarily by William, a debt that she made provisions in her will to repay. Throughout her twenties Rossetti continued to write poetry and prose. In early Rossetti began volunteering at the St.

When she was on duty she resided at the penitentiary, probably for a fortnight at a time. In his letter of 24 January to Dante Gabriel, Ruskin singled out for criticism the original meter that is now so often praised: In June of that year Rossetti took a short vacation in France. Comparisons of the manuscript and printed versions of the poems show that most were not substantially revised. Usually the earliest extant version of a given poem is the fair copy transcribed into the notebook; if Rossetti reworked it in the act of composition, such drafts no longer exist.

She often changed a word or two in preparation for publication; where major revisions occurred, they took the form of the deletion of whole stanzas, sometimes reducing a poem by more than half its original length: In poetics, my elder brother was my acute and most helpful critic. Critics welcomed a fresh and original poetic voice: Afterward she wastes away, pining for more fruit. The goblins refuse to allow Lizzie to purchase fruit to save her sister, try to persuade her to eat with them, then attempt to force the fruit into her mouth. The suggestiveness of the narrative runs in many directions, and this multivalency is perhaps the most striking quality of the poem.

It can be read as a straightforward moral allegory of temptation, indulgence, sacrifice, and redemption. Psychoanalytic interpretations have regarded the sisters as two aspects of one psyche and have emphasized the sexuality of the poem, noting both its orality and its lesbian dynamics. Throughout the volume Rossetti presents a bleak appraisal of gender relations. The flimsiness and inconstancy of romantic love is a recurring theme, as is the treachery of sister against sister in a ruthlessly competitive marriage market.

In later years she acknowledged in a 20 May letter to W. The Prince procrastinates at great length before setting out to claim his waiting bride. He does not, however, remain true to his purpose, and on his journey he is sidetracked and delayed first by a milkmaid, then by an alchemist, and finally by a circle of ministering females who save him from drowning. Mother and daughter suffer the lifelong consequences of illegitimacy, while the seducer father is absent from the poem and, presumably, free of social stigma.

The poem shows the injustice of conventional morality in a patriarchal society and offers the equality of the grave as the only solution. Implicitly contrasted with the fleeting quality of this life is the permanence of God and the heavenly reward. A hesitant romance probably began to develop between Rossetti and the awkward, absentminded scholar around She declined to have a large packet of her letters to him returned to her, asking that they be destroyed.

For this volume Rossetti was persuaded by Dante Gabriel to defect from Macmillan to his publisher, F. From to Rossetti was dangerously ill, at times apparently near death, with a condition characterized by fever, exhaustion, heart palpitations, stifling sensations, occasional loss of consciousness, violent headaches, palsied hands, and swelling in the neck that made swallowing difficult. Her hair fell out, her skin became discolored, her eyes began to protrude, and her voice changed. Although Rossetti recovered, the threat of a relapse always remained.

Moreover, the crisis left her appearance permanently altered and her heart weakened. Some of the poems are primarily edifying, promoting, for instance, patience or good manners; others are memory aids for learning about numbers, time, money, months, and colors. Most of the poems are evocative of the security of an ideal childhood, but others modulate into more-serious subject matter in simple and moving explorations of death and loss. Some critics have questioned the appropriateness of these darker themes for the intended audience. Dante Gabriel had been prone to insomnia for some time and had become dependent on alcohol and chloral in his attempts to sleep.

Thomas Gordon Hake, in whose home he took a large dose of laudanum in an unsuccessful suicide attempt. Cared for by friends, Dante Gabriel made a partial recovery, though he continued his use of alcohol and chloral. In these devotional writings readers can find explicit statements of themes treated in the poetry of previous decades, and in many instances Rossetti discusses natural and biblical images, virtually glossing favorite poetic symbols.

The texts are arranged in the order of their appearance in the Bible, and prayers throughout are intensely Christ-centered; even Old Testament passages prompt an address to Christ. The book consists of three tales framed by the dialogue among a storytelling aunt and her nieces. Many readers have noted the sexual implications of the monstrous children in the first tale—boys bristling with hooks, quills, and angles; girls exuding sticky and slimy fluids—and that the predatory games they play amount to a figurative rape.

The final tale, in which danger and temptation are overcome, rounds out the volume with a happy ending. The fire has died out, it seems; and I know of no bellows potent to revive dead coals. I wish I did. The tensions between the sisters, between aspiration and opportunity, and between ambition and resignation are highly charged and never fully resolved. But Rossetti then moves from a statement about the feminine lot being one of obedience to a paragraph-long comparison between the feminine role and the position that Christ voluntarily assumed on earth, and she ends with a leveling of gender hierarchies: Mackenzie Bell relates the impression that she made on a fellow member of the congregation: She remained until the very last before leaving the building, and it was evident from her demeanour that even then she strove to avoid ordinary conversation, evidently feeling that it would disturb her mood of mind.

She also dreaded receiving unsolicited poems from aspiring writers, because she was torn between kindness and honesty regarding the merit of the work. Though increasingly reclusive, however, Rossetti was more politically outspoken in these later years. Critical of slavery, imperialism, and military aggression, she was most passionately committed to the antivivisection movement, at one point breaking with the S.

She also petitioned for legislation to protect children from prostitution and sexual exploitation by raising the age of consent. As her poetic creativity decreased, Rossetti cultivated a modest scholarly impulse. In she considered undertaking literary biographies of Adelaide Proctor and Elizabeth Barrett Browning; and she took a commission and began to research a life of Ann Radcliffe, but a lack of materials prevented her from completing it. By reiteration and accretion the passing months, the progression of seasons, and blooming and fading flowers become poignant and nostalgic symbols of the process of aging.

The final poems of the non-devotional section return to the seasonal, vegetative cycle. A Reading Diary , published in , is both the most readable and the most autobiographical of her devotional works. The most often quoted passages are those in which Rossetti describes her experiences of nature and elaborates on the moral and symbolic meaning suggested by them.

While some passages engage in traditional exegesis, others are more personally contemplative and address issues of spiritual and moral duty. Published in by the S. She undertook extensive revisions and arranged the poems into eight sections that form a double poetic sequence: In Rossetti was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a mastectomy that was performed in her own home. The cancer recurred the following year, and after months of acute suffering she died on 29 December After her death many articles appeared with personal reminiscences, expressing admiration of her saintliness and assessing her poetry and prose.

Her lyric gift has never been doubted, but the unassuming tone and flawless finish of these compositions has sometimes led critics to suggest that their lyric purity is achieved at the expense of intellectual depth and aesthetic complexity. For several decades after her death Rossetti criticism tended to be narrowly biographical, her mournful lyrics and fantastic allegories being used to construct narratives of agonizing conflict between secular and sacred impulses, renounced love, and repressed passion.

Christina Rossetti has often been called the greatest Victorian woman poet, but her poetry is increasingly being recognized as among the most beautiful and innovative of the period by either sex. British Children's Writers, A Variorum Edition Holograph poems are scattered among various public and private collections, also listed by Crump. Harrison notes in his edition of The Letters of Christina Rossetti that more than 2, autograph letters are dispersed in more than one hundred public and private collections. Prose Home Harriet Blog. Visit Home Events Exhibitions Library.

Poems by Christina Rossetti. The line length is scanned by according number of characters according to the convention that one character equals one syllable , and are predominantly either five or seven characters long, with a caesura before the final three syllables. The lines are generally end-stopped, considered as a series of couplets, and exhibit verbal parallelism as a key poetic device.

Among its other rules, the jintishi rules regulate the tonal variations within a poem, including the use of set patterns of the four tones of Middle Chinese.

The basic form of jintishi lushi has eight lines in four couplets, with parallelism between the lines in the second and third couplets. The couplets with parallel lines contain contrasting content but an identical grammatical relationship between words. Jintishi often have a rich poetic diction, full of allusion , and can have a wide range of subject, including history and politics.

The villanelle is a nineteen-line poem made up of five triplets with a closing quatrain; the poem is characterized by having two refrains, initially used in the first and third lines of the first stanza, and then alternately used at the close of each subsequent stanza until the final quatrain, which is concluded by the two refrains. The remaining lines of the poem have an a-b alternating rhyme. Auden , [] and Elizabeth Bishop. A limerick is a poem that consists of five lines and is often humorous. Rhythm is very important in limericks for the first, second and fifth lines must have seven to ten syllables.

However, the third and fourth lines only need five to seven. All of the lines must rhyme and have the same rhythm. Tanka is a form of unrhymed Japanese poetry , with five sections totalling 31 onji phonological units identical to morae , structured in a pattern. Tanka were written as early as the Asuka period by such poets as Kakinomoto no Hitomaro fl. By the tenth century, tanka had become the dominant form of Japanese poetry, to the point where the originally general term waka "Japanese poetry" came to be used exclusively for tanka.

Tanka are still widely written today. Haiku is a popular form of unrhymed Japanese poetry, which evolved in the 17th century from the hokku , or opening verse of a renku. Traditionally, haiku contain a kireji , or cutting word, usually placed at the end of one of the poem's three sections, and a kigo , or season-word. An example of his writing: This was likely derived from when the Thai language had three tones as opposed to today's five, a split which occurred during the Ayutthaya Kingdom period , two of which corresponded directly to the aforementioned marks.

It is usually regarded as an advanced and sophisticated poetic form. The type of khlong is named by the number of bat in a stanza; it may also be divided into two main types: The two differ in the number of syllables in the second wak of the final bat and inter-stanza rhyming rules.


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It has four bat per stanza si translates as four. The first wak of each bat has five syllables. The second wak has two or four syllables in the first and third bat , two syllables in the second, and four syllables in the fourth. Mai ek is required for seven syllables and Mai tho is required for four, as shown below. Odes were first developed by poets writing in ancient Greek, such as Pindar , and Latin, such as Horace. Forms of odes appear in many of the cultures that were influenced by the Greeks and Latins. The antistrophes of the ode possess similar metrical structures and, depending on the tradition, similar rhyme structures.

In contrast, the epode is written with a different scheme and structure. Odes have a formal poetic diction, and generally deal with a serious subject. The strophe and antistrophe look at the subject from different, often conflicting, perspectives, with the epode moving to a higher level to either view or resolve the underlying issues. Odes are often intended to be recited or sung by two choruses or individuals , with the first reciting the strophe, the second the antistrophe, and both together the epode.

One non-Western form which resembles the ode is the qasida in Persian poetry. The ghazal also ghazel, gazel, gazal, or gozol is a form of poetry common in Arabic , Persian , Urdu and Bengali poetry. In classic form, the ghazal has from five to fifteen rhyming couplets that share a refrain at the end of the second line.

This refrain may be of one or several syllables, and is preceded by a rhyme. Each line has an identical meter. The ghazal often reflects on a theme of unattainable love or divinity. As with other forms with a long history in many languages, many variations have been developed, including forms with a quasi-musical poetic diction in Urdu. The relatively steady meter and the use of the refrain produce an incantatory effect, which complements Sufi mystical themes well. His life and poems have been the subject of much analysis, commentary and interpretation, influencing post-fourteenth century Persian writing more than any other author.

In addition to specific forms of poems, poetry is often thought of in terms of different genres and subgenres. A poetic genre is generally a tradition or classification of poetry based on the subject matter, style, or other broader literary characteristics.

Others view the study of genres as the study of how different works relate and refer to other works. Narrative poetry is a genre of poetry that tells a story. Broadly it subsumes epic poetry , but the term "narrative poetry" is often reserved for smaller works, generally with more appeal to human interest.

Narrative poetry may be the oldest type of poetry. Many scholars of Homer have concluded that his Iliad and Odyssey were composed from compilations of shorter narrative poems that related individual episodes. Much narrative poetry—such as Scottish and English ballads , and Baltic and Slavic heroic poems—is performance poetry with roots in a preliterate oral tradition.

It has been speculated that some features that distinguish poetry from prose, such as meter, alliteration and kennings , once served as memory aids for bards who recited traditional tales. Lyric poetry is a genre that, unlike epic and dramatic poetry, does not attempt to tell a story but instead is of a more personal nature. Poems in this genre tend to be shorter, melodic, and contemplative. Rather than depicting characters and actions, it portrays the poet's own feelings , states of mind , and perceptions.

Epic poetry is a genre of poetry, and a major form of narrative literature. This genre is often defined as lengthy poems concerning events of a heroic or important nature to the culture of the time. It recounts, in a continuous narrative, the life and works of a heroic or mythological person or group of persons. While the composition of epic poetry, and of long poems generally, became less common in the west after the early 20th century, some notable epics have continued to be written.


  • .
  • Christina Rossetti.
  • Sylvia Plath;
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  • Derek Walcott won a Nobel prize to a great extent on the basis of his epic, Omeros. Poetry can be a powerful vehicle for satire. The Romans had a strong tradition of satirical poetry, often written for political purposes. A notable example is the Roman poet Juvenal 's satires. The same is true of the English satirical tradition. An elegy is a mournful, melancholy or plaintive poem, especially a lament for the dead or a funeral song. The term "elegy," which originally denoted a type of poetic meter elegiac meter , commonly describes a poem of mourning.

    An elegy may also reflect something that seems to the author to be strange or mysterious. The elegy, as a reflection on a death, on a sorrow more generally, or on something mysterious, may be classified as a form of lyric poetry. The fable is an ancient literary genre , often though not invariably set in verse. It is a succinct story that features anthropomorphized animals, plants, inanimate objects, or forces of nature that illustrate a moral lesson a " moral ".

    Verse fables have used a variety of meter and rhyme patterns.

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    Dramatic poetry is drama written in verse to be spoken or sung, and appears in varying, sometimes related forms in many cultures. Greek tragedy in verse dates to the 6th century B. Speculative poetry, also known as fantastic poetry of which weird or macabre poetry is a major sub-classification , is a poetic genre which deals thematically with subjects which are "beyond reality", whether via extrapolation as in science fiction or via weird and horrific themes as in horror fiction.

    Such poetry appears regularly in modern science fiction and horror fiction magazines. Edgar Allan Poe is sometimes seen as the "father of speculative poetry". Prose poetry is a hybrid genre that shows attributes of both prose and poetry. It may be indistinguishable from the micro-story a. Latin American poets of the 20th century who wrote prose poems include Octavio Paz and Giannina Braschi [] []. Light poetry, or light verse, is poetry that attempts to be humorous.

    Poems considered "light" are usually brief, and can be on a frivolous or serious subject, and often feature word play , including puns , adventurous rhyme and heavy alliteration. Although a few free verse poets have excelled at light verse outside the formal verse tradition, light verse in English is usually formal. Common forms include the limerick , the clerihew , and the double dactyl.

    While light poetry is sometimes condemned as doggerel , or thought of as poetry composed casually, humor often makes a serious point in a subtle or subversive way. Many of the most renowned "serious" poets have also excelled at light verse. Kennedy , Willard R. Espy , and Wendy Cope. Slam poetry is a genre, developed since about , in which performers comment emotively, aloud before an audience, on personal, social, or other matters.

    It focuses on the aesthetics of word play, intonation, and voice inflection. Slam poetry is often competitive, at dedicated " poetry slam " contests. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This is the latest accepted revision , reviewed on 6 September This article is about the art form. For other uses, see Poetry disambiguation. For other uses, see Poem disambiguation , Poems disambiguation , and Poetic disambiguation.

    History of poetry and Literary theory. Timing linguistics , tone linguistics , and Pitch accent. Rhyme , Alliterative verse , and Assonance. However, in some forms, the unit is more equivalent to wak. To avoid confusion, this article will refer to wak and bat instead of line , which may refer to either. Modern Poetry After Modernism. The Interface Between the Written and the Oral. The Epic of Gilgamesh Revised ed. Retrieved 1 May A Sourcebook 2nd ed.

    Text and Ritual in Early China. University of Washington Press. A history of literary criticism. Journal of the American Oriental Society.

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    Poetry and Philosophy in the Middle Ages: A Festschrift for Peter Dronke. The Universities of the Italian Renaissance. Johns Hopkins University Press. Keats and negative capability. Archived from the original PDF on 9 March Greek and Roman influences on western literature Reissued ed.

    Fairleigh Dickinson University Press. The Cambridge companion to modernist poetry.