Monthly Archives: October 2016

A Short Analysis of Philip Larkin’s ‘A Study of Reading Habits’

A cracking read

Interesting Literature

A summary of a Larkin poem about books

Written in August 1960 and published in Larkin’s 1964 volume The Whitsun Weddings, ‘A Study of Reading Habits’ touches upon one of Philip Larkin’s favourite themes in a more explicitly humorous way than many of his most famous poems, and is great fun to analyse. You can read ‘A Study of Reading Habits’ here.

In summary, Larkin’s speaker tells us that reading books used to provide escapism for him: first at school, where reading provided consolation from bullies by letting him live out his fantasies of vanquishing the school bully; then, as a young man, reading provided an outlet for living out all of his sexual fantasies, and he could imagine being the dashing heroes of the novels he read, who ‘clubbed’ women with sex.

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A Short Analysis of Charlotte Mew’s ‘I so liked Spring’

If you have a winning formula stick with it. I recommend this blog as, in truth, the name says it all and it rarely fails to live up to its name.

Interesting Literature

A critical reading of a beautiful poem

Charlotte Mew (1869-1928) was a popular poet in her lifetime, and was admired by fellow poets Ezra Pound and Thomas Hardy, among others. Most closely aligned with the ‘Georgian poets’ who flourished in the pre-WWI years in Britain, shortly before the advent of literary modernism, Mew was a fine writer of short lyrics – poems which require little close analysis to be enjoyed, though a few words of commentary may help to point out certain linguistic and technical features. ‘I so liked Spring’ beautifully encapsulates the best of her plain, wistful style.

I so liked Spring last year
Because you were here; –
The thrushes too –
Because it was these you so liked to hear –
I so liked you.

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RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #119 Hunter&Moon

As the hunter sits

contemplating his shadow,

the moon is no friend

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A Short Analysis of Andrew Marvell’s ‘To His Coy Mistress’

Another Marvell-ous poem and interpretation. By far this is my favourite poet, his words span the centuries and are the encouragement and embodiment of all that poetry stands for. Only my opinion of course.

Interesting Literature

A summary of a classic poem of seduction

‘To His Coy Mistress’ is one of the most famous poems of the seventeenth century, and probably the most famous poem Andrew Marvell (1621-78) ever wrote. It’s a classic seduction poem, which sees Marvell endeavouring to persuade his would-be lover, or ‘mistress’, to go to bed with him. As well as being a seduction lyric, ‘To His Coy Mistress’ is also a carpe diem poem, which argues that we should ‘seize the day’ because life is short. Here is Marvell’s poem, followed by a brief summary and analysis of its language and meaning.

To His Coy Mistress

Had we but world enough, and time,
This coyness, lady, were no crime.
We would sit down, and think which way
To walk, and pass our long love’s day.
Thou by the Indian Ganges’ side
Shouldst rubies find; I by the tide
Of Humber would…

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10 of the Best Poems about the Moon

Some good, some not so good, in my opinion only but each of us will read a poem in their own way. Shelley gets my vote

Interesting Literature

The greatest poems about the moon

In this post, we offer our pick of ten of the best poems about the moon in the English language. As symbols go, the moon has been a firm favourite with poets down the ages, representing everything from unrequited love to a realisation of approaching old age, from motherhood to … er, a farmer’s red face. Read on to discover what we think are some of the best moon poems out there…

Anonymous, ‘Mon in the Mone’. This medieval poem dating from the early fourteenth century is, of course, ‘The Man in the Moon’ in modern English. It’s an example of medieval comedy: it is located in a manuscript, known as the Harley manuscript, alongside various satires and comic pieces from the Middle Ages. The poem features a rustic speaker addressing the folkloric figure of the ‘man in the moon’ and wondering…

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A Short Analysis of A. E. Housman’s ‘Into my heart an air that kills’

Interesting Literature

A critical reading of a nostalgic poem

A. E. Housman (1859-1936) was one of the greatest classicists of his age, and was also, following the success of his (self-published) first volume of poems, A Shropshire Lad (1896), a hugely popular poet. Like Thomas Hardy, the majority of his poems are written in such a plain and direct style that further analysis or critical interpretation may seem unnecessary; but, as ever, it is worth examining how Housman creates the emotional punch that his poem carries. The fortieth poem from A Shropshire Lad, which begins ‘Into my heart an air that kills’, is one of his most famous poems, a short lyric about nostalgia and growing old.

Into my heart an air that kills
From yon far country blows:
What are those blue remembered hills,
What spires, what farms are those?

That is the land of lost content,
I see it…

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A Short Analysis of Thomas Hardy’s ‘The Self-Unseeing’

A stylish autopsy on a classic work of literary art

Interesting Literature

A summary of a classic Hardy poem

‘The Self-Unseeing’ is a short Thomas Hardy poem that originally appeared in his second volume of poems, Poems of the Past and the Present, in 1901. Like many of Hardy’s poems, ‘The Self-Unseeing’ seems to require no detailed unpicking or analysis; it can be understood on first reading fairly easily. Nevertheless, the poem raises certain questions which it isn’t so easy to answer.

The Self-Unseeing

Here is the ancient floor,
Footworn and hollowed and thin,
Here was the former door
Where the dead feet walked in.

She sat here in her chair,
Smiling into the fire;
He who played stood there,
Bowing it higher and higher.

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Poem Pigeon

Poem Pigeon is a free service for storing and sharing poems.

Source: Poem Pigeon

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They seize the moment

Inspired by the beauty of this October afternoon I felt I should tell you the view from my window

Swirling, shimmering,
shafts of sunlight, lava pools
o’er, the forest floor,
insects rise, glow like fireflies,
eager to dance out brief lives

 

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Poetry Writing Exercises 969: Tuesday 4th October

Prompts, prompts, prompts,
a world of inspiration

Morgen's Online Poetry Writing Group

Here are your four poetry exercises for today. If you enjoy these prompts, do take a look at my online courses… six are currently half price (when using the coupon codes on my main blog’s online courses page) and another is FREE!

Time yourself for 15 minutes per exercise, having a break in between each one or move on to the next.  When you’ve finished, do pop over to this blog’s Facebook Group and let everyone know how you got on.

969-dragon-994641Below are the four – you can do them in any order.

  1. Keywords: hello, Rita, seat, thanks, hungry
  2. Random: unsure about the next day
  3. Picture: what does this inspire?
  4. Tuesday Title: Putting Mustard on It

Have fun, and if you would like to, do paste your writing in the comment boxes below so we can see how you got on! Remember though that it counts as being published so don’t post…

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