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Poem Analysis

My Last Duchess
Robert Browning [1812-1889]
-duke is speaking with an ambassador for a potential wife telling the story of how he killed his old wife (last duchess) because she expressed joy in everything, like compliments
-talking while looking at painting of old wife
-imagery, enjambment, caesura

I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud
William Wordsworth [1770-1850]
-speaker is walking along the coast of a bay, describing the scenic views
-personification, elision, imagery, hyperbole

The Double Play
Robert Wallace [1932]
-poem is describing a double play; structure- the first line of every stanza makes a double play
-central metaphor= double play is a dance
-simile, free verse

My Mistress’ Eyes Are Nothing Like The Sun
Shakespeare
-describing speaker’s mistress, saying although she’s not perfect, he loves her anyway
-sonnet
-simile, imagery, metaphor

The Silken Tent
Robert Frost [1874-1963]
-all one sentence; enjambment
-about a woman describing her life
-metaphor= woman is a silken tent and the tent gives the idea of a rounded life
-the woman wants to be free to do what she wants, yet she feels bounded down (like a tent) to her responsibilities

The Red Wheelbarrow
William Carlos Williams [1883-1963]
-poem is an example of imagism: perceiving an image with few words
-everything necessary in life is in the poem
>wheelbarrow=work which comes with sun and water
> white chickens=food
-“so much depends”

Because I Could Not Stop For Death
Emily Dickinson [1830-1886]
-speaker is dead on the way to the graveyard, going through memories on the way, expressing how life goes by fast
-enjambment, elision, caesura

Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers
Adrienne Rich [1929]
-aunt is embroidering and creating a tapestry, she wants to be like the tigers she’s making bc she’s in a bad relationship and terrified of her husband
-personification, hyperbole

The Battle
Louis Simpson [1923]
-“helmet and rifle, pack and overcoat” : metanomy
-describes battle scene
-cigarette shows how little life the soldiers have left

Me Up At Does
E. E. Cummings [1894-1962]
-rearranged words makes poem difficult to understand
-speaker poisons mouse, mouse is asking why; 2 perspectives
– Out of the floor, a poisonous mouse, still alive, who does quietly stare up at me, is asking what have I done that you wouldn’t have? -ms. bérard

Rape
Adrienne Rich [1929]
-about the oppression of women through the metaphor of rape
-cop described as trustworthy yet sneaky “prowler and father”
-male: “confessor” bc women have to turn to men to get anything done
-slam poem

Meeting At Night
Robert Browning [1812-1889]
-meant to appeal to all senses: “warm sea-scented beach”
-describes two lovers that are so excited to see each other they cross waters, runs a mile, and crosses 3 fields; voices are quiet
-prow: bow of ship
-personification, elision, enjambment

Digging
Seamus Heaney [1939]
-written in 1966; narrative; true story
-boy watching father dig and plant potatoes; he only has a pen but he’ll dig with it
-“digging” into memories
-imagery, simile

The Man He Killed
Thomas Hardy [1840-1928]
-speaker enlisted in the war bc he needed a job; describes his state of mind while killing a man
-breaks in stanzas suggest the speaker regrets killing the man
-smoothness of stanza returns which show that the speaker has resigned on the fact that it’s war and it’s what he had to do
-caesura, elision, enjambment, alliteration

Woman To Child
Judith Wright [1915]
-woman describing her deep love for her unborn child
-“all a world i made in me” : process she’s going through is how the whole world got there
-“all time layer rolled in me” : everything the child will need in life is in the mother
-“i hold you deep within that well” : well=womb; mother is protecting it
-“i am the earth, i am the root, i am the stem that fed the fruit” : woman is the source of life both in womb and out
-metaphor

My Papa’s Waltz
Theodore Roethke [1908-1963]
-about a boy standing on dad’s feet, dancing around the kitchen knocking things down; dad-drunk
-imagery: verbs and literary devices make it sound violent

War is Kind
Stephen Crane [1871-1900]
-irony=whole poem; telling war is kind while expressing gruesome scenes
-repetition: “war is kind” “do not weep”
-multiple perspectives
-speaker is opposed to war, doesn’t see the reason for it bc of all the killing “a field where a thousand corpses die”
-aligned stanzas say war is a glorious way to die while the indented stanzas say otherwise

Naming Of Parts
Henry Reed [1914]
-speaker is a drill sergeant explaining the parts of guns
-other speaker is a soldier who is bored thinking of flowers, spring, etc.
-last stanza both voices converge
-ironic associating guns with spring

Those Winter Sundays
Robert Hayden [1913-1980]
-man not only gets up on sundays, but all other days too; works hard outside (“cracked hands”); makes fire in the morning for his family so they wake up nice and warm
-father and son don’t speak much; father might be angry bc no one ever thanks him
-the son, now as a father, realizes this
-repetition, personification, imagery

Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
Robert Frost [1874-1963]
-December 21 (darkest day of year), man stops far away from his destination and his horse doesn’t know where they’re stopping
-man feels he must get some things done (reader does not know what these things are) before he dies; stopped to look at the scenery; in a hurry
-repetition, alliteration

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