Summary and Analysis of British and American Poetry

Telephone Conversation by Wole Soyinka: Summary and Analysis

In this poem, Telephone Conversation, Wole Soyinka is trying to highlight the impact of racial discrimination in the micro-structure of society. The title of the poem clearly reveals that two people are talking on the phone and the theme of racial di ...More

Lost in Translation by James Ingram Merrill: Summary and Analysis

Lost in Translation by James Ingram Merrill was first published on April 6, 1974 which later included in his famous poetic collection Divine Comedies for which he was awarded with the most prestigious award the Pulitzer Prize in 1976. As the epigraph ...More

Daddy by Sylvia Plath: Theme

The poem Daddy by Sylvia Plath is typically a protest poem whose themes are multiple. On its surface, it is the outpour of a daughter's anger against her dominating father, but the poem's deeper meanings should be more generalized and symbolically in ...More

Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley: Summary

The poem makes simple bare statements about the downfall of a certain tyrant called Ozymandias. The speaker in the poem reports to us what a traveler "from an antique land" told him. The traveler conjoins the past with the present. The traveler knew ...More

The Rape of the Lock as a Mock Heroic or Mock Epic Poem

The epic is a narrative poem, of supposed divine inspiration, treating of a subject of great and momentous importance for mankind, the characters of the story being partly human and partly divine, and the language and style in which the incidents ar ...More

The Lotos Eaters by Alfred Lord Tennyson: Summary

Ulysses asked his crew (while returning home from the Trojan War) to be courageous because the land was now in sight. He told his men that the next rising wave would carry them to the seashore in no time. All of them reached the land of the Lotos-Eat ...More

Hawk Roosting by Ted Hughes: Summary and Critical Analysis

Ted Hughes' poem 'Hawk Roosting' on its literal level of meaning is an expression of a bird of prey, the hawk, which is sitting on a tree and meditating about its power of destruction, its ability to suppress change, and its conceited arrogance and s ...More

When You Are Old by William Butler Yeats: Summary and Analysis

"When You Are Old" is a short lyric of twelve lines in three stanzas. The poem is the product of the early period in Yeats's poetic career. It is addressed to Maud Gonne with whom he was in love. It forms a part of the group of poems published in 189 ...More

The Shield of Achilles by W.H. Auden: Summary

The Shield of Achilles is composed by W.H. Auden in 1955 where he represents the Homeric theme in a mock-heroic way making necessary changes. Thetis, the mother of Achilles, in Greek mythology, looks at the shield hung over the shoulder of her son.More

Ode on Melancholy by John Keats: Summary and Analysis

The poem Ode on Melancholy embodies one of Keats' greatest insights into the nature of human experience. Here, the two conflicting domains of experience manifest as joy and melancholy. The poem has an abrupt beginning, which reads like a conclusion a ...More

Three Years She Grew in Sun and Shower by William Wordsworth: Summary and Analysis

William Wordsworth's poem Three Years She Grew in Sun and Shower, is a lyrical elegy on the untimely demise of Lucy. This poem is also known as 'The Education of Nature', and is considered one of the Lucy poems. Lucy poems are written about an ideal ...More

The Hollow Men by T. S. Eliot: Critical Analysis

It is most logical to consider The Hollow Men (1925) immediately after 'The Waste Land' because it is the most nearly related to 'The Waste Land'. It is, in some ways, a continuation of the earlier poem and, in others, it marks a departure from its p ...More

After Apple Picking by Robert Frost: Summary and Analysis

After Apple Picking was written and published in 1914 in North of Boston. It is one of the remarkable nature-poems of Frost written in 42 lines. It is written in the first person and rich in symbolism.More

Christabel by Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Summary and Analysis

Christabel is an unfinished gothic ballad written by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. It was finished in two years: first part in 1797 and second part in 1800 which was published in 1816 Christabel; Kubla Khan, A Vision; The Pains of Sleep. The story of Chri ...More

Fear no more the heat o' th' sun by William Shakespeare: Summary

This poem has been taken from Shakespeare's play Cymbeline. This is a death poem having universal appeal. In this poem the poet has expressed his feeling for the rest of the soul of the dead. It is written for the consolation of the dead. The poet wa ...More

Chaucer's Art of Characterization in the Prologue of the Canterbury Tales

Chaucer is the first great painter of character because he is the first great observer of it among English writers, In fact, next to Shakespeare, Chaucer is the greatest delineator of character in English literature. In The Canterbury Tales Chaucer t ...More

Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard by Thomas Gray: Summary and Analysis

Gray's Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard is composed in quatrains, where the first line rhymes with the third, and the second with the fourth. Elegiac poetry is mostly written in abab form. The last three stanzas of the poem have been written in ...More

I felt a Funeral, in my Brain by Emily Dickinson: Summary and Analysis

This is one of the greatest poems of Emily imaginary. The theme of the poem is not the funeral, real or imaginary, but an aberration of the mind, the gradual break-up of rational powers and the final onset of madness. The theme is presented through t ...More

The Sick Rose by William Blake: Summary and Analysis

The Sick Rose was first published in William Blake's poetry collections Songs of Experience in 1794. This poem is one of the inexplicable poems in English literature because of its precise meaning which is difficult to draw a fix meaning. There are m ...More

Digging by Seamus Heaney: Summary and Analysis

Digging by Seamus Heaney was first published in 1966 in his poetry collection, Death of a Naturalist. He deals with the themes of root consciousness and respect to the ancestors in this poem.More

Ode to Evening by William Collins: Summary and Analysis

Ode to Evening is one of the finest poems of Collins in his collection 'Odes on Several Descriptive and Allegorical Subjects'. It is composed in a single stanza of fifty two lines with unrhyming pattern. This beautiful poem is addressed to the evenin ...More

The Pulley by George Herbert: Summary and Analysis

The Pulley by George Herbert is a religious, metaphysical poem which centers on the ‘pulley’ as a prime conceit in the poem. Herbert wants to unveil the truth that why human beings are so restless and unsatisfying despite having all the things he ...More

Naming of Parts by Henry Reed: Summary and Analysis

Naming of Parts written in 1942 by an English poet Henry Reed is a war poem written during the Second World War. It has five stanzas and is a fine lyric poem where the new recruit is being taught to operate a rifle, but at the same time is being dist ...More

Those Winter Sundays by Robert Hayden: Summary and Analysis

Those Winter Sundays by Robert Hayden, a significant modern black voice in poetry, is a 14 lined unrhymed poem which articulates the father-son relationship. It describes a child's memory about his father in his childhood days and his regrets on trea ...More

Canal Bank Walk by Patrick Kavanagh: Summary and Analysis

Canal Bank Walk was written by Patrick Kavanagh immediately after his recovery from the lung cancer in which he had a surgery to remove his lungs in 1955. Since this time period, his poetry has changed the tract from criticism and frustration to the ...More

Heritage by Countee Cullen: Summary and Analysis

Heritage by Countee Cullen was first collected in his first volume of poems Color which is regarded as the landmark for the Harlem Renaissance. This famous poem is also considered as the Black Waste Land because it is also about the confusion of the ...More

Not Waving but Drowning by Stevie Smith: Summary and Analysis

Not Waving but Drowning is one of the most appreciated poem of Stevie Smith which was chosen as the fourth favorite poem in England in 1995. Her trademark of moving from comic to tragic and from the simplicity to the darker theme of life is vividly p ...More

Ode to the Confederate Dead by Allen Tate: Summary and Analysis

Allen Tate, an American poet and critic, aims to revitalize the southern values in his moat acknowledged poem Ode to the Confederate Dead. This long poem is a subtype of graveyard poetry where he tries to re-energies the southern values along with th ...More

Break of the Day in the Trenches by Isaac Rosenberg: Summary and Analysis

In the title of the poem, time juxtaposes with setting in order to create a painful discernment of life and death. In this short free-verse poem of twenty-six lines, the bewilderment of an ordinary soldier confronting the harshness of existence in th ...More

Bells for John Whiteside's Daughter by John Crowe Ransom: Summary and Analysis

Bells for John Whiteside's Daughter is written by famous poet and New Critic John Crowe Ransom in an elegy form lamenting the death of a lively small girl of his neighborhood.More

Glory of Women by Siegfried Sassoon: Summary and Analysis

Glory of Women by anti-war poet Siegfried Sassoon is in fact the starting of the anti-women literature in the field of English literature. This sonnet is sarcastic in theme and in the structure as the title indicates the praise of the women, but the ...More

In a Station of the Metro by Ezra Pound: Summary and Analysis

In a Station of the Metro published in 1913 by Ezra Pound is the best example of Imagist poetry that contains just 14 words reduced from thirty lines which depict the precision of language. This poem is one of the verb-less poem among the very few.More

Patterns by Amy Lowell: Summary and Analysis

Patterns by Amy Lowell published in 1915 was one of the best known Imagist poems. Lowell beautifully and vividly created pictures with the words and presents the view of the woman towards the war and on the social conventions. The lady in the poem ha ...More

The Farmer's Bride by Charlotte Mary Mew: Summary and Analysis

The Farmer's Bride by Charlotte Mew is a dramatic monologue where a husband who is a farmer by profession narrates his unhappy marital relationship with his wife. This poem ends with a sad, but a strong feeling of lust of a desperate husband.More

Sympathy by Paul Laurence Dunbar: Summary and Analysis

Paul Laurence Dunbar through this lyric poem highlight the suffering of the oppressed by prejudice and unfair laws with the use of the analogy of caged bird. This poem is written in three stanzas containing seven lines each.More

A Musical Instrument by Elizabeth Barrett Browning: Summary and Analysis

A Musical Instrument, the poem written by Elizabeth Barrett Browning begins with a question as the great god Pan, the god of Pastures is seen by the riverside in the rising violent mood. The answer lies in the title of the poem itself as it contains ...More

Thanatopsis by William Cullen Bryant: Summary and Analysis

Thanatopsis is a popular poem by William Cullen Bryant which means view on the death in Greek. The author is trying to comfort others' fears of death. This poem speaks of the love of Nature, which comforts us in life and also in death. We come from d ...More

Casabianca by Felicia Dorothea Hemans: Summary and Analysis

Casabianca was first published in 1826 which is also popularly known as 'The Boy stood on the fire Burning Deck'. This poem is about the actual incident that happened in 1798 during the Battle of the Nile where Casablanca, a 12-year old boy, the son ...More

Song: Woo'd and Married and A by Joanna Baillie: Summary and Analysis

Joanna Baillie's poem Song: Woo'd and Married and A is based on the marriage tradition. She questions male romanticism although indirectly. The central character of the poem, the bride complains that she is poor and poverty has become the cause of he ...More

On Being Brought from Africa to America by Phillis Wheatley: Summary and Analysis

Phillis Wheatley was brought to America from Africa at the age of eight. She uses that event and her experience in America as the subject matter of her poem. Therefore, this poem has autobiographical component.More

Town Eclogues: Saturday; The Small-Pox by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu: Summary and Analysis

Town Eclogues: Saturday; The Small-Pox is a mock eclogue by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. Eclogues are poems on pastoral subjects in a classical style, but the town eclogues are mock eclogues which parodies the original meaning of the eclogues and prese ...More

Adam Posed by Anne Finch: Summary and Analysis

Adam Posed is based on the myth of Adam and his name giving capacity. By the grace of the god, he was the namer of the universe. The God gave him an identity conferring capacity. But the title of the poem is Adam Posed where pose means ‘pause’ th ...More

On Her Loving Two Equally by Aphra Behn: Summary and Analysis

On Her Loving Two Equally by Aphra Behn was first formally published in 1682 in 'The False Count' under the title How Strangely does my Passion grow. This poem is about a woman who is divided equally between the love of two lovers and her indecisive ...More

Bogland by Seamus Heaney: Summary and Analysis

The speaker says they have no wide open land to cut a big sun in the evening. Everywhere the eye accepts encroaching horizon unwillingly. The eye surrenders itself to the Cyclops's eye of a small lake in the mountain. Their unfenced country is a bog ...More

To Althea, From Prison by Richard Lovelace: Summary and Analysis

'To Althea, From Prison' is written by Richard Lovelace in 1642. This is his one of the best known romantic poems which is especially famous for its final stanza's first line; 'Stone walls do not a prison make, Nor iron bars a cage.'More

Sheep in Fog by Sylvia Plath: Summary and Analysis

The poem 'Sheep in Fog' by Sylvia Plath is a confessional poem about the depression, dissatisfaction, anxiety, and feeling of helplessness of a young lady. 'Sheep in fog' refers to a person who is lost in the mist of confusion, uncertainty and helple ...More

To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time by Robert Herrick: Summary and Analysis

To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time published in 1648 in the verse collections 'Hesperiods' by Robert Herrick is probably the best verse to admire the notion of the theme popularly known as Carpe diem. The motto of the Carpe diem theme is life is ve ...More

Amnesia by Adrienne Rich: Summary and Analysis

The poem 'Amnesia' by Adrienne Rich is a feminist poem with the problem of amnesia that every woman suffers in a patriarchal society. Amnesia is the loss of memory due to certain injury or shock or unpleasant experience. But, in the poem Amnesia refe ...More

In Memory of Radio by Amiri Baraka: Summary and Analysis

In Memory of Radio by the most respected and famous African-American poet Amiri Baraka was first published in Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note in 1961. Written in free verse in conversational style, this poem primarily deals with the ideas of ...More

The Thought Fox by Ted Hughes: Summary and Analysis

The Thought Fox was first published in Ted Hughes’s poetry collection The Hawk in the Rain in 1957. This poem is his breakthrough which indicates his turn from metaphysical poetry towards mythmaking. This poem is particularly significant for the in ...More

Browse by Poets

        Alexander Pope

        Alfred Lord Tennyson

        Allen Ginsberg

        Andrew Marvell

        Christina Georgina Rossetti

        David Herbert Lawrence

        Derek Walcott

        Dylan Thomas

        Edgar Allan Poe

        Edmund Spencer

        Edward Estlin Cummings

        Edwin Arlington Robinson

        Geoffrey Chaucer

        Gerard Manley Hopkins

        Gwendolyn Brooks

        John Donne

        John Dryden

        John Keats

        John Milton

        Langston Hughes

        Margaret Atwood

        Matthew Arnold

        Paul Simon

        Percy Bysshe Shelley

        Philip Larkin

        Rabindranath Tagore

        Ralph Waldo Emerson

        Robert Browning

        Robert Frost

        Roy Campbell

        Rupert Brooke

        Samuel Taylor Coleridge

        Seamus Heaney

        Sylvia Plath

        Ted Hughes

        Theodore Roethke

        Thomas Sterne Eliot

        Wallace Stevens

        Wilfred Owen

        William Blake

        William Butler Yeats

        William Wordsworth

        Wystan Hugh Auden