I’m curious what poem you’ve decided to analyze for your “Poetry Interview” assignment.


  1. Identify the poem and poet you’ve selected (or at least think you’re going to do).
  2. Tell all of us why it has caught your attention — in general — with regards to writing a great conversation.
  3. Point out 5 ‘interesting’ things about the poem that might lead to great questions (and analysis).

Length: 7+ sentences


54 responses to “SEM 2, W3, #3: PICKING THE POEM/POET

  1. I’ve decided to do Shelley’s “Ode to the West Wind” for our poetry interview analysis.

    I would have to say that the strong, descriptive language that holds so many possibilities with every word is what drew me to this poem. Also, while I was reading the poems that we could choose from, I wanted to make sure that the poem I chose would hold a lot of material to cover, allowing me to come up with many questions. Being able to think of at least 15 questions easily is a great feature of this poem. This allows me to decide on the strongest questions and the ones I feel most confident about rather than struggling to insert twelve thoughtful questions into my interview.

    One of the ‘interesting’ facets to “Ode to the West Wind” is its style. It is grouped into 5 parts that each contain 5 stanzas: 4 stanzas of 3 lines and 1 stanza of two lines. I find this to be a pretty different way to organize a poem and it creates a definite divisions between the different parts, creating a poem that contains five distinct thoughts that are united together through the one, omniscient thought.

    Another aspect of “Ode to the West Wind” that I found ‘interesting’ is that the first three parts all end in the phrase “O, hear!”. This by itself shows that Shelley is directly addressing to the wind and urging it to hear his words, creating a possibility for the question of why Shelley desperately needs the wind to hear him.

    I also found Shelley’s relation of winter and the dying of everything to be interesting. Winter is traditionally marked as a time when all vegetation is dead. Also, the word winter creates an image of a stark, bleak landscape in my head. Shelley relates winter not only to the dying of plants, but also to the dying of human imagination and individuality.

    I also liked the play on seasons that Shelley uses. He describes autumn, winter, and spring as all being a cycle of the west wind. The seasons affect the outdoor landscape, but they also affect human behavior and attitude.

    Another ‘interesting’ thing in Shelley’s poem is the play of language. An example of this is when Shelley describes how the “Atlantic’s level powers/Cleave themselves into chasms”(37-38 ) because the language describes how the wind moves the sea, but it also seems like even the might of the ocean has to bow down to the vaster and mightier power of the wind. Another example of creative language that Shelley uses is in lines 4-5: “Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red,/Pestilence-stricken multitudes”. This is a very creative and powerful description that holds many implications and can be interpreted in many ways.

    I really enjoy Shelley’s poem “Ode to the West Wind”, I feel like I will be able to complete the parameters of this project and even go beyond them with my choice of poetry.

  2. I have decided to do William Wordsworth’s “The World Is Too Much With Us”.

    This is a poem I have read and enjoyed before. I like all of Wordsworth’s writings because of the effect nature plays in them. I can feel this same connection and so this poetry easily relates to me. (I guess I’m a bit of a Romantic too 🙂 ). I think that because I know the way Wordsworth must have felt it will make it easier to write a convincing conversation. The poem starts with saying that we have become too involved with our possessions which I agree with and it might make an interesting question. Also he seems to say that he would rather be close to nature than have a strong faith, along with pulling elements from Greek mythology which could be controversial. The poem also uses language that implies many meanings which will lead to different questions based on interpretation.

    Wordsworth also does not offer a solution too our worldliness which leads the reader to believe there may be no solution. Overall I really like this poem and hope that I do it justice in my project.

  3. I picked “Jade Flower Palace”. It was written by Tu-Fu and seemed to have taken place in Asia.

    The poet had interested in some parts of her poem. 1. Her story is about a prince, but all she describes is the palace he lived in. She wanted to show the prince’s actions through the condition of the palace. 2. She used some interesting symbols for the prince.(“Stone Horse”). 3. She really never explains whther the prince was beneficial or a tyrant. 4. She also never explains why the palace is in the condition it is. 5. She leaves us to guess whether the prince was bad or not and lead us to our own thoughts. Such makes me wonder what the true story was in her mind when writing. 6. Why did she use the palace to write for the prince?

  4. I picked “The Tyger” by William Blake.

    I like the Tyger because, how I see it, it talks about the angel Lucifer, how he turned against God to take power, how God created Lucifer and the question of if God meant for this to happen. This seems very controversial and a good topic to make up an interview over. The main questions of the interview will probably be over points that show who the tyger is.

    One of these points would be when Blake says,” On what wings did he aspire? What the hand dare seize the fire?” To me, this seems to talk about Lucifer as an angel daring to take power.

    Another point is when Blake talks about “the stars throwing down their spears.” This really seems to be talking about the angels who followed Lucifer.

    Another point is how Blake repeats the first stanza at the end as if to be bringing something to your attention once again after you have been enlightened by the rest of the poem. ‘

    Another point is how he brings manmade elements into the poem in the middle, as if to connect humanity to previous points within the poem.

    One last point is when Blake says, “Did he smile his work to see?” This could be referring to God having planned the chaos Lucifer brought.

    I also see a few more points in this poem even though I don’t know how these could be used yet.

  5. The poem I chose was Percy Shelley’s “Ode to the West Wind”.

    This poem grabbed my attention right away, just by the description and high vocabulary. The first few times I read it, I was picturing different scenes of the autumn in my head. Then I went back and read the information out to the side in the margins, and that kind of brought a light to me somewhere. So I thought this would bring a lot of good topics to bring up in a converstaion with hime, you know, for the project. So I went with this one.

    *One really intresting line that caught my attention was in the first stanza, last sentence. The thought of something being a destroyer AND a preserver was a unique strategy. So that was something I circled aot 🙂

    *Another was the end of the first three stanzas was “O, hear!” It was like Shelley was trying to say something important and was demanding your attention.

    *Then there was the third and fourth stanzas, when , it looked like to me, Shelly told a story. I sort of lost myself in it for a second, and had to go back and read it again. After that, I still had a little trouble with it. But it still got my attention.

    *Another interesting thing Shelley did, was in the fourth stanza, he compared things to the wind. Like being a leaf that the wind could blow away, or being a cloud or a wave in it’s path. It was a nice effect to picture.

    * Then another thing that caught my eye, was the fifth stanza. Im still trying to capture the importance of the hidden meaning, but it hasn’t come to me yet. I know Shelley is saying something through that stanza, but I’ve yet to find it.

    I really liked this poem, and the more I read it, the more I learn about Percy Shelley.

  6. I pick “On the First looking into the Chapman Homer”

    This is the poem about the guy that loves homer, but the only problem was he can’t read the old Greek, so that he can’t understand what Homer was writing about. Until the Chapman (was some person that kind of like the translator that can translate old Greek to English) translate his story that he can able to understand. When he looks over Homer’s story, he was so happy and excited, because that was so good and awesome, he describe his feeling just like Cortez that discover the new land and the new Pacific Ocean that happy and excited, that just like standing on the Darien (the mountain that on the Panama Cannel that can see both Pacific and Atlantic Ocean) can see both west and east of the world.

    The thing that focuses me was I like Homer too, his story was good and cool, the Wars, Gods and Heroes and the bad evils and others. His story make a lot of change in this time (like movies and some novels), if we don’t have his story, ours world will be so boring and not fun, he had a lot of contribution of the literature and Greeks Mythology.

    I might ask him some question about Homer or his ideas of Homer, because the basic information I need to know.

  7. At first I wanted to play off the Princess Bride – my poet would only be “mostly dead,” and a miracle man would put a bellows into his mouth and pump them, then push on his stomach, and the poet would groan something somewhat unintelligible. After being brought back to life with a miracle pill, I could then ask him those twelve questions.

    I then, however, read (and heard about) “Kubla Khan,” and a whole new set of ideas developed. I have yet to fully understand that poem, but something about it is really cool to me. I think that state between the dream world and the real world is fascinating, especially when you try to discover what it was in the real world that caused a certain thing in the dream world.

    (But still, there will be a person that brings Coleridge back from the dead, and that person will be a crazy old man, somewhat like Miracle Max.)

    In “Kubla Kahn” there are several references to beautiful women, and I know that Coleridge had an ugly divorce with his wife. That is one thing my crazy old man could ask about. One line talks about a “woman wailing for her demon-lover.” Is that his wife? Why does he call himself a demon? Might either still love the other?

    My Max will also be keenly interested in what it’s like to be dead, since Coleridge just came from that state of being. The narrator in “Kubla Kahn” does talk of himself as coming from a ‘Paradise’ and of other people’s reactions to him.

  8. I’ve decided to analyze ‘She Walks in Beauty’ by George Gordon, Lord Byron.

    I initially looked closer at this poem because I was curious if this was going to be a love poem or one mocking beauty and portraying vanity in a negative sense. And after reading the poem I realized that it was more of a poem about admiration. Also there was some background on this poem and the fact that the author did no even know this woman was very interesting and many questions could analyze further how this woman came to be the inspiration for a poem. Also the idea that the poet could infer goodness on the inside all because this woman was so beautiful is of great interest to me.

    1) The first line that caught my eye was line 6 when day is described as ‘gaudy.’ I interpreted this line to mean that night was more beautiful then day because there is only a glimmer of light during the night due to the stars but the day has light everywhere and therefore is not as subtle or beautiful as the night. The question would relate to if this was a correct interpretation.

    2) Also in reference to the first stanza I would want to know if, because he was discussing a woman dressed in black , he was implying that a woman who only has glimmers of light colors in her dress is more beautiful then one who is adorned in jewels and bright colors. This could not be the object of stanza at all though, because maybe he was just discussing physical looks in general, meaning that those who are less beautiful are in essence more appealing.

    3) I would also ask about line 8 where he refers to the beauty as ‘nameless.’ I would ask if this was used in an effort to make the poem more relevant to all beautiful women or if he truly did not know the name of the woman he was writing about. And if he did know the name of the woman he was writing about did he not refer to her directly for social reasons or was it again deliberate to make the poem more general?

    4) In lines 11 and 12 when Lord Byron claimed the spots where the thoughts rested were ‘pure and simple’ was he implying that beautiful women are not intelligent? Was this a preconception he had due to the ideas of society at the time or was he trying to convey that a woman this beautiful must be kind and simple rather than having strong opinions or thoughts. Was he assuming that she was innocent and had no harshness to her thoughts or did this woman have a reputation for being kindly? And if he simply assumed that she had no strong opinions within her pretty little head why did he do so. Or was this line simply implying that beauty is present inside and out?

    5) Also I would discuss lines 17 and 18 and ask if Lord Byron was describing the woman when he discussed a ‘mind at peace’ or was this describing the woman discussing her dead husband or loved one. Also this would spark the question of was the dead loved one a husband, as the reader first assumes when Lord Byron describes an heart filled with love? Or perhaps he wasn’t describing the beautiful woman’s conversation but those around her and though the ‘ a mind content with all below’ is assumed to mean someone in Heaven it could also mean a beautiful woman content with all of those lower than her in status and beauty. However this is doubtful considering the positive light this poem places beauty in.

  9. I have selected, for this project, The World Is Too Much with Us by William Wordsworth.

    This poem caught my attention because it displays another one of Wordsworth’s explanations on how we have lost our connection to and with nature.

    One interesting thing about this poem is how he points out that people are too preoccupied with materialist matters: “getting and spending, we lay waste our powers.”

    Another line of truth is: “Little we see in Nature that is ours”; in this we can relate that we possess very little that is not man-made. With factories, items from nature are processed and altered to make synthetic products.

    “This sea that bares her bosom to the moon”; the alliteration of the “b” sound stresses the harshness of his overarching theme.

    “For this… we are out of tune; it moves us not”; we are out of synch with the sound of nature, and we seemingly care not.

    Wordsworth’s shout of “Great God!” emphasizes that he would rather have been raised in a secular environment so he would be able to actually see and feel the world of nature. Back in Wordsworth’s day, to wish to be raised in a non-religious fashion would have been considered sacrilegious. This may lend itself to an interesting analysis to the division between a traditionally accepted, well-defined God and a not so explicitly distinct god of nature.

  10. I think I’ll use The Tyger for the analysis/interview with the poet.

    1. The first time I saw the title of the poem, I noticed that tiger was spelled with a ‘y’. Yes, it’s obvious; everyone would notice that. But once seeing the title, I instantly became intrigued with the poem. What does the tyger actually symbolize?

    2. Line number four also intrigues me. What does Blake actually mean by ‘could frame thy fearful symmetry’?

    3. Although it seems like the first stanza of the poem and the last stanza of the poem is identical, I noticed that he replaces the word ‘could’ with the word ‘dare’ in the last line of the two stanzas. There must be a purpose to this and I think it would be interesting to find out why.

    4. For me, the line that says ‘Did he who made the Lamb, make thee?’ is also significant. Of course, this runs parallel to the poem ‘The Lamb’. Maybe what Blake is trying to say is, whatever made the Lamb also made the Tyger. Identifying who he and thee is takes careful analysis.

    5. ‘What the hand dare sieze the fire?’ also caught my attention. Could this sentence be a reference to Prometheus who stole the fire from the gods to help mankind? If Blake was a Christian, why would he make a reference that is polytheistic?

    P.S.- I hope you realize, student #3, that Tu Fu is/was a he, not a she…

  11. For my poem, I decided to do the “Chimney Sweeper” (both of them) by William Blake.

    What caught my eye about the poem was that there is a distinct parallel between the one from “Songs of Innocence” and the one from “Songs of Expierience”. The two poems are like two sides of the same coin.

    The first is optomistic about his pitiful existence because he believes that there is a reward in heaven for his suffering.

    The second, however, is not filled with a sense of hope, but rather a deep hatred of his parents, who sold him into work as a chimney sweeper. He is so absorbed in the misery of his existence, he couldn’t care less about thoughts of heaven. I guess I’m just a fool for parallels, but I couldn’t pass up something so full of potential.

    Another reason I chose it is because it is rich in symbolism (Tom’s dream).

    Finally, the reason I chose these two works is that I like the very, down to Earth style of the second chimney sweeper. He has seen through the hipocracy of his parents, who pray for him even though they are the ones who sold him for worthless money (I got this from reading the margins). Altogether, this poem could pull together an interesting interview.

  12. I am going to use William Blake’s “The Tyger”

    This poem caught my attention for several reasons. The main reason was the French Revolution and how this poem pertains this the terrible time period. Being in AP Euro, and studying the period extensively, I think I could bring in some logical questions because of my knowledge of the French Revolution.

    1. I interpret the Tyger as the devil. I feel like Blake is talking about Satan being cast out of heaven.

    2.I like that Blake uses deep skies as a symbol of hell.

    3. To me, stanza three is super important to the tie to the French Revolution. Blake talks about “what art”, which killing was portrayed as an art in this time.

    4.I really like how we talked about the guillotine so much in history and that Blake makes a direct reference to it in stanza four.

    5. And the most interesting thing I have interpreted from this poem is how Blake uses the words “frame thy fearful symmetry.” During the French Revolution, people were being framed as inhibitors to the Revolution. So I feel like Blake is talking about all the betrayal that is going on in France.

  13. I chose Percy Shelley’s “Ode to the West Wind”, although I have to admit I was very excited when I saw on the paper “Ode to the Wild West” because I had a fleeting vision of cowboy hats and pistol duels.

    1) I thought it was interesting how Shelley describes the wind’s power over all of the strongest aspects of our world- the sky, the earth, and the sea. We often think that the heavens are the strongest by what they represent to humanity but Shelley describes the wind as the most fearsome aspect of our world.

    2) In contrast to what I just said, on line 54, Shelley says, “I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed!” The narrator asks the wind to pick him up as if he were a wave, a leaf, or a cloud, and yet he is unable to fly but rather falls on his face. Even something as powerful as the west wind is unable to help the narrator past his problems.

    3) Curious that Shelley chooses to write a 70-line ode to the west wind. Why not the east wind, the north wind, or the southwest wind? I looked up the west wind for its ‘personality’ and discovered that it is the messenger of spring and is also known as the zephyr. Reminded me of the song by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, it was always one of my favorites.

    4) I really like all of Shelley’s descriptions as he paints the picture of the stormy seas and of the fearsome foliage beneath the choppy seas. I feel like he calls to each of the senses and I feel as if I too am calling to the west wind.

    5) Just random tidbit of information I read somewhere that I thought was interesting was that this poem is written in a rhyme scheme called terza rima, which is the same rhyme scheme that Dante used in “The Inferno.”

  14. I picked “The World Is To Much With Us.” It was written by Wordsworth, a Romanticist.

    I picked this poem because I like the way he describes how we can’t quite connect with nature anymore. He seems to think that humans, because we have turned our backs on earth in search of a higher power (GOD) we can’t turn back around. I like the earth along with the other ideas he talks about in his poem so I thought that it would be a good fit for me. I also enjoy things about the ancient Greek gods so when he mentioned them in the last two lines that sort of clinched it for me.

  15. I might pick The Tyger. It was written by William Blake. I know it might be a difficult poem to analyze.

    1. The first thing that caught my attention was how tyger was spelled. I wondered what it symbolized. What does this mean?

    2. The first and last stanza have the same words except for the last line in both of them. I wondered why it must be different. Also the phrase “fearful symmetry” really caught my attention.

    3. When Blake says, “Did he smile his work to see?” He might have been referring to God in this line.

    4. I like how Blake talks about deep skies which refer to hell and he also talks about heaven. Something like heaven vs. hell?

    5. I like how Blake talks about “the stars throwing down their spears.” Its like losing the war between heaven and hell.

  16. I have picked both versions of The Chimney Sweeper by William Blake.

    The fact that both of these poems are different yet have the same title and author is puzzling to me. This would be a good conversation starter and could bring about a series of good questions.

    Here are five points that could bring about good questions. One, the way the child in the poems are described. Two, why in the longer version is the poem more of a dream then reality. Three, discuss the symbolism in the two versions. Four, the thought of the lamb. Last but not least five, discuss the mood and flow of both poems.

  17. I chose “Jade Flower Palace” by Tu Fu. It caught my attention when I read it, but I’m not sure why. I read it and knew that I wanted to do it though. I felt weirdly relaxed after I read it so maybe that is why.

    Some interesting things I found:

    1. In line 6 the phrase “Green ghost fires in the black rooms.” It is a little creepy, but you can completely see what the author is getting at.
    2. I love the imagery in general throughout the poem. Tu Fu makes it seem like you are there with him.
    3. I like how at the end the emotions overtake the author. It seems very real, almost like the exact same thing could happen to the reader.
    4. I like how it ends with a question. I think it sticks better in my mind that way. It also makes me consider things similar to this in modern times.
    5. I like how the poem begins in a manner that is almost depressing, but as you get further in the reader is taken back to the glory days of the palace.

  18. The poem I chose for this assignment was “To a Skylark” by Percy Bysshe Shelley.

    What may have been a deterrent for some people was its length, for it is over 5 pages long. However, one of the good things about this poem that attracted me was the amount of content. It feels like I could sit for a while digesting the poem, rather than rush through a few important words. I would be able to draw an assortment of questions, giving me a variety of topics to discuss with my poem.

    Another thing that attracted me about this poem was its continual reference to nature. Although the title is “To a Skylark,” and implies that this bird will be the main topic of the poem, Shelley focuses on many of the other aspects of nature, such as flowers, and sounds of streams and waterfalls. I would ask him why did he draw so much attention to the scenery, rather than just the bird.

    In terms of structure, I liked the way Shelley grouped lines into groups of five, as it seems orderly and organized. (ABABB) I could ask questions about how two stanzas compare or contrast, because the lines are in groups of two. I like how the poem reads like a song. I’d also ask which stanzas were the most difficult to write and why.

    The poem’s mood is spirited to me. The words are, for the most part, joyous. From the “before you read” section, we learn that he wrote this poem in spite of his grief of losing two of their children. I would like to discuss and learn how and why would Shelley write a happy poem in the difficult times.

    Finally, I feel that skylark is a metaphor for something. Shelley is a Romantic poet, so he uses the beauty of nature to describe some philosophy, and I’m not sure what. Is it freedom, morality, happiness, or sadness. It may be all of above, since there are stanzas to support all these. What would Shelley say?

  19. I am going to do She Walks in Beauty by George Gordon.

    First of all, this title caught my eye because I naturally have an interest in romance stories and other writings and this seemed just exactly that. Unlike the other poems, I automatically got an idea when I first looked at it. I pictured the poet having a rough time finishing this poem and me just happening to maybe give him some sort of inspiration.

    1. I noticed that this poem is about one specific person and I think that is really unique.

    2. It is neat how he is able to ‘easily’ able to make the last word of every other line rhyme.

    3. Im not sure how Gordon was able to describe these powerful feelings and come up with these moving adjectives.

    4. The inspiration is obvious, but what made him decide to actually carry out a poem about this subject?

    5. After reading this poem, the question of whether or not this special lady was able to live to see this poem, if Gordon even told her about it, or if this person even existed. I think that is so romantic and wonderful of him. This would make any girl fall.

  20. I decided to try my intellect at ” Jade Flower Palace” by Tu Fu.

    The reason I picked this poem was because, just the title sprang at me immediatly. I confess, maybe the luxurious gem stone ‘jade’ may have had something to do with it, or the noble house of ‘palace’ or my brother watches “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor” too often. Oh, and flowers are pretty too.

    1. What I first realized about the poem is, by the first read through it seems very literal, an actual palace up on a cliff and such, and then there are peculiar small words that then make the image seem paranormal.

    2. The title gives of this vibe of far-eastern luxury, a handsome prince in his palace but the actual poem speaks of a ruin that is inhabited by ‘gray rats’ and ‘green ghost fires’.

    3. About two-thirds through the poem the narrator speaks of himself/herself and it almost seems as though the author was writing about his vision as though it was a journal or a diary.

    4. At the end of the poem the author writes about the future, which I find is so peculiar concerning the fact he was writing about this long-forgotten relic of a palace in the beginning.

    5. I find that the author used objects that seem more connected to the palace to describe more natural things, for instance, to me I see the line with: ‘ Ten thousand pipe organs whistle and roar.’ as though the author was describing thunder or wind and not actual man-made music.

  21. I chose “Ode to the West Wind” by Percy Bysshe Shelley.

    The reason the poem caught my attention was the way he used descriptive language. I think it would allow me to come up with many questions as to why he was using certain kinds of language and why he chose it. He talked about death a lot whenever he was talking about autumn and I thought it would interesting to discuss in the poet interview. I originally was caught between three poems; Ode to the West Wind, The World is Too much with Us, and Ode to a Grecian Urn. The reason I decided to finally choose Ode to the West Wind was because one I thought it would be interesting to see the parrallel to how he and his wife wrote and second because The World is too much with us is a little too short in length for me to have enough information and material to conduct questions. Finally i decided not to do Ode to a Grecian Urn because though they are both describing and talking to something, I felt Ode to the West Wind was more personal because it is easier to personify nature than an inanimate urn.

    1. The first thing i found interesting in his poem was the way he groulped the stanzas. I thought it was a little weird how it went 3 3 3 3 2. Also as someone else pointed out, they all do end in oh hear!

    2. It made me wonder what prompted him to write this poem. Did he wake up one day and realize how beautiful nature was? Why specifically the West Wind? It perplexed me.

    3. Of corse his descriptive language i found interesting. He had a way of writing to make you feel as if you were there as the seasons were changing. I loved how he made sort of a parrallel and transition into the seasons and how he connected the west wind to everything that happened in the changing of the seasons.

    4. I loved these lines “If I were a dead leaf thou mightest bear;/If I were a swift cloud to fly with thee;/A wave to pant beneath thy power, and share//The impulse of thy strength, only less free/Than thou, O Uncontrollable!” They just really spoke out to me and I thought they were really beautiful. I can picture a man talking to nature in these lines and I think they show the power of nature beautifully.

    5. Shelley obviously had a secret message behind the nature and it would be easy to ask him questions about the underlying meaning of his poem.

  22. I think I’ll use The Tyger for the analysis/interview with the poet.

    1. The first time I saw the title of the poem, I noticed that tiger was spelled with a ‘y’. Yes, it’s obvious; everyone would notice that. But once seeing the title, I instantly became intrigued with the poem. What does the tyger actually symbolize?

    2. Line number four also intrigues me. What does Blake actually mean by ‘could frame thy fearful symmetry’?

    3. Although it seems like the first stanza of the poem and the last stanza of the poem is identical, I noticed that he replaces the word ‘could’ with the word ‘dare’ in the last line of the two stanzas. There must be a purpose to this and I think it would be interesting to find out why.

    4. For me, the line that says ‘Did he who made the Lamb, make thee?’ is also significant. Of course, this runs parallel to the poem ‘The Lamb’. Maybe what Blake is trying to say is, whatever made the Lamb also made the Tyger. Identifying who he and thee is takes careful analysis.

    5. ‘What the hand dare sieze the fire?’ also caught my attention. Could this sentence be a reference to Prometheus who stole the fire from the gods to help mankind? If Blake was a Christian, why would he make a reference that is polytheistic? (Also, does he spell ‘sieze’ wrong on purpose, or was it just an accident? If you look at the original manuscript, it’s spelled s-i-e-z-e)

  23. I am going to do “Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey” by William Wordsworth.

    I find this poem interesting because of the way it describes nature.

    The first interesting thing I noticed about this poem was one of the lines (#16) “of sportive wood run wild; these pastoral farms” made me think about life and surviving.

    The second line I noticed was line (#24) “As is a landscape to a blind man’s eye”. This makes me imagine that a blind man can create the landscape to look like anything he wants it to look like.

    The third line I liked was line # 70 “Wherever nature led: more like a man flying from something that he dreads.” It shows how nature and people are just the same.

    The fourth line I liked was line # 76 “The sounding cataract haunted me like a passion” I really like the word haunted and passion in the same sentence. Haunted is normally a word that you want to get away from, but passion is a word that you want to be close to.

    My fifth favorite line was #113 “Suffer my genial spirits to decay.” I like the word decay because it is means to rot but spirits are not meant to rot. They live forever.

  24. I’m pretty sure I’m going to do ‘To a Skylark’ by Percy Bysshe Shelley. I think I picked it because it’s a subject I’ve thought about. Who doesn’t think about birds? Birds are pretty much the coolest animals, just because they can fly. I wish I could fly.

    1) I find the fact that he kind of talks strangely in the poem to be fascinating. Meaning, he uses words like ‘thee’, and ‘springest’. Usually I don’t like that much in a poem, but I strangely do like it in this one.

    2) I really love his similes. ‘Keen as are the arrows,’ ‘like a rose embowered/in its own green leaves/, ‘like a highborn maiden/in a palace tower’, ‘like a poet hidden/in the light of thought’…I’m excited to analyze these!

    3) I really want to analyze this stanza: ‘Waking or asleep,/thou of death must deem/things more true and deep/than we mortals dream,/or how could thy notes flow in such a crystal stream?’ It just seems so incredibly interesting.

    4) It’s interesting to look at the poem ‘To a Mouse’, and contrast the way he weaves the words in the two poems. So I think I’ll probably end up doing that.

    5) ‘Yet if we could scorn/hate, and pride, and fear;/if we were things born/not to shed a tear,/i know not how thy joy we ever should come near.’ AHHH it feels like every stanza of this poem is worthy of analyzation (if that’s a word)!!

  25. I picked ‘To a Skylark’ by Percy Bysshe Shelley.

    It’s the last poem on the list (I think… at least, it’s one near the end). I was skimming over the poems you gave us, and the title of this one caught my attention. In media and books, skylarks are generally free-spirited, happy birds who sing a lot, so I knew this one would be a play off of how happy the skylark seemed to be.

    Percy has a really great writing style that’s easy to follow and read, and his language is powerful. The “golden lightning” of the sun and the high flying of the skylark, like “a cloud of fire” and “blithe Spirit” from Heaven invoke powerful images, and the description of its song (more refreshing than the fresh rain on the “twinkling grass”). To a Skylark has lots of juicy lines that have multiple interpretations and is also a beautiful poem in the whole. I didn’t choose poems like Ozymandias because they were too vague and I didn’t pick up an undercurrent of an implied message like I did in To a Skylark.

    1) The speaker asks the skylark how it can be so happy and joyous and free – the speaker also wonders if it is innocent ignorance of pain, of no knowledge of love and grief, or perhaps nature itself. This can be interpreted in many ways, and it can also imply that the skylark is a free-spirited bird that has no ‘human’ feelings – aka it need not worry about death, impending doom, or grieve over lost or unrequited love (At least, that’s my interpretation of it). With humans, each feeling of joy is backed with some feeling of regret or fear eventually. The skylark is free to not worry about the past or future like us.

    2) Shelley gives a lot of reference to Heaven in this poem (saying that the skylark’s song comes from Heaven, and that it is “a flood of rapture so divine”). I think all these references lead the reader to conclude that the skylark’s song surpasses every other beauty and is pure enough to be a spirit from Heaven rather than a mortal. Where else could you find perfect, pure happiness but in Heaven or from something divine?

    3) Although humans are plagued by “hate and pride and fear”, the speaker is able to escape all these feelings when he listens to the skylark’s song. He forgets himself while he listens to this song and is able to experience the simplicity of such joy, one without human feelings or error. With this, I think Shelley implies that happiness can be shared by seeing or hearing someone else’s happiness, as the skylark shares its happiness with the speaker. The speaker also, in the end, says that he would also like to be taught this happiness and be able to share with the world the same melody.

    4) The line “sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought” makes me think that although humans are capable of experiencing happiness, it is also backed and bounded by sadness as well. The two exist together. One cannot be experienced without the other, and that is what makes the speaker wonder how the skylark can be so blissful and act as if the sadness doesn’t come with its happiness. I think Shelley implies that the skylark, being ‘divine’ and simple, can experience the happiness without the sadness that humans experience.

    5) As the skylark flies higher and higher into the sky, Shelley’s language becomes more and more vivid and powerful. I think this goes along the lines of inspiration and enlightenment. As the skylark flies higher and sings louder, the speaker’s awe is focused harder onto the skylark and rises with it into the sky with the divine melody. So as the skylark flies higher, so does the level of the speaker’s inspiration of the skylark. It is as if he is flying free as well.

  26. I have decided to do “Kubla Khan” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

    This poem caught my eye when I realized it was about a foreseeing dream. Dreams can mean alot of different things we just have to figure out exactly what it means. One of the reasons I picked this poem was because of the excessive amount of details and descriptions. There is a certain adjective for almost every noun and each one sounds like Coleridge wants us to figure out why he used that adjective and not another synonym. What’s the reason why he chose that word? It keeps the reader guessing what is going to happen next. Which makes me want to read more and know the exact meaning of this poem, and why Coleridge used those adjectives to describe [his] feelings of this dream.

  27. I decided on “Jade Flower Palace”. It was written by Tu-Fu and seemed to have taken place in Asia.

    This one was interesting to me because I love to learn and hear about ruins that have fallen into nature. The story is about a prince, well actually his palace. It describes a ruin that has been destroyed by nature. There are many mood changes that are incredible. Also many symbols that are hidden inside the poem that is hard to find unless you read over it like 5 times. The poem never talks about how the prince affected society or the palace. I am eager to start putting together my interview.

  28. After looking over each of the poems, I think I am going to go with “She walks in beauty” by George Gordon.

    Originally the title caught my attention for I thought it would be a love poem. After reading the first two lines, I was sure it was a love story. I have always loved poetry that shows the compassion between two people so I was really excited when I thought that this poem might possibly be something like that. But much to my dismay, the actual meaning of the poem was not a love story :(.

    1. I found it sneaky how he has a picture of a woman on the page of the poem, making it seem as though it is about a woman.

    2. It also makes me enjoy a poem much more when it rhymes so the fact that this poem rhymes helps.

    3. I think it will be easy to make up questions and ask why Gordon made it seem as though it would be an example of love poetry at the beginning and then change it suddenly after the first few lines.

    4. I also wonder how he decided what kind of diction he would use when writing his poem.

    5. After I read this poem, I couldn’t help but still think about a love story. I still wonder if Gordon is relaying a message inside of a message.. Maybe there is other reasoning behind his thought process.

  29. The poem I chose was To A Skylark by Percy Bysshe Shelley.

    What caught my attention about this poem was it’s length and how the lines were grouped. To A Skylark is probably one of the longest poems in the list that you gave us. I also thought it was sort of odd that Shelley decided to write this poem in 5-line groupings.

    I like the way that Shelley describes the images in this poem. While I read it I was really able to paint a picture in my mind of what the poem was describing.

    I noticed how Shelley describes the Skylark (nature) as innocent and the person observing the Skylark (man) as corrupt/plagued. She almost makes the bird seem godlike in the way it’s able to live a pure life and make other people forget their worries just by singing.

    Another interesting thing I noticed was the bird that Shelley used. Why a skylark out of all birds? Is there some specific meaning that a skylark symbolizes? I’m curious as to why Shelley decided to center her poem around that particular bird.

    I noticed how the speaker becomes more and more like the skylark as the poem continues. As the skylark sings more majestically, rising into the air. The speaker is able to let go of the corruption of the world of man and only focus on one thing. That is, the song of the skylark, which becomes the source of divinity and happiness.

    This poem implies that humans can experience the happiness that the skylark feels, but only with the cost of sadness. On the other hand, the skylark isn’t bound by any means and is free to fly as high and sing as loud as it wants to.

  30. I have decided to do William Wordsworth’s “The World Is Too Much With Us”.

    This poem caught my eye because, it is very true in many ways and William Wordsworth has a way to his writing that the reader can relate to. My writings are similar to that of Wordsworth so I can relate to what he writes about.

    Wordsworth points out the obvious with regards to people concerning themselves too much with physical things such as possessions. The poem as says that we are overall changing the world which would be an interesting topic to bring up to the poet. Wordsworth states that “the world is too much with us” meaning that we take the world for granite and we should learn to take care of the very thing that holds our fate. We, the reader, could ask Wordsworth what his intentions were in writing this poem. Also, we, the reader, could ask him if he feels like there are any solutions to the problems he pointed out. Wordsworth never states a solution to the problems he mentions which is a very interesting discussion later on that could reveal an intentional message throughout the poem.

  31. I picked the poem Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley.

    I did not pick this poem because I have it memorized. I picked this poem because I really like it. It has a very interesting deeper meaning to it.

    I like the statement it gives saying, “no matter how powerful you are, you will still die”. I feel I could write an interesting discussion on this topic. We could satiristicly talk about the ridiculousness of why people think it is so important to be important. I also could breifly talk about many of the other poems that he had written, including “Ode to the West Wind” and “To a Skylark”. I also liked the amount of visual imagery in the poem, and I could talk about that with him. But mostly I think I will ask him, why he did what he did. I will find out the reason behind each word he wrote.

  32. Student Response #1

    Response to Student #10.

    You say that the ‘y’ in tyger intrigued you, this makes me wonder what you thought the tyger represented when you first glanced at the poem. Of course you might not have had an idea at all; I know I didn’t before I read this poem. I just wouldn’t think that the misspelling of Tyger alone could make someone choose this poem.

    However this may have been the only poem that you liked enough to use like me.

    I think that the first/last stanza repeat was used in order to make the reader aware of something they don’t fully understand at the beginning and then after they have been educated by the poem they are asked again when they technically should be able to understand, like giving them something to look for at the beginning. The use of “seizing fire” to say taking power is used in a lot of literature; Prometheus is just the most famous. It is a common idea or theme used by many writers, Blake is not necessarily referring to Prometheus, although he might be. Overall though I like the points student #10 pulls out of this poem and I agree with most of them.

    It is also probably a good thing you set student #3 straight. That could have been embarrassing.

  33. Student Response #2

    I’m responding to Student #12

    I appreciate how you cross-connected your interest in the French Revolution with your rationale for choosing “The Tyger.” Your obvious curiosity for this historical period should transition nicely to your poetry interview. Your entry is unique, as I didn’t read a blog that equated, so precisely, an era in time to particular lines in a chosen poem. Your third, fourth and fifth reasons give specific examples of the relationship between Blake’s poem and your knowledge of the French Revolution. You emphasized how killing was considered an “art” and you also mentioned the guillotine. My favorite example was “frame thy fearful symmetry.” I found it quite clever how you compared that line with how those who tried to impede the revolution were framed. Additionally, I was intrigued with your analogy between the tyger and the devil. It seems like your background with this time period will serve you well, since this seems to make Blake’s poem more personally cogent for you

  34. Student Response #3

    I am responding to student #13.

    I chose to do Shelley’s “Ode to the West Wind” as a poem as well. What is hilarious is that when you say that you were excited by the poem being “Ode to the Wild West”, I decided to not even read the poem if that was the true title. Differences in what we like I guess. That is an interesting fact that the West Wind is the messenger of the spring. I might be able to fit that into my own analysis, it definitely seems pertinent to the poem itself. Also, the ‘random tidbit’ that Shelley’s poem is like Dante’s Inferno is interesting. I wonder if there is any relation in the two that would be relevant for our project. Good luck on your poetry project!

  35. Student Response #4

    I’m responding to student #8

    I’m also using She Walks in Beauty for my poetry project. I was surprised at how many questions we had in common. Lord Byron talks about a combination of light and dark throughout the poem. I’m pretty sure this has some relevance to the day vs. night/dark vs. light issue, he talks about this woman having both light and dark in her and that having any more of either would make her less perfect. Because the sun has no darkness, I think that Lord Byron is saying that the best of things have dark and light in them, they can’t be completely consumed by radiance. When Lord Byron said “nameless beauty” I thought he was saying that the beauty of this woman can’t be described, I hadn’t even thought about if he was describing all women, good job. And when Lord Byron said “pure and simple” I was thinking on a spiritual level when I was interpreting that. I think that he was saying that her soul was pure, especially since he says “love is innocent” at the end of the poem. This would also tie into the “mind at peace” part, I thought that meant she didn’t need to worry about her afterlife because she had lived a holy life on earth. I hope this helps!

  36. Student Response #5

    I am responding to student number eight.

    I too was curious to see what this poem was about. However, I am amazed at all you found in it! I read it once and decided twelve questions could not form in my brain from those lines. But I do not believe this will be a problem for you. 🙂 Also your first two ideas (is that the right term?) seem to group together under the sense that humans try to overdo things. From the garish sun to gaudy jewels, it is not in these things where true beauty lies. I don’t know it’s just an idea and hopefully it can help a little. On the third I agree with you interpretation but also maybe that beauty is nameless in the sense it can come from anywhere in any form. Overall I think your ideas are really interesting (and sense you got me with my literature poem taking another look at this poem) very though provoking. Thanks!

  37. Student Response #6

    I am responding to Student #7:

    Well, the first thing that caught my eye was the Princess Bride reference. I couldn’t help but laugh at the idea of bringing back your poet the same way Wesley was. Then I saw you were doing Kubla Kahn! Whoah, that’s what I’m doing! Then I definitely had to read it. Something is definitely really cool about that poem, even though its massively hard to understand. It’s really unique, but maybe that’s just because Mr. Coleridge was a little… out of it… when he wrote it. But hey, that’s how half the music in the world is written! I also was really drawn to the fact that the poem was based on a dream, and it flittered between fantasy and reality. One of the questions that you were planning on asking (the one about Coleridge’s divorce) reminded me of a Miracle Max quote when Inigo Montoya brought up the fact the Prince Humperdinck fired him: “While you’re at it, why don’t you give me a nice paper cut and pour some lemon juice on it? We’re closed.”

  38. Student Response #7

    I’m responding to Student #20

    First off I want to say you got the gender of the author right. Congratulations you are not like Student #3 who actually wrote the author was a female(Not to be taken as mean gesture).

    Also I’m doing that poem also. I’m having a lot of trouble just figuring out the questions. But I do agree with some of your numbered reasons for choosing this poem. For me I chose it because it was different and it was Chinese.

    However when talking with Mr.Long he helped me realize it was like Ozymandias. The paranormal and green ghost stuff is all part of Chinese superstition if you want to know. Green was usually the color for ghosts. Some Chinese culture 101. Good luck with the interview because this one is really hard to figure out, but you gave me some good ideas, I even gave myself a good idea with Ozymandias. So do well and GUN BEI! Cheers in Chinese.

  39. Student Response #8

    I am responding to student # 9’s entry

    I too decided to use “The World is too much with us” for my project. The reason for this is cause I think that it has more space to analyze. I guess I haven’t analyzed it too well. You have seen many things that I just passed by. You realized the meaning of the alliteration in the line “This sea that bares her bosom to the moon” stresses the harshness of the theme of materialism. I pretty much glanced over the alliteration as I was reading.

    Another thing that you found out was all of those things you said about the line “For this… we are out of tune; it moves us not”. I never looked at that line that way.

    All in all, you analyzed this poem alot better than I did.

  40. Student Response #9

    I am responding to Student #25

    I really like how you talk about the skylark and its personality but then compare the skylark’s emotions with those of humans. It’s snazzy that you recognize the skylark as being merely an animal that flies and sings but that you also delve into the symbolism behind it. I haven’t read “Ode to a Skylark” yet, but that’s really interesting where you talk about Shelley mentioning Heaven a lot, because Percy Shelley was an atheist. Although, maybe he just doesn’t believe in a traditional Heaven but a different type of Heaven, like a Nature Heaven? I really have no idea…

    That’s curious that through the skylark, Shelley states that happiness is contagious and he longs to share happiness with others. He kind of does the same thing in “Ode to the West Wind” because at the end he says he wants the wind to inspire him, as well as carry his works around the world.

    I adore your line “although humans are capable of experiencing happiness, it is also backed and bounded by sadness.” I think that is only so true and that’s awesome you get that from the poem.

  41. Student Response #10

    I am responding to Student #20

    I also did Jade Flower Palace. Your 5 things were interesting. I did get a couple of them, but I didn’t get the one with the author. I really didn’t even take into account about who was speaking. I now have taken that into consideration. The reason I picked this poem is because there was so much possibility in how the story went and what things meant. The ten thousand pipes and organs that you thought was music, I thought they were people. Many different interpretations lead to different stories, ones you would never imagine. I also thought it was cool how you were able to bring it to your brother watching The Mummy.

  42. Student Response #11

    I am responding to student number sixteen.

    I never thought of analyzing both chimney sweepers, that is a really cool idea. You are so right too, it will be a really neat way to start a conversation!

    I especially liked the incorporation of The Lamb in your entry. I have never thought about how one version is more realistic than the other. That is a really neat point..

    Your comment on the mood and flow of each poem having potential for good questions is a really good point to. I was really interested on your entry as soon as I read the first sentence about analyzing BOTH versions. Good work 🙂 and good luck!

  43. Student Response #12

    I response foe student #3

    Tu- Fu was a very good poet; he wrote a lot of famous poems “Jade Flower Palace” was one of them. Back before in school we need to study a lot of poem, in the Chinese class, just like here’s English we need to study Shakespeare and all that. Those poem are using the old language and weird words, a lot of times makes me confuse, I read a lot of his poem in Chinese, but never read the “Jade Flower Palace” and never heard that before, so I think it will should be great, I hope you have a good luck on this poem. And thanks for shared your ideas.

  44. Student Response #13

    I’m responding to student #2

    I’m using William Wordsworth’s “The World Is Too Much With Us”. It really helps me a lot. He said that Wordsworth will rather be close to nature than have a strong faith. It is really a good idea; I really agree that we are getting away from the nature. It really helps me on my project and the thing he points out is really interesting. In that time people all went inside and try to work more and gain more money. But they don’t know that the real treasure is all surround them. The Greek mythology also adds more topics for the poem.

  45. Student Response #14

    I am responding to student #26

    I also am doing the interview over kubla khan. We seem to be doing it for the same reason. I thought it was very interesting that this was a dream. Though he was intoxicated by the opium he took right before he fell asleep, it was still very intriguing. There are many excellent literary devices in this poem. It makes the poem stand out and sound mysterious. Also, the fact that it’s mysterious also makes it all the more interesting.

  46. Student Response #15

    I am responding to student #1.

    I too am doing “Ode to the West Wind” and actually for a lot of the same reasons you are. The amount of writing helps, but the crazy detailed discription of nature is what I think will help in the interview. I thought how it was very interesting how you caught that he not only was addressing the dying of winter, but also the dying of human imagination, I didn’t see that at first. I thought the choice of lines that you put into your response were perfect. If I was giving an example of Shelly’s writing being creative I think I would have chosen those same lines. It is interesting how tis blog was probably written by you when you had just read the poem without trying to analyze it. To me it seems that you have quite the poetry analysis brain which is something I wish I had.

  47. Student Response #16

    I am responding to Student #24.

    I’m doing ‘To a Skylark’ as well, and enjoyed your comment about birds. I love birds and also wish I could fly. To be free like that… soaring in the sky and singing all day would be great, so I see why Shelley would write about a bird. They’re carefree and happy, they can soar to marvelous heights in the heavens. I agree with his similes, they’re beautifully used, and his reference to a poet in his poem is ironic and very well executed. I noticed you didn’t point out the language he used in his poem, which is very beautiful as well. It makes the reader want to soar up with that skylark and forget about all our problems like the narrator wants to. I agree with your last statement – this poem is full of stuff to be analyzed!

  48. Student Response #17

    I’m responding to student 11.

    You really made me regret choosing Kubla Khan.

    I like how you said the two versions of the chimney sweeper are like two sides of the same coin. The mentioning of parallels is cool, too. I never thought of it like that. I didn’t read the shorter one when we did the other one. But after I read this I went back and read it.

  49. Student Response #18

    I am responding to Student 25

    I’m also doing my poetry interview over To A Skylark. I completely agree with what you had to say about the poem. The five things that you noticed about the poem were brilliant and almost seemed to me like those are the things that Shelley would’ve said if she explained the poem. Length was also one of the reasons why I chose this poem. Like you said, since To A Skylark is one of the more lengthy poems there’s a lot more to work with. I didn’t really want to choose a short poem because I feared that I wouldn’t have been able to make enough questions. I’ve got to admit I laughed a little when I read that To A Skylark had “lots of juicy lines”. 🙂

  50. I picked William Blake because five questions would be easy with his poem the tiger. So I came up with five really interesting. Questions about the answers not written in the poem. The tiger was such an interesting poem to analyze because it had all of these underlying meanings. William Blake is fun to question because he would have been so smart. My questions are not to complex though and they could use some work. I guess Ill get back on it then, need some input though.

  51. Student Response #19

    I am responding to Student #21.

    I liked “Ode to the West Wind,” but ended up choosing the other poem that Mr. Long gave us written by Shelley, “To a Skylark.” After reading your comments, I went back to read “Ode to the West Wind” again. I have to say that the style is similar. It seems Shelley’s poems contain unique structure, amazing description of nature, and some “hidden” meaning. What I found out was that Shelley, English poet/philosopher in 1820’s, was calling out for political reform and revolution. He wanted the “wind” to spread the wave of reform and revolution. I, like you, love his choice of descriptive words. In “To a Skylark,” I also felt that I could see the bird soar into the sky. Both poems seem like lyrics to some beautiful songs. Both are amazing poems.

  52. Student Response #20

    I’m responding to Student #4

    I had also chosen “The Tyger” because it has a ton of material that can be used. Talking about the Angels and Lucifer really spark ideas in my head and I’m not sure why. There are a ton of point that you stated which are very clear and easy to understand from the poem. Using these to ask questions will help greatly. I also like how you thought of the first and last stanza and how William Blake is trying to leave the reader on a cliffhanger. He pulls the reader in so deep that you’re left sitting there in curiosity. I don’t think too many people noticed but on the last sentence of the last stanza, William Blake replaces “could” with the word, “dare.” I really liked playing around with that alot.

  53. Student Response #21

    I am responding to student #16:

    I am really impressed that they chose to do both versions of The Chimney Sweeper. I was actually going to choose The Chimney Sweeper, but felt that only doing one was not enough, they couldn’t really be described individually. I now feel a little foolish that I simply did not choose to do both. Their second point really stood out to me, I also thought about this. Why would Blake choose to make one more real and the other dream-like? I believe that Blake was showing how many people covered up the horrible way these children were treated, almost like the angel did when he promised eternal life, where they would be protected. I believe that people chose to sweep this problem under the rug, and they used religion, and the promise of a joyful afterlife, to do so. The second version doesn’t do this at all. It simply addresses the ignorance of the people. They pity the children, but do nothing to stop what they are going through.

  54. Student Response #22

    Im responding to student 2:

    I find what student 2 wrote was interesting because, I had the similar beliefs. I also picked The World Is Too Much With Us, because William Wordsworth’s writings are involved in my beliefs and his types of writings are similar to that that I might write. Student 2 illistrates that William is saying we have become to involved in possessions and that we are materialistic. In the poem he also talks about how we as humans have neglected the earth. The student 2 conveys this by talking about the key points illistrated within the poem. They did a very good jod talking about the way the oem flows and the author’s main ideas. This is very true and i agree completely with this entry.

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