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What are emotional responses to poetry?

Poetry makes much of its appeal to the senses and emotions, bypassing analytical or critical thought. Necessarily, we cannot fit such emotional responses into an analytical framework, but we must …

Can poetry be cinematic?

In Hugo’s C’est la nuit : la nuit noire, a cluster of vocabulary is used to give a particular impression. Now, we will look very closely at the precise ordering …

Talking of Michelangelo

There is a word in Musset’s ‘Sur une morte’, which we looked at last week, that may have escaped your attention. At the end of the first line, the word …

Life is a Verb

Verbs are the animators of most European languages. Whatever is happening in a piece of writing happens primarily through the verbs, however much they may be modified by adverbs or …

Voices in Poetry

Here is the poem ‘Odelette Anacréontique’ by the 19th century poet Théophile Gautier. We should note at the start that this is written in short, eight-syllable lines. It was often …

The structure of ‘beauté formol’

The poems we have looked at so far have followed conventional formal patterns in terms of metre and rhyme, but it’s very different when we come to a modern poem …