A Summary and Analysis of Shirley Jackson’s ‘The Villager’
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5h ago
By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University) ‘The Villager’ is a short story by the American writer Shirley Jackson (1916-65). The story explores themes of identity, longing, and the human desire to escape reality. In the story, a woman who moved to New York with dreams of becoming a professional dancer visits an apartment to buy ... Read more ..read more
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10 of the Best Maggie Smith Poems Everyone Should Read
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2d ago
By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University) The American poet Maggie Smith (born 1977) has become one of the most popular and most widely read contemporary poets, thanks to her poetry being shared on social media and elsewhere online. Her easy, conversational mode of address makes us feel as if we are being ushered into her ... Read more ..read more
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A Summary and Analysis of Robert Frost’s ‘Dust of Snow’
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4d ago
By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University) ‘Dust of Snow’ is a poem by the American poet Robert Frost (1874-1963), originally published as ‘A Favour’ in the London Mercury before being reprinted in Yale Review as ‘Snow Dust’. It was then collected in Frost’s 1923 book of poems, New Hampshire. The poem’s speaker describes how a ... Read more ..read more
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A Summary and Analysis of ‘Bitterness for Three Sleepwalkers’
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1w ago
By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University) ‘Bitterness for Three Sleepwalkers’ is a 1949 short story by the Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez. Published when he was just twenty-two years old, it is one of his earliest stories. It’s also one of his shortest, running to just four pages. Narrated by the three sleepwalkers of the ... Read more ..read more
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15 of the Funniest and Most Romantic ‘Roses Are Red’ Poems
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1w ago
By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University) Poetry and Valentine’s Day are intrinsically linked, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the long-standing tradition of ‘roses are red, violets are blue’ poems, which people often write for their beloved on 14th February. Indeed, it’s a poet, the medieval English poet Geoffrey Chaucer, who sometimes gets ... Read more ..read more
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A Summary and Analysis of ‘Not Waving But Drowning’
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1w ago
By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University) ‘Not Waving but Drowning’ is the best-known poem by Stevie Smith (1902-71). In 1995, it was voted Britain’s fourth favourite poem in a poll. First published in 1957, the poem fuses comedy and tragedy, moving between childlike simplicity and darker, more cynical touches. The poem is about a man ... Read more ..read more
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A Summary and Analysis of J. G. Ballard’s ‘My Dream of Flying to Wake Island’
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2w ago
By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University) ‘My Dream of Flying to Wake Island’ is a 1974 short story by the British writer J. G. Ballard (1930-2009). Ballard’s unique contribution to literature was to take the trappings of science fiction – space travel, new technologies, and the rest of it – and apply it to spaces ... Read more ..read more
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A Summary and Analysis of Sylvia Plath’s ‘The Colossus’
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2w ago
By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University) ‘The Colossus’ is a transitional Sylvia Plath poem. The title poem of the only poetry collection published during her lifetime (The Colossus, in 1960), it is one of the most accomplished poems in that collection, and in some ways paves the way for the mature poems, written in Plath’s ... Read more ..read more
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A Summary and Analysis of ‘Wild Nights! Wild Nights!’
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3w ago
By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University) ‘Wild nights – Wild nights!’ The energy and exultation with which Emily Dickinson opens this, one of her most passionately felt poems, encourages us to share the excitement and passion, or at least dares us to try to resist it. Although this is not perhaps the opening line of ... Read more ..read more
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10 of the Best Mahmoud Darwish Poems Everyone Should Read
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3w ago
By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University) Mahmoud Darwish (1941-2008) is one of the greatest names in Palestinian literature. After publishing his first poetry collecting, Wingless Birds, when he was just 19 years old, Darwish went on to forge a formidable literary reputation. He is now regarded as Palestine’s unofficial national poet, although this downplays his ... Read more ..read more
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