Sonnet 43 – A poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Context: E.B Browning (1806-1861) was a poet within the Romantic tradition. She was born in England, but her poetry became famous in both England and the US. This poem was published in Sonnets from the Portuguese, written ca. 1845–1846 and published first during 1850, is a collection of 44 love sonnets. This poem was written …

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Sonnet 21 – A poem by William Shakespeare

Context: This sonnet mentions the Muse, in Classic mythology she was one of nine and here she represents her own element - poetry. This poem is about the narrator's own attitude towards written verse and challenges any criticism his verse isn't real or fake. Take notice on how he introduces himself here. He is not …

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“Life” – A poem by Charlotte Brontë

Context: The poems of the Brontë-sisters are perhaps less known than their novels. All sisters produced poetry which was published under pen names. These poems were published early in their writing careers. Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855) is most known for her novels:  The Professor, Jane Eyre, Shirley and Vilette. All of them considered classics of English …

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“Last Lines”- A Poem by Emily Brontë

Context: Emily Brontë (1818-1848) was a writer and poet and known for her novel Wuthering Heights which has been regarded as one of the finest novels in British literature. She wrote under the pseudonym Ellis Bell - the very first letter of Ellis corresponded to the first letter in her own name. All Brontë-sisters used …

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“Shakespeare Bites Back”: A free e-book from The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

As the weekend is approaching I would like to recommend a free e-book if you are interested in the life and works of William Shakespeare. The e-book "Shakespeare Bites Back" (2011) is written by Dr. Paul Edmondson and Prof. Stanley Wells. It's available to the public for free thanks to The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. The …

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Poe’s Literary Sources of Inspiration in “The Black Cat” and “The Tell-Tale Heart”

In this post I search for literary parallels (not to be confused with parallelism) in two short stories The Black Cat and The Tell-Tale Heart; by Edgar Allan Poe. Simply, I look for other sources or texts which may have inspired Poe to write these stories. "The Black Cat"story was published in August 1843 and …

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“Two loves I have of comfort and despair”- A Sonnet by William Shakespeare

Context: This sonnet appeared for the first time with 15 other sonnets in Shakespeare's "The Passionate Pilgrim" (1599). The narrator in this poem describes his two loves - a "fair youth", or young man and the "Dark Lady". Several voices are heard in this poem. One of his loves comforts the narrator, but the other …

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