Prose/Poetry

Five A.M.
by William Stafford; morning represents a moment in which narrator is at peace with a familiar world.

Five Flights Up
by Elizabeth Bishop; morning dawns to show the separation between fearful humanity and wise nature.

The Last Night That She Lived
by Emily Dickinson; a group awed by the dying of a woman are haunted by it.

Living in Sin
by Adrienne Rich; a woman realizes that her life and romantic relationship is a cycle of neglect, sin, and misery.

Bright Star
by John Keats; a speaker speaks to a star desiring its steadfast quality though criticizing its lonely characteristic.

Acquainted with the Night
by Robert Frost; speaker is stuck in an unending cycle of depression, loneliness, and confusion and parallels this experience with a rainy night in the city.

There is no Frigate like a Book
by Emily Dickinson; the speaker elevates the status of books as something for all people and above all luxury.

When I have fears that I may cease to be
by John Keats; speaker realizes the awful reality of mortality and grows desperate of completing his aspirations; however he realizes the futility and insignificance of it all in the grand scheme of things.

The Postcolonial Challenge
by Paul Brown and by Francis Barker and Peter Hulme; all three argue that in The Tempest, Shakespeare tries to tell a unified story but fails to do so opposing the traditional viewpoint of Kermode and Brower.

Shakespeare and the Power of Order
by Frank Kermode and by Reuben Brower; both celebrate Shakespeare’s The Tempest as a unified work of art but in two different approaches, the first through an intricate vision cosmic order that was widely held in the Renaissance and the second through the internal features of the linguistic structure of the play.

Death of a Salesman
by Arthur Miller; The play attempts to raise a counterexample to Aristotle’s characterization of tragedy as the downfall of a great man: though Loman certainly has hamartia, a tragic flaw or error, his downfall is that of an ordinary man. In this sense, Miller’s play represents a democratization of the ancient form of tragedy; the play’s protagonist is himself obsessed with the question of greatness, and his downfall arises directly from his continued misconception of himself—at age 63—as someone capable of greatness, as well as the unshakable conviction that greatness stems directly from personal charisma or popularity.

The Tempest
by William Shakespeare; It is set on a remote island, where Prospero, the exiled Duke of Milan, plots to restore his daughter Miranda to her rightful place, using illusion and skillful manipulation. He conjures up a storm, the eponymous tempest, to lure to the island his usurping brother Antonio and the complicit Alonso, King of Naples. There, his machinations bring about the revelation of Antonio’s low nature, the redemption of Alonso, and the marriage of Miranda to Alonso’s son, Ferdinand.

God’s Grandeur
by Gerald Manley Hopkins; Speaker describes the greatness of God’s encompassing power over unworthy and unwise humans and also his warm love over his creation.

Reading Like a Writer
by Francine Prose; Close Reading – Prose discusses the question of whether writing can be taught. She answers the question by suggesting that although writing workshops can be helpful, the best way to learn to write is to read. Closely reading books, Prose studied word choice and sentence construction. Close reading helped her solve difficult obstacles in her own writing.

King Lear
a tragedy by William Shakespeare considered to be one of his greatest works, in which the title character descends into madness from the consequences of foolishly disposing of his estate between two of his three daughters based on their flattery. The play is based on the legend of Leir of Britain, a mythological pre-Roman Celtic king. It has been widely adapted for stage and screen, with the role of Lear played by many of the world’s most accomplished actors.

King Lear and the Comedy of the Grotesque
by G. Wilson Knight; he discusses the comic aspects of King Lear, noting, along with the fool, “humorous potentialities in the most heart-wrenching of incidents.”

The Story of an Hour
by Kate Chopin; describes the series of emotions Louise Mallard endures after hearing of the death of her husband, who was believed to have died in a railroad disaster. Mrs. Mallard suffers from heart problems and therefore her sister attempts to inform her of the horrific news in a gentle way. Mrs. Mallard locks herself in her room to immediately mourn the loss of her husband. However, she begins to feel an unexpected sense of exhilaration. “Free! Body and soul free!” is what she believes is a benefit of his death. At the end of the story, it is made known that her husband was not involved in the railroad disaster and upon his return home Mrs. Mallard suddenly dies.

Poems, Poets, Poetry
by Helen Vendler; Vendler shares her method of analyzing poetry

Sonnet 73
one of William Shakespeare’s most famous sonnets, focuses upon the theme of old age, with each of the three quatrains encompassing a metaphor. The sonnet is pensive in tone, and although it is written to a young friend (See: Mr. W.H.), it is wholly introspective until the final couplet, which finally turns to the person who is addressed (the “thou” in line one).

Sonnet 116
by William Shakespeare; The poet begins by stating he should not stand in the way of true love. Love cannot be true if it changes for any reason. Love is supposed to be constant, through any difficulties. In the sixth line, a nautical reference is made, alluding that love is much like the north star to sailors. Love should not fade with time; instead, true love lasts forever. When it says “Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, But bears it out even to the edge of doom,” Shakespeare is saying that love is timeless, and only death can do it part.
The last two lines employ a paradoxical conceit. If there is no such thing as true love, the poet says that neither has he ever written, nor has anyone ever experienced true love. However, because the poem has been written, it means the poet, ultimately, is right about true love.

A Modest Proposal
by Jonathan swift; is a Juvenalian satirical essay written and published anonymously by Jonathan Swift in 1729. Swift suggests in his essay that the impoverished Irish might ease their economic troubles by selling children as food for rich gentlemen and ladies.[2] This satirical hyperbole mocks heartless attitudes towards the poor, as well as British policy in Ireland in general.

Sonnet 29
by William Shakespeare; the speaker realizes that even in a state of complete inferiority to others, he finds that this state is unimportant in the face of true love.

Sonnet 147
In William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 147, the poet describes his love for the addressee of the sonnet as a ‘fever’. His reason and lust have been at war, but lust has ignored all advice and now all is lost. The poet is becoming mad with passion for a lady whom he knows is no good for him. He had convinced himself the one he loved was good when the opposite was true.

The Unknown Citizen
by W. H. Auden; By describing the “average citizen” through the eyes of various government organizations, the poem criticizes standardization and the modern state’s relationship with its citizens. The last lines of the poem dismiss the questions of whether he was “free” or “happy”, implicitly because the statistical methods used by the state to describe his life have no means of understanding such questions.

Barbie Doll
by Marge Piercy; criticized, a girl is forced to conform to society which ultimately “cuts” her to the ideal.

Writing Short Stories
by Flannery O’Connor; boring a** sh**

The Story of the Good Little Boy
by Mark Twain; A boy obsesses over becoming one of the good little boys in the Bible, but is dumbfounded with the realization that what happens in the Bible does not occur in real life. Ultimately his urge to achieve Biblical heroism leads to his downfall.“

Mac Flecknoe
by John Dryden; is a verse mock-heroic satire written by John Dryden. It is a direct attack on Thomas Shadwell, another prominent poet of the time.

Canonization
by John Donne; The speaker begs his friend not to dissuade him from loving, but to insult him for other reasons instead, or to focus on other matters entirely. He supports his plea by asking whether any harm has been done by his love. The speaker describes how dramatically love affects him and his lover, claiming that their love will live on in legend, even if they die. They have been “canonized by Love.”

Revelation
by Flannery O’Connor; A judgmental, fat Christian woman realizes the flaw in her hypocrisy as she faces a violent attack from a girl she made fun of and a revelation that changes her heart. Char: Mrs. Turpin, Claude, Pleasant Woman, Mary Grace, White Trash Woman

Bartleby The Scrivener
by Herman Melville; Bartleby is a kind of clerk, a copyist, “who obstinately refuses to go on doing the sort of writing demanded of him.” Elderly narrator, Bartleby, Turkey, Nippers, Ginger Nut,