What inspires a poet?

inspiration of william carlos williams' poem what inspired emily dickinson william shakespeare to write sonnets

Extra Credit: Who is this poet?

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For this journal, you’re going to have to do three things:

  1. Read your poet’s biographical information on Wikipedia and
  2. Take another close look at the poem you submitted for last week’s journal comment on this blog, then
  3. Add a comment to this post, similar to the example below

What events in your poet’s life may have inspired the creation of the poem you submitted last week? If you quote Wikipedia word-for-word, please supply a link to Wikipedia.

Here’s an example:

  1. “The Pied Piper of Hamlin”
  2. by Robert Browning
  3. Here’s my quoted stanza from last week: “…In Transylvania there’s a tribe/Of alien people who ascribe/The outlandish ways and dress/On which their fathers and mothers having risen/Out of some subterraneous prison…/So Willy, let me and you be wipers/Of scores out with all men–especially pipers!/And, whether they pipe us free from rats or from mice,/If we’ve promised them aught, let us keep our promise!”
  4. On Wikipedia, I read that Browning’s mother was an accomplished musician, and Browning inherited his mother’s talent. This may have inspired his creation of a musically talented trickster character, like the pied piper. However, I also learned that the fairy tale of the pied piper is much older than Browning himself. Wikipedia also says, “Robert’s father, a literary collector, amassed a library of around 6,000 books, many of them rare. Thus, Robert was raised in a household of significant literary resources.” So one might guess that he was exposed to the original fairy tale of the pied piper in his father’s library.
  5. Wikipedia Citation: “Robert Browning.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 22 April 2011. Web. 21 April 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Browning>

43 responses »

  1. 1. “Father Malloy”

    2. by Edgar Lee Masters

    3. “You are over there, Father Malloy,/
    Where holy ground is, and the cross marks every grave,/
    Not here with us on the hill –/
    Us of wavering faith, and clouded vision/
    And drifting hope, and unforgiven sins./”

    4. Masters was introduced to Epigrams from the Greek Anthology in 1909, by Marion Reedy, editor of Reedy’s Mirror of St. Louis. This fueled inspiration for Master’s most famous work, Spoon River Anthology.


  2. Ralph Waldo Emerson.
    2.Hast thou named all the birds without a gun;
    Loved the wood-rose, and left it on its stalk;
    At rich men’s tables eaten bread and pulse;
    Unarmed, faced danger with a heart of trust;
    And loved so well a high behavior
    In man or maid, that thou from speech refrained,
    Nobility more nobly to repay?—
    O be my friend, and teach me to be thine!
    3.This peom was “forbearance”.
    4.When i read Emerson’s biography i found out that he liked to write many poems about nature and life. He also had a lot of inspiration from the transsendentalists which wrote about what Ralph wrote about.

  3. 1. “War is Kind”
    2. Stephan Crane
    3. My last weeks quote was:“Sir I exist!”
    “However,” replied the universe,
    “The fact has not created in me
    A sense of obligation.”
    4. Crane said that his overall poetic aim was to give his ideas of life as a whole, so far as he knew it.
    I found it under the poety part of his Biography.

  4. 1. “The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls”.
    2. By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
    3 My quote from last week : The tide rises, the tide falls./
    The twilight darkens, the curlew calls;/
    Along the sea-sands damp and brown/
    The traveler hastens toward the town,/
    And the tide rises, the tide falls./
    Darkness settles on roofs and walls,/
    But the sea, the sea in darkness calls;/
    The little waves, with their soft, white hands/
    Efface the footprints in the sands…/
    4. Henry had a love for nature. And he enjoyed the scenery near his home.
    5. Wikipedia Citation: “Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 28 April 2011. Web. 26 April 2011.

  5. 1.”i carry your heart with me”
    3. Here is my stanza from last week: “no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want/no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)/
    and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant/
    and whatever a sun will always sing is you/”
    4..When i read E.E. Cummings biography it said that he went through two deforces so that could be why he wrote this poem. Also as i kept reading the biography it also said that he liked to write love poems so another reason that he could have wrote this poem is he just likes to write about love!♥♥♥
    5. And the extra credit picture that poet is William Wordsworth.

  6. 1.”Desert Places”
    2. by Robert Frost
    3.last weeks quote-
    Snow falling and night falling fast, oh, fast
    In a field I looked into going past,
    And the ground almost covered smooth in snow,
    But a few weeds and stubble showing last.
    whole poem-
    Snow falling and night falling fast, oh, fast
    In a field I looked into going past,
    And the ground almost covered smooth in snow,
    But a few weeds and stubble showing last.

    The woods around it have it–it is theirs.
    All animals are smothered in their lairs.
    I am too absent-spirited to count;
    The loneliness includes me unawares.

    And lonely as it is that loneliness
    Will be more lonely ere it will be less–
    A blanker whiteness of benighted snow
    With no expression, nothing to express.

    They cannot scare me with their empty spaces
    Between stars–on stars where no human race is.
    I have it in me so much nearer home
    To scare myself with my own desert places.
    4. Wikipedia said that Robert Frost’s personal life was plagued with grief and loss. In 1885 when Frost was 11, his father died of tuberculosis, leaving the family with just eight dollars. Frost’s mother died of cancer in 1900. In 1920, Frost had to commit his younger sister Jeanie to a mental hospital, where she died nine years later. I believe that because his family died or had health problems and later died when he was so young is why in alot of his poems talk about plants, leaves, or something has died or he is grieving or lonely because of what happened to his parents and sister.

    • Kahlan, I got your add-on of the citation, but you’re not citing Wikipedia correctly. Please look at some of your classmates’ Wikipedia citations, to make sure you’re doing it correctly.

      I wholeheartedly agree with your analysis in #4. In fact, Frost lost a son also, and he wrote a poem about that experience. The poem about the loss of his son always brings me to tears. It’s very moving.

  7. 1. “Happiness”
    2. by Carl Sandburg
    3. Here’s my quote from last week: “I asked professors who teach the meaning of life to tell me/What is happiness./And I went to famous executives who boss the work of/
    thousands of men./They all shook their heads and gave me a smile as though/I was trying to fool with them/And then one Sunday afternoon I wandered out along the/Desplaines river/And I saw a crowd of Hungarians under the trees with their/women and children and a keg of beer and an/accordion.”
    4. On Wikipedia, I read that Sandburg enjoyed doing what he did. Even though he did many different things in a seeable short time, he was still happy. He was happy with the things he did and no one could change that. Some people might think how he could be happy by doing that as a job. That fact that was really clear to Sandburg was that it was a job. A job that he got things in exchange for the things he did. With that said he was happy. That’s probably why he wrote “Happiness”, because the poem discusses that everyone has different things that make them happy and it doesn’t have to be just one thing. In other words Sandburg didn’t care what other people think of him. The only reason he would not do something he wanted to try was because he didn’t like doing it
    5. Wikipedia Citation: “Carl Sandburg.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 27 April 2011. Web. 27 April 2011.

    • I’m not sure I understand what you’re trying to say in #4. What “job” do you mean? Being a poet? Or some manual labor job? Or what? I’m going to give you the credit, because you’ve certainly put a lot of work into this comment, but if you try to use your response for #4 in your final exam essay, you’ll need to clarify.

  8. 1.) The poem I used was called “This is Just to Say”
    2.) By William Carlos Williams
    3.) Quote from the poem, “I have eaten/the plums/that were in/the icebox

    and which/you were probably/saving/for breakfast”

    4.) Nothing on William Carlos Williams’ biography seemed to say anything that could have inspired Williams for this particular poem. However, I did a little bit more wikipedia-ing, and I found a wiki-search based soley on this poem in particular.
    It said that Williams foresakes actual experience for mere words. So, it also said that this poem was actually written based on an experience; he wrote it on a napkin as a note to his wife, and he left it on the icebox for her in poetic form. It also noted that she responded to him with a poem from her own. So really, this poem wasn’t inspired, but based on a small experience, that really didn’t matter much.
    5.) Citation from Wikipedia: “This Is Just To Say.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 26 April 2011. Web. 27 April 2011.

  9. 1:CIII
    2:By:Emily Dickinson
    3:THE MOON was but a chin of gold
    A night or two ago,
    And now she turns her perfect face
    Upon the world below.

    Her forehead is of amplest blond;
    Her cheek like beryl stone;
    Her eye unto the summer dew
    The likest I have known.

    Her lips of amber never part;
    But what must be the smile
    Upon her friend she could bestow
    Were such her silver will!

    And what a privilege to be
    But the remotest star!
    For certainly her way might pass
    Beside your twinkling door.

    Her bonnet is the firmament,
    The universe her shoe,
    The stars the trinkets at her belt,
    Her dimities of blue.
    4:Emily Dickinson was a poet, fewer than a dozen of her nearly eighteen hundred poems were published during her lifetime.

    • Your citation has not been done correctly. (See some of your classmates’ comments for the correct method of citation.) Also, for your #4 comment, you aren’t really talking about inspiration here. The assignment asked you to relate some aspect of her biographical information to a hypothesis about what inspired her to write this particular poem. If you want full credit, you’ll need to re-submit by Friday. Thanks. 3/5

  10. 1.Come up from the fields father
    2.Walt Whitman
    3.Open the envelope quickly,
    O this is not our son’s writing, yet his name is sign’d,
    O a strange hand writes for our dear son, O stricken mother’s soul!
    All swims before her eyes, flashes with black, she catches the main words only,
    Sentences broken, gunshot wound in the breast, cavalry skirmish,
    taken to hospital,
    At present low, but will soon be better.
    4. He was inspired by influential poets in the American canon that talk about war and death.

    • Kevin:
      #1 you forgot to put your poem title in quotes.
      #4 WHO inspired him? Your statement is vague.
      #5 That’s not a correct citation of Wikipedia. Please see previous comments to find one that is done correctly, if you’ve forgotten how to cite Wikipedia.

      Please re-do by Friday for full credit. Thanks.

  11. 1.”I Didn’t Go to Church Today”
    2.By Ogden Nash
    3.I didn’t go to church today,
    I trust the Lord to understand.
    The surf was swirling blue and white,
    The children swirling on the sand.
    He knows, He knows how brief my stay,
    How brief this spell of summer weather,
    He knows when I am said and done
    We’ll have plenty of time together.
    4.Ogden Nash was not an avid church attender so this poem probably was to express why he thought that was not a bad thing

    • Your Wikipedia citation wasn’t done correctly for #5. We learned how to do Wikipedia citations during 1st and 2nd quarter; now you must apply that knowledge to earn full credit. You have until Friday to correct this, or you’ll earn only 4/5 on your journal for this week. Sorry.

  12. 1.”Silence”
    2.Marianne Moore
    3.3.My father used to say,
    “Superior people never make long visits,
    have to be shown Longfellow’s grave
    nor the glass flowers at Harvard.
    Self reliant like the cat –
    that takes its prey to privacy,
    the mouse’s limp tail hanging like a shoelace from its mouth –
    they sometimes enjoy solitude,
    and can be robbed of speech
    by speech which has delighted them.
    The deepest feeling always shows itself in silence;
    not in silence, but restraint.”
    Nor was he insincere in saying, “`Make my house your inn’.”
    Inns are not residences.
    4. She talks about her father in this poem. In real life her father had left her family before she was born. She lived with her grandfather.

    • Your journal submission has two problems: 1.) you forgot to cite Wikipedia or the web site where you got your biographical information on Moore and 2.) this quoted portion of the poem doesn’t seem to include anything about Moore’s father, yet you reference that in #4–this doesn’t make sense to readers. Sorry. You’ve earned 3/5. If you can correct your #4 and #5 by Friday, I’ll give you the extra points you need. Thanks.

  13. 1.The Breath Of Night
    2.by Randell Jarrell
    3.Runs like a breath/ through the forest./
    Here too,/ though death is hushed, /though joy
    Obscures,/ like night, /their wars,/
    The beings /of this world are swept
    By the Strife/ that moves the stars./
    4.In this poem it talks a little about war and Randell Jarrell was in the Air Force.I think that inspired him.

  14. Extra Credit: The poet in the picture is William Wordsworth.
    1. “Taking Leave of a Friend”
    2. by Ezra Pound
    3. Here’s my quote from last week:
    “Blue mountains to the north of the walls,
    White river winding about them;
    Here we must make separation
    And go out through a thousand miles of dead grass.

    Mind like a floating wide cloud,
    Sunset like the parting of old acquaintances
    Who bow over their clasped hands at a distance.
    Our horses neigh to each others
    as we are departing.
    4. Hemingway wrote in 1925: “He defends [his friends] when they are attacked, he gets them into magazines and out of jail. He loans them money. … He writes articles about them. He introduces them to wealthy women. He gets publishers to take their books. He sits up all night with them when they claim to be dying … he advances them hospital expenses and dissuades them from suicide.” This shows that Pound loved and would take care of his friends. When a friend leaves, it is a sad time. I think that Pound wrote this poem about one of his friends leaving for ever.
    5.”Ezra Pound.” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 26 Apr. 2011. .

    • I forgot to put the rest of the citing so this is the whole thing.
      “Ezra Pound.” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 26 Apr. 2011. .

    • Your Wikipedia citation is missing the date of the page’s last update. It’s otherwise an ideal journal entry. Fantastic analysis of your poet’s inspirations/motives. I’ll give you full credit, but next time, please include your page’s last update for any Wikipedia citations. Also, you’re the lucky dog who earned the extra credit! Way to go!

  15. I have been reading your blog entries and they are pretty good, I have been looking at a lot of other peoples blogs and I think that yours is so far the best!

  16. 1. Sonnet 120

    2. By: William Shakespeare

    3. here’s my poem from last week- That you were once unkind befriends me now,
    And for that sorrow which I then did feel
    Needs must I under my transgression bow,
    Unless my nerves were brass or hammer’d steel.
    For if you were by my unkindness shaken
    As I by yours, you’ve pass’d a hell of time,
    And I, a tyrant, have no leisure taken
    To weigh how once I suffered in your crime.
    O, that our night of woe might have remember’d
    My deepest sense, how hard true sorrow hits,
    And soon to you, as you to me, then tender’d
    The humble salve which wounded bosoms fits!
    But that your trespass now becomes a fee;
    Mine ransoms yours, and yours must ransom me.

    4. William Shakespeare married very young, he wwas 18, which may have a connection to a quarell. Also every loving couple fights sometimes. He was born into a nice family so the fighting couldn’t have came from that. he married Anne Hathaway.

    5.Wikipedia Citation: “Willaim Shakespeare.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 22 April 2011. Web. 26 April 2011.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Shakespeare

  17. 1. “The Pains of Sleep
    2.by: Samuel Taylor Colerige
    3.my quoted stanza from last week:
    Ere on my bed my limbs I lay,
    It hath not been my use to pray
    With moving lips or bended knees;
    But silently, by slow degrees,
    My sprit I Love to compose…
    4.i believe that he has the intelligece for writhing his poems and his insperation is muse muse muse and the insperation from life

    • Um… I don’t mean to sound sarcastic at all, Tori, but do you even understand what you wrote in #4? I’m guessing you just copied something you found on Wikipedia. I’m going to give you 4/5 points, because you need to make comments here that will be useful/helpful on the essay test.

  18. 1. “Touched by an Angel”
    2. Maya Angelou
    3. This is the poem I quoted last week:

    “We are weaned from our timidity/
    In the flush of love’s light/
    we dare be brave/
    And suddenly we see/
    that love costs all we are/
    and will ever be./
    Yet it is only love/
    which sets us free.


    We, unaccustomed to courage/
    exiles from delight/
    live coiled in shells of loneliness/
    until love leaves its high holy temple/
    and comes into our sight/
    to liberate us into life./

    Love arrives/
    and in its train come ecstasies/
    old memories of pleasure/
    ancient histories of pain./
    Yet if we are bold,/
    love strikes away the chains of fear/
    from our souls./

    We are weaned from our timidity/
    In the flush of love’s light/
    we dare be brave/
    And suddenly we see/
    that love costs all we are/
    and will ever be./
    Yet it is only love/
    which sets us free./

    4. When i read Maya Angelou’s biography, I learned that he parents were divorced when she was three. This may have been the cause to her sadness in some of her poems. When she was only 8, her mother’s boyfriend sexually abused and raped her. In her poem ,”Touched by and Angel”, she says “old memories of pleasure/ ancient histories of pain.” This makes me think that there is a connection to this poem and her life story. Also, this is why I think she writes so much about love and hurtfulness. Now I know why her poems are so sad!

  19. 1. “Renascence”
    2. By Edna St. Vincent Millay
    3. Here is my quote from last week:″ … Deep in the earth I rested now. / Cool is its hand upon the brow/And soft its breast beneath the head/ Of one who is gladly dead./ And all at once, and over all/ The pitying rain began to fall;/ I lay and heard each pattering hoof/ Upon my lowly, thatched roof,/ And seemed to love the sound far more/ Than ever I had done before./ For rain it hath a friendly sound/ To one who’s six feet under ground;/ And scarce the friendly voice or face,/ A grave is such a quiet place.”
    4. From what I have read in her biography she was inspired by the emotions she had from her many love affairs.
    5. Wikipedia Citation: “Edna St. Vincent Millay.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 26 April 2011. Web. 24 April 2011.

  20. 1.”The Naming of Cats”
    3. in last weeks journal my post included this part of this poem: .The naming of cats is a difficult matter,/It isn’t just one of your holiday games;/You may think at first I’m as mad as a hatter/When i tell you, a cat must have three different names./First of all, there’s the name that the family use daily,/Such as Peter,Augustus,Alonzo or James./
    4.On wikipedia it says that T.S. Eliots father was a very sucessful buisness man. Eliot loves St. Louis…he says that it has affected him most than any other place. His mother was a poet and a social worker, it sounds like eliot has somewhat followed his mothers footsteps with the poetry. He was the youngest of his family. He had a bunch of older sisters and brothers. There was 6 children all together in their family. Hr began to write poetry when he was 14…theres much much more but too much to put in one little journal entry.

    • You have two problems: 1.) you didn’t connect the poem to any particular aspect of Eliot’s life and 2.) you didn’t correctly cite your Wikipedia page. You have until Friday to re-do this. Otherwise, it’s only worth two out of five points.

    2. by Shel Silverstein
    3. last weeks quote. My father is a golfer-/He lets me be his tee./He puts the ball uponmy nose/And hits it right off me./He says that Ican share the joy/Of every ball he hits./Oh, ain’t it grand to have a dad/Who spends time with his kids.
    4. well from what i read on Shel Silversteins biography that might have inspired him was that he was a illustator, a songwriter, and a playwriter and that would make him a good children book writer.
    5. http://famouspoetsandpoems.com/poets/shel_silverstein

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