Category: Poetry

Dante in Verona (Image by Antonio Cotti)

Dante Alighieri (1265-1321): The Divine Comedy

The first formal biography of Dante was the Vita di Dante (also known as Trattatello in laude di Dante), written after 1348 by Giovanni Boccaccio. Although several statements and episodes of it have been deemed unreliable on the basis of modern research, an earlier account of Dante’s life and works had been included in the Nuova Cronica of the Florentine […]

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Circa 1600, English playwright and poet William Shakespeare (1564-1616). (Photo by Stock Montage/Getty Images)

Song: Spring by William Shakespeare

Song: Spring by William Shakespeare (from Love’s Labours Lost) When daisies pied and violets blue And lady-smocks all silver-white And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue Do paint the meadows with delight, The cuckoo then, on every tree, Mocks married men; for thus sings he, Cuckoo; Cuckoo, cuckoo: Oh word of fear, Unpleasing to a married ear! When shepherds pipe on oaten […]

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“The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe: The Madness of Nevermore

“The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe: The Madness of Nevermore

There is something of the madman in every man. There is something of the sadist in every sinner. Is there something of ecstasy in every elegy? So it was with Edgar Allan Poe—and he called it Beauty. It often takes a poet—a poet like Poe—to exhume the mysterious depravity of people. As churchgoers lean into Lent in the last clawing […]

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Adam’s Curse: William Butler Yeats on Original Sin

Adam’s Curse: William Butler Yeats on Original Sin

by Patrick B. Whalen | Part of the human tragedy is our capacity to imagine the perfect and to desire it.

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