Essays on Books, Poems, Plays, and Movies

Then fiddle.

February 28, 2018Charles Rafferty

The writer’s life may seem freer than that of those employed in other professions, with the writer better able to pursue Value of Literatures and ideas of interest, even to the point of evading societal norms and rules. However, as long as the practice of censorship exists, literature will never truly be free. The control and banning of literature cannot exist within a realm of freedom.


Trivia about the world's most famous bard from words coined by the bard to his marriage.

February 25, 2018Jonathan Johnson

So you see, Basho's oft-quoted advice, "to know thepine, go to the pine" is also a clue to understandingthe metaphors in his work. For instance, in his "summergrass / the dreams /of warriors" became clear to me onesummer day while sitting before a hillside of long, driedgrass. As the afternoon wind blew up the slopes, theheavy-headed (sleepy-like) grasses bent and waved. The sheenon the polished stalks flashed and darkened in patterns as ifthe ghostly people were dashing toward the top -- as if wavesof attacking warriors were flowing -- flanking --followingsome unseen desire. That Basho surely saw this very sameeffect while visiting a famous battlefield gives addedcredence to the metaphor of warriors' dreams, their passionsand ambitions, being as worthless as dried grass which movedso it looked as if the soldiers were still, in their spirithusks, charging up the hill.

Everything you would ever want to know about the immortal Bard's life and more.

Fortunately for haiku writers, their catch doesn't getsmelly if it gets mislaid in the trunk of the car and takinga live fish off a hook is certainly different from scratchingwords on paper but the thrill is very similar.

Test your knowledge of the bard by taking our gruelling quiz, answers included.

February 21, 2018J. Allyn Rosser

All the plays from 'All's Well That Ends Well' to 'Twelfth Night' in the complete original texts with summaries. Divided into comedies, histories and tragedies.

February 18, 2018Katie Palazzola

First, playingthe violin would be a foolish distraction if an enemy were threateningone's safety; it would be, as the phrase goes, "fiddling while Rome burns."Second, fighting the war first would prepare a safe and prosperous placewhere one could reasonably pursue the pleasures of music.

February 16, 2018Robert Cording

One has to "civilizea space / Wherein to play your violin with grace." It should be noted furtherthat while Brooks writes about securing a "civilized" place to play theviolin, she seems clearly to be using this playing as an image for artin general, as her more expansive references to "beauty" or "harmony" suggest.

February 13, 2018Ellen Doré Watson

Engraving of paintings of William Shakespeare and those inspired by his famous plays. Indexed by play and accompanied by the text inspiring the painting.

February 12, 2018Jacqueline Osherow

This interactive directory allows you to revisit your favorite daily poems. Pursue them by date, title, or poet, but remember we only archive the most recent 365 poems.

February 9, 2018Kai Carlson-Wee

Shakespeare summaries provide a quick and easy guide to Shakespeare's most famous plays. Divided by act, the summaries make an ideal introduction.

February 8, 2018Claire Schwartz

For example, Brooks describes making beautiful music as being "remote /A while" from "malice and murdering." In addition to the negative way Brooksdescribes war in this line, as murder motivated by malice, the phrase "awhile" significantly qualifies the initial command to "First fight.