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How to Read a Poem
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Form and Meter
Pastoral Elegy; Alternating Iambic Pentameter and Trimeter, Irregular RhymeDead friend? Check.Shepherds? Check.That's it, folks. That's all you need to know about this poem to conclude that "Lycida...
The Poet Shepherd This guy is a free spirit. He's talking to the myrtles and the laurels, he's singing a song to no one in particular, and he's talking about strange-sounding nymphs, gods, and godd...
A Pretty, Wooded Area Near Cambridge UniversityLet's suppose you're a diligent student of English literature who knows that many of England's finest poets, including John Milton and William Wordswo...
Is it a song, or a poem? With all the blurring between the two that goes on in "Lycidas," you'd be forgiven for wanting to belt a few lines out in the shower. The problem is, this poem is so irregu...
What's Up With the Title?
"Lycidas" is a poem that mourns the death of Milton's college buddy Edward King, whom he refers to in the poem as Lycidas. You're probably wondering why in the world Milton would write a poem for h...
Strange Sentence StructureEven the best of us can be left scratching our heads at some of Milton's lines. Our guy is known for his crazy syntax (that's a fancy word for sentence structure), requiri...
(7) Snow LineWith its wonky syntax, obscure classical allusions, and confusing vocabulary, "Lycidas" makes for a tough and tricky read. Our man Milton was practically a legend when it came to makin...
When John Milton wrote his most famous poem , Paradise Lost, he was completely blind. He had to dictate the whole thing, which is as long as a novel. Talk about patience (Source).After he went blin...
GThis is a poem about the death of a good friend, so as you might expect, that means there is no sex to be found in "Lycidas."
Literary and Philosophical References:This poem has more shout-outs than drive-time radio. The echoes, allusions, references, and sources in "Lycidas" are practically innumerable. We've included a...
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