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Analysis


Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Form and Meter

"The Naked and the Nude" keeps things on the straight and narrow: four stanzas, six lines each. One stanza lays out the problem: Naked vs. nude—which is better? And then one stanza is devoted to...

Speaker

Any poem that starts with "For me" is just begging for us to think about its speaker. After all he announces himself (and we assume that it's a he) with the second word! Our speaker doesn't disappo...

Setting

This poem is set…in the mind. Oh, and in the world, too.Wait, that's a lot of territory to cover, isn't it? Well, yes, but stick with us: see, the speaker of "The Naked and the Nude" is clearly w...

Sound Check

Read the first stanza of the poem aloud. Go on. We'll still be here when you get back. Did it feel like you were riding a horse or singing a marching song? That's the super-duper-ultra-regular iamb...

What's Up With the Title?

We're not sure exactly where Graves got his title for certain, but we're willing to bet that it's got something to do with an article that a painter named Walter Sickert wrote in 1910 called…you...

Calling Card

You might have read Robert Graves as a war poet, but that's probably because every high school English class has some section on bravery and valor, and, well, the WWI poets are pretty good candidat...

Tough-o-Meter

Once you get past the fact that Graves is sorting through some pretty intricate distinctions between the naked and the nude in art, the poem is pretty easy to take in…that is, until you have to s...

Trivia

Dead…or not. During WWI, newspapers reported that Robert Graves was killed in the Somme. One problem: he wasn't dead. Don't worry, the papers printed retractions. (Source.) Knighthood? Small pota...

Steaminess Rating

Hold up. How can a poem about not having clothes on be just PG? Sorry, folks, this poem is just about as clean as they come. Graves is interested in how people misuse the naked human body, making i...

Allusions

Athena (5)Gorgon (23)Hippocrates (9)
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