A Short Analysis of Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s ‘Sudden Light’

An analysis of ‘Sudden Light’, a poem by Pre-Raphaelite poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti

‘Sudden Light’ was written by Pre-Raphaelite poet and painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882) in the early 1850s, and published in the 1863 volume Poems: An Offering to Lancashire. (It’s the only time poems have been offered to Lancashire in this way, at least that we can recall.) However, the poem as it is usually reprinted is a slightly later version, with a different final stanza. The poem cited below is the later version of ‘Sudden Light’, which appeared in the 1881 volume Poems: A New Edition. What follows, then, is the poem, followed by our analysis of its meaning and language.

I have been here before,
But when or how I cannot tell:
I know the grass beyond the door,
The sweet keen smell,
The sighing sound, the lights around the shore. Read the rest of this entry

10 Interesting Facts about Libraries and Librarians

Great facts about famous libraries and librarians around the world

We thought it was about time we saluted that noble institution, the library, with some of our favourite interesting bits of trivia about libraries and librarians.

Jacob Grimm, Philip Larkin, Casanova, David Hume, Jorge Luis Borges, and Lewis Carroll all worked as librarians.

Another word for a librarian is ‘bibliothecar’. Read the rest of this entry

A Short Analysis of Tennyson’s ‘The Eagle’

An introduction to a short gem of a poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)

‘The Eagle’ is one of Tennyson’s shortest poems – probably the shortest of his famous poems. (We include it in our pick of the best short Victorian poems.) Running to just six lines, the poem seems to require no additional analysis; but for those who are interested, we append to the poem (below) a few thoughts on its meaning and language.

He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ring’d with the azure world, he stands. Read the rest of this entry


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