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Literature

16 of the Best Emily Dickinson Quotations

Many of the most quoted, and quotable, lines in Emily Dickinson’s poetry are her opening lines. Perhaps no other poet has produced so many memorable first lines to poems in all of their oeuvre. And it’s worth remembering that Dickinson (1830-86), an American poet who lived much of her life […]

Literature

16 of the Best Bible Quotations Explained

Many of the phrases we use in everyday English speech come from the Bible. Even ahead of the works of Shakespeare, the Bible has probably given us more useful expressions and quotations. Indeed, we use quotations from the Bible often without realising we’re quoting it: how many times have people […]

Literature

The Curious Origin of the Name ‘California’

California is the most populous state in the United States of America, and it is one of the most iconic: it is home to Hollywood, to the Golden Gate Bridge, to Alcatraz, and many other famous landmarks and institutions which have been immortalised and mythologised in film, literature, and the […]

Literature

11 of the Best Archibald MacLeish Poems Everyone Should Read

The American poet-librarian, Archibald MacLeish (1892-1982), was a modernist whose work does strange and invigorating things with language. But unlike his fellow American modernists William Carlos Williams, Wallace Stevens, and e. e. cummings, MacLeish remains less well-known to the general reader: many people know Williams’s red wheelbarrow and Wallace Stevens’s […]