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A Short Analysis of Edmund Spenser’s Amoretti 72: ‘Oft, when my spirit doth spread her bolder wings’

The poem beginning ‘Oft when my spirit doth spread her bolder wings’ is part of Edmund Spenser’s sonnet sequence Amoretti, which the Elizabethan poet wrote about his courtship of his wife.

Oft, when my spirit doth spread her bolder wings,
In mind to mount up to the purest sky;
It down is weighed with thought of earthly things,
And clogged with burden of mortality;
Where, when that sovereign beauty it doth spy,
Resembling heaven’s glory in her light,
Drawn with sweet pleasure’s bait, it back doth fly,
And unto heaven forgets her former flight.
There my frail fancy, fed with full delight,
Doth bathe in bliss, and mantleth most at ease;
Ne thinks of other heaven, but how it might
Her heart’s desire with most contentment please.
Heart need not wish none other happiness,
But here on earth to have such heaven’s bliss. Read the rest of this entry

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A Summary and Analysis of James Joyce’s ‘Araby’

A commentary on one of Joyce’s shortest Dubliners stories

‘Araby’ is one of the early stories in James Joyce’s Dubliners, the 1914 collection of short stories which is now regarded as one of the landmark texts of modernist literature. At the time, sales were poor, with just 379 copies being sold in the first year (famously, 120 of these were bought by Joyce himself). And yet ‘Araby’ shows just what might have initially baffled readers coming to James Joyce’s fiction for the first time, and what marked him out as a brilliant new writer. But before we get to an analysis of ‘Araby’ (which can be read here), a brief summary of the story’s plot – what little ‘plot’ there is.

In summary, then: ‘Araby’ is narrated by a young boy, who describes the Dublin street where he lives. As the story progresses, the narrator realises that he has feelings for his neighbour’s sister and watches her from his house, daydreaming about her, wondering if she will ever speak to him. When they eventually talk, she Read the rest of this entry

A Short Analysis of Thomas Hood’s ‘I Remember, I Remember’

‘I Remember, I Remember’ is, along with ‘The Song of the Shirt’, Thomas Hood’s best-loved poem. Although much of the rest of his work is not now much read or remembered, ‘I Remember, I Remember’ has a special place in countless readers’ hearts. Although its meaning is fairly straightforward, it’s worth probing the language of Hood’s poem a little deeper, as closer analysis reveals why this poem is held in such high regard.

I Remember, I Remember

I remember, I remember,
The house where I was born,
The little window where the sun
Came peeping in at morn;
He never came a wink too soon,
Nor brought too long a day,
But now, I often wish the night
Had borne my breath away!

I remember, I remember,
The roses, red and white,
The vi’lets, and the lily-cups,
Those flowers made of light!
The lilacs where the robin built, Read the rest of this entry