Appreciation

Forties Flick by John Ashbery

Published in John Ashbery’s award-winning poetry collection, Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror (1975), the poem ‘Forties Flick’ is a postmodern, nostalgic lyric on film noir of the “classic period.” This piece vividly portrays a trademark scene of Hollywood crime dramas of the 1940s.

Forties Flick by John Ashbery Visual Representation

Recital by John Updike

‘Recital’ by John Updike is a poetic tribute to Roger Bobo, an American tuba virtuoso and brass pedagogue. This poem captures the popularity of Bobo’s tuba playing skills.

Recital by John Updike Visual Representation

Mountain Life by Henrik Ibsen

‘Mountain Life’ by Henrik Ibsen describes a paradise separate from the outside world and that plays host to isolated, peace loving farmers. 

Barter by Sara Teasdale

‘Barter’ by Sara Teasdale describes the many lovely and splendid sights, sounds and experiences life has to sell to someone willing to invest in them.

Summer Past by John Gray

‘Summer Past’ by John Gray describes a past summer which contained elements much treasured by the speaker for their divine and natural beauty. 

Coming by Philip Larkin

‘Coming’ by Philip Larkin is about spring and how emotional its arrival can be. The peace, joy, and promise of spring rub off on Larkin’s speaker in a wonderful way.

Blue-Butterfly Day by Robert Frost

‘Blue-Butterfly Day’ by Robert Frost beautifully describes the movements of a flock of butterflies. He uses them as a way of describing the cycle of life and death.

The Poppy by Jane Taylor

‘The Poppy’ by Jane Taylor describes a single, vain poppy flower boldly growing in the sunlight of a field and the speaker’s distaste for it’s display. 

Some One by Walter de la Mare

‘Some One’ by Walter de La Mare tells of a mysterious visitor to a cabin in the woods in the middle of the night. 

To Autumn by John Keats

‘To Autumn’ is one of Keats’ most sensual, image-laden poems. It is a sumptuous description of the season of autumn.

A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever by John Keats

‘A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever’ is famous as the first book in John Keats’ epic, ‘Endymion.’ It is based on the tale of Endymion, whose beauty was of such joy to Selene that it immortalized him for the rest of his days.

Sonnet 1 by William Shakespeare

Shakespeare’s first sonnet, ‘From fairest creatures we desire increase,’ serves to introduce many of the themes which echo through the rest of the collection.

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