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A foghorn is a device which sounds a prolonged deep tone during conditions of low visibility to alert navigators to various hazards. Because the sound of a foghorn is so distinctive, many people associate foghorns with the sea, since they are often heard on visits to coastal regions.

McMahon, Mary, and Bronwyn Harris. “What Is a Foghorn?” WiseGeek. Conjecture, 29 Mar. 2014. Web. 24 Apr. 2014.

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Spoiler Alert

This line contrasts starkly with everyone’s absence at Gatsby’s funeral at the end.

As Nick says to Gatsby in Chapter 8,

‘They’re a rotten crowd,’ I shouted across the lawn. ‘You’re
Worth the whole damn bunch put together.’

This contrast makes readers want to agree with Nick.

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These “young ladies” are accusing Gatsby of coming to his money illegally.

Nick finds this crass, and he juxtaposes the ladies' position with their rudeness. Despite being between “his cocktails and his flowers,” the ladies have no problem criticizing the man who is hosting them.

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This is at least the reason many people write sonnets.

Sonnets are pleasing even sans their tradition, but to me writing a sonnet and not thinking about how it relates to the sonnet Tradition is kind of like taking communion just because you like the cracker.

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You can find the annotated version of this sonnet here.

Robert Frost (1874-1963) was a twentieth century American poet especially skilled at composing formal verse.

This sonnet reads,

She is as in a field a silken tent
At midday when the sunny summer breeze
Has dried the dew and all its ropes relent,
So that in guys it gently sways at ease,
And its supporting central cedar pole,
That is its pinnacle to heavenward
And signifies the sureness of the soul,
Seems to owe naught to any single cord,
But strictly held by none, is loosely bound
By countless silken ties of love and thought
To every thing on earth the compass round,
And only by one’s going slightly taut
In the capriciousness of summer air
Is of the slightest bondage made aware.

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This sonnet is my favorite example of how a contemporary sonnet can interact with the long tradition of sonnets that came before it. Bishop uses her short lines to give each word an impact it wouldn’t carry in iambic pentameter.

She retains the traditional subject matter, but she adds a modern twist as she considers sexual orientation.

Structurally, she employs the problem-solution format established by Petrarch, but despite all of this use of tradition, Bishop still made the sonnet form new and interesting to fit her purpose.

Imagine Bishop didn’t title the poem, “sonnet,” and revised it to be only 13 lines. Although the actual sense of the poem might not change that much, we as readers would lose all of these little associations with the sonnet Tradition that let us understand how Bishop felt about her subject matter.

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Two perfect rhymes, that is.

Caught — the bubble
In the spirit level,
a creature divided;
and the compass needle
wobbling and wavering,
undecided.
Freed — the broken
thermometer’s mercury
running away;
and the rainbow-bird
from the narrow bevel
of the empty mirror,
flying wherever
it feels like, gay!

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This is a personal favorite of mine. You can find it annotated here.

It reads,

Caught — the bubble
In the spirit level,
a creature divided;
and the compass needle
wobbling and wavering,
undecided.
Freed — the broken
thermometer’s mercury
running away;
and the rainbow-bird
from the narrow bevel
of the empty mirror,
flying wherever
it feels like, gay!

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Find this line annotated here.

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You can find this sonnet annotated here.

It reads,

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending , we lay waste our powers:
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
The Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not.—Great God! I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.

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"Http://images.rapgenius.com/864c3e4abfa183d313e84f776323b..." (Stephen Pringle – When Sport and Literature Collide) | pending

I’m going to have to read this novel now.

"OPHELIA" (William Shakespeare – Hamlet Act 4 Scene 5) | pending

Yo, this is incredible.

"Til the PANS" (A. B. Schmidt – A Simpler Lesson in Prosody -- Roethke's "My Papa's Waltz") | accepted

I love the idea of an anapest creating suspense! But I scanned this line “we ROMPED unTIL the PANS"— are you sure ‘romped’ would be two syllables?

"Yet many a man is making friends with death" (Edna St. Vincent Millay – Love is not all (Sonnet XXX)) | pending

I made this annotation a while ago, and revisiting it, I think you’re right. Especially since that would split it into an octave and sestet.

"God, these bloody English! Bursting with money and indige..." (James Joyce – Ulysses (Chap. 1 - Telemachus)) | pending

Didn’t he study at UCD?

"I should be glad of another death." (T.S. Eliot – Journey of the Magi) | pending

That’s a good point. I think he probably meant the first interpretation, but you can’t help but wonder since he strongly associates religious Death with actual death:

… This Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.

"She is a fen / Of stagnant waters" (Percy Bysshe Shelley – To Wordsworth) | accepted

You’re right— thanks for the heads up!

This should be under Poetry Genius instead of Rap Genius…

"“Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?”" (Rap Genius Engineering Team – Rap Genius is Hiring: Help Us Annotate the World) | accepted

I always feel like there is something off about Gettier’s argument, but I can’t put my finger on it.