There are 32 posts.
The 26th March marks the birthday of Robert Frost, one of the most celebrated American poets of the twentieth century. Frost is often remembered for the strong use of metre he adopts in his poetry; criticizing contemporary poets who composed in free verse, he wrote that ‘tennis with the net down is not tennis’ – […]more
Sometimes when looking up an author’s name in the Oxford English Dictionary you will find a handful of rare and unusual treasures, or a disparate collection of shining moments from the span of a literary career. But other times you will find something else: a portrait in miniature of the writer; a story, told in […]more
I’ve always been intrigued by lexicographers who turned their hand to fiction or poetry. There are plenty of examples, from Dr Johnson to Julian Barnes: how did their experience of the one medium inform the other? Were they flowing novelists with a lexicographer’s facility with words and meaning, all bound within a tight literary structure; […]more
In celebration of National Poetry Month, we here at Oxford Dictionaries decided to gather together everyone’s favourite poems. From Roethke to Frost, here is a quick overview of our favourite verse! You can click on the poems’ titles to read full versions. “The Puddock” by John M. Caie This is my favourite poem to recite. […]more
Poetry is traditionally characterized by the use of a more elevated, literary language intended to evoke emotion in the reader. Words like beseech or Rhadamanthine suggest a strongly poetic tone — but do you also know what they mean? See whether you can match the literary words with their correct definitions in the quiz below.more
“I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again.” –Oscar Wilde Only Oscar Wilde could be quite so frivolous when describing a matter as grave as the punctuation of poetry, something that causes particular grief in our […]more
Think back to English class. Poetry can be tough to talk about without the right set of tools. It’s one thing to observe that a line of poetry sounds particularly fluid, or that the break in a line makes the poem particularly effective – but another to explain that assonance and enjambment are the reasons, respectively.more