Elements of Literature Fifth Course
LE0 11-4.5
Poems by Oliver Wendell Holmes
More About the Writer
Wit as Sharp as His Scalpel
The doctor who invented the word anesthesia wrote poetry that was anything but sleepy. Find out why this Harvard professor thought writing was rather like shooting a rifle at your reader’s mind, whereas talking was more like clubbing the target with a pipe.
More from the Writer
Cherished with a Laugh
Oliver Wendell Holmes once met Herman Melville’s aged grandfather, who had been a hero of the Revolutionary War. Eldritch Press brings you the precise and hilarious poem that Holmes wrote after their meeting. Then, Holmes himself takes you on a step-by-step analysis of his poem. If it had been written about you, would you think this poem had embraced or buried you?
Choices: Building Your Portfolio, page 193
Choices 1: Collecting Ideas for a Literary Analysis
Before you write about Oliver Wendell Holmes’s use of extended metaphor, take a second to brush up on how metaphors work. Let Rhetoric Resources at Georgia Tech set your mind upon a perch where knowledge scurries noisily below.
Choices 3: A Scientific Stance
To write a scientific description of the chambered nautilus, you will need a source that is objective and accurate. Crack open the Waikiki Aquarium’s introduction to a “living fossil” to learn how this ancient creature uses “jet propulsion” to swim in depth ranges few creatures can endure.
Choices 4: The Story of a Ship
If you are researching the history of Old Ironsides, there is no better place to disembark than at The Boston Globe. Spared from the scrap yard, thanks in part to Holmes’s poem, the USS Constitution now sails across the Internet and onto your screen. Be sure to check The Boston Globe’s sidebar for links to more information on this floating piece of history.
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