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ADVICE TO A RAVEN IN RUSSIA, by             Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography

"Advice to a Raven in Russia" is a satirical poem by Joel Barlow, an American poet, diplomat, and politician who lived during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. This poem was first published in 1797 and pokes fun at the absurdities of European politics and society.

Context: 

At the time this poem was written, Russia was ruled by Catherine the Great, who was known for her lavish court and her support of the arts and sciences. Barlow was a critic of European monarchies and aristocracies, and he used satire to highlight the absurdities and injustices of these systems.

Content: 

"Advice to a Raven in Russia" is a poem that imagines a conversation between a raven and Catherine the Great, in which the raven offers the empress advice on how to rule her kingdom. The poem is full of humor and irony, with the raven offering advice that is both insightful and absurd. The poem pokes fun at the extravagance and excess of European monarchies, and it highlights the contrast between the grandeur of the court and the poverty of the people.

Form:

 "Advice to a Raven in Russia" is a satirical poem that uses a simple ABAB rhyme scheme with four-line stanzas. The poem has a light and humorous tone, with a rhythm that reflects the conversational style of the dialogue between the raven and the empress.

Poetic Elements: 

Barlow uses several poetic techniques and devices in "Advice to a Raven in Russia." The poem is rich in imagery, with descriptions of the opulence of the court and the poverty of the people creating a vivid contrast. The poem also uses satire, irony, and parody to criticize the extravagance and excess of European monarchies.

Summary: 

Overall, "Advice to a Raven in Russia" is a humorous and insightful critique of European politics and society. Barlow's use of satire and irony is effective in highlighting the absurdities and injustices of monarchies and aristocracies, and the poem is an entertaining and engaging example of political satire.


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