Compare Poems

You can compare any two poems with full text on The Columbia Granger’s World of Poetry by looking at them side-by-side on the same page. This is especially convenient when comparing poems in translation with the original language, comparing a parody with the poem it is parodying, comparing a poem that alludes to another poem, and comparing different versions of the same poem.  In addition to the written instructions below, watch our tutorial.

To compare poems, search first for a poem and click to the Poem View page. Click on the 3rd tab at the top of the page, “Compare Poems.” The poem you were just looking at is now on the left side of the page. There is now a search box on the right. Type your search term in the search box (remember that the search will default to title, and if your term is a first line or a line elsewhere in the poem text, you will need to click on “First Line” or “Full Text” in the left-hand box).

Example 1: To compare Longfellow’s translation of Dante with the original in Italian, search:
Poet: Longfellow
Poem: Divine Comedy
In the search results you will see Longfellow’s translation of Dante’s poem. Click on it. Now you can see that it is a Longer Work, divided into its three books, Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. Click on the + beside Inferno, and then “Canto 1,” for the beginning of the poem. Click on the third tab at the top of the page, “Compare Poems.” Canto 1 is at the left of the page. In the search box at the right of the page, type: Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita and click on “Go.” Now you can see both Longfellow’s translation and Dante’s original Italian on the page. For any Longer Work, you will need to choose a selection at a time.

Example 2: To compare Jane Taylor’s “The Star” with Lewis Carroll’s parody, search:
Poem: twinkle, twinkle little star
Click on it for Poem View, and then click on the Compare Poems tab. In the search box on the right, search:
Poem: twinkle, twinkle
Choose Lewis Carroll’s poem with the first line, “Twinkle, twinkle little bat.”

Example 3: To compare adaptations or paraphrases of the Psalms, search:
Poem: Psalm 100
There are 13 different versions to compare. Choose James Merrick’s “A Version of Paraphrase of the Psalm.” At Poem View click on Compare Poems and in the right hand search box click on “Go” to execute the same search. There are now two very different paraphrases to compare.

Below the right-hand search box in Compare Poems, as many as four of the most recently viewed poem titles are displayed.
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