New on Shmoop: a “Woolf,” an Albatross, & Pigs

Pig Out on Our Enhanced Coverage of Animal Farm and the Russian Revolution
  • Based on your requests, we've upgraded our coverage of this classic allegory
  • Find our totally revamped Symbolism and Allegory page – mapping key events from the novel to historical events
  • Check out our deeper character analyses – outlining which characters represented which historical figures
What Gives with the Saying “Albatross Around the Neck?” Check out Samuel Taylor Coleridge's Classic Poem
"The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" may be one of the most influential and eerie poems in the English language, but it's a doozy of a confusing read. An old sailor stops a wedding guest and says, essentially, "I know you want to get your drink and your dance on, but now I'm going to tell you a really long story about how I got my entire crew killed and almost died myself because I acted like a jerk while sailing the far reaches of the globe."

Top 5 Poems on Shmoop for April (National Poetry Month)

Alas, t’is time to bid National Poetry Month a fond adieu.

Rather than go all misty-eyed, choked-up, broken-heartedly emo on you, we wanted to mark the end of the month on a celebratory note. Voila, our Poetry Top 5 lists.

Most Popular Poems on Shmoop for April, 2009

  1. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, by T.S. Eliot
  2. The Raven, by Edgar Allan Poe
  3. My Last Duchess, by Robert Browning
  4. Ozymandias, by Percy Bysshe Shelley
  5. Death, be not proud (Holy Sonnet 10), by John Donne

Most-Searched Poets on Shmoop for April, 2009

  1. Emily Dickinson
  2. Robert Frost
  3. Langston Hughes
  4. John Donne
  5. Walt Whitman

Fall for any of the 54 Poetry Study Guides in Shmoop Poetry

Also, remember that today (April 30) is Poem in Your Pocket Day. Read a poem to the people you love. Or want to love. Go get ‘em, Tyger.

New this Week on Shmoop

Movie-lovers take note. We’ve just added 3 titles in literature that spawned recent major motion pictures (All the King’s Men, Beowulf, and Benjamin Button). Wanna know how the film version stacks up to the novel? Shmoop will give you the low-down. So, grab a bucket of popcorn and check out our new arrivals.

New in Shmoop Literature:

New in Shmoop Poetry:

Celebrate Poe and MLK with Shmoop

At Shmoop HQ, we get a little giddy over literature and history. Imagine our excitement when it hit us that this year’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (commemorating MLK’s 80th birthday) is also Edgar Allan Poe’s 200th birthday. Synchronicity. To mark this doubly-historic date, we lovingly put together these resources about two of our favorites – the spooky story-teller and the inspiring civil rights leader.

Edgar Allan Poe’s 200th Birthday

  • “Best in Poe” Awards – we handpicked the best Poe resources from across the Internet
  • Poe’s influences, and who he influenced
  • Photos and Poe biography
  • Shmoop’s ocean deep analysis of 5 of Poe’s stories and poems

Martin Luther King Jr.’s 80th Birthday

  • Best of the Web for MLK – we handpicked the best MLK resources from across the Internet
  • Video of the “I Have a Dream” speech
  • MLK biography
  • Shmoop’s fresh coverage of the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S.

Shmoop rocks into 2009 with Dylan, Ginsberg, and a nod from PC Magazine

Here at Shmoop HQ, our 2009 is off to a rocking start. Strap on your air guitar and read on for the scoop from Shmoop.

Shmoop named “Best of the Internet” in PC Magazine’s January, 2009 issue
We love the love. Thank you! We are humbled and thrilled by the good vibes surrounding Shmoop. Please keep all thoughts – good and bad – coming! For full-frontal coverage of Shmoop in the blogosphere and media, please stop by our Press Room.

Who says poets are softies? Shmoop introduces the “Bad Boys of Poetry”
Shmoop challenges you to see poetry in a new light – in a Rock classic, even. Our new analysis of Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower” just might change the way you think of Dylan – and poetry, for that matter. Also new in Poetry – and not for the faint of heart – Beat poet Allen Ginsberg’s controversial adrenaline-rush, “Howl” (recommended only for mature audiences).

Bone-up on your NFL knowledge – there’s more to the Superbowl than awesome ads
Before you garbage-up on guacamole dip, load your brain with football facts and trivia in Shmoop’s History of the NFL.

New arrivals on Shmoop Literature

New arrivals on Shmoop Poetry

Are we missing something on your reading list? Let us know!
Keep your requests coming in our Feedback Forums.

Tackle Fall Finals: 200+ Topics Now on Shmoop

Hi from Shmoop HQ,

Snow (in Houston), mean old Mr. Grinch (on television), and ugly sweater parties (everywhere). Oh, yes, it’s December. And that means finals are here, too.

Sharpen your brain for final exams and papers.

Shmoop now covers more than 200 topics:

Shmoop packed on the pounds just in time for finals. Let’s call it our “Freshman 18.”

New in Shmoop Literature:

New in Shmoop Poetry:

Are we missing something on your reading list? Let us know.
Make some noise in our new feedback forums. Make suggestions. Vote up your faves.

New this week on Shmoop: Ch-ch-changes

Hi from Shmoop HQ -

Change is in the air. We at Shmoop promise you continual change and lots of surprises. We also like to gossip and we’ve got some juicy news for you.

We announced our launch (drumroll, please)

+ We just announced our launch on Nov. 11 (so we could share our special day with Vonnegut’s and Dostoyevsky’s birthdays, while saluting our vets).

+ See our press release and links to our news coverage at the Shmoop Dept. of Propaganda

We Opened our Blog – “Much Ado About Shmooping

+ Check out updates, musings, and daily pieces of brain candy. Leave us comments, and let us know what you’d like to see us do with our Blog.

+ Our opening salvo is the “Shmoop Students’ Bill of Rights

Hitting the Road with Student Journalists

+ Ellen Siminoff (our CEO) was the keynote speaker at the recent Associated College Press national conference in Kansas City. Highlights included great BBQ and making lots of new friends. We’ve posted Ellen’s keynote presentation online.

+ Shmoop will be at the JEA/NSPA (high school media national conference) this weekend in St. Louis. Shmoop’s own Brady Wood will present a talk on student media Friday at 11am. Come by and say hello!

New Content on Shmoop

Trifecta! With the Addition of Dante’s Paradiso, We’ve Shmooped the Complete Divine Comedy
+ Inferno, by Dante
+ Purgatorio, by Dante
+ Paradiso, by Dante

Also New this Week in Shmoop Literature:
+ Catch-22, by Joseph Heller
+ Tess of the D’Ubervilles, by Thomas Hardy
+ The Lady with the Dog, a short story by Anton Chekhov
+ The Lottery, a short story by Shirley Jackson
+ House of Mirth, by Edith Wharton
+ The Flies, a play by Jean-Paul Sartre
+ Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, a play by Tom Stoppard

New in Shmoop Poetry:
+ We Real Cool, by Gwendolyn Brooks
+ Kubla Khan, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
+ Dulce et Decorum Est, by Wilfred Owen
New in Shmoop U.S. History:
Are we missing something on your reading list?
+ Hit Up Our Request Line