Poetry

Main Page


Poetry

I. Rhyme and Rhyme-Related Figures

I.1. Rhyme

1. The definition of rhyme

2. The basic types of rhyme: masculine and feminine

3. The position and function of rhyme

Exercises

I.2. Assonance

Exercises

I.3. Consonance

Exercises

I.4. Alliteration

Exercises

I.5. Eye-rhyme

I.6. Enjambment

I.7. Rhyme-schemes, stanza patterns

1. Rhyme-schemes

2. Stanza patterns

3. The function of rhyme schemes and stanza patterns

Exercises

II. Verse, Versification

II.1. Accentual Syllabic Verse (Metre, Metrics)

1. The definition of metre and of accentual syllabic verse

2. Feet and lines in accentual syllabic verse

3. A few hints on scansion

4. The function of metrics, the use of scansion

Exercises

II.2. Combinations of accentual syllabic verse and rhyme patterns

Exercises

II.3. Accentual verse

Exercises

II.4. Free verse

III. Poetic Forms and Genres

IV. Exercises

V. Links

Robert Frost:

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening


Whose woods these are I think I know,
His house is in the village though.
He will not see me stopping here,
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer,
To stop without a farmhouse near,
Between the woods and frozen lake,
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake,
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep,
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.




a
a
b
a

b
b
c
b

c
c
d
c

d
d
d
d

The use of the unusual rhyme scheme here creates a strange combination of the effects of halting and moving on. The differing line endings in the third lines of the first three stanzas give the impression of stopping the easy flow of the poem. Yet it is precisely these third lines that carry the movement on to the next stanza. Thus when we come to the last stanza of the poem where the rhymes no longer change, we have a feeling of both an incessant movement and a full stop.

This structure very closely corresponds to the main theme of the poem which is based precisely on a juxtaposition of stopping and moving on. Whereas movement is usually associated with a conscious decision and with effort, here it seems that stopping would require an effort. To stop is more difficult and more problematic for the speaker than to move on. He would like to stop and step out of the incessant movement (which is associated in the text with social obligations, the promises to keep), but he finds that his individual desire is not powerful enough to counter the social ties that bind him and force him to move on. In the end, therefore, he gives up the effort and surrenders to the monotonous, automatic, incessant movement that he apparently considers life to be.

This inner struggle and the outcome are indicated by the development of the rhyme scheme, too.