Hamlen Brook

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I chose to use the poem “Hamlen Brook” by Richard Wilbur. The first thing I noticed about the poem was the stanzas. Each stanza had the same amount of lines, four. Next was the fact that the first and fourth lines rhymed in every stanza. For example, brink; drink and trout; out. Also the second and third line rhymed in every single stanza, jet; sweat, weaves; leaves. The rhythmic pattern was very evident and very hard to ignore. I also noted that the third line in each stanza was the longest line with the most syllables. Because of the amount of symmetry and rhythmic pattern, it seemed to give it its structure and form. The pattern of the syllables that were stressed seemed to add to the way the poem flowed. I read it aloud and it was nice to listen to the rhyming. It was easy to read in terms of the iambic pattern and meter and to know where the stressors should be. Another pattern I saw was that the last word in each stanza ended with being stressed.

I also noted that he used a lot of words that began with the letter S. He used words like stream, slow, sliding, and skimming. This gave me the sense of tranquility and peacefulness. The last and second to last stanza seemed to end those feelings and jar me back to a reality. He used words like plunge, drown, dry and ache.

The choice of words made it more formal to me. I had to look up some of the words like foundered, precipice and slake. He could have chosen to use fallen, abyss or quench instead. Although the words he chose do sound better to the ear and of course add to the rhyming pattern within the poem.

The poem itself seems soft and slow (with the exception of the last two stanzas, which I think is done on purpose.) The words he uses to describe the scene make it very vivid and you can almost see it as though you are the one in front of that sliding glass. I felt like I could see that trout swimming gracefully through those serene waters and the dragon flies minding their own...
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