The Importance of Elements in a Poem
Every poem is unique in its own way. Be it William Carlos Williams’ “The Red Wheelbarrow” (926) of just 8 lines or Nigel Tomm’s “My Blah Story”, which is the world’s longest English poem, of 23,161 lines, all of them have a special touch added to them. Poems are written in every mood; love, heart break, happiness or sadness. Though poems are known to be easily written, many factors are involved when creating a good poem. It cannot be just made up of lines and lines of words with some ideas thrown into some of the sentences, but with an understanding of the poetic theory. Theory like the sonnet, punctuation, rhyme scheme and caesura are one of the few areas in which the poem is based on when writing one. For my essay, I have chosen to write on Edna St. Vincent Millay’s “I Shall Forget You Presently, My Dear”. I find it to be a sad poem, like a little song about a heat break; a love that did not find a solution to be together. At first glance, it looks like any other ordinary poem. Soon after reading through her work a few times, I came to notice how the author has chosen her words carefully and making sure that the elements used in her poem come together as one to make it significant, unique.
Edna’s poem is made up of one stanza of fourteen lines and the last two lines have rhyming endings. The poem has a rhyme scheme of ABAB CDCD EFEF GG. With 10 syllables in every line, it uses the iambic foot which creates the effect of stress, unstress, stress, unstress (/-/-) in every line. Out of the whole poem, only the lines 5,7,11 and 13 are enjambed with the rest of the lines having punctuations or end-stops. Focusing on line 5 “And we are done forever; by and by” the author did not put a punctuation so as to continue to the next line to end her statement “I shall forget you, as I said, but now”(line 6), to show that she will forget her dear eventually. This is also done again in line 11 “But so it...
Cited: Edna ST. Vincent Millay “I Shall Forget You Presently, My Dear” The Norton Introduction to Literature. 9th ed. Ed. Allison Booth, J. Paul Hunter, and Kelly J. Mays. New York:Norton 2005. 1285
Jaft, Algy. “The World’s Longest Poem in English.” 13 February 2008. Pressbox. 5 October 2008. .
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