what's the rhyme and rhythm pattern in Poe's poems?

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I'm writing my thesis now n I take 5 poems of Poe to be discussed (The Sleeper, The Valley of Unrest, The City in The Sea, To One in Paradise, Annabel Lee). My questions are:1)what's the rhyme and rhythm pattern in Poe's poems?does he always strick on his patterns? 2)is it right if I discuss about symbols in "To One in Paradise? thank's for your answers.

-- Anonymous, December 12, 2004


I love his poem Annabel Lee so that is what I am going to answer(1)He wrote this poem for his love of his life (Virginia Clemm)who died.Yes he stick with these patterns.(2)Poe belived in hevan so pardise means hevan.

-- Anonymous, December 13, 2004

he uses alliteration. Most of the beginings start with the same letter like in the ending of masque of the red death he mentions death decay so on and so forth...but most of the things he writes do not rhyme.

-- Anonymous, December 15, 2004

Poe almost always uses rhyme. Once when he did not may have been trying his hand at Milton style. The favored style of poe is lyrical, musical to the point of sound effects and hypnotic trance. it is part of his whole effect scheme that in short works all elements are subservient to the emotional effect, first and foremost. The imagery is cut down to an almost Yeatsian 'going bare". The internal music is complex, more than alliteration often. Repetition of phrases and words and extra lines are common points of emotional emphasis. Melancholy and dreamy sounds predominate, not unique to Romantic poetry. Poe liked elizabeth barrett's musicality and has work like hers. Poe, it has been noted, is in the Celtic tradition of lyricism. "The Valley of Unrest" was meant to match the musicality of the popular tune "Far, far away".

"The weary wayward wanderer bore,/ To his own native shore."(To Helen)

Might I note how the "w" words have a rich assonance interplay(with the r's but alos other sounds) and descending rhythm to the finale "bore". The sibilant receding wave of the alliterated s in the next line also has assonance (own, bore), alliterated t. A closer look shows just how many sounds are repeated and played off, probably quite naturally despite Poe being a craftsman of metrical versification itself. Even in his poetic criticism of himself and others I don';t think he does justice to what he has put in even small gems like "The Evening Star". Lots of internal structure, nature parallels and muscial richness(not just hunting sound but notes, themes and beats tzhat bring it to life and even move a plot along). Naturally too, the symbols are intimately related to the sound music and inner structures. Poe tried sonnets, almost in an obligatory trial, tried long poems, but his natural Muse, richly inventive though it is, gives a trademark authenticity to even poems telling a story. I would say he has two types of poems. Poems directly addressed to someone, humor, etc. have not the profound qualities of his more sublime, symbolic efforts where art and Muse take over with a constancy missing in most other poets. He does not reveal himself or others. He is embodying a high emotion in a beautiful and complex work of ingenious art.

In his stories he employs natural metrical rhythm in many artful sentences.

"Shall never dissever my soul from the soul/ Of the beautiful Annabel Lee."

The poems chosen deal with the theme of suspended death, some denial of death. The two dreamscape poems "The Valley of Unrest" and "The City in the Sea" do not contain the idealized woman but in all these poems contain more mood than argument. In many other poems there is also a strong philosophical stance.

For background Mabbott's book on Poe's complete poems is excellent, though it will disappoint you about the poetics. It's more into the meaning and history of the poems.

Mary Shelley had one lone poem about her dead Percy that is very close to the words in "To One in Paradise". Poe was most impressed I think by the musical sensitivities of women poets.

-- Anonymous, December 16, 2004

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