Comparing Two Poems Analysis

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A comparison between two short poems written in the same verse form, showing how different effects may be produced in the same form.

Trochaic octametre is a fairly uncommon verse form and is not often seen in many poetic works; it consists of eight feet of consecutively stressed followed by unstressed syllables in each line, making it a difficult style to pull off. However, when it is employed, it crafts a winding narrative within the poem that captivates the reader and takes them along on a journey with the speaker of said poem. Two examples that share this unique verse form are ‘Clancy of the Overflow’ by A.B. “Banjo” Paterson (most well known for composing the lyrics to the bush ballad ‘Waltzing Matilda’) and ‘The Raven’ by Edgar Allan
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The mention of Lenore is intended to intrigue the reader, enticing them into the world of the speaker and his loss, providing backstory and setting up the story to come, emphasizing the speaker’s pain at the raven’s echoing words of “Nevermore”. The same can be seen in Paterson’s ‘Clancy of the Overflow’, as the speaker divulges his wish to contact a former acquaintance, a fellow named Clancy that he met while “down the Lachlan, years ago,” (Paterson, 20); the point of this is not only to establish the focal point of the poem but to interest the reader, engage them in the story of the speaker. In the lines previous the the utterance of Clancy’s name, he is referred to only with the pronouns “him” and “he”, creating a mysterious tone and making the reader want to know more, to read on and unravel the story contained within the poem. The introduction of these secondary characters who help to mold the speakers’ personalities and ideas within the respective poems is an indication of the narrative style and pace of both, mirroring traditional stories, such as fairy tales for instance, with a broader focus on the world in which the narrator inhabits as opposed to a close telling of a single point of view, i.e. just the speaker, often seen more commonly in many other works of

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