Analyzing Poetry by dfhdhdhdhjr

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									Analyzing Poetry
         Analyzing a poem
• Using the concepts from the sound of
  poetry and imagery, analyze Edgar Allan
  Poe’s poem “The Bells.”
• Take special note of the following:
  alliteration, sound imagery, onomatopoeia,
  and the use of rhyme.
      “The Bells” – by Edgar Allan
                  Poe
                                                                                          I.
A   Hear the sledges with the bells–                         Alliteration: “m”
A   Silver bells!                                            and “b”
A   What a world of merriment their melody foretells!
B   How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,
C   In the icy air of night!                                           Onomatopoeia
B   While the stars that oversprinkle
B   All the heavens, seem to twinkle                    Note the rhyme scheme here:
C   With a crystalline delight;                         bcbbc. The rhyme ties these five
D   Keeping time, time, time,                           lines together and accentuates the
D   In a sort of Runic rhyme,                           metaphor between the silver bells
    To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells     and the stars.
A
A   From the bells, bells, bells, bells,
A   Bells, bells, bells–                                The poet is also using imagery: “icy
    From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.    air” (touch); “stars that oversprinkle
A
                                                        all the heavens” and “crystalline
                                                        delight” (sight).
       Rhyme scheme
         So what do these devices mean? What significance do
                     they have in the overall poem?
    1.      Alliteration, like the repeated “t” sounds in the words “tinkle” and “time,” creates
            the image of a bell ringing throughout the poem. Additionally, this alliteration is
            coupled with onomatopoeia words, like “jingling” and “tinkling,” which further re-
            creates the sound of a bell. As the bells ring in the reader’s ear, one is left
            wondering about the bell’s purpose and origin [i.e. possibly during Christmas time,
            since the poem is set in the winter].
    2.      The rhyme scheme throughout the poem mainly consists of triplets and couplets.
            However, the pattern takes a different scheme in lines 4-8 (bcbbc). This rhyme
            deviation unifies these five lines, as if to convey one idea, and accentuates the
            metaphor between the silver bells and the stars. Additionally, the imagery of “icy
            air” (touch), “stars that oversprinkle all the heavens,” and “crystalline delight”
            (sight) creates a sense of mystery. Ice and crystals are transparent; they reflect
            the vastness of light and reveal a mysterious beauty. Comparing bells to stars
            and using imagery like icy and crystalline inspires awe and suspense, and this
            metaphor is the basis for listening to the silver bells in terms of the infiniteness
            and timelessness of space and life. This sense of wonder is further conveyed
            through such lines or phrases like “What a world of merriment their melody
            foretells,” “All the heavens,” and “Keeping time, time, time.” The notions of the
            universe and world are awe-inspiring.
    3.      Overall, this stanza sets the mood and stage for the rest of the poem. The poetic
            devices of alliteration and imagery create a mystery and wonder concerning bells,
            objects that are mundane and often unnoticed. Poe’s poem looks at bells in an
            extraordinary, fresh way.
[Conclusion
derived from
the analysis.]   * Note how the sentences are constructed: Each literary device is the subject of each
                 sentence, rather than using statements like “the reader sees” or “the poet uses.”

								
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