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Monday, May 6, 2013

Comments on All for the Middle Class Now

This poem, “All for the Middle Class Now” has a rhyme scheme aabb ccdd eeff gghh iijj kkll. This rhyme shows that the poem has six stanzas made up of quatrains. Four verses make a quatrain. All six quatrains in this poem have end-rhymes. Quatrains are very popular in English language poetry and they are easy to memorize. The verses in this poem measures three feet that is why, the verses are called trimeter verses.

What is rhyme? Rhyme is a repetition of similar sounds in two or more words and is often used in poetry and songs. Rhyme can also be a poetic genre such as “Rhyming Couplet” and “Nursery Rhymes”. In poetry, internal rhyme or middle rhyme is rhyme that occurs in a single verse, in any of the following situations with examples underlined:


  i)        Involving words in the middle of a verse; for example:
           
            Walks pet dog, leash in hand
                In winter wonderland
           
 ii)        Involving words in the middle of a verse with words at the end of the verse; for example:

            Breeze blows; fantasy grows;
                Body in sub zeroes;                   

iii)        Involving words in middle of verse with words in middle of next verse; for  example:

            Skins, no more sun baking;
               New home in Four Season;
               Mauby-cans pour bourbon.
               
In English Language poetry, the foot is limited to the following six foot types named in Table 1.

Table 1





















The scansion of stanza 1 of poem “All for the Middle Class Now” shows various foot types. See examples below:











The iamb is the constituent foot type in this verse; hence this verse is called an iambic trimeter. A foot in this verse is missing. When part of a foot is missing in this way, the verse becomes catalectic. This verse is metrically incomplete because one or two of the ending unstressed syllables is omitted. One may tend to consider the catalysis as a half-foot, but in poetic meter a half-foot is not recognized.



Verse 2 has no iambic foot in it, yet the verse is described as an iambic trimeter verse. This is so because the iamb is the constituent foot shaping English Language poetry. Bear in mind that these are only examples taken from the entire poem. A full scansion of the entire poem would show that the iambic foot dominates. This verse also shows that at the end a foot is missing so the right way to describe this missing foot is that it is catalectic; a half foot is not recognized in metered poetry.












Verse 3 is called an iambic trimeter verse. No foot is missing in this verse. The meter in this verse is precise.





 The iamb is the constituent foot type in Verse 4; hence this verse is called an iambic trimeter verse. The incomplete foot at the end of this verse is catalectic and adds no new measurement to the verse. The verse can only be described as an iambic trimeter verse.

In English language poetry, most poems are written in Qualitative Meter, which relies on a pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables. The iamb is the most common metrical foot in English language poetry. It is called a rising meter because its sound rises from unstressed to stress.

The anapest (ˬ ˬ ̷) is a trisyllabic metrical foot made up of three syllables (unstressed, unstressed, stress). The British spelling is anapaest. It is also known as the antidactylus because the dactyl (̷ ˬ ˬ) has this symbolic pattern in reversed order. Examples as shown below of the anapestic foot are taken from “All for the Middle Class Now”.


The anapest and the dactyl are bouncing meters. In the twentieth century they were very popular in comic verses than for serious poetry. The dactyl and trochee (̷ ˬ) are called falling meters. Their movement falls from a stress to unstressed.

The spondee (̷ ̷) still measures a foot even thought it has one sound that is stressed. The pyrrhic (ˬ ˬ) with one sound that is unstressed still measures one foot. The spondee and pyrrhic are never used as the sole meter of a poem. Wherever the spondee and the pyrrhic are found in the verse, they provide the complementary role of lending emphasis and variety to a meter especially the iambic rhythmic verses of English Language poetry.

Reading the title of the poem, “middle class” brings to the mind the various layers in contemporary society and how such layers (lower income, upper income and super rich) are identified through the earning power prism. To paraphrase this poem the mind extracts from its content the implied theme; for example, it could be, “The Struggles of the Middle Class” others might paraphrase it differently such as; for example, “The Cycle of Life” or any other for that matter. In poetry any implied theme is correct, so long as the analysis is backed up from the content found in the poem’s verses or lines.

“All for the Middle Class Now” has words and phrases which bring into focus an array of phonetic symbolism and sensory images.

Poets incorporate in their poetry, words sounds that tag other words to achieve sounds appropriate to their significance. In the poem, “All for the Middle Class Now” the first stanza, verse 1 says:

Sun glistens through the glazed glass:

Notice the words underlined (glistens, glazed, glass). These words suggest light. These words have the same sound and associated meaning and are examples of phonetic symbolism. Most words with the first consonants gl bring to the mind the notion of light.

Sensory images allow readers to imagine events through the use of the senses. All able people see, smell, hear, touch, taste, have movement or tension, internal sensation, fear, fatigue, thirst and hunger. Sensory images are classified as follows:

Auditory         -           representation of sound
Gustatory        -           representation of taste
Kinesthetic      -           movement, physical tension
Olfactory         -           representation of smell
Organic           -           internal sensation, hunger, thirst, fatigue, nausea
Tactile             -           touch, hardness, softness, wetness, heat and cold
Visual              -           representation of sight

Embedded are these sensory images in the poem “All for the Middle Class Now” as shown in Table 2. Sensory images heighten sensory perceptions into a poem through language, making the words palpable.

Table 2

All for the Middle Class Now


Sensory Images


Stanzas

Verses

Examples

Types


1
1
4
5

1
3
4
3

Sun glistens through the glazed glass;
Autumn blooms in November
From the dimness of the sun
Find new home in four seasons;


Visual imagery
   

1
3

4
1

Leaves golden brown strike ember...
Breeze blows so fantasy grows;


Auditory imagery
    

2
6

1
1

Trees with skeletal remains,
Fresh newcomer from tropics;


Olfactory imagery
    

2
3
4
4
5
5
5
6

2
4
1
3
1
3
4
3

Standing outside window panes
Fondly, playing in the snow...
Elderly health in limbo,
Now they cuddle and they run
Uprooting and adapting;
Find new home in four seasons;
Mauby-can disses for bourbon
Walks the pet dog hand in hand




Kinesthetic imagery

5
6

2
4

Skins no more in sun baking
Now, in winter wonderland


Organic imagery

5

4

Mauby-can disses for bourbon


Gustatory imagery

5
6
6
6

2
2
3
4

Skins no more in sun baking
In frosty winter’s frolics;
Walks the pet dog hand in hand
Now, in winter wonderland.



Tactile imagery









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