“A Peck of Gold”
“Once by the Pacific”
“The Aim Was Song”
“Putting in the Seed”
“For Once, Then, Something”
“The Sound of Trees”
“A Time to Talk”
Write a 750-1,000-word essay in which you assert your view of the poem’s theme (or central message) and examine the poem in terms of its sounds. Write about how the sounds shape the poem’s meaning.
Choose one of the following focuses, taking care that your focus is of particular relevance to the poem.
Rhyme—Consider various aspects of rhyming: end rhymes, internal rhymes, masculine/feminine rhymes, and slant rhymes. Analyze how the rhymes and rhyme schemes helped Frost develop the theme. If there is no rhyme scheme, is it to a particular purpose? What is the effect of a slant rhyme? (You may want to read the entry for rhyme in the glossary of the Hirsch textbook.)
Word sounds—What use is made of alliteration, assonance, and consonance? Consider the sounds of the syllables. Is there meaning in particular word choices? For example, if Frost uses stone instead of rock, how does the different sound of the word make a difference? (You may want to read the entries for alliteration, assonance, and consonance in the glossary of the Hirsch textbook.)
Rhythm—Analyze the poem’s rhythm, its accented and unaccented syllables. What is the effect of a spondee in an otherwise iambic line? What does an anapest rhythm suggest about the poem’s meaning? (You may want to read the entry for rhythm in the glossary of the Hirsch textbook.)
4 Meter—If iambic pentameter is the most likely meter, why does Frost
employ it in the poem? If iambic pentameter is the most likely meter, why does Frost not use it? How does the meter develop the poem’s theme? (You may want to read the entry for meter in the glossary of the Hirsch textbook.)
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