I am writing an essay on ballad poetry and I am struggling on what to write for "Porphyria's Lover." Does anyone know what I could write? 

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gbeatty's profile pic

gbeatty | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Well, if you're focusing on ballads, that's a specific form and tradition of writing, so one of the easiest approaches is to look at how the poem is an example of a ballad and what that means. For example, the form of the poem is very regular, with a steady rhyme. Is that appropriate for a poem about madness and violence? What relationship does the regularity of the form have to the intense emotions felt? Do the form and emotions fit well together—or are they in conflict? If they conflict, where and how?

You could also look at the topic (murder, madness) and explain how that relates to older ballads.

nibelmd's profile pic

nibelmd | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

In poetry, a Ballad stanza is the four-line stanza, known as a quatrain, most often found in the folk ballad. This form consists of alternating four- and three-stress lines. Usually only the second and fourth lines rhyme (in an a/b/c/b pattern). Assonance in place of rhyme is common.Samuel Taylor Coleridge adopted the ballad stanza in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, alternating eight and six syllable lines.

All in a hot and copper sky!

The bloody Sun, at noon,

Right up above the mast did stand,

No bigger than the Moon.



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