What poetic elements can you comment upon in "We Are Seven"?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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There are a number of poetic elements that can be commented upon in this excellent poem. I am going to refer to the rhyme and rhythm and how this relates to the content. One of the aspects of this poem that stands out is the way in which there is on the whole a regular rhyme scheme of ABAB that dominates the poem. This is paralleled by a very regular rhythm, which seems to capture the stubborness of the girl and the incredulity of the speaker as they continue to argue against each other and insist upon their view being the right one. The regular rhythm and rhyme thus gives the poem an unrelenting, unyielding tone, which mirrors the stand-off that is narrated between the speaker and the girl:

"How many are you, then, said I,

"If they two are in heaven?"

Quick was the little Maid's reply,

"O Master! we are seven."

Thus rhythm and rhyme help exemplify the conflict and the clash of different perspectives in the poem.


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