How does the rhyme scheme of the poem "Sea Fever" by John Masefield contribute to the overall sound and music of the poem?

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Posted on (Answer #1)

John Masefield's "Sea Fever" uses a simple rhyme scheme: AABB, CCDD, EEFF.  In another words, lines 1-2 of each stanza use one rhyme, and then lines 3-4 use a different rhyme.

Although lines 1-2 (sky-by) do not rhyme with lines 5-6 (tied-denied) or with lines 9-10 (life-knife), there is a common denominator to all these lines: they all contain the "long i" sound, and are thus examples of assonance.

Both rhyme and assonance are types of sound-repetition. Another type of sound-repetition in this poem is the fact that each stanza begins with the same phrase: "I must go down to the seas again."

All this sound-repetition helps this poem to sound like some of its subjects: "the wind's song," "the white sail's shaking," "the call of the running tide," and "the sea-gulls crying."



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