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In "Song of Myself", section 10, what repetitions of sentence patterns help to create...

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dorcol | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 14, 2009 at 4:35 AM via web

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In "Song of Myself", section 10, what repetitions of sentence patterns help to create cadence? What feelings does cadence create?

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mrs-campbell | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 14, 2009 at 6:36 AM (Answer #1)

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In the first few lines, he starts each phrase off with present-tense verbs-"wandering...kindling...falling," and ties them all together with commas.  This makes for one very long sentence that is balanced with the verbs and commas (a technique called parallelism).  When a sentence has parallelism, it is rhythmic, bouncy, balanced, going along like a ship on the waves.

In the last segment of section 10, he starts most of his phrases off with the word "and"; each segment is about the same length, ending again in a comma.  He repeats this pattern 5 times.  Beginning with the same word and having them all about the same length again adds to the parallelism of the phrases, making it seem balanced, well-thought out, rhythmic and cadenced:

"And went where he sat on a log and led him in and assured him,

And brought water and fill'd a tub for his sweated body and bruis'd feet,

And gave him a room that enter'd from my own, and gave him some coarse clean clothes,

And remember perfectly well his revolving eyes and his awkwardness,

And remember putting plasters on the galls of his neck and ankles;"

Cadence creates a calmness, a peacefulness, and a song-like rhythm that is soothing to the ears and mind.  It also makes the poem seem more connected and flowing.  I hope that helps a bit!

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