Compare & Contrast the differences and similarities in "I've Always Lived Across the Street" by John Whyte & "Three Limericks" by John Robert Colombo when it pertains to the following;...

Compare & Contrast the differences and similarities in "I've Always Lived Across the Street" by John Whyte & "Three Limericks" by John Robert Colombo when it pertains to the following; Rhythm, Form as well as Structural Techniques and Devices.

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sciftw | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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John Whyte's "I've Always Lived Across the Street" is written in free verse.  That means it has no set rhythm and meter.  Some lines have 4 syllables, some have 6, some have 5, and some have 12.  Other syllable counts exist throughout the poem as well.  Since there is no regular repeating syllable count, even if a poetic foot were used, there still wouldn't be a regular meter.  The poem also does not have a rhyme scheme. Its form is a single stanza.  The poem contains hyperbole in the line "hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk." It also contains a great pun on the names "Somebody" and "nobody." 

Colombo's limericks are very different. A limerick is a form of poetry that is contained within a 5 line stanza.  Lines 1,2, and 5 must rhyme and be in the same poetic rhythm and meter.  Lines 3 and 4 rhyme with each other and must be a different meter than the other lines.  They also must be a shorter meter. Colombo's limerick's follow those rules.  His lines 1, 2, and 5 are not always the same syllable count, but they are always at least one extra foot longer than lines 3 and 4. For example:

There was a young man of South Bay, (8 syllables)                      

Making fireworks one summer day,  (9 syllables)             

                He dropped his cigar   (5 syllables)                      

                In the gunpowder jar… (6 syllables)

There was a young man from South Bay. (8 syllables)

As you can see, the syllable counts don't stay exact (like a perfect limerick would), but the basic limerick form is definitely intact. That limerick also contains a great play on words.  Lines 1 and 5 are identical, but line 5's emphasis on "was" indicates that the man from South Bay is dead.  The reader wouldn't have assumed that based on the first line.  This is typical of most limericks.  A humorous ending that often makes use of a pun.   

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