I need to know the rhyme and meter of "London snow" by Robert Bridges.I need to make the stylistic analysis of the poem.

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mstultz72 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Here's the first quatrain:

When men were all asleep the snow came flying,

In large white flakes falling on the city brown,

Stealthily and perpetually settling and loosely lying,

Hushing the latest traffic of the drowsy town;

Notice, there's at least 11 syllables per line.  Most have 12 or more.  If it's 12, divide by 2, and we get 6.  So, it's hexameter: six foot lines and heptameter.  If it's 14, divide by 2, and we get 7, which it heptameter: 7 foot lines.  The last line is longer, so it's mixed overall.

The poem rhymes, so an emphasis must be put on the last syllable, so it must end in a stressed syllable.  Notice, the last words that end in -ing are slurred into one syllable for effect, so instead of fly-ing (2 syllables), it's one flying (said really fast).  Here's how the first two lines are stressed (in bold):

When men were all asleep the snow came flying,

In large white flakes falling on the city brown,

So, the first line is iambic (unstressed - stressed in alternating order).  The first half of the second line is iambic, but the second half is a mix of iambic and anapestic (unstressed - unstressed - stressed).  Again, a mix.

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lynnebh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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The meter and rhyme scheme of this poem are irregular. That is, the entire poem is not written in any one meter, such as iambic pentameter, which is the most common meter in the English language:

   u     /    u      /        u   /   u       /       u   /

When I have fears that I may cease to be

The "u" represents an unaccented syllable and the "/" is an accent. Each combination of accented and unaccented is a "foot", and there are five feet in the line, so this is an example of iambic pentameter.

You figure out the rhyme scheme by looking at the word at the end of the line and seeing which words rhyme with it in succeeding lines. Label each word that sounds the same with the same letter. So, in this poem:

u           /       u     /    u   /     u      /         u       /   u

When men were all asleep the snow came flying, A

u     /       u         /       /    u   /     u    / u     /

In large white flakes falling on the city brown, B

Stealthily and perpetually settling and loosely lying, A

Hushing the latest traffic of the drowsy town; B

Deadening, muffling, stifling its murmurs failing; C

Lazily and incessantly floating down and down: B

Silently sifting and veiling road, roof and railing; D

Hiding difference, making unevenness even, E

Into angles and crevices softly drifting and sailing. D

All night it fell, and when full inches seven E

It lay in the depth of its uncompacted lightness, F

The clouds blew off from a high and frosty heaven; E

And all woke earlier for the unaccustomed brightness F

Of the winter dawning, the strange unheavenly glare: G

The eye marvelled--marvelled at the dazzling whiteness; F

The ear hearkened to the stillness of the solemn air; G

No sound of wheel rumbling nor of foot falling, H

And the busy morning cries came thin and spare. G

Then boys I heard, as they went to school, calling, H

They gathered up the crystal manna to freeze I

Their tongues with tasting, their hands with snowballing; H

Or rioted in a drift, plunging up to the knees; I

Or peering up from under the white-mossed wonder, J

"O look at the trees!" they cried, "O look at the trees!" I

With lessened load a few carts creak and blunder, K

Following along the white deserted way, L

A country company long dispersed asunder: K

When now already the sun, in pale display L

Standing by Paul's high dome, spread forth below M

His sparkling beams, and awoke the stir of the day. L

For now doors open, and war is waged with the snow; M

And trains of sombre men, past tale of number, N

Tread long brown paths, as toward their toil they go: M

But even for them awhile no cares encumber N

Their minds diverted; the daily word is unspoken, O

The daily thoughts of labour and sorrow slumber N

At the sight of the beauty that greets them, for the charm they have broken. O

You can see the irregularity of the rhyme and meter. Go through the rest of the poem and mark it as I have done and you will see the irregular meter. There are some links below to help you with meter.

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