How has sound quality been placed into the poem, and how does sound link everything melodically?This is about the "Those winter Sundays" by Robert E. Hayden.

Expert Answers
jmj616 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

First, let's discuss rhythm.

In stanzas 1 and 2, almost every line has 10 syllables, providing a steady rhythm.  In the last stanza, the lines are shorter, mostly 8 syllables a piece.  This gives a sort of "drive" to the conclusion.  The poet adds further force to the ending by repeating the phrase, "What did I know, what did I know."

Like most poets, Hayden uses alliteration, that is, he uses words that have the same initial consonant sound.  For example:

a) weekday weather

b) banked fires blaze

c) love's austere and lonely offices

Hayden also uses a number of words that make us think of sounds: cracked, splintering, call, speaking.     


Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question