I need summary for the poem "The Listeners" by Walter de la Mare.

1 Answer | Add Yours

thanatassa's profile pic

thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

"The Listeners" by Walter de la Mare is a narrative poem written from a third person limited point of view, with a character named only as "The Traveller" as the protagonist. Although it is not printed with stanza breaks, it generally follows a stanzaic rhyme scheme, with each group of four lines rhyming in the pattern ABCB.

The Traveller of the poem arrives by horseback at a deserted house in the forest on a moonlit night. He knocks on the door three times but no one answers. The third time he knocks, he says "‘Tell them I came, and no one answered,/ That I kept my word," and then he departs. 

Inside the house are the "listeners" of the title. We are not told if they are real, although they seem to be more ghosts, spirits, the dead, or memories than living people. 

The narrator does not tell us who the Traveller is, what happened in the house, or what was promised. Instead, the point of the poem is its air of mystery and its creation of a dream-like atmosphere. 


We’ve answered 319,635 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question