I am reading the poem "My life had stood—a loaded gun—" and I need help breaking it up into the poetry exercise template.

1 Answer | Add Yours

sciftw's profile pic

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

Posted on

I don't know what your template looks like exactly, but I'm sure that a brief summary of the poem is on it.  This poem is likely about the speaker and his/her relationship with anger.  The anger would be the second person introduced in the first stanza called "owner."  The two go off into the woods together to hunt deer, and a few more descriptions of anger follow.  

I would also assume that your poetry template asks about rhyme, rhythm, and meter.  The poem is written in common meter.  That means the poem is written in four line stanzas and the lines of each stanza have 8 syllables in lines 1 and 3 and 6 syllables in lines 2 and 4. This poem matches that description.  Whether you like Dickinson or not, you can't argue that her rhythm and meter are flawless.  Common meter is associated with many hymns that are sung in churches.  "Amazing Grace" for example is written in common meter.  You can actually sing this poem to that tune.  The tune to the opening credits of "Gilligan's Island" also works (and is way more fun).  Common meter typically has an ABAB or ABCB rhyme scheme, but this poem only follows that in the first and last stanzas.  

Themes covered in the poem include violence, anger, and perhaps mortality. That makes sense based on a title that mentions a loaded weapon.  

We’ve answered 318,990 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question