Rising Action, Climax & Falling Action in Song of Myself
The terms rising action, climax, and falling action are used to describe events in a story starting from the complicating incidents, the conflict, and the resolution. Finding these three elements in non-ballad poetry, such as in Walt Whitman's Song of Myself, can begin by focusing on lines that indicate a point of conflict, backtracking to lines that show action rising towards that conflict, and then moving forward to lines that show falling action as a result of that conflict.
In short story (prose) analysis, the term climax refers to the highest point of conflict, rising action refers to the actions that escalate towards that conflict, and the term falling action refers to action after the conflict. Since the forms and structures of prose and poetry differ, these terms are applicable only in certain narrative poems such as ballads.
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