We have to analyze the rhyme scheme for the poem "Last Lesson of the Afternoon" We have to label a, b, c, d etc. in each of the lines.  How do you do that?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Analyzing the rhyme scheme of a poem is an important element in gaining a greater understanding of its technical composition.  In examining what a rhyme scheme is, it "refers to the repetition of a rhyme throughout a poem."  When annotating for rhyme scheme in a poem, it is shown through "letters representing the patterns that the rhymes make throughout the poem."  In Lawrenece's "Last Lesson of the Afternoon," this is seen in a clear manner. For example, in the first stanza, the first line would receive an "A" for "weariness."  The second and third lines rhyme together in "apart" and "start," and would thus both receive a "B."  The "B" is to indicate their shared rhyme with one another.  The fourth and fifth lines would receive a "C" and "D" respectively.  After this, your rhyme scheme for the poem should look like this:

When will the bell ring, and end this weariness?   A

How long have they tugged the leash,and strained apart,B

My pack of unruly hounds! I cannot start B

Them again on a quarry of knowledge they hate to hunt, C

I can haul them and urge them no more. D

You would continue this format for the remaining stanzas.  You will find that the "brunt" in the sixth line of the poem pulls from the "hunt," so a "C" is placed after this line.  "Threescore" is new, so it receives an "E."  You should know that the rhyme scheme is not the same in each stanza throughout Lawrence's poem.  However, the principles in determining the rhyme scheme and annotating it will be follow the same method.  

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