What is the basic foot and the verse length and rhyme scheme of the poem "Dover Beach"?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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One of the interesting aspects of this poem is its irregular form. If you analyse it closely, you can see that there is no regular meter, rhythm, verse form or rhyme scheme. Rather, the poem is a dramatic monologue of thirty seven lines that are divided into four unequal sections. Each of these consist, in turn, of fourteen, six, eight, and nine lines. Whilst there is rhyme, it is clear that this is not regular, and varies throughout the poem and the different stanzas. Note the way, for instance, that the second stanza has a rhyme scheme of ABACBC, whereas the final stanza has a rhyme scheme of ABBACDDEE. I feel this lack of formal structure helps to express and emphasise the meditative feel of the poem as the speaker seeks to express his thoughts and feelings about what he feels is happening in this world.

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