Percy Bysshe Shelley

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What is the form of the poem "Love’s Philosophy" by Percy Bysshe Shelly? For example is it an ode, sonnet, etc.?

"Love's Philosophy" is a poem of 16 lines, consisting of two 8-line stanzas. Each stanza has the rhyme scheme ABABCDCD. The poem ends with a question addressed to the beloved. Comment: Shelley does not make it easy to identify the form of his "Love's Philosophy." He uses some creative devices in constructing this poem, including: 1) ending each 8-line stanza with an interrogative addressed to his beloved; 2) repeating the same line at the beginning and end of both stanzas (stanzas end with "meet and mingle" and "how sweet! how sweet!"); and

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It is somewhat difficult to identify the form of Shelley's "Love's Philosophy."

It certainly is not a sonnet, because a sonnet has--by definition--14 lines, and Shelley's poem has 16.

Is it an ode?  An ode is a poem that is written in praise of, or dedicated to someone or something that has inspired the poet.  Does Shelley's poem fit this definition?  The poem is addressed to someone with whom the poet would like to "meet and mingle" in romantic fashion.  Yet there is no praise for this person in the poem.  Rather, the poet repeats, through various examples, that it is "a law divine" that various beautiful phenomena of nature should meet and mix: "fountains mingle with the river," "the mountains kiss high Heaven," "the waves clasp one another," the "sunlight clasps the earth," etc.

Perhaps it is safest to say about the form of "Love's Philosophy" is that is a beautiful poem consisting of two 8-line stanzas.  The rhyme scheme in each stanza is ABABCDCD.  The poet achieves formal unity by ending each stanza with a question addressed to his beloved.

It is also interesting to note that subject of Stanza 1--fountains-- rhymes with the subject of Stanza 2--mountains.

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