What is the poetic rhyme scheme and structure of "The Walk"?

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Derek Walcott 's poem "The Walk" does not have a regular rhyme scheme. In fact, the only rhyme is in the penultimate stanza, where the second and fourth lines end in the words "clenched" and "drenched" respectively. The lack of a rhyme scheme seems appropriate given that the poem is...

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Derek Walcott's poem "The Walk" does not have a regular rhyme scheme. In fact, the only rhyme is in the penultimate stanza, where the second and fourth lines end in the words "clenched" and "drenched" respectively. The lack of a rhyme scheme seems appropriate given that the poem is about a writer's struggle to master the creative process. He tries to write poems but finds it difficult. Indeed, each phrase is "peeled from the flesh in bandages." The fact that there is no rhyme scheme in the poem echoes the fact that the writer is unable to establish his own creative rhythm. The one aforementioned exception, whereby the words "clenched" and "drenched" are rhymed in the penultimate stanza, is perhaps included simply to emphasize the onomatopoeic effect of the "ch" sound that is in the middle of each word. This sound, repeated, onomatopoeically echoes the writer's footsteps in the sodden, "rain-drenched" ground, and thus emphasizes the miserable, oppressive atmosphere suggested by the torrential rainfall.

In terms of the poem's structure, in the first half of the poem the speaker focuses on the pain and frustration that he now associates with the creative process. He "haemorrhag(es) poems" and "peel(s)" phrases "from the flesh." In the second half of the poem the speaker describes the place that he calls home. This place is characterized by torrential rainfall, and by a sodden track which ends in "a clump of bamboos." The speaker cannot leave this place, or is unwilling to. The structure of the poem suggests that the pain and frustration of the speaker's creative process is attributable to the oppressive but inescapable atmosphere of his home. In other words, the first half of the poem presents the consequence, and the second half of the poem presents the cause.

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