What is the rhyme scheme and poetic structure in "Forest of Europe"?

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In terms of the rhyme scheme, "Forest of Europe" has a rather loose, but nonetheless regular rhyme scheme. In each stanza there is either a full rhyme or a half rhyme between the first and last lines. For example, the first line of the first stanza ends with the word...

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In terms of the rhyme scheme, "Forest of Europe" has a rather loose, but nonetheless regular rhyme scheme. In each stanza there is either a full rhyme or a half rhyme between the first and last lines. For example, the first line of the first stanza ends with the word "piano," and the last line of the first stanza ends with the word "snow." The first line of the fifth stanza ends with the word "Congress," and the last line of the fifth stanza ends with the word "cause." These full or half rhymes of the first and last lines of each stanza create a sense of closure for each stanza, meaning that each stanza seems self-contained so that its focus is independent of the focus's in the stanzas which follow or precede it. The first stanza, for example, focuses on a "winter forest," and describes the leaves falling from the trees "like notes from a piano." The fifth stanza, meanwhile, focuses on a "blizzard" of snow covering a corpse.

In terms of the poem's structure, the poem is divided into sixteen stanzas, and each stanza is comprised of five lines. A five-line-stanza is called a quintain. These stanzas all have a regular syllabic meter, whereby each stanza is either ten or eleven syllables long. The regularity of the stanza length and of the syllabic meter lends a consistent rhythm to the poem.

In terms of the overall structure of the poem, the first half focuses on describing a winter scene, complete with "ice," "snow," and "blizzard(s)," and in the second half the focus shifts and becomes more philosophical. In stanza eight the speaker starts to consider "the poetry in forlorn stations," and in stanza twelve the speaker asks, "what's poetry ... but a phrase men can pass from hand to mouth?" Thus in terms of the overall structure of the poem, the fist half focuses on a winter landscape, and the second half focuses on the nature of poetry.

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