What is the rhyme scheme and structure of "The Almond Trees" by Derek Walcott, and how is it significant?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Derek Walcott's poem, "The Almond Trees," does not have a regular rhyme scheme running throughout the poem. There are some rhymes later in the poem. In the fifth stanza, for example, the last two lines form a rhyming couplet , with "frieze" and "trees," and in the sixth stanza,...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

Derek Walcott's poem, "The Almond Trees," does not have a regular rhyme scheme running throughout the poem. There are some rhymes later in the poem. In the fifth stanza, for example, the last two lines form a rhyming couplet, with "frieze" and "trees," and in the sixth stanza, the third and fifth lines rhyme, with "same" and "flame" respectively.

The absence of any regular rhyme scheme throughout the poem is significant because it lends a spontaneous, unaffected, natural tone to the poem. This is an appropriate tone given that the poem describes the natural, unaffected beauty of the eponymous almond trees. The aforementioned rhymes in the fifth and sixth stanzas coincide with the point in the poem when the speaker is describing the similarities between the sunbathers and the trees. Both are "brown" and "coppery," and both are "singed" and "writhing." The rhymes at this point in the poem are significant because they reflect a moment of synchronicity and harmony between the tree and the sunbathers.

The structure of the poem is also significant because it helps to emphasize the synchronicity between the trees and the sunbathers. Structurally, the poem repeatedly switches its focus from trees to sunbathers and from sunbathers to trees. This alternating focus represents how the trees and the sunbathers are, in many respects, one and the same. They are intertwined and inseparable.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team