What is the significance of the rhyme scheme and poetic structure in the poem "Sabbaths, W.I." by Derek Walcott?

The significance of the rhyme scheme and poetic structure in "Sabbaths, W.I." is that the lack of rhyme and regular structure reflects the poem's tone of boredom. The fact that half of the poem includes images of death in nature and the other half discusses the speaker's own family suggests that the speaker cannot escape the dullness of his own life. 

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In many of his poems, Derek Walcott does not use rhyme. "Sabbaths, W.I." is no exception. As well as no rhyme scheme, there are also no regular meter and no regular line length. The absence of any rhythmic features lends to the poem a prosaic rather than a poetical tone....

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In many of his poems, Derek Walcott does not use rhyme. "Sabbaths, W.I." is no exception. As well as no rhyme scheme, there are also no regular meter and no regular line length. The absence of any rhythmic features lends to the poem a prosaic rather than a poetical tone. This tone perhaps echoes, or emphasizes, the sense of boredom and lethargy which runs through the poem. Indeed, throughout the poem, the speaker laments the repetitive boredom of "those Sundays when the lights at the road's end were an occasion."

In terms of the poem's structure, the poem consists of sixteen stanzas, varying in length between one line and five lines. In the first half of the poem, the speaker focuses on images of the natural world and, more specifically, on images which suggest that the natural world is dying or dead. He describes, for example, a "dead lizard turning blue as stone" and "volcanoes like ashen roses."

In the second half of the poem, the speaker shifts his focus from images of the natural world to images of his own family and his own life. He describes his mother "lay[ing] on her back" and "the sisters gather[ing] like white moths." The shift from images of nature dying to the boredom of his "Sundays" perhaps suggests the speaker's efforts to turn his attentions away from his own family and his own life and toward the world beyond. The fact that he returns to the tedium of his own life at the end of the poem suggests that he can not venture beyond that tedium and must inevitably always return to it. He must always return, because the world beyond that tedium is also lifeless and still.

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