What are the prosodic features of the first six lines of Leigh Hunt's poem "To May"? The lines are:  MAY, thou month of rosy beauty, Month, when pleasure is a duty; Month of maids that milk the...

What are the prosodic features of the first six lines of Leigh Hunt's poem "To May"? The lines are: 

MAY, thou month of rosy beauty,

Month, when pleasure is a duty;

Month of maids that milk the kine,

Bosom rich, and breath divine;

Month of bees, and month of flowers,

Month of blossom-laden bowers

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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There are two important prosodic features of Leigh Hunt's poem "To May": the meter and the rhyme scheme. The meter or rhythmical pattern is what scholars describe as trochaic tetrameter.

A trochee is a type of foot, which is the smallest repeated rhythmic unit in a line of verse. Trochaic feet or trochees consist of a stressed syllable followed by an unstressed syllable. The term tetrameter means that there are four trochees in each line. Note that the third and fourth lines are missing a final weak syllable; thus they are described as "catalectic."

The rhyme scheme is couplets, meaning that the lines come in rhyming pairs, i.e. that the last words of each pair of lines have similar sounds, such as "beauty/duty" and "kine/divine."

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