What is the structure of the poem "The Eagle" by Tennyson?
This poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, is structured very simply. It has two stanzas, each consisting of three lines. A three-line stanza is known as a tercet. Each tercet rhymes within itself on all three lines, so these can also be called rhymed triplets. Thus the rhyme scheme of the poem is aaa bbb.
The two stanzas of the poem give it a satisfying symmetry, reminding the reader of the eagle's two wings. The use of threes is reminiscent of the bird as well. One can think of the bird's body and two wings creating a triad; three of the bird's claws face forward on the branch or perch. This combination of twos and threes, although an unusual poetic structure, seems appropriate when describing the eagle.
The lines of the poem hold together nicely with a fairly consistent rhythm and meter as well as sound devices. Most lines are iambic tetrameter: eight-syllable lines where every other syllable is accented, beginning with the second syllable. The second and third lines, however, deviate from...
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