Analysis Pages

Meter in Solitude

Meter Examples in Solitude:


🔒 3

"But one by one we must all file on..."   (Solitude)

Wilcox’s control of sound in this line serves to effectively convey its meaning. On three of the four beats of the line, we hear the word “one,” or the similar sounding “on.” The march of ones imitates the marching file of solitary humans. This march evokes the poem’s title and central theme of solitude.

"full measure of all your pleasure..."   (Solitude)

The internally rhyming “measure” and “pleasure” each carry an extra, unstressed syllable, which gives the line an overflowing feeling. This is appropriate, given the subject at hand: we get a sense of excess, of the “full measure.”

"bound to a joyful sound..."   (Solitude)

In each stanza, the third and seventh lines are in tetrameter, containing four beats. The second and fourth beats of each of these lines rhyme internally. In the case of this line, this internal rhyme serves a direct thematic purpose. We hear the echoes of the “joyful sound” within the line itself in the rhyme of “bound” and “sound.”

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