This is an analysis of the poem The Swimmer that begins with:

With short, sharp violent lights made vivid,
To the southward far as the sight can roam,... full text

Elements of the verse: questions and answers

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  • Rhyme scheme: ababXaab XcXcdddc dadaddXa XeXeddde fgfgdddg cbcbgggb dcdccccc fcfcXXac gggXhhhg dcdcdddc ciciXffi dgdgcccg ifXfcccf
  • Stanza lengths (in strings): 8,8,8,8,8,8,8,8,8,8,8,8,8,
  • Closest metre: trochaic pentameter
  • –°losest rhyme: rima
  • –°losest stanza type: tercets
  • Guessed form: unknown form
  • Metre: 0111001110 0010110111 1001001010 011110111 1001101010 1101011110 1111011010 110100101 0111101110 111101101 10101101011 1110101101 111101010 1011010010 00111001110 110110101 1101011010 011100111 10110110110 101011001 10111001010 01001101010 0100111010 010010101 1111010110 111010001 10101001010 111101111 11101101010 10100101010 00101110110 110101101 1110101010 011111111 01001001010 0110101101 10101011010 11011010010 10111001010 1110110101 1100101110 111100101 1111001100 110100111 1011000101010 01001001010 11101001010 110100101 1001101110 0110111001 1001010010 0101100101 1001011010 0101011010 10101110110 010111101 11110011010 110101001 10111101110 1100110101 01111011100 01111011100 001001101110 10110100101 11010011101 01010010111 101010101111 11100100010 1011111010 1101011010 10111001010 110101011 0101001110 011111011 10100101010 111000101 10101101010 10100111010 10111010110 111100111 1011111010 10101001 11101111010 110101101 1110011100 1111111010 101001001110 110010101 1101011010 110101101 0111001110 010100101 1110101011 0111001110 0111011011 111010101 11110110110 011100101 10101001010 0110111111 11111001110 0110101010 0101011100 111101111
  • Amount of stanzas: 13
  • Average number of symbols per stanza: 342
  • Average number of words per stanza: 63
  • Amount of lines: 104
  • Average number of symbols per line: 42 (strings are more long than medium ones)
  • Average number of words per line: 8
  • Mood of the speaker:

    The punctuation marks are various. Neither mark predominates.

  • The author used lexical repetitions to emphasize a significant image; and, of, or, would, her, he, his, to, with are repeated.

    The poet used anaphora at the beginnings of some neighboring lines. The same words and, a, in, when, the are repeated.

    The literary device anadiplosis is detected in two or more neighboring lines. The word/phrase then connects the lines.

If you write a school or university poetry essay, you should Include in your explanation of the poem:

  • summary of The Swimmer;
  • central theme;
  • idea of the verse;
  • history of its creation;
  • critical appreciation.

Good luck in your poetry interpretation practice!

More information about poems by Adam Lindsay Gordon

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