This is an analysis of the poem The Old Top Sergeant that begins with:

TWENTY years of the army, of drawing a sergeant's pay
And helping the West Point shavetails, fresh from the training school...

Elements of the verse: questions and answers

The information we provided is prepared by means of a special computer program. Use the criteria sheet to understand greatest poems or improve your poetry analysis essay.

  • Rhyme scheme: ababcaca debe fgfgeheh dbab icicijij dkkk
  • Stanza lengths (in strings): 8,4,8,4,8,4,
  • Closest metre: trochaic pentameter
  • –°losest rhyme: rima
  • –°losest stanza type: tercets
  • Guessed form: unknown form
  • Metre: 10000100100101 110011100100101 010010101100101 100110100100111 11010101101101 111100100111100 11111001011110101 1110110101100101 1000010 100111 100100101 1111111 10000101101111 11111100110111 1011010101010101 101111100110101 10111010111101 1010110010110111 1110110101110101 10101011011100111 1000010 1010111 101111100 0100101 100001001011001 1111100101101101 1110101000100111 11111111010100111 1111110101101 0000111010100111 1010010110110111 101010011011101 1000010 111111 1111111101 11110101
  • Amount of stanzas: 6
  • Average number of symbols per stanza: 319
  • Average number of words per stanza: 63
  • Amount of lines: 36
  • Average number of symbols per line: 52 (very long strings)
  • Average number of words per line: 11
  • Mood of the speaker:

    The punctuation marks are various. Neither mark predominates.

  • The author used lexical repetitions to emphasize a significant image; and, of, to, i, as, it are repeated.

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

    The author used the same word twenty at the beginnings of some neighboring stanzas. The figure of speech is a kind of anaphora.

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

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

Good luck in your poetry interpretation practice!

More information about poems by Berton Braley