This is an analysis of the poem An Old Sermon With A New Text that begins with:

My wife contrived a fleecy thing
Her husband to infold,...

Elements of the verse: questions and answers

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  • Rhyme scheme: XXabcb bbXbdb Xbcbeb cfbfcf eedegXe ccc c dc hcdccc cbhXfb aX ijbj ihbhdgeh jdgddd ckdkck
  • Stanza lengths (in strings): 6,6,6,6,7,3,1,2,6,6,2,4,8,6,6,
  • Closest metre: iambic trimeter
  • –°losest rhyme: alternate rhyme
  • –°losest stanza type: tercets
  • Guessed form: unknown form
  • Metre: 11010101 010010 11010101 010001 11010011 1010101 01110001 100101 10110110 010101 01010111 1010101 10100111 010111 01010101 111101 10011111 010101 01011011 010101 11010101 010101 111010111 1010101 1011101 010101 00110101 110111 11111111 010 111 11011111 101101 01000111 0101001 11011101 110101 01011111 111111 11110101 111101 11010111 111111 01110101 111101 01010111 0101000 11111111 0010011 11111001 101101 11000111 111101 11010101 010101 11010001 001101 11011111 111101 1 1 011101 1010101 11010101 011101 11111100 0010101 11011111 110101 00110001 011101 11010110 110011 10110001 110111
  • Amount of stanzas: 14
  • Average number of symbols per stanza: 156
  • Average number of words per stanza: 30
  • Amount of lines: 77
  • Average number of symbols per line: 27 (strings are less long than medium ones)
  • Average number of words per line: 6
  • Mood of the speaker:

    The punctuation marks are various. Neither mark predominates.

  • The author used lexical repetitions to emphasize a significant image; as, to, with are repeated.

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

    The author used the same word as 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 An Old Sermon With A New Text;
  • central theme;
  • idea of the verse;
  • history of its creation;
  • critical appreciation.

Good luck in your poetry interpretation practice!

More information about poems by George MacDonald

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