This is an analysis of the poem A Dead Letter that begins with:

I DREW it from its china tomb;—
It came out feebly scented ... full text

Elements of the verse: questions and answers

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  • Rhyme scheme: abac dede fbfX gege dbdb bhbh ffff didi fifi gXgj jcjc dede Xgagakk cdcdkk lXlgkk mlmlkk Xcccc bfXf cncn gfgf ioio bcbc odod Xbcb oioi ehXh pipiXbebe
  • Stanza lengths (in strings): 4,4,4,4,4,4,4,4,4,4,4,4,7,6,6,6,5,4,4,4,4,4,4,4,4,4,9,
  • Closest metre: iambic tetrameter
  • Сlosest rhyme: alternate rhyme
  • Сlosest stanza type: tercets
  • Guessed form: ballad stanza
  • Metre: 11000101 0111010 01110101 1111110 1110101 0101010 11011101 0101010 110000101 1101010 100110101 10001100 011111101 1111010 11001101 0111010 11010111 0101010 10011111 0101010 10010101 0101010 11010101 0110010 10111101 0101010 11001101 0101010 11010111 0101010 01010101 1101010 11010101 0101110 11000101 0101110 01010111 0111100 11110101 1101111 11111111 0101110 11010101 1111010 01010110 1101010 11011101 1011010 1 1101010110 1101010101 1101010111 1011110101 1111010101 10011111101 10111111111 0101110101 1111110101 1001110111 1111110111 1111111101 111110100101 1101110100 1111110101 1111011101 1111110101 11111011101 1111111101 0111110111 1111111101 1101010101 11111101101 1001011101 1 01010001 0101010 101100101 1001010 10010101 1101110 100111000 1111010 11111111 1111110 00110101 1101110 010011101 0101110 01010111 1111110 101101001 1111010 11110101 1101010 11111101 1101010 11011101 1100110 11110001 0111010 10111111 0101010 011101010 0111010 01010111 1101110 11011101 1111110 111101001 0101010 11010110 1111110 11110111 1111010 11110101 1101010 11010101 0101010 10111101 0101010 110101111 0111010
  • Amount of stanzas: 28
  • Average number of symbols per stanza: 153
  • Average number of words per stanza: 28
  • Amount of lines: 122
  • Average number of symbols per line: 35 (medium-length strings)
  • 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; it, and, i are repeated.

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

    The poet repeated the same word john at the end of some neighboring stanzas. The poetic device is a kind of epiphora.

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

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

  • summary of A Dead Letter;
  • central theme;
  • idea of the verse;
  • history of its creation;
  • critical appreciation.

Good luck in your poetry interpretation practice!

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