This is an analysis of the poem When Mother Combed My Hair that begins with:

When Memory, with gentle hand,
Has led me to that foreign land... full text

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: aabbccdd eeffggdd ffhhggdd bbffiihh
  • Stanza lengths (in strings): 8,8,8,8,
  • Closest metre: iambic tetrameter
  • –°losest rhyme: couplets
  • –°losest stanza type: tercets
  • Guessed form: unknown form
  • Metre: 11000101 11101101 01111100 01011101 01011101 10010101 01011101 11011111 11011101 11000101 01010101 110010111 11010101 01011101 01010101 01110111 10110111 01110101 01000101 1111011 11010111 010110101 01011101 01111111 11110110 01011101 11011101 01010111 110101001 11011101 11011101 11011101
  • Amount of stanzas: 5
  • Average number of symbols per stanza: 217
  • Average number of words per stanza: 42
  • Amount of lines: 33
  • Average number of symbols per line: 32 (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; and, of are repeated.

    The poet used anaphora at the beginnings of some neighboring lines. The same word of is repeated.

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

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

  • summary of When Mother Combed My Hair;
  • central theme;
  • idea of the verse;
  • history of its creation;
  • critical appreciation.

Good luck in your poetry interpretation practice!

More information about poems by James Whitcomb Riley