This is an analysis of the poem Chinese Whispers that begins with:

And in a little while we broke under the strain:
suppurations ad nauseam, the wanting to be taller, ...

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: abbcdefccgcefahaiaejfihcXheXgkbbeXccXfXcilidghXlce gXicgif fjdckkfgXffbfheXlcmjdXc iebXbchmhid
  • Stanza lengths (in strings): 50,7,23,11,
  • Closest metre: trochaic pentameter
  • –°losest rhyme: shakespearean sonnet
  • –°losest stanza type: sonnet
  • Guessed form: unknown form
  • Metre: 100101111001 10001110100010 1010011001001110 110101010 1011011 011010100010001 010111110011 11101010111000101 0101000110010 0100100 101000111110110 1011000011011 10101111100101 10101101101 11100001001 00101 10101011011111 011001111 1010001010101110101 100010111001011 11110100100101 11 1100110010101101 1111100111001 10101110110001000 101011010011 10111110100 100100 1011111001011010 11011010011111100100100 1111111110101011110 1010100101011110 1100011010010111 1001001011001010 1001011111011 111011110111 0110010101101000 00101 11101010101111101 11110101011100111 0110111111001 1 11010101111001001 0101001110111010011 10010000010101100 110101110101101110 0101101001000 1100111 10001011100101011 11010101111010100 011111101000 101 101001101100011010 001010101111001 01000010010100111 0110100011011 11101110 01001111100100100 10101010110110 1110101110101 110101011011111 010101100 110110 11101001001111 101110100101101010 1101100101011000 1001110101101101010 101101110010101 01001010100110110 0111 10101 001010100101100101 001101001111111 110110101 111101 01001010110011 010101101010 1110010101011101011 1101011110101 010100111100100110 0101011001111 111110011010100 0110011110 11010111100 01010110110110 010111011001010011 0101 10011 1111110101011 1101001011010101 111001111
  • Amount of stanzas: 4
  • Average number of symbols per stanza: 1417
  • Average number of words per stanza: 214
  • Amount of lines: 91
  • Average number of symbols per line: 61 (very long strings)
  • Average number of words per line: 9
  • Mood of the speaker:

    The punctuation marks are various. Neither mark predominates.

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

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

    There is a poetic device epiphora at the end of some neighboring lines taller, other, out are repeated).

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

  • summary of Chinese Whispers;
  • central theme;
  • idea of the verse;
  • history of its creation;
  • critical appreciation.

Good luck in your poetry interpretation practice!

More information about poems by John Ashbery

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