This is an analysis of the poem Santa Claus' Riddle that begins with:

Of all the happy and holy times
That fill the steeples with merry chimes... full text

Elements of the verse: questions and answers

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  • Rhyme scheme: aaaa bXaX ccaa ddcc eeXf Xgcc bbgg bbbb fffX aadd aXcc ccaa ffff aaff ccbb aacc hhdd ddii eejj aakk cckk hhhh llkk bbXX ccff bbee ffmm bbXX cccc jXhh
  • Stanza lengths (in strings): 4,4,4,4,4,4,4,4,4,4,4,4,4,4,4,4,4,4,4,4,4,4,4,4,4,4,4,4,4,4,
  • Closest metre: iambic tetrameter
  • –°losest rhyme: couplets
  • –°losest stanza type: sonnet
  • Guessed form: unknown form
  • Metre: 010101101 110100101 111100101 110111111 11110101 10101111 110100101 10100111 01110101 110100101 10100100101 010111101 101011101 111110101 101010101 110101101 10110101 10111101 10110101 11110101 111010100 1110101 110100101 011011101 11010111 1100100101 110100101 111010101 1110111101 011100101 1110100101 1100100111 1110100101 1010101101 011100101 010101101 1111010101 10100101001 10010111 00010101 1111101011 100110111 10111111 11111111 111010111 11101101 10011101 110100101 11011101011 010111101 01110101 101010101 11110101 110100101 10100101 010110101 1110101101 10100100101 110110101 010010111 110101101 110101101 1010110101 11100101 100111111 0110100101 1110111010 01010010010 1110100111 011101111 1010111010 0101001010 011111101 0010111101 0010110101 1111100111 10100100101 010110101 11110111 010010101 10010101 110100111 1010100101 111100101 1000100111 1010110101 111101011 1110110101 11110101 111110101 111100110 110101101 110100101 111100101 010101110 111100101 0101101001 010110101 111110111 10100101 110100101 010100101 1110101101 11110110111 11101111 110100101 110011111 011111101 11011111 01010101 110100101 01011011010 01001001001 0100110111 1011100101 111101111 111010011 111001100 10011101 010110111
  • Amount of stanzas: 30
  • Average number of symbols per stanza: 159
  • Average number of words per stanza: 29
  • Amount of lines: 120
  • Average number of symbols per line: 39 (medium-length strings)
  • Average number of words per line: 7
  • Mood of the speaker:

    The punctuation marks are various. Neither mark predominates.

  • The author used lexical repetitions to emphasize a significant image; of, in, and, tinkle, his, he, thy are repeated.

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

    The author used the same words he, and 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 Santa Claus' Riddle;
  • central theme;
  • idea of the verse;
  • history of its creation;
  • critical appreciation.

Good luck in your poetry interpretation practice!

More information about poems by Katharine Lee Bates

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