This is an analysis of the poem The Bumboat Woman's Story that begins with:

I'm old, my dears, and shrivelled with age, and work, and grief,
My eyes are gone, and my teeth have been drawn by Time, the Thief!... full text

Elements of the verse: questions and answers

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  • Rhyme scheme: aabb bbcc dddX eXbb ffXX ggcc eXeX dXee bbhh XXeX iihh bbjj ffhh kkgX ffbb eXaa bXdd eeeX Xbbgg
  • Stanza lengths (in strings): 4,4,4,4,4,4,4,4,4,4,4,4,4,4,4,4,4,4,5,
  • Closest metre: iambic pentameter
  • –°losest rhyme: alternate rhyme
  • –°losest stanza type: tercets
  • Guessed form: blank verse
  • Metre: 01111100011111 11111111011101 1100111110111 01010011110111 11010111110101 01001011110101 11010111110111 110010010100101 010101111100101 01011111111001 1110100110100111 1111011101001000 01010101100101 110100111010100 01010010011111 1110110101111001 0010010010010101 110010010101001 10111100100101100100 110101100100101 010111111101101 101101011001110111 111001110111001 11010101111001 11101011111111 10100100111001010 10101011110101 11001011001010 111001110100111 111110110101101 11100101011100101 1110111011100101 11110110101001 010011100100111 01001111110011 1110110111011101 111111001001110 11101110110111110 11111011100111 10101001111011010 11101111110101 01001111010101 1010010111011111 11111010110111 110010111100101 111101010010101 11111001110101 0010110011100111 11011011111101 111010010100111 1111011110101 11001111100111 101011010011101 1010111100100110111 11111111101111 1001010100101110 11110011010101 1101111101001 1111110100111 0111111101111 1001011100111 11111011101010 110011111101101 010100100100111 111111110100111 1001011101111100 11110010111011 11110110101101 1111111110110 1101001010111 11110110010101 01001010101010 0101111101111 101001011110101 1111110011111 1111001111101
  • Amount of stanzas: 20
  • Average number of symbols per stanza: 236
  • Average number of words per stanza: 44
  • Amount of lines: 77
  • Average number of symbols per line: 61 (very long strings)
  • Average number of words per line: 12
  • Mood of the speaker:

    The punctuation marks are various. Neither mark predominates.

  • The author used lexical repetitions to emphasize a significant image; and, my, her, i, to, that, they, his, own, he, of are repeated.

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

    The author used the same word they 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 The Bumboat Woman's Story;
  • central theme;
  • idea of the verse;
  • history of its creation;
  • critical appreciation.

Good luck in your poetry interpretation practice!

More information about poems by William Schwenck Gilbert