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James Fenton Writing Styles in The Milkfish Gatherers

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Rhyming Quatrains

"The Milkfish Gatherers" is written in quatrains, end-rhymed perfectly in lines two and four of each stanza. This verse form is the most popular in English poetry. Rhymes articulate a resonance among vowels or words that seem to echo previous vowels or words. This echoing results in a pattern of aural effects. The rhyming of lines two and four lulls the poem as if at sea. Later, the first line will repeat, heightening the wave effect. Rhyme probably began as a device to aid memory, hence, nursery rhymes or stories meant to teach children lessons by drilling them into their heads. In this same vein, rhyme used in chants and protests has the power to stick with people and aid revolution. This sentiment echoes the content of "The Milkfish Gatherers." The revolution needs a song.

Refrain

The repetition of the first line of the poem later in...

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This section contains 325 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
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Poetry for Students
The Milkfish Gatherers from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.