Ralph Waldo Emerson Writing Styles in The Rhodora

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In "The Rhodora," Emerson uses a familiar rhyme scheme of two paired couplets, followed by four lines of alternating rhymes. For instance, lines 9-16 end with the following sounds: why—sky / seeing—being / rose—knew suppose— you.

Each eight-line section constitutes one half of the sixteen-line poem, resulting in a unified and balanced feel to the piece. The rhyme scheme provides an additional surrounding structure to the iambic pentameter Emerson uses for this poem. "Iambic" refers to a segment of two syllables where the emphasis, or stress, falls on the second syllable. It is "pentameter" (penta meaning five) because each line has five two-syllable pairs. An example of this is in line 5:

The pur / ple pet / als fal / len in / the pool.

The stresses on the second syllables emphasize the alliteration of purple, petals, and pool by falling on the "P's."

The observant reader might note that the final...

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This section contains 254 words
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Poetry for Students
The Rhodora from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.