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Song of the Chattahoochee Essay

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In the following essay excerpt, Lenhart examines the rhythmic quality of "Song of the Chattahoochee."

"Song of the Chattahoochee" has been universally accepted as one of the most unusual poems in American poetry. Most of the inherent musicality does not stem from repetitive consonants or rhyme or alliteration; it is not, in short, melodious—but it has a structure that is repetitive, impetuous, and ideally suited to the subject. Half of the wonder in Lanier's verse surely grows from the unmusical subjects of which he makes a kind of pure music. His similarity to Whitman can be noticed in the construction of prepositional phrases in "Song of the Chattahoochee," written in 1877 after his ideas on music and poetry had crystallized:

Out of the hills of Habersham,
Down the valleys of Hall . . .
In the clefts of the hills . . .
In the beds of the valleys . . .


This parallelism of pattern is...

(read more from the Critical Essay #3 section)

This section contains 954 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Song of the Chattahoochee Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Song of the Chattahoochee from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.