W.E.B. DuBois Writing Styles in The Song of the Smoke

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"The Song of the Smoke" is a story-song in the tradition of ballads vocally communicated before they were ever written down. As a poetic form, the ballad preserves the notion of storytelling as well as the musicality—though the poem as ballad is rarely sung unless it is set to music, for example, as Paul Simon has done with Edwin Arlington Robinson's "Richard Cory."

Music is of course central to the ballad. The musicality of this poem is achieved by two distinct methods. First, the lengths of the lines in each of five blocks in a stanza are similar because the rhythm of the words creates corresponding musical patterns in blocks of 2 lines, 2 lines, 3 lines, 2 lines, and 2 lines in each of the four stanzas. The rhyme scheme of abccdddeeab further establishes this musical pattern or rhythm.

Secondly, "The Song of the Smoke" has a unique pattern of indention to...

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This section contains 533 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Song of the Smoke Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
The Song of the Smoke from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.