Triolet

A Poem Analysed

The reason that I have chosen Edmund Baton, 1931-1945 for analysis is not because I think it is so great, but because it uses a large number of poetic devices but no end-rhymes. One thing that I should say is that in my opinion you should never attempt a poem with thoughts like 'I'll have a little alliteration here' and 'I'll use some Anaphora here' in your mind. That would be just the same thing as forcing rhyme. No, I firmly believe that any kind of poetic device should come naturally, or not at all.

Edmund Baton, 1931-1945      Titles can be important

Contrast                    It's pleasant here at Huisnes-sur-Mer,
                         a green mound of flower and shrub:
                         until you reach the ring of stone,
Contrast                    the concrete mausoleum

                         Born in the wrong year;                    Repetition
Crossed Rhyme        living in the wrong place;
                         dying among the wrong people;
                          lying now among the soldiers,
Alliteration                 this son of the vanquished victors.             Oxymoron

Anaphora                   Denied his youth;
                          denied the life-giving crust;
                          denied any requiem but the whistling wind                   Alliteration
                          denied even a few feet of French soil.

                           Young bones locked in a block of concrete             Euphony/assonance 'o'
                           can give no laughing warning                              Internal Rhyme
                           of those sombre, war-clad years                               Image
Next generation!           to his children, or to theirs.

                            But then it was his side
                            that marched the streets of France.
Previous g!                   His fathers were the ones who took their women;               Image
                            this was the child raised to the sound of war parades.

                            An eye for an eye;
                            a tooth for a tooth;                      Anaphora / repetition
                            a life for a life;                          Use of familiar
                            a child for a child;                      expressions or
                            a hate for a hate.                        aphorisms

                            That's why twelve thousand lie here,          Assonance 'o'
                            entombed, not to touch the ground,            consonance: "d/t"
Alliteration                    shouldering the burden of a nation's shame;
                            and he shall bear his child's share.                  Aporia. Q: what IS this share?


A Note on Formal and Free Verse

Literary Terms

Triolet

Vers Libre

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