English 305. Scansion Exercise
This exercise is designed to strengthen your skills in scanning and close
reading poetry, Choose a poem from the Norton Anthology of Poetry (either
choose from the list of suggestions below or choose your own with the
instructor's permission) and:
Scan it using the notations of stressed and unstressed
Mark the metric feet.
Mark the rhyme scheme/stanza form.
Mark and describe any other devices of sound int he poem,
such as alliteration, assonance, onomatopoeia).
Mark any enjambement, feminine rhymes, or off-rhymes
Write up a brief description labeling both the meter (e.g,
iambic pentameter), and the stanza from (e.g., the Spenserian stanza, a
sonnet, heroic couplets).
Then write up a description of how the meter and sound
effects of the poem (including
the relative constancy and variation of the meter) work with/against its
themes and argument.
Do not use any poems in Oliver's book. Some suggestions:
George Herbert, "The Collar"
John Donne, "The Sun Rising"
Robert Frost, "Design"
William Butler Yeats, "Sailing to Byzantium"
John Keats, "Ode on Melancholy"