Can someone rate my paragraph for the poem 'Neutral Tones'

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Report Thread starter 1 year ago
Hardy effectively manipulates the rhyme scheme of ‘Neutral tones’ to imitate the infinite loop of pain and pathos the feeling of loss brings. The ABBA rhyme scheme, for example, causes the last syllable of line 1 in stanza 1 “day” to rhyme with the last syllable of line 4 stanza 1 “grey”. The cyclical nature of the rhyme scheme suggests Harsh is unable to overcome the feeling of raw pain generated by the loss of a relationship. The reader is given the impression the feeling of loss is something that is like an entity that haunts and daunts its victims, in this context, it is Thomas Hardy. This ‘infinite loop’ of mental torment caused by loss is further mimicked by the circuitous within the poem where it begins and ends with ‘a pond edged with greyish leaves’. Subsequently, on the page, the reader is again physically given another depiction of another infinite loop of sadness cultivated by loss. Collectively the circularity of the rhyme scheme and the exposition and denouement of the play cause the reader to feel daunted by loss. Even a Victorian man like Hardy who has to display Stoicism according to conventions of the time is crippled by the overbearing pessimistic feelings of pain that loss brings. Alternatively, could Hardy have intentionally crafted a poem with a circular nature to convey the positive feelings of endless Nostalgia of a relationship “years ago” that was once full of “Love”?
Last edited by tyler.ldn; 1 year ago
Badges: 14
Report 1 year ago
Rather than leading with a focus on form / structure, comment on language first and then comment on what the rhyme scheme adds to your understanding e.g. the noun ‘day’ suggests positivity through renewal while the adjective ‘grey’ is devoid of colour, vibrancy, and life. The association of these words through rhyme illustrates how every moment of the speaker’s life is governed by feelings of loss, his days tinted and shaped by grey grief and a sense of death.

You note structural features well but these need to be linked in greater detail to the language of the poem. E.g that the ‘pond’, a water source associated with life, is ‘edged with greyish leaves’ highlights the proximity of decay and death - the pond’s periphery is tainted by redundant and unsightly leaves. That this is repeated in a cyclical structure highlights how, for the speaker of this poem, his reality has not changed. He is unable to escape the sense of loss and endings, the leaves lacking a purpose and fading into nothingness, like the speaker’s relationship and his sense of self.

Well-linked context!
Last edited by Foreverneek; 1 year ago

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