The Solitary Reaper Essay, Research Paper
the solitary reaper.
“The Solitary Reaper” by William Wordsworth is a romantic poem written by Wordsworth while traveling through the Scottish highlands.
It is written in first person narration and Wordsworth almost seems to be talking to himself, but at the same time he is explaining a story to the reader. He tells of an experience of watching a “solitary highland lass” working in some fields and singing. Wordsworth is in awe and wonder of the women’s voice and the tone of the poem is happy and it almost is a poem of praise.
The theme of the poem seems to be the beauty of voice and song, and the effect it leaves upon a person. Wordsworth says in the last two lines, “the music in my heart I bore, long after it was heard no more”. This shows the impact that the woman’s singing had on him and how he could still hear the singing in his mind long after he had encountered the woman.
Many language techniques were used in “The Solitary Reaper”. These helped create an impact on the reader and make the poem more enjoyable.
Alliteration was used to effect in the fourth line of the second stanza – “Among Arabian sands”. The repetition of the soft letter “A” rolls off the tongue and leaves a memorable effect on the reader.
The use of eye rhyme is shown in the first stanza, where in the second and fourth lines the last word is “lass” and “pass” respectively. These two words at first glance look like they should rhyme but actually don’t when read over. This causes the reader to stop and think. They may even look over the lines again. This technique sticks in the mind.
Assonance is shown in the fifth line of the last stanza -”I listened, motionless and still”. The repetition of the “I” sound in “listened” and “still” creates assonance and is easily read.
In the second stanza Wordsworth creates an image of the woman’s voice by literally comparing it to a birds. “A voice so thrilling ne’er was heard, In springtime from the cuckoo-bird”. This gives the reader an idea of how beautiful the woman’s voice was.
In the first line of the third stanza, Wordsworth asks a rhetorical question. “Will no one tell me what she sings?”. Although the reader could not possibly answer this question, it demonstrates Wordsworth’s wonder at the song of the woman. It causes the reader to stop and contemplate different themes of the song, as does Wordsworth in the latter lines of the stanza. “Or is it some more humble lay, Familiar matter of today?”. This also is a rhetorical question.
This poem consists of four verses, with the first and last verse being identical in rhyme formation and the second and third verse also being identical. The rhyme scheme is ABCBDDEE, FGFGHHII, JKJKLLMM, NOPOQQRR. The rhythm is in iambic tetrameter with emphasis on every second syllable. The dominant rhyme and rhythm in the poem leaves impact on the reader and makes the poem pleasant to read as it makes the words flow. Rhyme and rhythm give a happy tone on the poem.
I found the poem “The Solitary Reaper” by William Wordsworth very pleasant to read. One could easily relate to the rhyme and rhythm of the poem. The theme of the beauty of voice and song is well portrayed as the poem itself is very song like and leaves a merry effect on the reader.