Consisting three stanzas, each 11 lines long, the verse form consists of twin lay quatrains and a three-line chorus, composed in a typical iambic meter. The rhyme strategy is abcbdefe jumping between four and three stressed syllables per line, followed by the chorus eee consisting of two lines with merely one stressed syllable, and a concluding line with three. This unvarying rime strategy non merely gives the poem musical construction, but besides serves to interrupt it up into clear subdivisions, or parts of the narrative, thereby giving it a sense of balance. The rhythmic correspondence of the choruss, in which all three lines end with the same stressed word, is a rigorous form in itself and foregrounds this portion of the verse form as it takes on an incantatory feel. Although the choruss are non the dominant construction of the verse form, they do add musical support. The regular metrical form is what gives the verse form its lifting beat and sing vocal signifier and there is small to interrupt the flow of the beat, or the narrative.
The purpose so is simpleness and repeat ; so the first case of repeat occurs in the gap line, which features the verse form ‘s rubric words thereby reaffirming the focal point of the verse form. But in this first stanza the most noticeable sound form is the concentration of /p/ sounds ; a phonological correspondence that extends across the text with the words ‘Pussy ‘ , ‘pea ‘ , ‘plenty ‘ and ‘pound ‘ every bit good as happening in ‘wrapped ‘ and ‘up ‘ . The return of this plosive consonant could be taken to emulate the plucking of guitar strings, which enhances non merely the beat, but besides the ocular consequence of the serenading bird of Minerva. The continuant /s/ in ‘Pussy ‘ manages to soften the overall sound, so the first stanza, like the bird of Minerva himself seems elegantly rhythmic. Notice besides that Lear uses punctuation to stress significance ; the exclaiming Markss at the terminal of lines 10s and eleven denote an look of the bird of Minerva ‘s feelings, proposing that their relationship is more than merely friendly relationship. This device is absent in the tantamount topographic point in the other two stanzas.
In add-on to repeat and initial rhyme, Lear employs rime to reenforce sound, significance and beat, and it plays an active portion in the temper and intent of this verse form. Perfect terminal rimes are the most noticeable, but there are besides regular internal rimes, which pick up the lines without an terminal rime: ‘honey ‘ and ‘money ‘ , ‘married ‘ and ‘tarried ‘ , ‘willing ‘ and ‘shilling ‘ all have a two syllable rime midway and at the terminal of the line. Line twenty seven outputs non merely an internal rime between ‘mince ‘ and ‘quince ‘ but an assonant rime between ‘dined ‘ and ‘slices ‘ , and in this 3rd stanza sound repeat is farther induced by the word ‘hand ‘ through an indistinguishable internal rime, another internal rime with sand and assonant rime with ‘danced ‘ . In lines ‘ 13 and 15 musicalness are brought to our attending by the chiming terminal rime of ‘sing ‘ and ‘ring ‘ . These words are bright and short, as is the vowel sound, but when followed by the consonant /ng/ the sound becomes extended. With the repeat of ‘ring ‘ in the chorus assisting to mime the tintinnabulation of a bell, this could hold an onomatopoetic consequence. Likewise, the word ‘bong ‘ in line 17 ( from ‘bong-tree ‘ ) , is non merely similar to the word ‘gong ‘ but besides sound symbolic and resonant of the low noise emitted from a tam-tam. Besides musicalness the other chief characteristic of this verse form is ‘word-play ‘ . Lear incorporates occasional invented words: ‘bong-tree ‘ , ‘Piggy-wig ‘ and the nonsensical adjectival ‘runcible ‘ . Besides holding a humourous consequence, they introduce a touch of phantasy that fits good with the phantasmagoric journey of the anthropomorphised animate beings. Although these words appear to be made-up they still conform to our normal outlooks of written linguistic communication and are hence familiar, every bit good as being grammatically correct. But the chief point here is that because they deviate from the verse form ‘s environing simple linguistic communication they receive excess significance, which encourages us to brood on the single words and their sound. Even though ‘runcible ‘ has no existent significance ( although it has since been popularly defined as a three-pronged fork curved like a spoon ) it has a phonological gaiety with the peal of the ‘r ‘ in ‘run ‘ followed by the two syllables in ‘cible ‘ . The hyphenated ‘Piggy-wig ‘ in line 18 really incorporates the phonemes and significances of two words, ‘pig ‘ and ‘wig ‘ , and virtually succeeds as an internal rime. While the inclusion of these words does n’t truly add anything to the significance of the phrase, they do at least sustain, and rather perchance better the beat. It is non until the concluding stanza that the beat is disrupted by the ‘running over ‘ of line 23 into 24 without a intermission:
‘Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
Your pealing? ‘ Said the Piggy, ‘I will. ‘
The consequence of this enjambement is that we are hurried on to an exciting phase in the narrative, the important point at which a dealing is to transpirate. The caesura at the word ‘ring ‘ interrupts the hasty flow of the verse form conveying the minute, and peculiarly the word ‘ring ‘ to our notice. Without a pealing the matrimony can non take topographic point. Merely when we have the hog ‘s reply and the ‘deal ‘ has been done can the narrative, and therefore the verse form, continue. It is besides interesting to observe here that the direct address in these lines is slightly evocative of traditional matrimony vows, reinforced by the emphasis on the words ‘willing ‘ and ‘will ‘ . The verse form ‘s regular beat so resumes, driving the narrative onward, climaxing in a concentration of sounds and repeat that seems to reflect the uproar of a nuptials jubilation. The concluding lines have feline and fowl dancing ‘hand in manus, on the border of the sand…by the visible radiation of the Moon ‘ , but here the verse form turns aural once more with the long vowel /oo/ arousing the hoot of an bird of Minerva, as in who-o-o, who-o-o. In many ways, hence, this verse form displays a uninterrupted melody throughout. The jaunty beat, playful rimes, absurd words and the diverting narrative it tells all contribute to doing it entertaining and memorable. The rhythmic chant stresses the basic features of linguistic communication in the same manner as traditional baby’s room rimes, so the verse form is easy to declaim and memorize. Imaginative words and elation of subject average kids can research linguistic communication and bask the words for their sound and the images they conjure without the verse form needfully holding to do sense. But there is no existent demand for ‘The Owl and the Pussycat ‘ to do sense ; the pleasance is the ocean trip through linguistic communication sounds that maneuver the reader off from sense. Whether or non a kid really believes that bird of Minerva and cats truly do sail off and acquire married in the moonshine is irrelevant. A narrative, particularly one told in the signifier of a verse form or vocal, is understood by the kid to be portion of drama, of the inventive universe, non the ‘real ‘ 1. The beat and sound-patterns of the verse form are more of import than the possible ‘reality ‘ or credibleness of the narrative being told. This verse form, like other nonsensical poetry, satisfies the kid ‘s appetency for the musical or for the strange.
With the exclusion of the unwritten tradition of baby’s room rimes, poesy for kids did non truly be prior to the last portion of the 18th century. Early poesy considered suited for kids was largely didactic or moralistic, and sometimes even mean-spirited. Its head purposes were concerned with salvaging the psyche and making good character. Poetry made available to kids was non written expressly for them or about their universe and, like other kids ‘s literature, largely reflected the thoughts that grownups held about what kids should be interested in. Although 19th century poets continued to follow in the same moralistic tradition there was a turning involvement in kids ‘s emotions and experiences brought approximately by the bit by bit altering positions on childhood and poetic aggregations written specifically for kids began to look. Narrative poesy was? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? was focused on romanticism often used by both the Romantic and the Victorian poets. Nature and love.
The 20th century saw a displacement towards freedom from formality. Poetry became more realistic and optimistic focussing on the joys of childhood, more diverse subjects, and a turning popularity of nonsensical poetry. It was during the 19th century that nonsensical poetry emerged as an counterpoison to the preponderantly austere and spiritual poesy that was available to kids. Therefore, it is frequently seen as a distinctively ‘Victorian genre ‘ , and it is surely true that it was that the work of Lear, along with Lewis Carroll, that developed and popularised nonsensical literature, particularly with respect to their usage of ‘nonsense ‘ words. In fact, Lear ‘s work is frequently described as a response to the societal conditions of his age. As Snider ( 1991 ) remarks, Lear ‘lived in an age that …needed to laugh ‘ since evangelicals ‘preached the denial of virtually everything that was merriment or Dionysian in life ‘ ( Snider, 1991 ) : a doctrine which was imposed on kids every bit good as grownups. Snider quotes Noakes ( 1986 ) as stating that Lear ‘offered kids the release of unaffected high liquors … in an age when kids were loaded with shame, Lear attempted to liberate them from it ‘ ( Noakes, 1986, as cited in Snider, 1991 ) . His nonsensical rimes allowed kids to detect ‘undreamt-of lands and admirations non merely unobserved but barely even imagined ‘ ( Noakes, 1986, as cited in Snider, 1991 ) . The sound and beat of the poetry, its song-like qualities, lifted the hearer out of the kingdom of impassive, serious moral sermon, and this wellbeing, optimistic tendency was enhanced by the inventive freedom of the capable affair. Snider points out that Victorian kids were taken from the childhood ‘comforts of female parent and place ‘ at an early age: hapless kids went to work, and flush 1s were sent off to school. The inventive, unworried universe of Lear ‘s verse form was a go oning, subconscious reassurance that there was ‘something more ‘ than the abrasiveness of big life into which they had been propelled. Snider argues that Lear himself felt excluded from ‘normal ‘ grownup society, but at the same clip rejected facets of that society which suppressed joy and freedom, particularly sexual freedom. The unusual coupling of the bird of Minerva and the cat is accepted without inquiry within the context of the verse form, which Snider relates to Lear ‘s ain gender and his desire for homosexualism to be freely accepted within society. The verse form conveys to the kid the thought that to be ‘different ‘ is non morally incorrect, and that journeys and affairs which seem unusual to those in the ‘real ‘ universe can in fact be productive and fulfilling. The bird of Minerva and the cat are following their ain inventive waies, instead than the 1s laid out for them by social premises and prepossessions in the ‘real ‘ universe, and are therefore able to make the point where they live ‘happily of all time after ‘ .