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Puritan Sonnet
Andrew Kokanoutranon

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Puritan Sonnet

Puritan Sonnet

Elinor Wylie

Down to the Puritan Marrow of my bones

There's something in this richness that I hate.

I love the look, austere, immaculate,


Of landscapes drawn in pearly monotones.

There's something in my very blood that owns

Bare hills, cold silver on a sky of slate,

A thread of water, churned to milky spate1

Streaming through slanted pastures fenced with stones.


I love those skies, thin blue or snowy gray,

Those fields sparse-planted, rendering meager sheaves;

That spring, briefer than apple blossom's breath,

Summer, so much too beautiful to stay,

Swift autumn, like a bonfire of leaves,

And sleepy winter, like the sleep of death.



1. Identify the rhyme scheme of the poem

ABBAABBA
CDECDE

2. Complete scansion on 3 lines of the poem. (Identify line length and meter--like the example from "Shall I compare thee to a summer’s Day).

Down to the Puritan Marrow of my bones – 5.5 Feet

There's something in this richness that I hate. – 5 Feet

I love the look, austere, immaculate, - 5 Feet

Unstressed-Stressed

3. Identify at least 5 images in the poem (Try to find images that appeal to different senses)

a. Of landscapes drawn in pearly monotones – Auditory image

b. Bare hills, cold silver on a sky of slate – Tactile image and visual

c. That spring, briefer than apple blossom's breath, - Old Factory, gustatory

d. A thread of water, churned to milky spate – Gustatory

e. Swift autumn, like a bonfire of leaves, - Tactile imgae

4. Identify the problem (situation) and solution in the sonnet

Problem – She hates the richness of all the other seasons
Solution – She loves winter because it is the longest season and the monotonous feeling of winter

5. Define the words austere, immaculate, and sheaves
Austere – severe
Immaculate – impeccably clean, spotless
Sheaves – A bundle of grain

6. Identify four sound devices in the poem (assonance, alliteration, consonance)

Assonance –
Alliteration - silver on a sky of slate
Consonance - slanted pastures fenced with stones

7. What is the speaker's attitude toward the New England winter landscape?

The speaker thinks that the New England winter is deathly and the summer is lively.


8. What view of life does the poem present?

The view of life is birth and rebirth in the summer and death in the winter.

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