Ode: Intimations of Immortality - Style


The poem uses an irregular form of the Pindaric ode in 11 stanzas. The lengths of the lines and of the stanzas vary throughout the text, and the poem begins with an iambic meter. The irregularities increase throughout the poem and Stanza IX lacks a regular form before being replaced with a march-like meter in the final two stanzas. The poem also contains multiple enjambments and there is a use of an ABAB rhyme scheme that gives the poem a singsong quality. By the end of the poem, the rhymes start to become as irregular in a similar way to the meter, and the irregular Stanza IX closes with an iambic couplet. The purpose of the change in rhythm, rhyme, and style is to match the emotions expressed in the poem as it develops from idea to idea. The narration of the poem is in the style of an interior monologue, and there are many aspects of the poem that connects it to Coleridge's style of poetry called "Conversation poems", especially the poem's reliance on a one sided discussion that expects a response that never comes. There is also a more traditional original of the discussion style of the poem, as many of the prophetic aspects of the poem are related to the Old Testament of the Bible. Additionally, the reflective and questioning aspects are similar to the Psalms and the works of Saint Augustine, and the ode contains what is reminiscent of Hebrew prayer.

In terms of genre, the poem is an ode, which makes it a poem that is both prayer and contains a celebration of its subject. However, this celebration is mixed with questioning and this hinders the continuity of the poem. The poem is also related to the elegy in that it mourns the loss of childhood vision, and the title page of the 1807 edition emphasises the influence of Virgil's Eclogue 4. Wordsworth's use of the elegy, in his poems including the "Lucy" poems, parts of The Excursion, and others, focus on individuals that protect themselves from a sense of loss by turning to nature or time. He also rejects any kind of fantasy that would take him away from reality while accepting both death and the loss of his own abilities to time while mourning over the loss. However, the elegy is traditionally a private poem while Wordsworth's ode is more public in nature. The poem is also related to the genre of apocalyptic writing in that it focuses on what is seen or the lack of sight. Such poems emphasise the optical sense and were common to many poems written by the Romantic poets, including his own poem The Ruined Cottage, Coleridge's Dejection: An Ode and Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Percy Bysshe Shelley's Hymn to Intellectual Beauty and The Zucca.

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