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Analysis


Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Form and Meter

Heads up Shmoopers—it's about to get technical up in here. But never fear, Shmoop has a wicked good decoder ring.A traditional elegy is written in elegiac stanzas, often in lines of iambic pentam...

Speaker

It's usually a good idea to consider a poem's speaker separately from the poet. However, in this case, there is no reason to believe the speaker is anyone other than the Roethke himself. Roethke wa...

Setting

We don't really get a clear sense of where the speaker is until the poem's final stanza, so it's pretty easy to overlook setting in this one. That said, don't overlook the setting in this one. Know...

Sound Check

Roethke is a real rhythm master and he wrote many poems following strict forms. Despite the fact that "Elegy for Jane" is written in free verse, his ability to subtly manipulate sound and tempo is...

What's Up With the Title?

The title of this one seems pretty straightforward, initially. The word "elegy" is right in the title and it lets the reader know that the poem is going to be a remembrance of someone or something...

Calling Card

Roethke was a nature lover and his poems are filled with the stuff. There are the things you'd expect: birds, trees, flowers and the like. But his poems also employ the less poeticized, less sentim...

Tough-o-Meter

This is a pretty straightforward climb, but beware—even though the altitude probably won't be a problem, it's easy to get lost in the forest of figurative language and veer off the trail.

Trivia

Tennis anyone? At Penn State, Roethke taught poetry AND coached the tennis team. (Source.) Here's a band with a song inspired by Roethke, the tennis-playing poet. (Source.) Roethke had a lot to say...

Steaminess Rating

Roethke is capable of some steaminess, but this one isn't going to fog any windows.
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