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by W.H. Auden

Sound Check

Read this poem aloud. What do you hear?

As we discussed in the "Form and Meter" section on "Lullaby," this poem rhymes and has a set meter, but it consistently deviates from the pattern. The poem may even seem a little bit off to you: we expect certain rhymes and rhythms, and then – psych! – we're denied them. It's almost like Auden is playing a song for us to listen to, but then keeps skipping to another song before the first one is over. It can be a little maddening to us; we want our rhymes to be regular! We want our rhythm to be stable! We want to hear the whole song! Still, part of the joy of "Lullaby" is this push and pull between our expectations and the poem itself.

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