© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Passing of the Year

The Passing of the Year


by Robert Service

Analysis: Speaker

We imagine the speaker of this poem as a kind of melodramatic actor. We can just see this guy – a little tubby, maybe a goatee, some heavy stage makeup, knee-pants, and a ruffly shirt. He's a real ham, and he overdoes everything. He warbles out his lines, waves his hands in the air, and squawks and yells. He's the really dramatic type, making a big deal out of everything, on stage and off. He loves to be the center of attention. See all the "O"s in this poem? Those are his favorites. They give him a chance to really howl. When he booms out a line like "O Maiden! why that bitter tear," he sounds like the whole weight of the world is on him. All the other actors can do is roll their eyes and choke back a giggle.

You know what, though? We think this poem needs a speaker like this – someone who can really live and breathe the drama, the emotion, who lays it on thick every time and catches up in the excitement of it all.

But that's just our opinion. How do you picture the speaker?

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...