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Sound and Sense

Sound and Sense

by Alexander Pope

Movement: Echo

Symbol Analysis

The poem also sounds and moves like an echo. Some of the sounds actually echo through the lines (like "Eccho" → "blows" → "flows"). The poem is also echo-like because each line is always a complete phrase or thought. The lines in this poem are never enjambed, but are end-stopped – that is, they are complete and end with some type of punctuation. This keeps each line discrete, while the rhyme brings the couplet together into one unit – a kind of sound and echo, or dancing partnership of sorts. The idea of an echo becomes an extended metaphor for the way that the lines work: they are echoes of each other. Here are some sounds that seem to echo:

  • Line 4: Eccho
  • Line 5: blows
  • Line 6: flows
  • Line 8: hoarse, Torrent, roar
  • Line 9: throw
  • Line 10: labours, slow
  • Line 12: flies, skims
  • Line 14: fall, rise

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