“Meeting at Night” – Imagery and Musicality

Blog: Choose one of the poems and make some observations about the effects of the imagery and musicality (meter, assonance, rhyme, etc.)

I found this poem to be harder than “The Forge”, but I was able to pull some things out of it. The first use of musicality I noticed is the word “the” in the first three lines. Each “and” pauses the line, making the reader wait to hear what the other half of the line is. There is “the gray sea and the long black land”, “And the yellow half-moon”, and finally “And the startled little waves”. Each of these seem to set a nice setting for the poem, showing where it takes place. Lines 3 and 4 make a perfect rhyme, with “leap” and “sleep”. Next, on line 6, I heard the “sh” sound in the words “quench” and “slushy”, which both let the reader to hear what is happening. In the following line, I somehow sense serenity, with the soft “s” sounds, such as “sea-scented”. This helps one imagine a “mile of warm sea-scented beach”. The next line feels much faster, using many unstressed syllables to do so. When I read the line, I made it, stressed, unstressed five times, stressed, and the last two stressed. This speed in this line bring excitement to the poem, helping the reader feel what the character does about being so close to his destination. Something else I found is on line 9, where it says, “quick sharp scratch” helps me hear the man at his lover’s door. Lines 9 and 10 have a perfect rhyme with, “scratch” and “match”, connect the two lines in a sense that allows the reader to hear a knock at a door, and see a match being lit in a pitch-black room. Lastly, on the last line, I made out, unstressed thrice, stressed, unstressed twice, stressed, and the last two stressed.

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