# I learned a poem called "The Road not Taken." Can you find alliteration, rhyme and rhythm? What is perspective of this poem?

Aug 19, 2016

alliteration: wanted wear
rhyme: a-b-a-a-b
rhythm: ' ! ' ! ' ' ! ' !
perspective: an old person reflecting on where they are now and how things might have been different

#### Explanation:

For any unfamiliar with this poem, the complete form can be found here
$\textcolor{g r e e n}{\text{~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~}}$

Alliteration
There is relatively little alliteration (use of the same sound or letter at the beginning of adjacent words) in The Road Not Taken. The only example I found was a the end of the middle line of the second verse: "wanted wear".

Rhyme
The rhyme or rhyme pattern is based on the endings of lines in each verse. Using the first verse as a prototype, the lines end with:
$\textcolor{red}{\text{wood") - color(blue)("both") - color(red)("stood") - color(red)("could") - color(blue)("growth}}$
which gives a rhyme pattern: $\textcolor{red}{a} - \textcolor{b l u e}{b} - \textcolor{red}{a} - \textcolor{red}{a} - \textcolor{b l u e}{b}$
Checking this against the remaining verses show that this pattern continues for all verses in the poem.

Rhythm
Personally I find rhythm the most difficult to extract in an analytic manner (although, with a good poem, it's form is usually intuitive).

Approaching this analytically:
[1] Break the lines of the poem down into a consistent number of syllables per line. In The Path Not Taken most lines contain 9 syllables, but some "fudging" is necessary to be able to read the poem with a consistent pattern of 9 syllables per line.
For example, line 1 of verse one, we need to read:
$\textcolor{w h i t e}{\text{XX}}$diverged (di-verg-ed) as di-verg'd
and in line 1 of verse 2
$\textcolor{w h i t e}{\text{XX}}$the comma must be read as a pause (a very weak beat).

[2]Working from the "syllablified" lines, work out a pattern of "strong beats" (the syllables that you really "punch" when you are reading) and "weak beats"
Using ! under strong beat syllables and ' under weak beat syllables, here is what I cam up with for the first two lines of the first verse:

Two ROADS di-VERG'D in a YEL-low WOOD,
'$\textcolor{w h i t e}{\text{xxx}}$!$\textcolor{w h i t e}{\text{xxxxx}}$ '$\textcolor{w h i t e}{\text{xx}}$!$\textcolor{w h i t e}{\text{xxxx}}$ '$\textcolor{w h i t e}{\text{x}}$ '$\textcolor{w h i t e}{\text{x}}$!$\textcolor{w h i t e}{\text{xx}}$ '$\textcolor{w h i t e}{\text{xxx}}$ !

And SOR-ry I could not TRA-vel BOTH
'$\textcolor{w h i t e}{\text{xxx}}$!$\textcolor{w h i t e}{\text{xxx}}$ '$\textcolor{w h i t e}{\text{x}}$!$\textcolor{w h i t e}{\text{x}}$ '$\textcolor{w h i t e}{\text{xxx}}$ '$\textcolor{w h i t e}{\text{xx}}$!$\textcolor{w h i t e}{\text{xxx}}$ '$\textcolor{w h i t e}{\text{xx}}$ !

In fact this rhythm pattern:
$\textcolor{w h i t e}{\text{XX}}$weak-strong-weak-strong-weak-weak-strong-weak-strong
can be applied (with some care) to every line of this poem.