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America experienced profound changes during the mid 1800s New technologies and ideas helped the nation grow while the Civil War ripped the nation apart During this tumultuous period two great American writers captured their ideas in poetry Their poems give us insight into the time period as well as universal insight about life Although polar opposites in personality Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman created similar poetry Dickinsons Hope is a Thing with Feathers and Whitmans O Captain My Captain share many qualities Hope is a Thing with Feathers and O Captain My Captain contain a similar scansion Both have a predominantly iambic meter The unaccented beat followed by the accented beat creates a rising meter Each poem also contains notable exceptions to the iambic meter In Hope is a Thing with Feathers the first line Hope is the thing contains a trochee followed by an iamb O Captain My Captain contains even more exceptions to the iambic meter Line 5 But O heart heart heart consists of an imperfect root followed by two spondees or feet with two equally accented syllables Both Line 6 O the bleeding drops of red and line 8 Fallen cold and dead have trochaic meters with an imperfect root at the end The remainder of the poem has an iambic meter until the last two lines Walk the deck my Captain lies Fallen cold and dead The iambic meter makes the poem rise until the end where the switch to trochaic meter helps emphasize the conclusion of the poem Along with the irregularities in meter neither poem has a regular line length or rhyming pattern Dickinsons poem contains alternating tetrameters and trimeters with the exception of the first line which contains 7 syllables The poem contains some irregular rhyme heard in line 5 rhymes with bird in line 7 and Sea in line 10 rhymes with Me in line 12 Whitmans poem contains even more irregular line lengths
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