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Word Count: 1,114
Home Burial is a long narrative poem told in Robert Frosts conversational very free blank verse This means that the general structure of the lines is unrhymed iambic pentameter -- the same meter that much of Shakespeares work is written in -- which classically consists of five pairs of alternately stressed syllables with the stress on the second syllable of each pair a pure example would be the second line of this poem BeFORE she SAW him SHE was STARing DOWN However there are few lines in Frosts poem which are metrically this pure for the simple reason that people really dont talk like that and Frost is attempting to give the impression of speech within the constraints of poetry The meter is important in this poem because it gives Home Burial a formalism and at the same time a straining away from that formalism that is echoed in the poem itself In this case the poem revolves around the formalism that surrounds our public display of grief versus the ragged and anguished healing process that must be done from within The unnamed couple in this poem have lost a baby to death The mother grieves openly and it could be said that she has never recovered from this loss bereaved parents never forget but most people in this position gradually work out a way of dealing with their grief and go on with their lives This the young mother cannot do The baby is buried in the family graveyard which is visible from an upstairs window of their house Every time the mother passes the window her grief wells up anew But another emotion wells up as well -- anger and bitterness at her husband which is at first unexplained Our first intimation of the rift between them shows up on line ten when she cowered beneath him and immediately after that in lines twelve to thirteen she refused him any help with the
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