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Word Count: 1,377
Cargoes is one of the most well-respected of John Masefields poems It is a very fascinating poem that describes different kinds of ships Masefield had loved to see and write about ships when he took his first and only overseas voyage as a teenager This trip left indestructible marks of his character and work He use ingenious words on this poem and describe detailedly of the ships moving through water This is a short lyric poem consisting of three five line stanzas that follow an unusual abcdb rhyme scheme The first second and fifth lines of every stanza are best read with three feet to a line trimeter Third and fourth lines of all of the stanzas have two feet dimeter The poems rhythm at the beginning of the first third and fifth lines of each stanza mostly follows a form called the paeon Paeon is a foot with one accented syllable followed by three unaccented syllables The rhythm of each stanza is very similar The ship in the first stanza is a quinquireme an ancient ship with five banks of oars Masefields ship is being rowed from distant Ophir Ophir is an ancient country of uncertain location mentioned in the Old Testament The gold was brought from Ophir to Solomon this particular quinquireme is bringing its cargo to Solomon The author didnt really reference Nineveh clearly Perhaps the ship was built in Nineveh rowed to Ophir then on to its destination in Palestine The traditional cargo of Ophirian gold is replaced by an exotic catalog of luxury items from Nineveh or from other places along the route It is uncertain whether Masefield is referring here to a particular historical voyage or even a particular period of ancient biblical history It seems just as likely that these words laden with history have been collected for their ability to create the desired sound and meter as well as the desired
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