Virginia Lucas Poetry Scrapbook

Formal Description of "A Name in the Sand"

    The poem “A Name in the Sand” by Hannah F. Gould has a rhyme scheme that is almost like a song when read aloud. The rhyme scheme, broken up by each stanza, is aaabcccb dddefffe ggghiiih. The rhymes move in triplets, as the three words at the end of each line contain the same sound, but are then separated by a totally different one. “Wrought, thought, caught” each end lines one through three. The next line ends in the word “name” that does not fit the previous rhyming triplet (wrought, thought, caught) or the rhyming triplet preceding it (sands, hands, stands).

    The sound of the poem is quite soft and delicate like that of the ocean and the sand on the beach. The words flow nicely using soft words like ‘passed’ and ‘trace,’ and the letters that make up the words at the end of each line are soft and allow the poem to move quickly and smoothly. The word choice allows for a smooth reading, with words with large drawn-out sounds, including ‘A’ and  ‘O’. For example “strand, hand, sand” all have the short vowel ‘a’ that is heavily stressed. When looking for the other types of stressed vowels there is “alone,” “wrote” and “shore.”
    There is also a lot of alliteration happening within the lines. Alliteration can be found in all three stanzas. In line six, “lingering look” uses the letter ‘L’ as the initial sound of both words. In line thirteen, “sandy shore,” the letter ‘S’ is used as the first letter for both words. Moving down to line fifteen, “me…my,” we see the letter ‘M,’ and in line eighteen, “his hands”, ‘H’ is used alliteratively.  

    The meter of the poem is iambic tetrameter for the six rhyming triplets. After each rhyming triplet there is one line of iambic trimeter. There are a number of enjambments. The first eight lines are broken up into two separate sentences made up of four lines each. After the first eight lines, the next sixteen are broken up into two sentences with a total of eight lines each. The poem is broken up into three stanzas of syllabic verse. The rhyming triplets in each stanza have eight syllables per line and the singular line preceding each group of triplets has a syllable count of six.