Skunk hour by robert lowell

and Number “ Skunk Hour” 11. Map out the rhyme scheme for the first three stanzas of “ Skunk Hour.” The first three stanzas appear to have what is known as an internal, but somewhat irregular rhyme scheme. An internal rhyme pattern means that the rhyme occurs within the same line of a verse. The lines within the first three stanzas vary in length and fluidity.
Nautilus Islands hermit A
heiress still lives through winter in her Spartan cottage; B
her sheep still graze above the sea. C
Her sons a bishop. Her farmer D
is first selectman in our village, E
shes in her dotage. E
Thirsting for A
the hierarchic privacy B
of Queen Victorias century, B
she buys up all C
the eyesores facing her shore, C
and lets them fall. C
The seasons ill– A
weve lost our summer millionaire, B
who seemed to leap from an L. L. Bean C
catalogue. His nine-knot yawl D
was auctioned off to lobstermen. E
A red fox stain covers Blue Hill. A
12. Define the terms “ denotation” and “ connotation.” Identify two words from “ Skunk Hour” whose connotation gives the poem a deeper meaning. State the connotation of words you chose and why they bring a greater meaning to the poem.
The word denotation is defined as the exact meaning of a word. Connotation, on the other hand is defined as being what a particular word implies or is suggested to mean. Two words from “ Skunk Hour” whose connotation brings greater meaning to the poem are “ hermit” and “ eyesores.” Both of these words invoke very strong imagery within the poem which, in turn, is helpful in understanding the piece’s overall meaning. The word “ hermit” implies a person who is alone, a stranger to others, invisible, and perhaps odd looking. The fact that this word is used in conjunction with heiress is interesting as heiresses are not usually seen as hermits. Hermit influences the characterization of the heiress right from the very beginning of the poem. Eyesore is a word which connotes structures that are dilapidated, ugly, and vacant. It adds a lot of intrigue to the poem as the reader wonders why the heiress is buying up places that nobody else would want.
13. Define the term “ alliteration” and choose two examples of alliteration in “ Skunk Hour.” Make sure to explain how your examples fit the definition.
Alliteration is a term which means that there are two words that begin with the same consonant in a group of words or a particular line. It can also refer to similar sounding words within the same group as well. There are several examples of alliteration within “ Skunk Hour.” For example, in the fourth stanza, Lowell states “ for fall,/his fishnets filled…”(Lowell). The repetition of the “ f” and the “ f” sound in this group of words would be considered alliteration. Another example of alliteration occurs in the fifth stanza with the group of words “ love-cars. Lights turned down, /they lay together, hull to hull,”(Lowell). Similarly to the previous example, this group repeats the letter “ l” and the “ l” sound in the words “ love…lights…lay…hull…hull.” This repetition would be considered alliteration as well.
14. Define the term “ assonance” and choose two examples of assonance in “ Skunk Hour.”
Make sure to explain how your examples fit the definition.
Assonance is defined as the repetition of specific vowels or vowel sounds in a line or group of words. There are a few examples of assonance with the “ Skunk Hour.” One example occurs between the two words of “ off” and “ lobstermen” in the third stanza(Lowell). Both words share the same vowel sound in the letter “ o.” Another example occurs between “ eyesore” and “ shore” in the second stanza(Lowell). These two words also share the “ o” vowel sound.
15. Choose one other poem we have read this semester that has a similar theme to “ Skunk
Hour.” In four to six sentences, name the poem and briefly state how the two themes for each are different.
A poem that shares a similar theme to “ Skunk Hour” is the poem “ The Fish” by Elizabeth Bishop. Each of these poems have the theme of an animal or creature that is vital to the overall idea of the poem. For “ Skunk Hour,” it is the “ mother skunk”(Lowell). For “ The Fish,” it is a large fish. However, the themes do differ in terms of the purpose or use of the animal. In “ Skunk Hour,” the narrator of the poem merely appears to be observing the skunk from a distance, as if it were a mildly interesting television program. The narrator of the “ The Fish” seems to be generally fascinated and perplexed by the fish, in comparison. In fact, almost the entire poem is dedicated to an intense description of the fish as if the narrator doesn’t want to miss any detail. It appears that the purpose of the animal theme in the “ Skunk Hour” is to showcase/illustrate the darkness of the narrator to a certain extent. In “ The Fish,” the purpose of the fish is to magnifying the violence of this seemingly insignificant creature’s death as well as to point out aspects of a creature that might otherwise be ignored.
Bishop, Elizabeth . ” The Fish .” PoemHunter. Com. Web. 19 Nov. 2011. .
Lowell, Robert . ” Skunk Hour .” Poetry Foundation. 1956. Web. 19 Nov. 2011. .