Eng1020E September 20, 2011
Scansion (recording how we say words)
1. Note the rhyme scheme – to find structure.
2. Count the number of syllables in each line.
3. Locate/mark stressed syllables in multi-syllabic words. (´ = stressed syllable) (˘ =
unstressed syllable – often conjunctions and small/unimportant words)
4. Mark unstressed syllables.
5. Look for pattern/look for iambic feet. (Meter – rhythmic patterns in a poem.)
o Iambic Foot – ˘´
o Trochaic Foot – ´ ˘
o Spondaic Foot – ´´ (very important)
o Pyrrhic Foot – ˘ ˘
*There are 5 feet per line.
*Iambic Pentameter is important, as it helps the reader to understand and see words
emphasized by the author, that help to communicate the meaning of the poem and subjects in
Terms: Look up in text.
Versification, Diction, Metaphor, Simile, etc.
End-Stopped Line – the line finishes with a period
Enjambed Line – the line continues on to the next line (there is no period at the end)
The speaker is speaking to a younger man. (Assumed to be male because the author is
Shakespeare – a male.)
The poem is about death and aging.
Uses seasonal imagery – particularly autumn.
The speaker is aware of his aging and readily admits it. However, with humour he claims
that he’s old, but not that old. He prepares the young boy for leaving him.
The yellow leaf is a symbol of fall, of loss of vitality, and of winter coming. The bough
shaking against the cold could connote his old bones, impending and fighting death.
The first quatr