Analysis of "A Nation's Strength"
By Ralph Waldo Emerson
"A nation's strength" is a poem written by Ralph Waldo Emerson in 1847. I can see that it is a poem from a line of similarities that this text has to/with a poem. A poem is characterized by the composition, the use of strong verbs and precise nouns, the use of rhythm, repetitions, alliteration, line breaks and the use of metaphors, similes or personification. Poems will often rhyme but they will not sacrifice meaning for rhyme. A poem has a focused purpose (paints a picture, recreates a feeling, tells a story, captures a moment, etc).
In this poem the author uses vivid imagery and metaphors to convince the reader that the strength of a nation, is not in its wealth or military powers, but in its people.
I would like to start off by explaining the structural composition of this poem.
The form of this poem is a bit of a mix. It has both enjambments and full stops. The enjambment (stanza 1, verse 1, 2) is when one sentence is divided into two verses. A full stop (stanza 2, vers 1) is when there is a definite break/period.
It has 6 stanzas and 4 verses in each stanza. The poem has an ab ab rhyme and an 8-6-8-6 rhythm. The ab ab rhyme tells us that the last words in the sentences will rhyme in pairs, every second line. For example the first stanza rhymes; high-defy and strong-throng. The 8-6-8-6 rhythm explains the number of syllables in each verse. For example stanza 1, vers 1, 2; what makes a nation's pillars high= 8 syllables, and its foundations strong? = 6 syllables.
In the next part of my analysis I will be taking you though the speaker, the tone and mood and the title of the poem.
The speaker of this poem is a strong, high positioned person. Someone who has a lot of influence on the people and someone whom the people trusts and listens to. It is a poem that gives hope and a sense of national...