'The Listeners' Analysis

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‘The Listeners’ by Walter De La Mare is a narrative poem. It tells us about a traveller that comes to a house and knocks but nobody answers. He tries knocking a few more times but leaves. There are 36 lines in this poem and every other word rhymes. We know that the poem is set in a dark forest as the word ‘forest’ is used at the start of the poem. There are quite a few ancient words which are used throughout the poem. We do not use these words now, so we know that the poem is set a long time ago. The poet also describes a ‘turret’ which is a small bird tower. Only houses that are very old have these near their front door so the poet is suggesting that this poem is from a long time ago and the house is old. The Traveller has come from a…show more content…
There is still no reply and the reader could begin to suggest that no-one is at home. Finally the Traveller knocks a final time, even harder ‘He suddenly smote on the door, even louder’ we know he doesn’t want to wait anymore. He has knocked three times so decides to leave and says ‘Tell them I came, and no one answered, that I kept my word’. There was a reason why he had come but we are not told what the reason is. He also says that he kept his word. He is an honest person by keeping his word, and very patient for waiting there. The Traveller travels on a horse. He does not use any other type of transport. ‘And his horse in the silence…’ The Traveller is probably an independent man and likes things simple so decides to make his own way to this place without anyone. The poet has created suspense in the poem by using soft and harsh words. Words such as softly, silence, quiet, still and shadowiness are called sibilance. Sibilance is used to create a soft sound for silence. The poet uses archaic language for example ‘For he suddenly smote on the door’ we do not use this word now. This word is used to make the poem seem like it was set a long time ago. ‘Smote’ is also a biblical word which means it has been used in the bible. This suggests that the person that is using it is a good person with good deeds. The poet has included a good use of language in the poem. ‘Forest ferny floors’ and ‘silence surged softly’.
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