Analysis of A Commonplace Song

George Essex Evans 1863 (London) – 1909 (Toowoomba)

Ebbs and flows the restless river
In the city street
Where the great nerve centres quiver,
Where the pulses beat.
Where the human waves are driving
Drifts a woman’s face,
White and worn by ceaseless striving
With the commonplace.
Want has written strange inscriptions
On the brow and cheek;
Pain could weave some weird descriptions
If the lips would speak;
Toil has touched the lines of beauty
And, the curves of grace.
Comeliness is good, but duty
Rules the commonplace.

Thick-soled shoes and shabby bonnet,
Dingy cotton gloves,
Old turned dress with darns upon it
(Not what woman loves),
Gaunt umbrella, green with weather—
One must self efface
To keep home and bairns together
In the commonplace.

Late and early, never shirking
Tub and scrub and broom,
Late at night with needle working
In the dwelling-room;
Yet when week’s receipts are thinner
Grocers’ bills to face—
Tenpence means three children’s dinner
In the commonplace!

Poets sing their wild Iambics—
Love and War and Gods—
Let us sing of humble women
Fighting fearful odds,
Not where steel and bullets rattle
And the squadrons race,
But the grim unending battle
With the commonplace.

Now they shriek the creeds are dying!
Faith is of the air!
Wailfully their lyres are sighing
Sonnets of despair!
All the scheme of things evolving
Somehow out of Space!
Darken then, instead of solving,
This grim commonplace!

Rogues may win success and glory,
Beauty pride of fame,
Statesmen make a nation’s story,
Poets deathless name.
But the patient woman Toiler
What is hers to win?
On the one hand—Want, the Spoiler,
On the other—Sin!

Ye who swear and strut and bluster,
So-called manly pride,
When you answer at the muster
On the other side,
Will the courage you have vaunted
Stand you in such grace
As weak hands that fought undaunted
With the commonplace?

Noblest worth works ever humbly,
Oftest is unseen,
Half the world is toiling dumbly
In the gray routine.
Sing, O Poet of the Morrow!
Cheer the weary face
Where brave women moil and sorrow
In the commonplace!

Scheme ababcdcDefefgdgd xhxhadaD ciciadaD djxjkdkD clclcdcd gmgmanan aoaopdpD gqkqrdrD
Poetic Form
Metre 10101010 00101 10111010 10101 10101110 1011 10111010 1010 11101010 10101 11111010 10111 11101110 00111 111110 1010 11101010 10101 11111011 11101 10101110 11101 11101010 0010 10101010 10101 11111010 00101 11101110 10111 1111010 0010 101111 10101 11111010 10101 11101010 00101 10101010 1010 11101110 11101 111110 10101 10111010 1111 10101110 1110 11101010 10111 10101010 1011 1010101 11011 10111010 10101 11101010 11101 11101010 10101 10101110 11011 11111010 1010 10111010 1101 1011101 00101 11101010 10101 11101010 0010
Closest metre Iambic trimeter
Characters 1,984
Words 345
Sentences 20
Stanzas 8
Stanza Lengths 16, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8
Lines Amount 72
Letters per line (avg) 22
Words per line (avg) 5
Letters per stanza (avg) 202
Words per stanza (avg) 43
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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:43 min read

George Essex Evans

George Essex Evans was an Australian poet. more…

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