Analysis of The Average Man

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



His hat looks worn, and his coat-sleeves shine,
As I see him step from his ’bus at nine;
His boots are pieced and his tie home-made,
And his trousers patched where the edge was frayed,
And his face is lined by the stress of life
Where a man must fight for his bairns an wife.
“Who’s that?” I ask, as his face I scan.
And the answer comes—“O, an average man.”
He has not got notes, he has not got gold,
But his homely lunch, in his handbag old;
And day by day, as the seasons go,
He follows his duty to and fro,
And shadows follow him everywhere—
Grim want, and worry, and dread are there,
For life is not on a gorgeous plan—
Far, far from it—to the average man.

The floods, the banks, and the curtailed screw,
The weekly bills, and the grasping Jew,
The servant’s wage and the doctor’s fee,
And the needful change by the breezy sea,
And the pent-up hours at the desk, which mean
A man’s brain changed to a mere machine,
And a wife’s tired eyes and the children wan,
All press like lead on the average man.

When the blood is up ’tis a simple thing
To charge where the bombs and the bullets sing.
But he is worthy a higher place
Who fronts his woes with a smiling face,
For the noblest strife in our life to-day
Is the humdrum fight in the humdrum way.
O, wealth and genius may lead the van,
But the hero is often an average man.


Scheme AABBCCDDEEFFGGDD HHIIJJXD KKLLMMDD
Poetic Form
Metre 111101111 1111111111 111101111 0110110111 0111110111 1011111111 111111111 00101111001 1111111111 111010111 011110101 110110101 0110110 110100111 111110101 1111101001 010100011 010100101 010100101 0010110101 00111010111 011110101 00110100101 1111101001 1011110101 1110100101 111100101 111110101 10101010111 10110011 110101101 101011011001
Closest metre Iambic pentameter
Characters 1,337
Words 265
Sentences 10
Stanzas 3
Stanza Lengths 16, 8, 8
Lines Amount 32
Letters per line (avg) 32
Words per line (avg) 8
Letters per stanza (avg) 336
Words per stanza (avg) 87
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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on March 05, 2023

1:19 min read
63

George Essex Evans

George Essex Evans was an Australian poet. more…

All George Essex Evans poems | George Essex Evans Books

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