Analysis of Reply to the Above, by F.W.F.
James Clerk Maxwell 1831 (Edinburgh, Scotland) – 1879 (Cambridge, England)
"Te quoque vatem dicunt pastores."—VIRGIL.
O Maxwell, if by reason’s strength
And studying of Babbage,
You have transformed yourself at length
Into a mental cabbage;
And if I've proved myself a lark
At morn and blushing even,
By soaring like a music-spark
Thro’ sapphire fields of Heaven,
Our diverse fates are now reversed
By strange metempsychosis,
Into a cabbage I have burst
And scorn poetic posies;
But you a lark with twinkling wings
O’er violet-banks are soaring;
Your voice the dewy rose-cloud rings
While Statics me are boring.
Yet cabbage as I will—on earth
My roots I cannot anchor,
For at my mathematic birth
Was also born a canker!
It soon will gnaw my roots away-—
But when I weigh a chœnix
I’ll freely soar to realms of day
An emerald cabbage-Phœnix.
Then talk not of the Poll to me,
I hate, detest, and scorn it;
I am as earnest as a bee,
But savage as a hornet.
And if they pluck me I will drown
Each pedant in a sonnet,
And of their pluckings make a crown
With golden plumes upon it.
So if my cabbage growth be slow
I'll try to be a carrot,
Or still remain a lark—but know
I'll not be Poll, or Parrot.
Then if I fall beneath the mark,
I’ll shout with accent savage,
"It is a lark to be a lark,
’Tis green to be a cabbage"
|Scheme||X AXABCXCX DEDEEFEF GHGHIEIE JKJKLKLK MNMNCBCB|
|Metre||1111110 1111101 0100110 11010111 0101010 0111101 1101010 11010101 11001110 100111101 111 01010111 010101 110111001 11001110 11010111 111110 11011111 1111010 1110101 1101010 11111101 1111011 11011111 11010111 11110111 1101011 11110101 1101010 01111111 110010 0111101 1101011 11110111 1111010 11010111 1111110 11110101 1110110 11011101 1111010|
|Closest metre||Iambic tetrameter|
|Stanza Lengths||1, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8|
|Letters per line (avg)||23|
|Words per line (avg)||6|
|Letters per stanza (avg)||159|
|Words per stanza (avg)||39|
Submitted on May 13, 2011
- 1:12 min read
- 72 Views
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"Reply to the Above, by F.W.F." Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 20 Mar. 2023. <https://www.poetry.com/poem-analysis/20068/reply-to-the-above%2C-by-f.w.f.>.
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