Tarantella Poetry Commentary

The poem Tarantella is structured into two stanzas. The stanzas are unequal in length as the first stanza is longer than the second. The poem also consists of a chorus which is repeated 3 times. The chorus in the poem is “Do you remember an Inn? Miranda? Do you remember an Inn? ”. Tarantella is about the memories of a specific Inn; “Do you remember an Inn, Miranda? ”. The poem is set during war which is shown by the imagery used. The poem describes the bad experience of staying at an inn during war because of the “straw for a bedding” and the “wine that tasted of tar”.
The tone of the poem is energetic which is created by the quick speed of the rhythm. The irregular lines of the poem are long or short which helps to create the quick speed. . The short lines also contribute towards the speed. In the poem, “And the cheers and the jeers of the young muleteers” is repeated as part of the technique used. Other techniques used in the poem include couplets and onomatopoeia. The poem has a fast rhythm. The effect this creates is an upbeat and energetic tone.
The rhythm is created by the flow of the poem and the rhyming of the different lengths of lines. Tarantella can also be danced to as it is also a lively folk dance in 6/8 time. There are theories about the dance and one of those is that the dance is a cure for spider bites. Another theory is that when one is bitten by a spider, the victim would have the urge to dance uncontrollably. The poem rhymes irregularly in couplets or sometimes in the lines. An example of the poem rhyming in lines is “the fleas that tease in the High Pyrenees. As Tarantella is a dance, the music of the dance also goes along with the poem. Tarantella has two metaphors which help set the imagery. The last stanza shows that the poem is set during war. This is shown by the two metaphors that are in the last stanza. The metaphor “Aragon a torrent at the door” shows that Aragon is “at the door” and ready for war. The other metaphor “Waterfall like Doom” is about the bombs that are falling, and flowing like a waterfall creating a “boom”.

In the poem “the feet of the dead to the ground” describes the victims of the war. The victim’s feet are on the ground meaning that they have fallen and died. The poem is alerting people that are going to experience war, about how it feels. This is shown by some of the negativity about the experience, as well as some of the good memories of it. Some examples include, “Straw for a bedding”, “wine that tasted of tar” “cheers and jeers”. The person that would be alerting people would have experienced war themselves.

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