In Matthew Arnold’s developed criteria for the evaluation of poetry, he stresses the importance that a poem is “excellent rather than inferior, sound rather than unsound or half-sound, true rather than untrue or half true.” Nothing could be vaguer than his use of the words “excellent” and “inferior,” and nothing more obscure in meaning than the words “sound,” “unsound,” and “true.” However, the close relation in which he uses them suggests that they are interrelated. This connection can be easily made between excellence and sound in the world of poetry: the use of sound devices and overall rhythm of a ...
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... of control over a poem once it is implemented because it limits word choice to that of certain sounds. In “Dover Beach,” Arnold maintains the usage of similar sounds and the repetition of rhymes, giving the poem a euphonic nature, but does not confine them to any set pattern throughout the poem. This structure aids in the poem in that the poem itself is a call to be unconventional, as the conventional world is failing. The choice of Arnold here to not set a regular pattern, though he is fully capable, emphasizes his dedication to presenting unwaxed truth by construction meaning through sound.
Arnold’s use of sound devices are certainly excellent in the basic terms of creating a melodious and engaging network of sounds within his poems. Furthermore, his dedication to meaningful construction through these devices shows how sound can bring a kind of truth to poetry.
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