Narrative poems have been around for hundreds of years and they all
tell a story. Narrative poems were spoken out loud and not written
down (usually because most people were illiterate), they were mainly
told at night as it would add to a more mysterious atmosphere. We
believe they have been around for hundreds of years, maybe even longer
as none were written down until today.
The titles, 'The Listeners' and 'The Highwayman', in their self's are
mysteries. The reader is immediately curious as to why the poem is
named 'The Listeners' and the same for 'The Highwayman'. Both titles
are similar in that they name something, but it's like a mini
description of that something. Many questions arise in the reader's
mind, and similar questions for both titles. Who are the listeners?
Who is the highwayman? What is their role in the story, what makes
them so important? These kinds of titles give you instant curiosity
and along with curiosity a title like 'The Listeners' arouses a
After the initial mystery of the titles, the even more mysterious
characters enter. In The Listeners, a traveller is introduced to us.
The anonymous identity of the traveller further captivates the reader.
The way he is called 'the traveller' and not by name gives the
impression he is a stranger who is probably new to the area. As a
traveller we imagine the many voyages of which he has partaken have
made him tired, worn out, and weary. We expect he just travels from
place to place, with nothing but his horse's company. The reader is
immediately questioning the Traveller's motives. ...
... middle of paper ...
... these kinds or lines are assured to give tension and as we all know,
the main part to a horror story is tension, will it happen won't it
happen all you can do is read on. In the final verses we learn that
the ghosts of Bess and the Highwayman still meet in the moonlight,
this gives the reader an eerie sensation and a feeling of fright, but
also a romantic image in their minds. Again signs of classic tradition
Alfred Noyes and Walter De La Mare successfully achieved in creating
two mysterious and haunting atmospheres in 'The Highwayman' and 'The
Listeners' using some very different and some very similar techniques
which gave the poems a good and energetic feel. Proving the fact that
yes narrative poetry is more that some interesting tales as they hold
feelings and deep concept of real life, but with a twist.
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