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The Listeners

By Walter de la Mare
by

Christian Anderson

on 21 November 2012

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Transcript of The Listeners

The Listeners By Walter de la Mare Figurative Imagery Aural Imagery: Unknown Words Diction Form Rhyming and Metaphor Sound Check {Intro Activity} Meaning The Listeners -How did they make you feel?
-How were each of the songs different?
-In one word, how would you describe each song? Overall Structure:
Ballad, Dramatic Monologue
Ballad- the poem tells a simple story in a straight-forward ways
Dramatic Monologue- The traveler is talking to the listeners The rhyming scheme of the poem is every other verse, making them couplets. The use of rhyming couplets ties the ballad together as their are no stanzas, and also gives the poem an eerily and easy flow. The diction in the poem emphasizes the feelings of alienation and restlessness within it as the writer chooses darker and negative connotative words, Imagery:The poem is set in a forest, where a man is waiting for someone or a group of people. This is shown by the constant description of 'Flora' and also from the narration as the tale of the lone Traveler waiting for something or someone is told. Through out the story The use of consonance ties in with the rhyming scheme. as it usually is the last couple letters that are similar sounding between the every other line. Thronging: a multitude of people crowded
Turret: a small tower, usually one forming part of a larger structure
Champed: to bite upon or grind, Song 3: Anybody out there- Civil Twilight Song 2: Fairytale Lullaby- BBC Song 1: Lollipop-Chrodettes “Is there anybody there?” said the Traveler,
Knocking on the moonlit door;
And his horse in the silence champed the grasses
Of the forest’s ferny floor:
And a bird flew up out of the turret.
Above the Traveler’s head:
And he smote upon the door again a second time;
“Is there anybody there?” he said.
But no one descended to the Traveler,
No head from the leaf fringed sill Leaned over and looked into his grey eyes ,
Where he stood perplexed and still. But only a host of phantom listeners
That dwelt in the lone house then Stood listening in the quiet of the moonlight
To that voice of the world of men:
Stood thronging the faint moonbeams on the dark stair that goes down to the empty hall, in an air stirred and shaken
By the lonely Traveler’s call.
And he felt in his ear their strangeness,
Their stillness answering his cry,
While his horse moved, cropping the dark turf,
‘Neath the starred and leafy sky;
For he suddenly smote on the door, even
Louder, and lifted his head-
“Tell them I came, and no one answered,
that I kept my word,” he said. Never the least stir made the listeners,
Though every word he spake
Fell echoing through the shadowiness of the still house From the one man left awake:
Ay, they heard his foot upon stirrup, And the sound of iron on stone,
And how the silence surged softly backwards
When the plunging hoofs were gone Ideas, Themes, Storylines: There will be always be the "Listeners" in one's life, but very few who take action.

In the poem, the Traveller is frantically trying to get a message across and have someone hear him, but is ignored by the "phantom listeners". Also, while he waits at the door, he knows people are on the other side and can hear him, but they refuse to come out and approach him. Instead they just listen. Voice, Tone, Mood:

Speaker: A man (the Traveler)

Tone: Somer- for he is alone, with no one to talk to, maybe even betrayal for he was told someone would be there in the line, "Tell them I came, and no one answered. That I kept my word"
Uneasy- he is alone in a forest unprotected, with no one who cares that he is there Mood: Alienation, Restlessness, Anxious, Exhaustion

This poem has each of these tones as the man is standing alone outside waiting to be acknowledged but getting nothing in return, giving the feeling of alienation as shown "by the Traveler's call Theme:
Internal Structure:
There are no stanzas, all in one entire grouping, though the rhyming is every other line in couplets. This helps the poem because it keeps the serious tone and theme still. Also, you can see that the last line does not rhyme. This gives the ending of the poem a more abrupt conclusion, adding to the tone and mood of the poem.
Poems use a lot of colons, semi colons, and commas, giving the poem a slow and dramatic rhythm. This also helps with the mood of the poem, providing it with a more tense and dramatic effect. Meaning
Walter Del la Mare (1873-1956)
The author of many volumes of short stories, novels, and poetry. One of his most endearingly popular poems was coincidentally The Listeners. He was born in Charlton, Kent in London, and was educated at St. Paul's Cathedral Choir School. He struggled many years with financial problems, until he received his Civil List pension which enabled him to concentrate on his writing. Walter was awarded the Carnegie Medal. Which is a british literary award that recognizes new children and young adult books. Author Information: Form: Metaphor:
The entire poem is a metaphor, as the forest is the signifies being in a uncomfortable situation where you are alone. Form: Consonance and Apostrophe Atmosphere:
The atmosphere of the poem is very dark and mysterious, as described by the narration. It gives the reader a sense of excitement as they follow along with the troubles that Traveler is is facing. The use of apostrophe within the poem is evident as the man is talking to someone who is absent OR not really there at all. This is hinted in the poem that the man is standing there speaking to himself, as he is in forest but at the same time knocking on the door of a house where there obviously a paved road. "And the sound of iron on stone.." Discussion Questions 1. Do you think the rhyming scheme helps with the mood of the poem, or takes away from it?
2. Do you think the theme is effectively demonstrated throughout the poem?
3. Does now knowing all the words, change your initial perspective of the poem? Ex.
The words 'dwelt' and 'strangeness' add to the alienated and restless feel of the Ballad because they are words that are associated with feelings of discomfort.

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