Powerful Alleteration: Uses Of Sound, Rhythm, And

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Powerful Alliteration: Uses of Sound, Rhythm, and Image to Convey Sensory Detail in an Abbreviated Version of Robert Southey’s “The Cataract of Ladore” Robert Southey was a young,late-18th, early-19th century, idealist who questioned the ethics of the church and Christianity. While at Oxford studying for the ministry, he wrote a revolutionary paper condemning corporal punishment. Oxford officials found his article to be proof that in “the world that forces of anarchy and irreligion [have] secured a foothold ”(“Robert”). Southey was ultimately expelled but this did not stop his pursuit of writing controversial literature. In Southey’s poem “The Cataract of Ladore”, he fuses a forceful and anarchic perspective of the prodigious Ladore River in Great Brittan with a rhyming poem for children. Much like the course of the actual river, Southey’s articulates the same rhythm, powerful, turbulent movement, through the use of gerunds and onomatopoeia, and striking images to replicate the same up roaring sounds and unchecked pulse of the Ladore. The rhythm of “The Cataracts of Ladore” creates an euphonic experience. The poem inspired composer Gerhard Richter to write a solo instrumental named after the poem with the same powerful, captivation of the song’s rhythm (Score Exchange). The poem presents a cascade of motion and sound down the stream, “Swelling and sweeping"(Southey line 37), and “showering and springing"(Southey line 38). This brings the poem alive, as if the reader is the one coming down the mountain. Moving from calming dactylic diameters, “Here it comes sparkling” (Southey line 22), and “there it lies darkling”(Southey line 23) to the progressively faster-paced trimeter, “And sounding and bounding and rounding…”(Southey line 54), and finally launching into a swift-flowing tetrameter, “gleaming and streaming and steaming and beaming”(Southey line 62), and

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