Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry: Explained

THE TRUANTS, by                 Poet's Biography

"The Truants" is a poem written by Richard Harris Barham, an English cleric and writer. The poem was first published in 1840 as part of his collection "The Ingoldsby Legends," which consists of humorous and satirical poems. The poem tells the story of two schoolboys who decide to skip school and go on a fishing trip, only to encounter various mishaps along the way.

Context:

The historical context of the poem is 19th century England, a time when school attendance became mandatory for children. The poem reflects Barham's interest in humor and satire, while also providing insight into the social and cultural trends of the time.

Content:

The poem consists of several stanzas, each containing four lines. The speaker tells the story of two schoolboys who decide to skip school and go on a fishing trip. Along the way, they encounter various mishaps and challenges, including a bull, a swarm of bees, and a storm. The poem is structured around the central narrative of the boys' adventure, which involves various humorous and suspenseful incidents. The poem is humorous and satirical, with the various characters engaging in witty banter and wordplay.

Form:

The poem is written in a simple ballad form, with a clear rhyme scheme and meter. The use of rhyme and meter contributes to the poem's musical quality and its impact, while the use of repetition and other rhetorical devices adds to its humorous and satirical atmosphere.

Poetic Elements:

The poem makes use of various poetic techniques and devices, including rhyme, meter, repetition, and imagery. The use of rhyme and meter contributes to the poem's musical quality and its impact, while the use of repetition and imagery adds to its humorous and satirical atmosphere. The poem also makes use of personification, with the bull given human-like qualities.

Summary:

"The Truants" can be seen as a valuable contribution to the genre of humorous and satirical poetry, using language and poetic techniques to create a witty and entertaining atmosphere. The poem reflects Barham's skill as a writer and his interest in humor and satire, while also providing insight into the social and cultural trends of the 19th century. The poem's simple ballad form and clever wordplay contribute to its impact and make it an enjoyable read.


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