Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry: Explained, QUAKER'S MEETING, by SAMUEL LOVER

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry: Explained

QUAKER'S MEETING, by                 Poet's Biography

"Quaker's Meeting" by Samuel Lover tells a humorous and somewhat suspenseful tale of a cunning Quaker who successfully outwits a bandit in disguise.

Samuel Lover was an Irish songwriter, composer, novelist, and a painter of portraits. He was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1797 and died in 1868. Throughout his life, Lover produced a number of Irish songs, of which several, including "The Angel's Whisper", "Molly Bawn", and "The Four-leaved Shamrock", achieved great popularity. He also wrote novels, the most popular of which is "Rory O'More" (in its first version a ballad), which he also adapted for the stage. "Quaker's Meeting" is an example of his poetic and storytelling prowess, filled with humor and wit. It likely reflects the social environment of his time and the interesting interactions between different societal and religious groups.

Theme Analysis: The major theme in "Quaker's Meeting" is cunningness and wit. The Quaker in the poem is portrayed as a crafty and shrewd character who, despite appearing to be at a disadvantage, manages to outwit the robber. The theme of deception also features prominently in the poem, with the supposed damsel in distress turning out to be a robber and the seemingly naive Quaker turning out to be more cunning than he appears.

Poetic Devices:

Repetition: The phrase "Heigho! yea thee and nay thee" is repeated at the end of each stanza, giving the poem a rhythmic quality and reinforcing its light-hearted, playful tone.

Rhyme: The poem employs an AABBCC rhyme scheme which enhances its musicality and helps the narrative flow smoothly.

Irony: The irony lies in the apparent identities of the characters and their actual intentions. The lady, who initially appears to be innocent and in need of help, is a thief. The Quaker, who appears simple and is taken advantage of, turns out to be far cleverer than he lets on.

Characterization: Lover uses dialogue effectively to develop his characters. The Quaker's speech reflects his calm, cunning nature, while the robber's language is more brash and direct, giving us insight into their personalities.

Humor: Lover uses the element of surprise to infuse humor into the narrative. The unexpected reveal of the woman's true identity and the Quaker's cunning reversal of fortunes add a humorous twist to the poem. The language used also contributes to the poem's comic effect.

Dialect: Similar to "Paddy O'Rafther," Lover uses the Quaker's unique form of English, known as "Plain Speech" ("thee" and "thou" instead of "you") to add a touch of authenticity to the character and make him more vivid and believable.

Imagery: The poem creates vivid mental images that bring the narrative to life. For example, the description of the Quaker's broad hat and drab clothes, the damsel's 'beamy blink', and the act of the damsel ripping up the saddle-bow all serve to paint a colorful picture of the unfolding events.

In conclusion, "Quaker's Meeting" is a delightful poem that tells a witty, humorous story while shedding light on the social interactions of the time. It makes effective use of poetic devices to create a vivid, engaging narrative

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