‘cetacean’ poem by peter reading

  1. What is the effect of beginning stanzas 4, 5, 6 and 7 with ‘Then’ or ‘And then’? How typical do you think this is of poetry? Why might the poet do this?
  2. What is the effect of the very short line 3 of stanza 4? Why might the poet do this?
  3. What is the effect of the repetition of the verb ‘arched’ in stanza 5?
  4. Why might the poet make stanza 5 the shortest of the whole poem?
Answered question
  1. These stanzas are typical in that they demonstrate continuity in thoughts and the events recorded. The poet has done this to state that his thoughts are not broken.
  2. It stresses upon the length that is longer than the vessel.
  3. It stresses upon the type of movement.
  4. It is because after the full length is gone under the water, the short dorsal fin stays above. The word “diminutive” is highly suggestive about this intention of the poet.

Normally, such extended questions are not answered. However, it is answered viewing the short space.

Answered question