It is for poems like this one, ‘Poem by Eeyore,’ and the major stories/books based on the characters that Milne is best-remembered. His son was famously the inspiration for the character of Christopher Robin and his stuffed animals, the inspiration for the other characters.
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Summary of Poem by Eeyore
Throughout the text, Milne is successfully able to convey the intricacies of speech through uncertain, halting diction. Eeyore is not entirely sure what’s going on, how to explain it, how to write about it, or what exactly to say. This is seen through the use of dashes, short lines, and the parenthesis which contain Eeyore’s commentary on how he thinks the poem is progressing.
You can read the full poem here.
Structure of Poem by Eeyore
‘Poem by Eeyore’ by A.A. Milne is a thirty-seven line poem that is contained within a single stanza of text. The lines of this piece are noted as having been written by the character Eeyore from Milne’s famous Winnie-the-Pooh stories and poems. It is from Eeyore’s perspective that the speaker is talking.
The lines vary in length, some reaching out to ten words while many others are only one or two words long. There is no single pattern of rhyme that unites them although there are many instances of rhyme, both half and full rhyme. Upon glancing at the text one of the first, striking features of the poem is the use of parentheses. This clever technique always the poet, Milne, in insert some of Eeyore’s thoughts into the text. These are all commentary on the rhymes he’s choosing. They read as though Eeyore had one chance to get the rhymes right and sometimes it worked while other times, such as at the end of the poem, it didn’t.
Literary Devices in Poem by Eeyore
Milne makes use of several poetic techniques in ‘Poem by Eeyore’. These include but are not limited to alliteration, enjambment, and repetition. The first of these, alliteration, occurs when words are used in succession, or at least appear close together, and begin with the same sound. For example, “going” and “goes” in lines five and six as well as “begin” and “But” in lines twenty-three and twenty-four.
Another important technique commonly used in poetry is enjambment. It occurs when a line is cut off before its natural stopping point. Enjambment forces a reader down to the next line, and the next, quickly. One has to move forward in order to comfortably resolve a phrase or sentence. There are numerous examples of this technique at play within ‘Poem by Eeyore”. For instance, the transition between lines six and seven as well as that between ten and eleven. There are also different uses of punctuation in these lines, ranging from dashes to periods and parentheses.
Repetition is the use and reuse of a specific technique, word, tone, or phrase within a poem. In this particular piece, a reader can find the use and reuse of questions, to the listener as well as rhetorical questions the speaker, Eeyore, is asking himself.
Analysis of Poem by Eeyore
Christopher Robin is going.
At least I think he is.
Those two bothers will have to rhyme with each other
The fact is this is more difficult
In the first lines of ‘Poem for Eeyore,’ the speaker, Eeyore, begins by stating very simple that Christopher Robin is “going”. This is an unclear description and one that is not expanded on in the next lines. Plus, Eeyore’s uncertainty about the whole situation makes it harder to understand and all the more amusing because of it. He thinks Christopher is going somewhere but he isn’t sure, nor is he sure of the destination or if “we care”.
The most notable features of this poem are the halting speech that Milne uses and the brief asides that come into the poem within parenthesis. These bring in Eeyore’s thoughts about how the poem is going and whether the rhymes are working or not. This is quite a funny way to write a poem. They relate to one another while attempting to connect the bits and pieces of text. For example “I haven’t got a rhyme for bother. Bother.” Which appears in line fourteen. The “two bothers,” Eeyore adds in the next line, will have “to rhyme with each other”.
than I thought,
I ought –
(Very good indeed)
(Very awkward this, it keeps going wrong.)
Well, anyhow, we send
In the second half of the poem, Eeyore gets distracted from the post of the poem, saying goodbye to Christopher Robin and continues his commentary about writing. He finds it more difficult than he expected but still takes pleasure when the rhymes do come together. At one point, while using alliteration, he considers starting over but then decides it’ll be easier just to plow through and then stop. This is characteristic of Eeyore whose generally gloomy outlook is his defining characteristic.
Milne repeats the pronoun “I” in the next lines as Eeyore tries to get his words together and say good-bye to Christopher properly. He never quite manages it but does wish him well and since “Our love” at the end of the poem.