19 pages 38 minutes read

Edgar Allan Poe

The Haunted Palace

Fiction | Poem | Adult | Published in 1839

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Literary Devices

Meter and Form

The form of the poem is six stanzas, each eight lines long (called octaves), with a rhyme scheme that is loosely ABABCDCD in each stanza, meaning that there is a rhythmic, sing-song quality that suits its use as a ballad in “The Fall of the House of Usher.” Poe does not uniformly use this rhyme scheme throughout the poem, as the first four lines of the first stanza are unrhymed. Poe also uses slant rhymes, such as “dallied” and “pallid” in Lines 13 and 15 and “river” and “forever” in Lines 45 and 47.

The meter of the poem is loosely trochaic tetrameter. Tetrameter means that many lines have four pairs of syllables, for a total of eight syllables, and many of the pairs of syllables are stressed on the first beat and unstressed on the second beat: For instance, in the first line, “In the | greenest | of our | valleys,” the first beat is stressed in each pair of syllables. Poe breaks the metrical pattern at key moments with especially short lines to draw attention to these lines, such as “It stood there!” (Line 6) and “Through the pale door” (Line 46).