The rhythm of the waves

It has been a while since the class was assigned to read something from our poetry anthology. The two most interesting topics for poetry arose in the readings: song and sound. When reading, James Joyce’s poem “All day I hear” seemed to be strangely appealing to me.

The reason is that the lines appear to provide an eye rime. Furthermore, the imagery from the actual poem stuck out to me. The line about

“noise of waters

Making Moan (lines 1-2)”

just brings to me an image where the water is so lazy, that it makes a barely-audible noise. Much like a person who is waking up, this poem feels as if it’s lazy. To add to the author’s laziness, the sea-bird is sad, alone and the author is simply depressed. The diction used within the poem lends to this feeling. The imagery is a monotone imagery, filled with melancholy. Everything is sort-of dragging, like the wind, water, and the noise.


I like the way that the rimes stand out the way they do. Like the water that is described in the poem, I feel that the rimes rock back and forth, with the assonance present in every other line. The alliteration that is present throughout most of the poem is hidden, as only every other line rimes.

Despite liking this poem, there was a few concepts that I did not understand upon first review. For example, the euphony. I am not entirely sure if there is some euphony in the poem, but there probably is. That is why the sound of the waves stayed true in my mind throughout the whole read.


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