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Analysis of The Moon by Robert Louis Stevenson

wikimedia image of Louis Stevenson and his family

THE POEM
“The moon has a face like the clock in the hall
She shines on thieves on the garden wall
On streets and fields and harbour quays
An d birdies asleep in the forks of the trees
The squalling cat and the squeaking mouse
The howling dog by the door of the house
The bat that lies in bed at noon
All love to be out by the light of the moon
But all the things that belong to the day
Cuddle to sleep to be out of her way
And flowers and children close their eyes
Till up in the morning the sun shall rise.”

[Other Interesting Poem To Read Is The Night Wind By Emily Bronte]

 THE POET AND PREOCCUPATION
Accoding to a wikipedia article about the poet, Robert L. Stevenson (1850-1894) was a Scottish poet and author; one among his famous book is Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. He was born in Edinburgh on the 13th of November, 1850 into the family of a Scottish lighthouse engineer named Thomas Stevenson.

The poet aims to remind us that there is time for everything on earth. Using the moon as the sample for  his illustration, the moon only appears at night with its own benefits which some living things he mentioned in the poem dimmed necessary to harness and enjoy while others deny themselves of the moon in order to attain their needed night rest.

THE DEEPER ANALYSIS
The dominant devices in the poem are sibilance and onomatopoeia (squalling, squeaking and howling in lines 5-6) but the presence of the moon was well appreciated by the poet that he compared it appearance with the use of simile to a clock on the wall whose impact are felt through the streets and fields and harbours. “Birdies asleep in the forks of trees” is a line in the poem that contained assonance in attempt to describe the tree creatures enjoyed the moon while “howling dog by the door” contained alliteration. “The bat that lies in bed at noon” is a hyperbole exaggerating the state of the bat in their comfort zones. “Flowers and children close their eyes” is not only a personification but a zeugma where the verb “close” is used for both “flowers” and “children” that share no direct relationship.

[Must Read: Analysis Of Vultures By Simon Pederek ]


This straight single verse poem has a total of 12 lines with end rhymes in couplet form. It possessed a very simple diction, a very calm tone in a relaxed mood. And the subject clearly declared the poem’s place of occurrence which is under a full moon. The moon whose face is like the “clock in the hall” is seen performing some nightly obligation such as securing the environment which the poet referred to as “shines on thieves on the garden wall”. The birdies, the squalling cat, the squeaking mouse, the howling dog, the bat are all glad to see the moon shine on them but most things active during the day_ flowers and children close their eyes sleeping to deny themselves the presence of the moon.

Enunwa Chukwudinma S aka samueldpoetry
(the Leo with wings flying)


-- All Poetic Analysis On This Website Are Listed Below:-