2.3 The Inchcape Rock poem Appreciation class 12

2.3 The Inchcape Rock poem Appreciation


Appreciation of the poem


* About the poem - The poem “The Inchcape Rock” is written by Robert Southey. The poem is a narrative poem also called ballad. It has total 17 stanzas of four lines each. The poet has used minimal words & a wonderful rhyme & rhythm in the poem. Picturesque description adds to the beauty of the poem. Eg- ‘green ocean’, ‘birds wheeling’, ‘light waves’ etc.

Theme - This poem is based on the 14th century story of the wicked Sir Ralph, the Rover- a sea-pirate who removed the warning bell from the Inchcape Rock installed by the Abbot of Aberbrothok. But on his return journey, in bad weather his own ship collided with the same Rock as there was no warning sound of the bell. The theme of the poem is that ‘if you dig a pit for others, you are bound to fall into it.’ There is poetic justice in the end which is always justified.

* Poetic style, devices - The rhyme scheme of this poem is aabb. Poetic devices such as Alliteration, Antithesis, Apostrophe, Inversion, Metaphor, Onomatopoeia, Personification, Repetition, are effectively used. The sonorous name of Aberbrothok comes four times. The poet has used Symbolism, to present the good & the evil in the poem. The Abbot of Aberbrothok represents the Good whereas Sir Ralph, the Rover is the symbol of Evil.

* The message of the poem is universal. It is a didactic poem -a poem with a moral "As you sow, so shall you reap" theme. If anyone does anything bad, he will be definitely punished. 

* I like the poem for its timeless relevance. It is a poem of all times. We can relate this in all time. Good versus bad is an eternal dominant conflict which doesn't seem to end in near future.

Use the help of the following points, write a poetic appreciation of the 

poem The Inchcape Rock.

• About the poem / poet and the title 

• The theme 

• Poetic style

• The language/ poetic devices used in the poem

• Special features

• Message, values, morals in the poem

• Your opinion about the poem


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