Hood's "November" (also entitled "No") is a lyric poem centering on the
fog and gloom of a November day in London. He completed it in 1844. The
copy on this page appeared in the third volume of The Works of Thomas
Hood, published in London by Edward Moxon and Company.
theme of the poem is the bleakness of a November day in London. A heavy
fogand perhaps a bit of smog from chimney smokeobscures everything: the
sun, the moon, the steeples, the roadways, the parks, even the faces of
people on the streets.
of the fog, travel ceases. Consequently, there are no mail deliveries and
no ships arriving with news from foreign countries. Moreover, visitors
stay away from the inner rings of Regent's Park and Hyde Park, where elegant
people tend to congregate. And, because autumn has stripped the leaves
from the trees, killed the flowers and fruits, and banished birds, bees,
and butterflies, there is nothing left to cheer those venturing through
data provided by Lonely Planet, Weather2Travel, and Frommers
(Web sites), London has two hours of sunshine on an average November
day. Rain falls on twenty-one days.
Text of the Poem
No sunno moon!
No mornno noon
No dawnno duskno proper time of day
No skyno earthly view
No distance looking blue...............................5
No roadno streetno "t'other side the way"
No end to any Row
No indications where the Crescents go
No top to any steeple
No recognitions of familiar people..................................10
No courtesies for showing 'em
No knowing 'em!
No traveling at allno locomotion
No inkling of the wayno notion
"No go"by land or ocean.............................15
No mailno post
No news from any foreign coast
No parkno ringno afternoon gentility
No companyno nobility
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,..................20
No comfortable feel in any member
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds,
t'other side the way:
The other side of the street.
Row: Street with
the word Row in its name. Examples of such streets in London are
Savile Row, Paternoster Row, Ironmonger Row, Church Row, Rochester Row,
and Rotten Row.
Series of linked buildings formed into the shape of an arc or a crescent.
An example is Lansdowne
Crescent in London.
No inkling of the way:
No directions, signposts, etc., indicating how to go from one place to
gathering place in London's Hyde Park or Regency Park. People would meet
there to socialize or exchange news.
though the poem focuses on the dreariness of a November day, its tone is
playful and lighthearted because of its exaggerations, its repetitions,
and its extended pun: a series of lines beginning with no and a
final one-word line NOvember.
poem contains rhyming couplets in lines 1-2, 4-5, 7-8, 9-10, 11-12, 16-17,
and 18-19. In addition, Line 3 rhymes with line 6, line 20 with 22, and
line 21 with 24. A rhyming triplet occurs in lines 16, 17, and 18.
is the repetition of a consonant sound. It occurs frequently in the poem
to enhance its appeal to the ear.
(line 1) No
proper time of day (line 3) No
bees (line 22)
is the repetition of a word or group of words at the beginning of a phrase,
clause, or sentence. Anaphora occurs throughout "November" with the repetition
of no at the beginning of each line, as well as within some lines.
is an exaggeration. Hood uses it effectively in the poem to add a humorous
Questions and Writing Topics
your own poem about a month of the year. The tone, verse format, rhyme
scheme, etc., are up to you.
additional examples of alliteration besides those mentioned above.
does London have so many foggy days?
Write an essay about London's "killer fog" of 1952, in which thousands
of people died. Use Internet and library research. Click
here for a good place to begin your research.