By Robert Browning (1812-1889)
A Study Guide
Study Guide Prepared by Michael J. Cummings...© 2011
Type of Work
.......The "Song From Pippa Passes" is a short lyric poem sung by a character in a verse play by Robert Browning. This play, or dramatic poem, is entitled Pippa Passes. Its story centers on a fourteen-year-old girl, Pippa, who works in a silk mill. On her only day off in the year, she wanders through the town of Asolo singing happy songs that change for the better the lives of those who hear them.
The year’s at the spring,Theme
.......Pippa's little song says that everything is as it should be in the world of man and nature and that everything is full of promise. Moreover, God is watching over His creation. Therefore, the song says in presenting the theme, all is right with the world.
.......The eight-line poem has a neat little structure. First, all the lines contain five syllables. Second, the subject of each clause is a noun that unites with the verb is to form a contraction (year's, day's, Morning's, etc.). Third, a prepositional phrase ends each line except the fourth. Fourth, the first three lines center on time; the second three, on nature; and the last two, on God and His dominion. The balanced rhyme scheme is abcd, abcd. All the rhymes are masculine, consisting of a single syllable at the end of one line rhyming with a single syllable at the end of another line. (In feminine rhyme, two syllables rhyme, as in in singing and ringing, flower and power, and razzle and dazzle.)
.......The language of the poem is simple and easy to understand. There are no wasted words, and the meaning is clear..Study Questions and Writing Topics