Poetic form is an integral aspect of all poems within this set; ‘Red, Red Rose’ is no different. This poem follows the formal conventions of traditional ballads and folksong. It is tightly controlled by:
The ballad stanza is used in verses one and two. Each comprising of:
This rhyme scheme alters slightly in verses three and four with the poet adopting an alternating abab rhyme scheme using masculine end rhyme (
while/mile). This subtle change in rhythm and rhyme brings the poem to an emphatic climax.
Red, Red Rose is first and foremost a song, and, as such, makes use of techniques designed to have aural appeal. In traditional Scottish balladry, the following techniques are used to make the song easier for the listener to commit to memory:
Such techniques are referred to as mnemonic devices and prove highly effective here.
Further generic markers of folksong can be found within Red, Red Rose such as references to:
These simplistic techniques create universal symbols that it is easy for any reader to relate to emotionally.