The Lancashire Wail.
Title:The Lancashire Wail
Publication:The Bradford Observer
Date:Wednesday, January 29, 1863
Keywords:family, morality, poverty, religion
This poem begins with two sestet stanzas but then presents much longer line groupings. Similarly, although almost every line end connects to another rhyme as such, and there is a general tendency towards alternating rhymes, in truth there is no set rhyme scheme, and the poem retains a conversational seriousness because of this. The line lengths are very static, with almost all of them consisting of iambic tetrameter.
The poem is expansive in its geographical imagery and seeks to set the troubles in Lancashire in their global context. The language is formal and quite religious in its imagery, but the beginning of the piece emerges from a localised auditory effect. This relates the poem to others in the collection which feature ‘cry’, ‘appeal’, ‘song’, or ‘petition’ in their titles, suggesting that there is a general effort with Lancashire Cotton Famine poetry to provide a voice for the suffering people of the region within the context of newspaper publication.