[Milton-L] regularizing & meter

James Rovira jamesrovira at gmail.com
Fri Mar 19 00:47:58 EDT 2010


Thanks again, Michael, for your responses.  I suppose I am too much of a
nominalist regarding meter -- there is no meter that transcends the text, no
iambs that take two beats in a single foot, no meter that isn't really
pronounced, so that once we pronounce a line, we make some kind of judgment
about its meter.  I think all of this proceeds from an unnecessary demand
for regularity.  Milton's brief explanation of his prosody seems to indicate
that he listened to his lines -- he may establish iambic pentameter as a
baseline and then vary for effect, but those variations shouldn't be called
iambic pentameter.  it's not necessarily a failure if the lines "work," I
think.  I also think, however, there is plenty of room for variations in the
strength of a beat and for the length of time that vowel sounds take to
pronounce, even in English.

I appreciate the instructive discussion and contributions from all
involved.

Jim R
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