[Milton-L] Meter

Rose Williams rwill627 at cox.net
Thu Feb 26 09:29:56 EST 2004


One reason for working with meters (whether or not one memorizes) is to
observe the rhythms of language.  English fits very naturally into iambic
(one short or unstressed syllable, then one long or stressed). Iambic
pentameter (five of these) makes an English line that can be read as though
one were simply speaking:
"When I see birches bend to left and right" Frost
"I might be driven to sell your love for peace" Millay
Trochaic meter
(such as Never, never .....) and
"Only reapers reaping early
In among the bearded barley" Tennyson
brings a special quality because it is not quite usual, as do
such anapestic marvels as
"like the leaves of the forest when summer is green" Byron

I know, I know --- meter is a discipline that might totally fracture the
free spirit of
our young geniuses. It might also make them think about language for a bit.
I have never REQUIRED my students to memorize any passage which I had not
first
memorized myself because I thought it worth recalling at a moment's notice.
Such selections, of course, are not terribly long, and make particular
points.
When they ELECT passages to memorize, they are on their own, and I
certainly don't memorize them also -- I listen to them while holding the
book.
Rose Williams

>
>
> "Walthall, Hugh W CONTRACTOR WRAIR-Wash DC" wrote:
> >
> >
> > Never never never never never.   -Shakespeare
> >
>
> Iambic?
>
> Carrol
>
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