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Introduction to Poetry (Week 5)

by: Jared Fink

Introduction to Poetry (Week 5) ENGL 11300

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Jared Fink

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About this Document

These notes cover Rhyme and Rhythm, the different types of meter (Iambic, Trochaic, Spondaic, Anapestic, Dactylic, etc.) and of line breaks.
Introduction to Poetry
James Swafford
Class Notes
poetry, history, english, Rhythm, Rhyme, meter, Iambic, Pentameter
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jared Fink on Saturday March 5, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ENGL 11300 at Ithaca College taught by James Swafford in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 12 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Poetry in Foreign Language at Ithaca College.


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Date Created: 03/05/16
Jared Fink 2/24/2016 Introduction to Poetry Week 5 Notes Rhythm (and Meter)  RHYTHM: the actual movement and variation of the accents/stresses as one’s voice speaks a poem  METER: the more abstract system, the ideal pattern that underlies the rhythm o We can analyze these matters best through SCANSION— marking up a poem to indicate what one’s voice is doing. Some poems are NOT relying on a metrical system for their rhythm! See Whitman’s “Song of Myself” (p. 682):  The poem has rhythm… o What creates it?  It’s not about meter, it’s about free expression and going with the flow o He may have planned his poem, but definitely didn’t use iambic pentameter (I mean, who needs it?) Other poems DO reveal a metrical scheme: Scan Tennyson’s lines (p. 631): Break, break, break On thy cold gray stones, O Sea! And I would that my tongue could utter The thoughts that arise in me. What sound effects does that scansion call attention to? What patterns, if any, start to reveal themselves? Syllabic Meter:  Poet determines a line by pre-determined number of syllables: In my craft or sullen art Exercised in the still night When only moon rages And the loves lie abed . . . . – Dylan Thomas Fu-ru-ke ya Ka-wa-zu to-bi-ko-mu Mi-zu no o-to . . . . - Bashō Strong-Stress (Accentual) Meter:  Poet determines a line by a pre-determined number of heavy stresses Star light, Star bright, First star I see tonight, I wish I may, I wish I might, Have the wish I wish tonight. Syllable-Stress (Accentual-Syllabic) Meter:  Poet determines a line by a pre-determined number of repeated units or “feet”: Iamb Trochee U / / u Anapest Dactyl U u / / u u  Finger bone (Long bone, short-short) ( Variant feet: spondee: / / ) ( Pyrrhic: u u ) Characterize lines in the syllable-stress metrical system by naming basic foot + line length COMMON LINE LENGTHS: Monometer (one foot per line) Dimeter (two feet per line) Trimeter (three feet) Tetrameter (four feet) Pentameter (five feet) Hexameter (six feet) SCAN THIS: So word by word, and line by line, The dead man touched me from the past. What is the basic foot that the poet employs? How many of these feet per line? In short: There’s a LOT of variation (definitely starts off iambic tetrameter) Toomer, “Reapers” (p. 898): It is likely that Jean Toomer is writing “free verse” here? If not, what metrical system is he using to define his poetic line and to create a rhythm for the poem? SCAN LINE 4: And start their silent swinging, one by one What basic foot does the line rely on? (Iambic pentameter) Are his other lines as regular in rhythm as this one? ** Besides variations in rhythm, what other sound effects do you hear in this poem?**


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