Tag: Sidelight

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We have talked about and played with both syllabic and accentual verse. Our next step is to put them together in accentual-syllabic verse. To do that, we have to put our best foot forward. So, today’s sidelight looks at rhythmic feet. The rhythmic foot varies depending on the number of syllables in the foot and […]

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English is a naturally stressed language. Some words and syllables are more important than others and receive stress. Others are less important and are not stressed. When it comes to meter and metrical forms, English most naturally trends towards the forms that are accentual, meaning measuring by stresses. In Anglo-Saxon, sometimes called Old English, the […]

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As has been mentioned earlier in our series, poetry tends to be filled with mnemonic devices. They are the check digits that ensure proper memorization and recitation. For most of history, the epic poem was the equivalent of the blockbuster action movie filled with explosions and gore. Of the mnemonic devices used to keep those […]

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Most formal or traditional poetry is written in metered verse. So, what exactly is being measured, and how? The answer to that tends to depend on the language and time period. For a simplified set of examples, the ancient forms of the languages Greek and Sanskrit had a different idea of long and short vowels […]

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Here in the West, and especially in ’Murica, people not steeped in a deep knowledge of poetry often think of poetry, “I know it when I hear or read it!” Parts of what they expect are the mnemonic devices and forms that have developed over the centuries that have worked well in the English language. […]

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