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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: April ::
Re: Coleridge Explanation of Verse
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0863  Tuesday, 17 April 2001

From:           Peter Groves <
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Date:           Tuesday, 17 Apr 2001 17:35:03 +1000
Subject: 12.0857 Re: Coleridge Explanation of Verse
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0857 Re: Coleridge Explanation of Verse

> >Just a footnote to the Coleridge poem 'Metrical Feet': the version
> >recently quoted is incomplete. The full text, which I found in John
> >Lennard's excellent *The Poetry Handbook* (Oxford, 1996) --
> should be
> >recommended reading in all English departments -- is as follows:

Lennard's book may have many good points, but his discussion of metre
itself is not among them.  He remarks, for example, that "'rigidly'
would normally be pronounced as a dactyl, but I have scanned it as three
consecutive stresses, so that the line [from Walcott's "Nearing Forty"]
begins with two consecutive spondees: RIGID- | LY ME- |tred EAR-| ly RIS
| ing RAIN" (19)"; on the same page he scans the phrase "steadier
elation" as a sequence of six (!!) stressed syllables.  How this kind or
arbitrary nonsense can be supposed to help the students it is aimed at I
do not understand.

Peter Groves

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