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By Nigel Fabb

The 1st e-book to supply a common linguistic idea of poetic meter.

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Meter in Poetry : a New Theory

The 1st e-book to provide a common linguistic concept of poetic meter.

Extra info for Meter in Poetry : a New Theory

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We quote three such lines in (49). 9 We have previously seen rules in which a ternary group is permitted to be binary. Here we must require that the last group constructed on Gridline 1 is binary, to ensure that there are exactly five asterisks on this Gridline. 30 (49) A theory of poetic meter a. Irresponsible, indolent reviewers, ∗) ∗ ∗ )∗ ∗) ∗ ∗) (∗ ∗ ∗) ∗ ∗) ∗ ∗ ∗ ∗) ∗ ∗) ∗( 0⇐ 1⇐ 2⇒ 3 b. Thro’ this metrification of Catullus, )∗ ∗) ∗ ∗)∗ ∗ ) ∗ ∗) ∗ ∗)∗ 0⇐ c. Horticultural art, or half-coquette-like )∗ ∗) ∗ ∗)∗ ∗) ∗ ∗) ∗ ∗) ∗ 0⇐ In each of these lines, the third syllable is occupied by a maximum, the stressed syllable of a polysyllabic word.

Thus, in perhaps the best known accentual-syllabic meter, the iambic pentameter, each line is said to consist of ten syllables (plus or minus one) with the stressed syllables in even-numbered positions (a description to be made more precise in what follows). 1 The four basic strict meters As explained in Chapter 1, the grouping of asterisks is always the result of parentheses insertion, and this is implemented primarily by iterative rules that are determined by the setting of the five parameters in (20) of the previous chapter, repeated here as (1).

39) Arma vir´ umque can´ o: Tro:i´ ae: qui: pr´ı:mus ab o´ri:s According to this tradition the metrical grid assigned to a line determines how the line is read. This is not the generally accepted way of reading English poetry, nor of poetry in many other languages. This is readily seen once one considers the performance of well-known iambic pentameter lines such those below. (40) Painting thy outward walls so costly gay? William Shakespeare, Sonnet 146 Lawrence, of virtuous father virtuous son, John Milton, ‘Lawrence of Virtuous Father’ Milton!

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