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Introduction to poetry

Rhythm and Metre

Jade Kennedy

on 11 February 2013

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Transcript of Introduction to poetry

Introduction To Poetry Rhythm and Metre What is Rhythm and Metre? Rhythm- “occurs whenever there is a regular repetition of similar events which are divided from each other by recognizably different events”.
Two main examples are:
1. Duple rhythm: one-two, one-two, one-two
2. Triple rhythms: one-two-three, one-two-three, one-two-three The stressed or unstressed syllables within the beat depends on whether it is a rising or falling rhythm:
a) Rising duple: 'one-two, one-two';
b) Falling duple: 'one-two, one-two';
c) Rising triple: 'one-two-three, one-two-three';
d) Falling triple: 'one-two-three, one-two-three'; Analysing poetic metre:
a) Rising duple= 'iambic' rhythm
b) Falling duple= 'trochaic' rhythm
c) Rising triple= 'anapaestic' rhythm
d) Falling triple= 'dactylic' rhythm Putting this into metrical form Metre- measuring the way rhythmic units are combined together, how many feet are per each line.
a)1 foot= monometer
b) 2 feet= dimeter
c) 3 feet= trimeter
d) 4 feet= tetrameter
e) 5 feet= Pentameter
f) 6 feet= hexameter
g) 7 feet= heptameter
h) 8 feet= octameter John Welford states in his article- that 'the voice' is one of a sequence of elegies (funeral song) that Hardy (1840-1928) wrote between 1912 and 1913 in response to his wife's death. What is it's effects? We agree that the first stanza is a song, because of its musical tone of Dactylic tetrameter. However, this disappears towards the end where it becomes Iambic pentameter as Welford describes:

“The earlier rhythm has disappeared completely, and there is no music here at all. We move suddenly from the voice, that the poet has realized is probably only imagined, to the actions of himself. He “falters forward” against the northerly wind as he moves away from the spot”. "If the eponymous voice is simply a ruse of the north wind as it rushes through the bereaved poet‘s troubled consciousness, if it is simply a figment of his autumnal imagination, then there is a cosmic irony at his expense: namely, that the wind which can withstand the movement of time (and even symbolize it) imitates the voice of the woman who could not. If – on the other hand – the wind, rather than mimic her voice, has transported it to him from beyond the grave, then there is no ventriloquism, but a supernatural turn of events, a departure which calls for the dramatic difference of the final quatrain". The effects The effects of these different types of meters is very important in creating the meaning of the poem. The triple metre especially the dactylic tetrameter gives off a “light-hearted rocking effect” or a song-like/ nursery rhyme effect. The five-beat metres or the iambic pentameter gives the effect of “natural speech” and an “impression of an individual speaking voice”. The Poems of Thomas Hardy by Peter Cash Conclusion So to conclude, this poem starts off as a regular falling triple or dactylic tetrameter meter then to the erratic number of syllables in the 4th stanza to create this chaotic effect intensifying fragility in human experience. As Shelia Berger explains that throughout Hardy's poems this rhythm and meter is common using “the image of a swaying and fluid movement” at the beginning, with its “monosyllabic abruptness the imminence of chaos” (P. 9) towards the end. This poem shows fantasy versus reality, the dactylic tetrameter enhancing that dream-like state, waltzing with the one he loves then his mind facing the reality of her not being there, the loneliness of the human mind expands. David Perkins- Hardy and the Poetry of Isolation says how “the haunting grip of past experience takes the speaker out of the present into a personal world of memory” P.150, this poem creates us to travel into his world and relate to his emotions as with most of Hardy's work. This is only portrayed because of the effect from the meter, choosing the meter that would create the best effect to the reader, “he wanted human experience to be etched on the surface”. Bibliography Berger, S. (1990). Thomas Hardy and visual structures. New York: New York university press. Cash, P. (1994). The poems of Thomas Hardy. Leicester: The English association. Furniss, T & Bath, M. (2007). Reading Poetry, an introduction. Harlow: Pearson education limited. Gerard, A. (1963). Hardy: a collection of critical essays. USA: Prentice-Hall inc. Sonneck, O. (2000). The music Quarterly. Oxford: Oxford university press.
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