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Thread: Poetic Meter in Canterbury Tales

  1. #1
    In the fog Charles Darnay's Avatar
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    Poetic Meter in Canterbury Tales

    I've been trying to determine the dominant meter throughout Canterbury Tales - and am having some trouble with it. I know there are people on this site far better than me when it comes to metrical analyzation and I was wondering if anyone can help me.

    Does Canterbury Tales have a dominant meter and if so, what is it?

    After looking at the prolouge, I thought that it was Iambic Pentamiter but now I am not so sure.
    I wrote a poem on a leaf and it blew away...

  2. #2
    in angulo cum libro Petrarch's Love's Avatar
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    Hi Charles Darnay--The Canterbury Tales is indeed written in iambic pentameter, that is one thing that has helped scholars reconstruct the Middle English pronunciation. Do you have a reliable guide to that pronunciation in your copy of the Tales? That can really help to hearing the regularity of the meter. Here's a website that has links to a number of audio clips which can help you to hear the meter better, and are also just a lot of fun to listen to: http://academics.vmi.edu/english/audio/audio_index.html
    There's also a link from that site to an online tutorial for Middle English pronunciation on Harvard's Chaucer site which might be helpful (both these sites have a ton of info on Chaucer and his language if you care to poke around a bit. If you have access to a university library (or possibly a very good public library) they'll probably have a complete recording of the Tales you could listen to as well. Have fun with the Canterbury Tales.

    "In rime sparse il suono/ di quei sospiri ond' io nudriva 'l core/ in sul mio primo giovenile errore"~ Francesco Petrarca
    "Follies and nonsense, whims and inconsistencies do divert me, I own, and I laugh at them whenever I can."~ Jane Austen

  3. #3
    In the fog Charles Darnay's Avatar
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    thanks so much for your help
    I wrote a poem on a leaf and it blew away...

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    Decasyllabic couplets

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