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Thread: Is this in iambic pentameter or not?

  1. #16
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    You didn't understand me, Whifflingpin
    I meant - classic dactyl verse, formed by doubling the first half-verse of hexameter and consisting of 2 1/2 + 2 1/2 dactyls

  2. #17
    rat in a strange garret Whifflingpin's Avatar
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    "You didn't understand me, Whifflingpin
    I meant - classic dactyl verse, formed by doubling the first half-verse of hexameter and consisting of 2 1/2 + 2 1/2 dactyls"

    I still don't. I can't imagine what a 1/2 dactyl might be.
    Please could you give an example?
    Voices mysterious far and near,
    Sound of the wind and sound of the sea,
    Are calling and whispering in my ear,
    Whifflingpin! Why stayest thou here?

  3. #18
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    Only in Russian, sorry - read as translit

    Slyshu umolknuvshy zvuk bozhestvennoy ellinskoi rechi;
    Starzca velikovo ten' chuyu smushennoy dushoy (Pushkin "On Iliad translation")

    -vv-vv-//-vv-vv- - smth like this, though it's the second line.

    It's an elegic di-verse - Distichon or δίστιχον έλεγειακόν (I don't know it in Eng)

  4. #19
    Bibliophile JBI's Avatar
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    You mean something like this Elegiac form used by Charles G. D. Roberts in Tantramar Revisited?

    Summers and summers have come, and gone with the flight of the swallow;
    Sunshine and thunder have been, storm, and winter, and frost;
    Many and many a sorrow has all but died from remembrance,
    Many a dream of joy fall'n in the shadow of pain.
    Hands of chance and change have marred, or moulded, or broken,
    Busy with spirit or flesh, all I most have adored;
    Even the bosom of Earth is strewn with heavier shadows, --
    Only in these green hills, aslant to the sea, no change!
    Here where the road that has climbed from the inland valleys and woodlands,
    Dips from the hill-tops down, straight to the base of the hills, --
    Here, from my vantage-ground, I can see the scattering houses,
    Stained with time, set warm in orchards, meadows, and wheat,
    Dotting the broad bright slopes outspread to southward and eastward,
    Wind-swept all day long, blown by the south-east wind.


    Something like that anyway - I think that is the closest we can get to Elegiac metre in English (though say what you will about the poem).

    I believe the classical is like this:
    - U | - U | - U | - U | - u u | - -
    - U | - U | - || - u u | - u u | -

  5. #20
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    hexameter +
    pentameter = elegiac di-verse

  6. #21
    rat in a strange garret Whifflingpin's Avatar
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    Shud-see: "hexameter + pentameter = elegiac di-verse"

    Ah, got it now! Your original comment was that in classical verse a pentameters was only used in conjunction with a hexameter, making an elegiac distich, whereas, in English verse, pentameters are generally used in their own right. For the reason, no doubt, as JBI's example has shown, that the elegiac couplet is an inelegant form in English.

    For those that want summary, there is a shortish and readable descripion of classical metre at http://www.aoidoi.org/articles/meter/intro.pdf
    Voices mysterious far and near,
    Sound of the wind and sound of the sea,
    Are calling and whispering in my ear,
    Whifflingpin! Why stayest thou here?

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