General Discussion
 Topics of or related to poetry. 

eMule -> The Poetry Archive -> Forums -> General Discussion


Goto Thread: PreviousNext
Goto: Forum ListMessage ListNew TopicSearchLog In
Larkin
Posted by: ns (202.88.172.---)
Date: April 04, 2005 06:54AM

What are days for?
Days are where we live.
They come, they wake us
Time and time over.
they are to be happy in:
Where can we live but days?
Ah, solving that question
Brings the priest and the doctor
In their long coats
Running over the fields.

How would one describe the scansion of this poem? Can one say it is of Accentual meter and in tri-meter?


Re: Larkin
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.denver-03rh16rt-04rh15rt.co.dial-access.att.ne)
Date: April 04, 2005 10:13AM

Some lines are dimeter, some trimeter. Some have single-syllable endings, some double-syllable. Mixture of iambs, dactyls, anapests and trochees. Yeah, maybe a spondee in the penultimate line. The only label I could put on them would be 'short'.


Re: Larkin
Posted by: joseph r. torelli (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: April 04, 2005 05:21PM

ns:

You had to ask....

JoeT


Re: Larkin
Posted by: ns (202.88.172.---)
Date: April 06, 2005 06:03AM

You had to ask....
I know. Scansion questions mean asking for trouble.
I was wondering about the scansion of the Mark Strand poems and then I thought, "Desist!". But somehow, there is this sense of having "cracked" a poem with getting to know its scansion.


Mixture of iambs, dactyls, anapests and trochees. Yeah, maybe a spondee in the penultimate line.

In accentual meter this does not matter, does it? Only the beats matter.
Could this poem then be alternating lines of di and tri meter in accentual meter, Hugh?

WHAT are DAYS for?
DAYS are WHERE we LIVE.
They COME, they WAKE us
TIME and TIME OVer.
They ARE to be HAPpy in:
Where CAN we LIVE but DAYS?
Ah, SOLVing that QUEStion
BRINGS the PRIEST and the DOCtor
In their LONG COATS
RUNning OVer the FIELDS.

I did a search for "Accentual metre" and found out that the entire KJV is written in accentual meter. Wow.


Re: Larkin
Posted by: Desi (---.adsl.proxad.net)
Date: April 06, 2005 07:05AM

I have to ask. KJV?


Re: Larkin
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (---.nycmny83.covad.net)
Date: April 06, 2005 09:50AM

King James Version

unless you're Les, then it would be Kill Jeanpaul Violently


Re: Larkin
Posted by: Desi (---.adsl.proxad.net)
Date: April 06, 2005 09:56AM

ah. Thanks.

A question about accentual metre. Isn't it supposed to be regular stresses? Because two stresses in one line, three in the next, two in the following one, etc. at different places doesn't feel very rhytmic or poetic to me.


Re: Larkin
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.phoenix-01rh15-16rt.az.dial-access.att.net)
Date: April 06, 2005 12:07PM

Dana Gioia has an interesting essay on that subject here:

[www.danagioia.net] />
Perhaps there is a recording somewhere of Larkin speaking the piece, but I have not heard it. Without that, we can only speculate, although with the knowledge that he did intend a specific reading. I hear it this way:

What ARE days FOR? (2 feet masculine ending)
DAYS are WHERE we LIVE. (3 ft masc)
They COME, they WAKE us (2 ft feminine ending)
Time AND time OVer. (2 ft fem)
they ARE to be HAPpy insad smiley2 ft double fem)
Where CAN we LIVE but DAYS?(3 ft masc)
Ah, SOLVing that QUESTion(2 ft fem)
Brings the PRIEST and the DOCtor (2 ft fem)
In their LONG COATS (1 ft spondee masc)
Running OVer the FIELDS. (2 ft masc)

Were the original Jewish/Christian Bibles written in poetic meter in the Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, and Latin versions? Probably so, but I have not researched the subject. Doesn't psalm mean poem? I think so.


Re: Larkin
Posted by: RJAllen (193.114.111.---)
Date: April 06, 2005 02:43PM

Try reading it as two-beat sprung rhythm.


Re: Larkin
Posted by: Desi (---.adsl.proxad.net)
Date: April 06, 2005 03:53PM

as far as I can remember, the Greek new testament was written in prose, so no poetic metre. Pretty simple language actually. I found it a lot easier to read than some of the translations...

The psalms are poems.

No idea about the rest.


Re: Larkin
Posted by: ns (---.128.109.bgl.dialup.vsnl.net.in)
Date: April 07, 2005 01:21AM

I keep coming across the KJV Bible (sorry Desi) whenever I read about writing and language on the net. Often, it is recommended for use of Parallelism, and there was that one time when I read it was in accentual meter. I have never read it, so I would not know. Articles on the net say its language is beautiful.

Were the original Jewish/Christian Bibles written in poetic meter in the Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, and Latin versions?
I think they were. I don?t know.

A question about accentual metre. Isn't it supposed to be regular stresses? Because two stresses in one line, three in the next, two in the following one, etc. at different places doesn't feel very rhytmic or poetic to me.
Actually, I got interested in accentual meter because so many (modern?) poems scan like how Hugh described:
?Some lines are dimeter, some trimeter. Some have single-syllable endings, some double-syllable. Mixture of iambs, dactyls, anapests and trochees. Yeah, maybe a spondee in the penultimate line. The only label I could put on them would be 'short'.?
I would want to dismiss the poem when I came across something like that. Then I thought these poems were speaking a language different from the one I knew which was of iambs and trochees etc. So I tried to be open minded and scan these poems in the accentual metre. I must say I have not got very far.

I do not think there has to be regular stresses per line. As far as I know about the topic, the very idea of accentual metre is to reduce the poem?s rhythmic quality and make it more ?speech like.?
---
Thanks for writing out your scansion, Hugh. It is lovely to see a poem like that: its stomach cut and its entrails pulls out (evil grin). The thing is, if the poem still looks beautiful after this is done to it then it passes the test, but that is just my opinion.


Re: Larkin
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.denver-02rh15-16rt.co.dial-access.att.net)
Date: April 07, 2005 10:29AM

Introduction to Poetry - Billy Collins

I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide

or press an ear against its hive.

I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,

or walk inside the poem's room
and feel the walls for a light switch.

I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author's name on the shore.

But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.

They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.




Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
This poetry forum at emule.com powered by Phorum.