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Old 09-30-2001, 11:18 PM
Solan Solan is offline
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Grimstad, home of Ibsen and Hamsun
Posts: 833

Before the written word there was the spoken. I am moving more and more towards the view that poetry only comes to itself when spoken.

A written poem is really just the poet's attempt to capture his own spoken words in text. I think that should be a minimum allowance when reading a poem. So in cases of doubt, give the poet the benefit. Otherwise you'd have clashes between US and British poets since not all words get the same syllable count in the two dialects. And it is a ludicrous demand that a poet should only use those words that have the same number of syllables in all dialects.

As for stress, we should again refer back to how the poet herself would have spoken the sentence in normal prosy speech. If that fits, we don't need to excuse promotions. The spoken takes precedence over the written. If it does not fit in with the poet's normal speech, we are in more difficult territory with promotions and demotions. I am not fit to speak on those matters.


Svein Olav

.. another life
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