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  #11  
Old 07-17-2018, 12:00 PM
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Julie Steiner Julie Steiner is offline
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So Patrick, you're telling me that the poem says "shore" ("the land along the edge of a sea, lake, or other large body of water") when you actually mean "a rock jetty projecting for some distance in excess of 15 feet past the sand of the beach."

This in addition to the poem saying "dusk" when you don't mean the dictionary definition of dusk, and "twilight" when you don't mean the dictionary definition of twilight.



Why not use words that actually mean what you want to say?

That's not snark. I really don't understand how you expect readers to share your vision of the scene, when what the poem is actually saying does not match your vision of the scene.

(Rhyming the unstressed syllable of TWI-light with the stressed NIGHT is not really euphonious, either. I don't like being so negative, but it must be said. Grumble, grumble. I think I'm identifying too closely with a crab.)

Anyway, my two cents, take them or leave them.

Last edited by Julie Steiner; 07-17-2018 at 12:36 PM. Reason: for some distance in excess of 15 feet
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  #12  
Old 07-17-2018, 12:07 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Hello, Patrick.

Reading drafts of this poem has been intensely frustrating for me. I see a lot of potential in it and in your work generally.

Still, the second draft is hardly better than the first:

Alone along the shore of twilight ("twilight" doesn't work as a rhyme for "night")

Where red streamlets terminate (a clunker of a line)

Glimpse another fish to snatch. ("snatch" stands outside the idiom of the poem and, to me, suggests capturing with the fingers, not a net.)

Twilight’s lingering spark in your net. (The concluding anapest doesn't work in this poem. This line is now a major clunker.)

Overall--the poem feels much longer than it should be and enjoyment of it is impaired by frequent clunks.

[Cross-posted with Julie]

Last edited by Aaron Poochigian; 07-17-2018 at 12:09 PM.
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  #13  
Old 07-18-2018, 05:54 PM
Patrick Murtha Patrick Murtha is offline
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Julie, what I am trying to say is that the fisherman was basically standing on the shore. Had he been in the water, he would have been no more than waist deep. The poem being fictional, though based on a real image, is not obliged to place the fisherman exactly where I viewed him in reality.

As for the distinction between "dusk" and "twilight," I understand the distinction between the two is a very fine line. It is in this space that I am working. And I may be wrong, but for now, while I give your well-thought thoughts my thought, it remains.

Unless I am wrong, twilight is a spondee, which would make the "light" stressed. It may be recalled that other poets, such as Tennyson, have rhymed the twilight.

Aaron, please do get too frustrated with me yet. As I told Julie above, I am considering the various points. This current version is not the final, but there is a lot to consider. For myself, I enjoy the more descriptive approach. So I have quarrel within myself whether to cut things loose or to leave them. The second draft was merely changes that I am ready to make now.

Right now, I have no answer to the clunker line or the "finger" snatching. I explained why I feel justified, both linguistically and by prior example, to keep twilight. Nevertheless, as I told Julie, I shall continue to consider these well-made critiques.

As for now, I am content that the poem sink into the sunset for another day.

Sincerely,
PM
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  #14  
Old 07-18-2018, 09:17 PM
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RCL RCL is offline
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Night and Twilight rhyme for those with common sense.
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  #15  
Old 07-18-2018, 09:57 PM
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Patrick, as a battle weary veteran of the Spondee Wars, I offer that “twilight” is a trochee in most people’s speech, whereas a true, full-throttle English spondee is something like “fat frog”, “fried egg”, or “soft soap”. In a pinch, an iamb can sometimes do: “almost” (not “nearly”), “abrupt” (not “quickly”), or — much better, “who’s there?”, which is almost a natural-born real spondee with all the trimmings.
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  #16  
Old 07-19-2018, 05:52 PM
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Julie Steiner Julie Steiner is offline
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I see we'll never convince each other of the other stuff, so I'll move on to this bit:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Murtha View Post
Unless I am wrong, twilight is a spondee, which would make the "light" stressed.
Sorry, but "twilight" can't be a spondee in this situation. If you were actually substituting "twilight" for an iamb, you might be able to get away with that. But you're not.

Later, I'll give you an example of Yeats treating "twilight" as a spondee that replaces an iamb, so that he can rhyme it with "right" and "flight." (Whether or not he actually gets away with that is debatable, though; many readers consider the Yeats poem in question to be a cringeworthy piece of crap for numerous reasons, which isn't exactly a ringing endorsement of this technique. But it's a legal spondaic substitution when Yeats does it; it's not a legal spondaic substitution when you do it here.)

The baseline scansion of your poem is:

| . u - .. | . u - .. | . u - .. | . u - .. | . (u)

In words, that's

| iamb | iamb | iamb | iamb | (optional unstressed syllable, not reckoned)

Line 2 scans like this, with the "light" part of "twilight" occupying the no-metrical-reckoning limbo zone reserved for feminine endings:

| A-lone | a-long | the shore | of twi- | (light,)

No problem, metrically speaking. Until you try to claim that "light" must be stressed, too, for reasons of rhyme.

"Twilight" isn't taking the place of an iamb in your poem. "Twilight" is preceded by the word "of," which is the first half of the iamb to which the syllable "twi-" belongs. You can't shoehorn both syllables of "twilight" into the second half of the fourth iamb in a line of tetrameter and insist that they both be stressed.

Mind you, there's plenty of allowable substitution in Line 4, with which L2 is rhymed:

| . (u) - .. | . u - .. | . uu - .. | . u - .. |
| In | the dark- | en-ing sea | of night.
| headless iamb | iamb | anapest (or iamb, if you elide en-ing into 'ning) | iamb |

What you want to do in Line 2 isn't a substitution, though. It's something else.

Quote:
It may be recalled that other poets, such as Tennyson, have rhymed the twilight.
I couldn't find any Tennyson examples, but Yeats certainly did it. Still, there's a metrical difference between what you're doing in your poem and what Yeats is doing in these lines of the poem I mentioned earlier:

Come clear of the nets of wrong and right;
Laugh heart again in the gray twilight,

and

And time and the world are ever in flight;
And love is less kind than the gray twilight,

The baseline scansion is again iambic tetrameter:

| . u - .. | . u - .. | . u - .. | . u - .. | . (u)

| iamb | iamb | iamb | iamb | (optional unstressed syllable, not reckoned)

There are a lot of substitutions of other kinds of feet for iambs in these four lines, which I scan as:

| - - | uu - | u - | u - |
| Come clear | of the nets | of wrong | and right; |
| spondee | anapest | iamb | iamb |

| - - | u - | uu - | - - |
| Laugh heart | a-gain | in the gray | twi-light, |
| spondee | iamb | anapest | spondee |

| u - | uu - | u - | uu - |
| And time | and the world | are e- | ver in flight; |
| iamb | anapest | iamb | anapest |

| u - | uu - | uu - | - - |
| And love | is less kind | than the gray | twi-light, |
| iamb | anapest | anapest | spondee |

But in both cases, "twilight" is replacing an iamb when it is promoted to a spondee.

Bottom line: "twilight" can only be promoted to a spondee if its final syllable isn't hanging over into the unreckoned "feminine ending" zone.

Last edited by Julie Steiner; 07-19-2018 at 06:37 PM.
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  #17  
Old 07-20-2018, 10:33 AM
Patrick Murtha Patrick Murtha is offline
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Julie,

You broach an interesting quandary. From what I gather from Allen's post, there must have been quite a brouhaha over the spondee once upon a time. If it was at vicious as to turn Allen in a "battle-weary veteran," I in no way want to resurrect such a kerfuffle.

Firstly, in your defense, I do note that D. H. Lawrence employs "twilight" as an iambic word in "All of Roses"--his opening line is: "By the Isar, in the twilight" and then in another line "In the twilight, our kisses across the roses." (I must confess I lost my example from Tennyson. And then in searching Tennyson, he employs twilight in several poems as an iamb. With this, I must retract on Tennyson as a witness.)

But, briefly in my defense on employing "twilight" as a spondee, I first reply that our language has it so. If we pronounce the word with the normality of language, then it is spondaic. Furthermore, I will call Longfellow to my defense as well. In the second line of "Evangeline," Longfellow does end his line with a spondee "Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight..."

My next witness is Bill Shakespeare. I will let my lawyer speak.

Ernest Quibble: Bill, in sonnet 73, you write "In me thou see'st the twilight of such day." Would you call the meter of "twilight" a spondee?

Justin Tiff (attorney for the prosecution): I object, your Honor--

Quibble: You object my honor?

Tiff: Your honor, he's leading the witness.

Judge: Objection sustained. Rephrase your question.

Quibble: Bill, what is the meter of "twilight"?

Bill: Twilight really is caught between two feet. "twi" is the ending half of a iamb--"the twi"--and the beginning half of a dactyl "light of."

Tiff: Objection, your Honor. Bill here is either a ghost or a fictional representation or a figment of the imagination. The court cannot recognize ghosts as they are immaterial. The court must refuse a fictional representation for all they speak is fiction. And a figment of the imagination is not real, therefore cannot stand witness in court.

Julie, after all this fun, I admit your good arguments and will consider them. Right now, I do read twilight as a spondee; though I see how "twilight" can be read iambicly. The reason I read it so, is because I am not locking the poem into strict iambs. If it reads as a iamb, I will have to take a closer look at it.

Sincerely,
PM

P.S. I found where my confusion with Tennyson was. I saw the words Idylls of the King, but it was in reference to Geoffrey Hill's poem. In it he rhymes "twilight" with "flight." One critic Tom Paulin laments the "wrench[ing] the natural vernacular spondee, 'twilight,' into a fast, freakish iamb, 'twilight,' in order to complete the full rhyme with 'flight.'"

In his poem "Idylls of the King," Hill had written: "O clap your hands" so that the dove takes flight, / bursts through the leaves with an untidy sound, / plunges its wings into the green twilight...

Interestingly, Craig Raine defends Hill's supposed spondee. He wrote a letter in response to this review, saying, "And the line Tom Pauling specifically complains about (plunges its wings into the green twilight) is distorted only to him: it begins with an inverted foot (plunges) and ends with three very effective equal stresses (green twilight). His idea that 'twilight' is a tortured iamb depends on his assertion that the metre is 'monotonous' and allows no 'leeway.'"

Last edited by Patrick Murtha; 07-20-2018 at 10:53 AM.
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  #18  
Old 07-20-2018, 10:53 AM
Andrew Szilvasy Andrew Szilvasy is online now
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Patrick, you're murdering the Shakespeare line with talks of dactyls. The line is perfectly iambic by any reading:

In me thou see'st the twilight of such day.

You might be able to convince me that we should read "such day" as the spondee here, and so we have a pyrrhic-spondee, but I'd need to be pretty drunk to agree with you.

Regardless, Julie's right. Her point isn't that twilight can't be a spondee, just that it is only so conditionally, and in the parameters of the poem you set out you'd have to read it out of the vein of your own poem to make it a spondee.
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  #19  
Old 07-20-2018, 11:19 AM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Oh no, Patrick. You are wrong and stubborn and full of wrong arguments. Did you, perhaps, vote for Trump in the last election?
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  #20  
Old 07-20-2018, 11:20 AM
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Allen Tice Allen Tice is offline
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Patrick, et alii, let me hasten to say that the English spondee has been claimed to be a mythical beast -- to which I spondaically reply (trigger warning) "bull crap!" -- but my faint recollection is that the people who invented spondees in mad hat old Greece could desperately jack up a singing trochee at the end of a line now and then if they had to. Desperate move: not English or American or Oz or Canadian. Happy to be corrected: my texts are in the room down the hall and I'm lazier than a tired morning glory this lunch hour.
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