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Old 07-13-2001, 04:11 PM
MacArthur MacArthur is offline
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Portland, Oregon, U.S.A.
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Tim Steele,


On a thread in General Talk, Bob Mezey cites this line from Larkin as an example of a monosyllabic foot. How does this differ from a "broken-backed pentameter"-- does it?

Does the presence of a strong adjacent pause make a difference, as in Eliot "La figlia che piange"?:

Weave, weave, the sunlight in your hair!
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Old 07-13-2001, 07:40 PM
Timothy Steele Timothy Steele is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 17

Yes, it would seem (on merely descriptive grounds, if no other) that we could call "monosyllabic" the foot in the broken-backed line that lacks its metrically unaccented syllable.

Eliot's weave, weave line is a trickier, since it can scan as an imabic tetrameter and since the poem itself has quite a few other shorter-than-pentameter lines (2, 5, 8, 10, 13, 15, 19). This is somewhat the case in "Talking in Bed" as well, but there the poems seems pentametric (with the variations in lines 5 and 7) till the last two lines (a trimeter and dimeter).

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Old 07-17-2001, 03:55 PM
robert mezey robert mezey is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Claremont CA USA
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Larkin does that a lot, leaving out an unaccented
syllable, and uses scazons rather freely too.
And abruptly changes the meter sometimes. It's
amazing what he can pull off, and yet seems never
to stumble. Another couple of his lines with mono-
syllabic feet:

Another church: matting, seats, and stone

I fell asleep, waking at the fumes

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