Re: Morae (was: Re: Lurkers, poetic forms)
|From:||Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, May 9, 2000, 6:00|
At 11:30 pm -0500 7/5/00, Ed Heil wrote:
>In reading Latin verse I have noticed the 'contrapuntal effects' you
>mention and find them fascinating. They're what makes the verse
I agree - without this effect, the verses would become very mechanical.
And with the little I investigated in Catullus suggested to me that the
Roman authors were well aware of the efffect & exploited it.
>I found the apparently random position of pitch-accents in the verses
>to be extremely bizarre and disorienting, being used to the Latin
>hexameters, where, as you say, the stress-accents tend to dance
>cleverly in and out of the ictus.
I think part of the trouble for us with ancient Greek is that we are unused
to pitch accent and probably concentrate too much when trying to reproduce
it; this artificial effort is likely, I guess, 'disorientate' us & make us
forget the verse rhythm. With the Greeks to whom pitch accent was, so to
speak, seconf nature, there was not this problem.
>It was for that reason that I found Allen's idea about a "secondary
>stress accent" which informed Greek poetry kind of convincing, though,
I have no problem with the concept of a "secondary stress accent" - indeed,
I think the verse rhythms must have grown out of the rhythms of common
speech. Where I part company with Allen is his theory that it was a
secondary _word_ stress accent. I find that difficult to accept,
especially as the word stress we now have in modern Greek was developed
from the old pitch accent & shows no trace of Allen's secondary word stress.
In my own mind, I'm sure the "secondary stress accent" was a phrasal
phenomenon. It is something, I'd like to follow up if I had the time &
resources to do the necessary research.
A mind which thinks at its own expense
will always interfere with language.
[J.G. Hamann 1760]