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Re: I thought you were an Arab

From:John Cowan <jcowan@...>
Date:Monday, June 3, 2002, 1:51
Christian Thalmann scripsit:

> To write a decent-sounding rhyme > This Paxton sure was able > Although I find from time to time > His meter quite unstable. > > The syllables in every line > In number greatly vary > To sing that poem clear and fine > Is a deed quite scary.
English folk verse, like the alliterative tradition from which it descends, continues to have four stresses and a variable number of slacks, despite the change from alliteration to rhyme in the 12th-14th centuries under French influence. "Learned" verse is often pentameter, but on investigation it generally turns out that one of the stresses has been promoted: To be1 or not2 to be3: that4 is the ques5tion Whe1ther 'tis no2bler in3 the mind4 to suf5fer The slings1 and ar2rows of3 outrage4ous for5tune Or by tak1ing arms2 against3 a sea4 of troub5les And by1 oppos2ing end3 them. To die4, to sleep5 [...] To be1 or not2 to be: that3 is the ques4tion Whe1ther 'tis no2bler in the mind3 to suf4fer The slings1 and ar2rows of outrage3ous for4tune Or by tak1ing arms2 against a sea3 of troub5les And by oppos1ing end2 them. To die3, to sleep4 [...] And of course the tetrameter version has a variable number of slacks. -- John Cowan <jcowan@...> I amar prestar aen, han mathon ne nen, han mathon ne chae, a han noston ne 'wilith. --Galadriel, _LOTR:FOTR_