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20

TL;DR: As late as the beginning of the 17th century, the editor Thomas Speght claimed that it was possible for a skillful reader to scan Chaucer. But he modernized Chaucer’s spelling, making it hard for anyone after him to do the same! It seems that in the mid-16th century, some people still knew, or thought they knew, how to scan Chaucer. Gavin Douglas, in ...


15

This is a very simple type of poetic metre, iambic dimeter. Each line consists of just two feet, and each foot consists of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable: my name is Cow, and wen its nite, or wen the moon is shiyning brite, and all the men haf gon to bed - i stay up late. i lik the bred. Wikipedia's example of iambic dimeter is ...


9

One person who believed that Chaucer could not count syllables, and possibly the most prominent one, was the poet John Dryden. Certainly, Dryden was of the opinion that Chaucer's poetry did not scan properly. In the preface to his book Fables, Ancient and Modern (1700), that contains translations of poems by Chaucer and Ovid, Dryden writes that Chaucer's ...


8

tl;dr Iambic meters are the most common of all classical and modern meters generally, and iambic pentameter is closest to the natural patterns of English speech. Plus, it was a successful conspiracy cooked up by Marlowe, Sidney, and the Great Vowel Shift. Introduction The word iamb comes from an ancient Greek genre of invective poetry. The metrical term ...


7

These free verse lines do not adhere to any specific number of feet, nor to any regular distribution of stressed and unstressed syllables. So the poem is not in any regular meter. The opening line suggests a catalectic dactylic trimeter: | / x x / x x / x | Softly I | walk through the | forest | But the subsequent lines quickly dispel ...


7

The rhythm of this poem is accentual dimeter: that is, it has two stresses per line, and an irregular complement of unstressed syllables. I read it like this, treating the second and third lines as if they are a single line that has been split: Look what we found in the park in the dark. We will take him home. We will call him Clark. He will live at our ...


5

As the comments to your question have noted, the most reliable way to figure out whether a given line is iambic pentameter is to sound it out. But if you're not confident of your ear, there are certain techniques you can use to help you identify how a line scans. First, it's necessary to understand how stress works in English. When any sequence of English ...


5

Reading comes first Shakespeare’s plays are written to be spoken by actors on stage, to convey meaning, nuance, and emotion to an audience. This dramatic purpose comes first, before considerations of metre. So the way to scan Shakespeare’s verse drama is to start by reading it aloud, and figuring out where the stress needs to go to best convey the sense, ...


5

In A Prosody Handbook, Karl Shapiro and Robert Beum claim: The Latin iambus derives from a Greek word meaning "a cripple." The short syllable represents the lame foot, the long one descending with normal strength, perhaps with the added strength of the cane. (p. 35) Shapiro, Karl, and Robert Beum. A Prosody Handbook. New York: Harper and Row, 1965....


5

I have not been able to find a name for this in the literature on poetic forms that I consulted in English, German or Dutch. The English-language sources I have consulted include the following: Trochaic tetrameter on Wikipedia, which gives examples in various languages without mentioning a named form that alternating eight-syllable and seven-syllable lines. ...


4

There really does seem to be a difference between Russian and English poetry in this aspect, but it's not that English listeners don't care about rhythm, but that English listeners have somehow acquired the ability to follow the rhythm even when the reader isn't going out of his way to emphasize it. I think your latest comment has identified your real ...


4

In spoken languages there's an idea of "stressed" and "unstressed" syllables. A stressed syllable is pronounced with more force and emphasis. In English there are words like "permit" that mean different things when the stressed syllable changes. "PERmit", with the first syllable stressed, is a noun that means "...


3

I would call it trochaic tetrameter with alternating feminine and masculine rhymes. Even though it a fairly common meter, I don't know a better name for it. If you leave out the last syllable of a trochaic line of poetry, it's called a catalectic line. So if all the lines of your poem had trochaic feet with the last foot reduced to one syllable, this would ...


1

"Is it that they are stressed following an unstressed word?" Short answer, in general yes, because in perfect iambic verse a stressed syllable always follows an unstressed syllable. Iambic pentameter is called iambic pentameter because it is written with five iambi (or iambs) per line. An iamb is a foot, or pattern, that is two syllables that are ...


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