More on Metrics – 3

AG: Well, it’s not that that you need to be able to understand it [Greek prosody] to write a poem. It’s not perverting your speech to get those rhythms. Rather, it is that speech does have those rhythms, and that you can follow the cadences with those rhythms, that when we were taught in drama-school and high-school primary rhythms, it was very rare that anything was taught beyond the four variants of iamb, trochee, anapest and dactyl.  – that seemed to be the range of  the English ear, or awareness of rhythm, or American high-school awareness of rhythm, … Read More

More on Metrics

[Allen Ginsberg’s classroom hand-out – “A Synopsis of Metrical Systems”]
continuing from here
Allen’s pedagogical insistence on quantative prosody, on the minutae of classical prosody, was something he came back to again and again with his students at Naropa  (see, for example  – one of many examples – here). In transcription, it makes, perhaps, for some somewhat tedious transcript – to hear the subtle and various distinctions he’s making, it really becomes necessary to listen closely to the audio (happily, here available). Allen does employ here a somewhat unique teaching method to lighten things up – … Read More

A Brief Detour on Metrics -1


Allen continuing his class on Sir Philip Sidney‘s poem  [Astrophil and Stella – Sonnet 1 – “Loving in truth, and fain in verse my love to show”]

Student; So after that?

AG: Well, I don’t know. What happened to the “of”? – [”That She, dear She might take some pleasure/Of my pain”] – “of my pain”, “pleasure of my pain” – That’s one of the problems of the transcription. So we’ll substitute the “That” for the “Of”, we’ve still got six

“Pleasure might cause her read,/ reading might make her know”, no, “Pleasure/ might cause her/ read,/ … Read More