Henry King – 2 (Metrics)

Henry King (1592-1689)

continuing from yesterday

AG:  How is that (verse form).., let’s see, what would the meter be then,  I wonder..?  We don’t have the…It’s amazing – such a perfect poem and they don’t even have it in the anthology!

Student: Tetrameter?

AG:  “or like/the fresh/spring’s/gau/dy/hue/  Or silver drops/ of morning dew – It’s iambic tetrameter?

Student: (counts it out)  Yeah

AG:  Yeah, except it begins occasionally with a stressed word – “Like to the falling of a star”

Student: For…

AG: No, not that line. That line is reversed. You’re shifting it… “Like to/the falling/of a star”, you’re going to do it ideally, but pronounced “Like/ to the falling of a star”.  So it would be  – Bom (like, “Like”) – Bom! -dum-dum da-dum da-dum. So, actually what it is it’s a trochee, like “Tyger” – “Like to””  (“Tyger”/”Like To”) – then it goes on, “the fall/ing of/ a star”  – no,  “the falling/of a star“. – “Like to the/falling of a/star”, actually. You could also interpret it as trimeter – “like/fall/star” –  trimeter what?  – “like to the/falling of a/star” – you could say  dactylic – “like to the/falling of..” – two dactylic measures and on stark iambic. Or you could say – “like to/the falling of..” – “Like to the/falling of a…”  – It’s more toward dactylic – “Like to the falling of a/ star”. But then it gets back to, “Or like the fresh”… no, it actually continues – “As the flight of as eagles are”  (because he doesn’t say, “or as..” – like “as the flight of eagles are”, so he parallels, the second line parallels that cadence) – “As the/flight of/eagles are” – actually, the second line would be more like trochaic, trochee, like “Tyger, tyger, burning bright” –  “As the/flight of/eagles are” – “Tyger,/tyger,/burning bright” – Follow? – “As the/ flight of/eagles/are” –  “Tyger,/tyger,/burning bright” – da-da/ da-da/ da-da da/  That’s called the trochaic meter Everybody know the trochaic?..nowdays?  Are we all pretty familiar with these names? or is it still a big mystery? (it’s not incomprehensible, I mean, there’s only two of them, there’s iambic and trochaic, and one goes one way and the other goes the other way) . Iambic – light and then heavy, Trochaic  – heavy then light. Example…

Student: And Anapest?

AG: Pardon?

Student: Anapest

AG: Well those are the two-syllable meters, and then an anapest. same thing,  except…Da-da-da is the anapest, and da-da da is the dactyl (We’re going to pass out a big sheet with all the names).

[Audio for the above can be heard here. beginning at approximately seventy-one-and-a-half minutes in and concluding at approximately seventy-four-and-three-quarter minutes in]

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