More on Metrics – 4

AG:  Well, so we have “Go lovely..” and I was thinking – “Tell her that wastes her time and me” – “Tell her that wastes” (da da da da)  – “her time and me” – “Tell her that wastes her time and me”  – seems to be two halves, equally cadenced –  “Tell her that wastes her time and me” – and that would be da da da-da – That’s the epitritus tertius – “Tell her that wastes her time and me.”   If you were going to emphasize the more… not so much.. if you were going to be dwelling on the “Tell her that wastes her time and me”  – “Tell her that wastes her time and me”,  no matter how you pronounce (it), it does come out as somewhat two-one-three, two-one  (da da da da da ) – so that would be the epitritius tertius – if we want to use that kind of count –  (See, it’s arbitrary, you could…. “Tell her that wastes her time and me”,  you could, if you insist, count it as iambic – or .. “Tell her…”   “Tell her that wastes her time..” . you couldn’t do it.)  Well, “That now she knows” –  “Tell her that wastes her time and me/ That now she knows” – “That-now-she-knows” – I would say light heavy-heavy-heavy – “That now she knows” – Well, “Tell her that wastes her time and me/That now she knows”  (you know, especially if you’re dwelling on it real poignantly, – “That now she knows”) . See, there it would be the poignance of a long vowel rather than an accent – “That now she knows” is epitritus primus – “That now she knows”.. how small…”,  no, “when I resemble” .how small,,” Well, I don’t want to go on any more on that. “Tell her that’s young”,  “Tell her that’s young”  – (epitritus tertius maybe?) – “Small is the worth” – “Small is the worth” – well,  “Small is the worth”?, no – “Small is the worth”  (that would seem to be a long, two short, and a long) -“Small is the worth”  (so what would two short and a long be?)
Student; Choriamb?
AG: Yeah, Choriambic  – “Small is the worth” – Choriambic meter  – {Allen again goes to the blackboard – “Small.. worth” –  I hate to be (laying all these) names on you, but I think it’s kind of mysterious, and interesting, in a way (and I’ll pass out the whole list) – “Small is the. worth” – (“Choriambic”,  tho’ – what a nice name!) – My ambition was always to find out what I’d already done, and my ambition was to write a poem in choriambic meters, and then sneak it up on the faculty of Harvard, or something – “the only person who ever wrote a poem in choriambics meters!”
Student:  Didn’t Rabelais write choriambs?
AG: Moloch whose eyes” “are a-thousand-blind-wind-ows”… “Moloch whose fact-ories dream and croak…”  – See, they fit in. It’s mixed. When you get to that level of meters, generally, you don’t have to have exactly the same repeat, you can have variance of four-beat meter or three beats. And there’s a Greek word for. when you have six meters in one line, recognizeable meters but mixed ones, in one line, mixed..mixed…it doesn’t have to be the same series, a mixed..  It can be a series of big meters, but not necessarily a… symmetrical, exact, one-after-another. You can have variance. You know what I mean?.. Does that make sense.? You throw in a choriambic, and then you throw in anapestic, and then you throw in another choriambic, and then you might throw in an epitritus..
Student: You’re not setting yourself up on choriambics, and then…?
AG: No, you get.. it’s the cadence of four syllable. It’s four syllable and five syllable cadences that you’re getting into and variants, lots of variants. It’s like having a saxophone solo going bompbe-dee-beep – bomp-de beep-beep – bomp-ba-ba beep – you know, just making variants on the same …
Student: Switching time signatures too.
AG: Yeah
Student; From three-four to five-four.
AG: Yeah. I wrote…
Student: That’s more, I think…
Student ((2): Keeping a four and switching the accent
AG: What?
Student: You think keeping a four and switching the accent?
AG: Sometimes..sometimes you keep a four and a three. You can mix. You see “Mo-loch whose-ey-es -are-a-thou-sand-blind-wind-ows” is mixing with three and four – “Mo-loch whose-ey-es -are-a-thou-sand-blind-wind-ows” – “Mo-loch-whose-fact-ories-dream-and croak-in-the-fog” – da da-da da-da, da da da da da-da, da da – there’s some repetition of four syllable beats and three.

 The best idea was that the… for the dochmiacs was, “Where the years have gone/where the clouds have flown/Where the rainbow shone/We vanish,/and we make no moan”  – Da da da-da-da, da da da-da-da, da da da da da ,da da-da – da-da da da da, da da da, da – “and we make no moan”- “Where the years have gone/ where the clouds have flown/ Where the rainbow shone/We vanish,/and we make no moan/  Where the sun will blind/the delighting mind/ in a diamond wind/ We appear /our beauty refined” – So they’re variants – the..  some of them are.. they’re all five-syllables, but they’re variant arrangements  “We vanish..”  “We return” would be variants of the three-syllable meters – da da-da. da da-da  – What I have, it’s a poem, it’s an interesting poem called “The Rune”, it’s part of a “Contest of Bards”, where stanzas composed of four dochmiac lines and one three-syllable line, the dochmiacs are mostly arranged da da da da da, da-da da da, da-da da da da – like that. Well this is called (other ways).
[Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approximately forty-eight-and-a-quarter minutes in and concluding at approximately fifty-five minutes in]

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