AD's English Literature : Rhythm, Meter and Scansation of the Poem

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Rhythm, Meter and Scansation of the Poem

 Like the rhythms in nature, such as the motion of the planets, the succession of seasons, and the beating of the heart, poetic rhythm usually is organized in regularly recurring patterns. Such patterns regulate the motion of the music and aid the human ear in grasping its structure. The most basic rhythmic unit is the Iambic pentameter, alternates weak unstressed and strong stressed syllables to make a ten-syllable line (weak strong/weak strong/weak strong/weak strong/weak strong).

 iamb-- x / . . . . . . . . . (adjective form = iambic)
trochee-- / x . . . . . . . . (adjective form = trochaic)
anapest-- x x / . . . . . . . (adjective form = anapestic)
dactyl-- / x x . . . . . . . . (adjective form = dactylic)
pyrrhic-- x x . . . . . . . . (adjective form = pyrrhic)
spondee-- / / . . . . . . . . (adjective form = spondaic)

dimeter  --two feet per line
trimeter --three feet per line
tetrameter   --four feet per line
pentameter  --five feet per line
hexameter--six feet per line
heptameter --seven feet per line
octameter  --eight feet per line


x / x / x / x / x / . . . iambic pentameter

x / x / x / x /  . . iambic tetrameter

/ x / x / x / x / x / x . . . trochaic hexameter

x x / x x / x x / . . . anapestic trimeter

/ x x / x x / x x / x x . . . dactylic tetrameter

x x / x x / . . . anapestic dimeter

/ x x / x / x / x / . . iambic pentameter with an initial trochaic substitution

Teach me half the gladness
That thy brain must know
Such harmonious madness
From my lips would flow
The world should listen, then as I am
listening now!
Tea 'ch me/ha 'lf the/ gla 'd ness
Tha 't thy/ bra 'in must/ kno 'w
Suc 'h har/mo 'ni-our/ma 'd ness
Fro 'm my/li 'ps would /flo 'w
The wo 'rld/ should li 'st/en the 'n/ as I ' / am
                li 'st(en)/ing no 'w

Prosodic name: The lines are in Trochaic Trimeter except the last line which is in Iambic hexameter.
1)       The second and fourth lines are catalectic.
2)       The 2nd foot of the 3rd line is Dactylic variation.

To one who has been long in city pent
Tis very sweet to look into the fair
And open face of heaven – to breathe a prayer
Full in the smile of the blue firmament.

To o 'ne/ who ha 's/ been lo 'ng/ in ci 't/ y pe 'nt
Tis ve 'r/-y swe 'et/ to lo 'ok/ into '/the fa 'ir
And o '-/pen fa 'ce/of he 'aven/ to bre 'athe/ a pra 'y/er
Full i 'n/the smi 'le/ of the blu 'e fi 'r-/ma-me 'nt

Prosodic Name: Iambic pentameter
Variation: 1) The last foot of the third line is hyper metrical.
 The 3rd foot of the 4th line is Pyrrhic and 4th foot of the same line is a spondee.
Here we will also find the different names of versification: blank verse, free verse, heroic couplet, Terza Rima etc.

Ardhendu De

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