[Bards] Poetic Exercise #4

Kevin Valliquette megrimulf at yahoo.com
Thu Sep 25 10:08:56 PDT 2003

Yup.  All true.  A refresher never hurts, either, so
thank you.  :)  I only meant that the extra syllable,
while perfectly normal and quite common, does make the
line not a set of 3 iambic feet, but rather what might
be described as 2 iambs and an amphribrach.  Or
something like that.  All of that still doesn't make
what I wrote anything more than a recounting of a
bunch of silly vikings who'll drink almost anything if
they're (okay, we're) in the right (or wrong,
depending upon one's point of view) frame of mind. 


--- Jay Rudin <rudin at ev1.net> wrote:
> Grímólfr wrote:
> > *Ahem*
> >
> > Oh, bitter was the ruddy fluid
> > Our guest assailed we sots with.
> > But we still quaffed it, I and these
> > Good fellows I drank shots with.
> >
> > Ere long it seemed as if our eyes
> > Were made just to see spots with;
> > And my poor tongue felt like a thing
> > That's made just to scrub pots with.
> >
> >
> > Alright, it's not perfect form, what with the
> extra
> > unstressed syllable at the end of each
> even-numbered
> > line.  But... but... I should get extra points
> since
> > it's a true story.  Yeah, that's it...
> Actually, the extra syllable just makes it a
> feminine rhyme, which is
> completely normal.  Consider:
> Yankee Doodle went to town,
> A-riding on a pony.
> He stuck his feather in his cap,
> And called it macaroni.
> Note that if you time the beats of a ballad measure
> with a metronome, you'll
> discover that the fourth beat on the second and
> fourth lines is actually
> there -- it's a pause.  Most songs are written in
> this meter, and the extra
> beat is represented by a long note that completes
> the measure.  (In "Yankee
> Doodle, the third beat is "po-" and the fourth beat
> is "-ny".)
> Or:
> Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale,
> A tale of a fateful trip,
> That started from this tropic port,
> Aboard this tiny ship.
> The fourth beat of the second and fourth line is
> taken up by a musical
> trill.  Note also that "and you'll hear" and "of a
> fate-" are
> three-syllabled feet.  The two unaccented syllables
> are sped up (eighth
> notes instead of quarter notes) in music, and are
> metrical variations in
> poetry.  Feminine rhymes are a perfectly acceptable
> metrical variation.
> Robin of Gilwell / Jay Rudin
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"We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done." 
     --Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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