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Thread: caesura

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    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default caesura

    Could we say that a caesurae complement metre sometimes? I mean, let's take such a metre (which has its name for sure, only I don't know it):
    -/--/||-/--/
    -/--/||-/--/


    If we put weak beat in place of caesurae we'll get a masculine variation of the amphibrachic tetrameter (which may be strange for the English poetry(?), but is very natural for the Polish poets). I feel that the caesurae make the rhythm more rigid and more dance-like. Is it so? Is it the function of caesuras generally?

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    Default Re: caesura

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    Could we say that a caesurae complement metre sometimes?
    Yes, we could.
    I mean, let's take such a metre (which has its name for sure, only I don't know it):
    -/--/||-/--/
    -/--/||-/--/


    If we put weak beat in place of caesurae we'll get a masculine variation of the amphibrachic tetrameter (which may be strange for the English poetry(?),
    Yes, it is not a common English meter.
    but is very natural for the Polish poets). I feel that the caesurae make the rhythm more rigid and more dance-like. Is it so?
    I think so.
    Is it the function of caesuras generally?
    It's one of the functions.
    Caesuras aren't much discussed in English literature courses, in my experience. However, since we've recently discussed Limericks, I'll give you my opinion on the "deeper" structure of a limerick.
    Writing only the stressed beats, we have:
    ///
    ///
    //
    //
    ///
    A five line verse like this is strange, but it can be organised as a regular four line tetrameter, in which there is a terminal caesura at the end of lines 1, 2 and 5 instead of a stressed beat - and that's the way they're spoken:
    ///||
    ///||
    ////
    ///||
    Yes, this does confer a singsong quality to the limerick which, as I said, should be able to be spoken in a nursery rhyme rigid or dance-like way, as you say.
    A caesura can have the same effect on a poem that a rest does in music, so the effect depends on where it's placed.

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    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: caesura

    Thank you, Raymott!

    It's very interesting what you said about limericks! I have never noticed it.

    It seems poetry in English is very different from what they do in my country... For example, the article about the iambic pentameter on Polish Wikipedia says only that it's a meter used by English poets. Just one sentence! And it's the world's fourth biggest Wikipedia!

    I have yet very much to learn. As for now, I have even trouble reading some poems aloud, because I don't understand the rhythm...

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    Default Re: caesura

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    Thank you, Raymott!

    It's very interesting what you said about limericks! I have never noticed it.

    It seems poetry in English is very different from what they do in my country...
    Well, it would be. The rhythms are different.

    For example, the article about the iambic pentameter on Polish Wikipedia says only that it's a meter used by English poets. Just one sentence! And it's the world's fourth biggest Wikipedia!

    I have yet very much to learn. [I still have ... ] As for now, I even have trouble reading some poems aloud, because I don't understand the rhythm...
    Maybe you could download some English poetry from YouTube and listen to the cadences. I'll see if I can find some good typical English poetry.

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    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: caesura

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Maybe you could download some English poetry from YouTube and listen to the cadences. I'll see if I can find some good typical English poetry.
    I would be very grateful if you would! (Is it OK to say it this way?)

    I have a question about your corrections to my previous post. I understand two of them, but I don't get the omission of "have". I'll understand if you say that you just do it, but is there any logic to it?

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    Default Re: caesura

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    I would be very grateful if you would! (Is it OK to say it this way?)
    Yes, it is. I looked for some well-spoken poetry and limericks on YouTube, but unfortunately, I can't recommend any of it. Maybe there are better examples on non-YouTube sites.

    I have a question about your corrections to my previous post. I understand two of them, but I don't get the omission of "have". I'll understand if you say that you just do it, but is there any logic to it?
    On reading it again, it seems not so bad now.
    I was going to suggest "I've never noticed that before" or "I hadn't noticed that." Maybe it was the "it" rather than "that" that made it sound a little odd.

    R.

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