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Thread: "o'ercast"

  1. #11
    Route21's Avatar
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    Re: "o'ercast"

    "Preserve the metre" = "preserve the rhythm".

    Regards
    R21

    PS It's a long time since I dipped into iambic pentameters.

  2. #12
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    Re: "o'ercast"

    Quote Originally Posted by patran View Post
    ...

    I don't understand what does " preserve the metre" mean. Could you elaborate? Many thanks

    ...
    Most of Shakespeare's work in verse is in what's called iambic pentameter -

    iambic because each bit (it's called a 'foot') is made up of two syllables: dee-dah (called an 'iamb')
    pentameter because there are five of these feet in each line

    For example, from Portia's speech in the Merchant of Venice,
    The qua/lity / of mer/cy is / not strained
    It dro/ppeth as/ the gen/tle rain /from heav'n'
    Different editions have 'heaven' or "heav'n", but it's clear that Shakespeare wanted the actor to pronounce 'heaven' as one syllable.
    In this case, there's a convention in all poetry that 'heaven' is usually pronounced as one sylable (find a site with hymn tunes on it); but in other cases Shakespeare would often drop a syllable so that the elided word would fit in to the metre.

    (Note for the interested: by no means all his plays are in iambic pentameter. Sometimes he changes from prose to verse as a signal of what sort of character it is: a king would speak in verse, but a porter wouldn't. Sometimes a person starts to speak in prose, but it becomes verse-like (it has the rythm, but isn't laid out as verse) to mark a change of mood.)
    Last edited by BobK; 06-May-2013 at 19:11. Reason: Add last para

  3. #13
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    Re: "o'ercast"

    Quote Originally Posted by Route21 View Post
    It's a long time since I dipped into iambic pentameters.
    I tried several metres in foots, but gave up when I got to dactylic dimeters

  4. #14
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    Re: "o'ercast"

    The dactyl is an interesting foot (honest). It get its name from a metaphor based on a skeleton: diddy dah - short-short-long, like the bones in the finger (think of pterodactyl, which means wing-finger) . OK, lecture over

    b

  5. #15
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    Re: "o'ercast"

    Dimeter (originally dimmeter)is an interesting word. It's a hybrid from the old Norse dimmr (two short planks) and the Greek metron (that by which something is measured). If you get people to voice their opinions of poems into it, it tells you fairly accurately just how thick they are.


    Take the above twice a day with large pinch of salt.

  6. #16
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    Re: "o'ercast"

    I "wandered lonely as a cloud" through English Literature (Wordsworth, Henry IV-1 and H G Wells' Mr Polly). The trouble was - I never emerged and failed it abysmally!

    R21

    PS I was more into English language, Pliny, Virgil, Homer and Xenophon.
    Last edited by Route21; 07-May-2013 at 15:35.

  7. #17
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    Re: "o'ercast"

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    The dactyl is an interesting foot (honest). It get its name from a metaphor based on a skeleton: diddy dah - short-short-long, like the bones in the finger (think of pterodactyl, which means wing-finger) . OK, lecture over

    b
    Maybe that's where I went wrong. I thought feet were "dum(b)" - as in:
    Didum didum didum
    Didum didum didum
    Didum didum di didily dum
    Didum didum didum


    R21

  8. #18
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    Re: "o'ercast"

    Quote Originally Posted by Route21 View Post
    Maybe that's where I went wrong. I thought feet were "dum(b)"
    No, feet are combinations of dums, dies, didums and dididdies. You'll find examples of several types of foot in the first eleven lines of this post.
    Last edited by 5jj; 07-May-2013 at 17:51.

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