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Lionel Kearns, Structural Linguistics

Lionel Kearns, Structural Linguistics

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SONGS OF CIRCUM/STANCE - o r i g i n a l poems and introduction by LIONEL JOHN KEARNS B.A.

, The University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1961


We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard


In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for a a v n e degree at t e University of n dacd h British Columbia, I agree that t e Library shall m k i t freely h ae available for reference a d study* n I further agree that per-

mission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes m y b granted b t e H a of m D p r m n or b a e y h ed y eatet y his representatives. It is understood that copying or publi-

cation of this thesis for financial gain shall not b allowed e without m written permissions, y

D p r m n of eatet T e University of British Columbia, h Vancouver 8, C n d aaa



This thesis consists of a s e l e c t i o n of o r i g i n a l poems and an introductory essay which treats the subject of poetic form and sets out an o r i g i n a l system of verse notation, c a l l e d "Stacked Verse" which i s used i n laying out the poems. The essay may be summarized as follows. Verse, i n i t s

widest d e f i n i t i o n , i s language whose sound form has been ordered or s t y l i z e d f o r s p e c i a l aesthetic e f f e c t . Because

verse i s a time a r t , i t s e s s e n t i a l form i s a rhythm, that i s , a chronological set of points and t h e i r i n t e r v a l s . These

points may be marked by any s i g n i f i c a n t feature of the language, although i n English verse the speech feature most commonly used as a basis f o r measure i s s y l l a b l e s t r e s s . Yet t h i s

term i s ambiguous because i n English speech there are two d i f f e r e n t systems of r e l a t i v e stress patterning at the same time. operative

On one hand there i s the r e l a t i v e stress This type of patterning, which we

within i n d i v i d u a l words.

c a l l "word s t r e s s " , i s stable within the language, and has functioned as the basis of t r a d i t i o n a l E n g l i s h metre. other system of r e l a t i v e stress patterning, which we The call

" r h e t o r i c a l s t r e s s " , varies according to the speaker and the occasion. Rhetorical stress patterning i s a matter of

i t has nevertheless come down to us i n folk verse and i n the work of such poets as Langland. l e t t i n g the poem take the shape which h i s emotion. as opposed to regular. form. l i n e endings both i n strong stress poetry o f the Anglo-Saxons and i n metred blank verse since Shakespeare's day t e s t i f i e s to the fact that r e g u l a r i t y has never been an indispensable feature of E n g l i s h verse. or he may choose to compose i n u t t e r freedom. not h i s conscious i n t e l l e c t . Although t h i s l a t t e r type of measure has not occurred extensively i n English verse since Chaucer's time.s y l l a b l e groups. but i f i t i s also to be organic i n the sense o f being t r u l y c o r r e l a t i v e to the poet's emotion i t must be based on a feature of the language that does i n fact vary according to an . and equal time i n t e r v a l s between heavily stressed s y l l a b l e s . Skelton. gives i t . The s t y l i z a t i o n o f speech features does not The prevalence of run-on necessarily imply r e g u l a r i z a t i o n . pauses. and i s being practised increasingly by poets i n our own day. Coleridge and Hopkins. When t h i s type o f patterning i s s t y l i z e d we get what i s known as "strong s t r e s s " verse measure. The measure of t h i s l a t t e r type of composition w i l l n a t u r a l l y be v a r i a b l e . A poet may either begin h i s composi- t i o n with some f i x e d model i n mind. This brings us to the question of v a r i a b l e . Closely associated with v a r i a b l e verse measure i s the theory of organic form.

the writer has found i t necessary to devise a system of verse notation which w i l l handle t h i s type of verse form on the page.individual's emotional condition. The reason t h i s type of measure i s s t i l l r e l a t i v e l y unrecognized i s because i t cannot be represented on the page by conventional t r a n s c r i p t i o n methods. Because the following poems have t h e i r verse forms based on such v a r i a b l e strong stress measure. t h i s notation "Stacked Verse". Such a speech feature i s r h e t o r i c a l stress patterning. and therefore a v a l i d l y organic verse form would be one based on v a r i a b l e strong stress measure. The writer c a l l s . our w r i t i n g system being inadequate i n marking the v a r i a b l e r h e t o r i c a l stress patterns of English speech.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Farts of t h i s thesis have appeared i n the following publications. Prism Delta Poet Evidence Canadian Forum Outsider Genesis West E l Corno Emplumado Tish Tamarack Review Envoi Prometheus: Poetry 64 CHQM CBC The Young S o c i a l i s t Quarterly .

v TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION I Verse II Measure I I I English Stress Patterns IV English Metre V Strong Stress Measure VI Variable Verse Forms VII Organic Form VIII Notation IX Stacked Verse POEMS Process Ambergris: A Statement on Source. Composition Now The Scholar at Five Formula Things Recall Residue Presence Thaw Family In Bed Before Bunset Departure Precipitation Levitation Situation The Requisition of Catabolism Decomposition Vision Measure Poetic In Group 1 4 7 12 17 26 32 39 43 47 48 50 53 54 55 56 58 60 61 62 63 65 66 67 68 $9 72 73 75 76 78 80 .

Friday at the Ex Stuntman Appointment Remains Prototypes Contra D i c t i o n Theology Haiku The Sensationalist Report Homage to Machado A SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY 81 83 84 86 88 91 93 94 96 97 98 99 101 102 103 .vi Vastation i n the Stacks It The Charnel-House of Dharma The Yogi as Humorist..

symbol and 1 (New York. 1956).aesthetic discourse. and on the other hand. Content may be put into any form whatever.. and that by "language" we mean simply an o r a l . associated with the various sound forms i n the minds of those people who speak the language. manifested c h i e f l y but not s o l e l y i n poetry and other deliberately c u l t i v a t e d s t y l e s . sound and meaning.88 . Joshua Whatmough: Language Let us begin our d e f i n i t i o n by saying that verse i s language..a u r a l system of human communication. This i s at the bottom more a matter o f form than of content. and whether we think of the matter i n terms o f form and content.PART I VERSE There remains. But features of s t y l e turn constantly both on the actual l i n g u i s t i c form and on the arrangement or order o f the successive units of an utterance. This system i s made up on one hand of the physical sound forms which originate i n the mouth of the sender and are picked up by the ear of the receiver. of the referents. or meanings. p. I t i s important that we are aware of t h i s dual aspect of language.

we must recognize the fact that unless both these elements are present an utterance cannot be regarded as a phenomenon of language. on the other hand. which i s to a large extent interchangeable between languages. there can only be works that approach one side of the graph or the other. f o r example 2 sonic ordering. we are merely stating that no matter how much verse shares the quality of r e f e r e n t i a l ordering with other forms of l i t e r a r y a r t story. however. . This i s not to say that the r e f e r e n t i a l side of verse i s i r r e l e v a n t . cannot be translated because each p a r t i cular language has i t s own p a r t i c u l a r set of sounds which i s not wholly shared by any other language. which depends as w e l l upon i t s sound forms f o r i t s e f f e c t . The former depends f o r i t s e f f e c t upon reference. verse and prose. or even into other words of the same language. of course. must be taken as cardinal rather than functional.2 referent. Verse. and we must narrow our d e f i n i t i o n even more by saying that verse i s language whose sound form has special aesthetic appeal. That which passes f o r verse t r a n s l a t i o n i s usually a rendering of the prose sense of the work i n the new tongue or at best some kind of crude recons t r u c t i o n of the sound pattern of the o r i g i n a l according to some approximate formula of correspondences between the sound systems of the two languages. whereas verse cannot. This d e f i n i t i o n implies two categories of the the distinguishing feature of verse i s i t s language a r t . There can never be any precise d i v i d i n g l i n e between the two genres. i s not verse. for a l l language may be said to have some aesthetic relevance 2 This fact explains why prose can be translated into another language. categories which. A l l language.

i s the actual poem. however. however contingent or minimal t h i s may be. that our d e f i n i t i o n s force us to regard the poem as an e n t i t y of sound and that the written work i s therefore merely a s p a c i a l t r a n s c r i p t i o n of the sonic form which. Having accepted the above d e f i n i t i o n of verse we are now ready to go on to discuss the nature of certain types of poetic form. The reader must r e a l i z e . .3 i n i t s sound forms.

production and contemplation of spacial a r t sculpture for example involves the p r i n c i p l e of measure. i s a time a r t . Particular 3 (New York. l i k e music. 1934) p. In fact. . Such common poetic devices as a l l i t e r a t i o n and assonance or rhyme and word r e p e t i t i o n involve the special r e p e t i t i o n of p a r t i c u l a r sounds or sound groups i n order to segment the sound continuum of the poem and so establish a s t r u c t u r a l rhythm. we might even think of rhythm i n t h i s And just as the painting or way as being time measured i n the concrete. therefore. and i t s formal structure.202. so the creation and appreciation of verse form must involve t h i s same p r i n c i p l e . i f we use this term to mean a chronological series of perceptible points and their intervals. or perhaps we should say process. verse measure can be based on any functional element of the sound system of the language i n question. may be thought of as rhythm.4 PART II MEASURE Rhythm i s a form cut into TIME as design i s determined SPACE Ezra Pound ABC of Reading 3 Verse. In theory.

i s a case i n point. see Manual. pp. who i s s t i l l regarded i n some c i r c l e s as the standard authority on English prosody. the rhythmic structure of a French poem cannot depend upon the r e l a t i v e loudness of consecutive s y l l a b l e s because the average French speaker's ear does not take account of t h i s difference.19-23. however. i t i s of interest to bring attention to the a n a l y t i c a l p o s s i b i l i t i e s inherent i n Roman Jacobson's theory of " d i s t i n c t i v e features". This system.4 We should emphasize. 1956 ) . 1906-1910 ) 3 v o l . a universal system of oppositional sound q u a l i t i e s which i n • combination form the segmental elements of the sound system of any language. i f applied to poetry. metre i s an example of terms relevant to the c l a s s i c a l languages being misapplied to English. Prosody (London. would be something very s i m i l a r to poet Robert Duncan's concept of an "absolute scale of resemblance and disresemblance" i n speech sounds upon which the poet i d e a l l y constructs h i s rhythmic patterns.5 sound q u a l i t i e s may also function i n t h i s way. For example. 1910). S i m i l a r l y .e s t a b l i s h i n g the durational c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of s y l l a b l e s . His works: A History of English Prosody (London. . that the p a r t i c u l a r voice q u a l i t i e s must also be operative elements i n the sound system of the p a r t i c u l a r language involved. 5 The idea of vowel duration as the basis of English. and interpret his longs and shorts as being strong and weakly stressed s y l l a b l e s . and so we have poetic rhythms that are based on the r e l a t i v e loudness or duration of syllables. of verse structures i n English 4 Although i t does not d i r e c t l y concern t h i s paper. . i t would be absurd to t a l k . and Manual of English. as many t r a d i t i o n a l prosodists^ do. See Roman Jacobson and Morris Halle. George Saintsbury. Fundamentals of Language ( 'S-Gravenhage. are-of value only i f we disregard his confused c r i t e r i a f o r .

not been for the l a s t few hundred years. i s not an operative element i n the English language. because t h i s kind of v a r i a t i o n i s not meaningfully cant i n i t s e l f . for vowel length.being based on vowel length. . at l e a s t . i t has This i s not to but signifi- say that a l l English vowels are of equal duration. i t passed unnoticed by the ear of the averag English speaker.

usually 6 Kenyon Review.7 PART I I I ENGLISH STRESS PATTERNS As no science can go beyond. us also recognize those p i t c h shapes which occur. . mathematics. And the kind of l i n g u i s t i c s needed by recent c r i t i c i s m for the solution of i t s pressing problems of metrics and s t y l i s t i c s . /// primary or And l e t and /*/ weak. 713. In order to i l l u s t r a t e the way stress patterns can function as basis f o r formal verse rhythms we must f i r s t analyse a small segment of English speech. /V tertiary. micro l i n g u i s t i c s .. categories and symbols from the l i n g u i s t s . In so doing i t w i l l be convenient to adopt certain terms. XIII (1951). Harold Whitehall: reviewing An Outline of English Structure.. l i n g u i s t i c s .." A feature of English speech which has frequently been used as a device of verse measure i s s y l l a b l e s t r e s s . /*/ secondary. no c r i t i c i s m can go beyond i t s l i n g u i s t i c s . . . i s not semantics. but down to earth. or perhaps we should c a l l i t s y l l a b l e prominence. Let us therefore use four degrees of stress: heavy. by George L. not metalinguistics. Trager and Henry Lee Smith.

According to An Outline of English Structure by George L.8 accompanied by a s l i g h t pause. 1951).. the double bar juncture J\\l. characterized by a f a l l i n g pitch contour and occurring usually at the end of a sentence. . 8 Outline. Occasional Papers 3 (Normand.. pp. Trager and Henry Lee Smith. as "He came /||/ he saw //(/ he conquered/jj/'V and the single bar juncture /|/. ends i n one of the terminal junctures. terminal junctures r e l a t e i n the following way to stress patterns i n English. characterized by a r i s i n g pitch.one AND ONLY ONE primary stress and may have one or more other stresses . Any utterance made i n English.49-50. speech: Between any two successive primary stresses there i s always one of the terminal junctures. contour and occurring i n a sequence such. and main types are: are c a l l e d "terminal junctures". The three the double cross juncture /$/.. where the voice neither r i s e s nor f a l l s before a r t i c u l a t i o n stops. Such..8 7 Studies i n L i n g u i s t i c s : Oklahoma. at the ends of s y l l a b l e c l u s t e r s . and every primary stress i s followed by one terminal juncture at some point subsequent to i t . In that case i t must have.? a work which. I f i t i s a minimal complete utterance i t has no other terminal junctures within' i t . a minimal complete utterance may be c a l l e d by the technical term PHONEMIC CLAUSE. has become something of a standard among American l i n g u i s t s for i t s d e f i n i t i o n of terms and from which the above symbols have been borrowed..

" The writer w i l l a r t i c u l a t e the passage himself. l e t us analyse the stress patterns of the following sentence. "Henry has eaten Jack's elephant. what has happened to a p l a s t i c toy: Henryl/has eaten^Jack s/|elephant I 1 I t should also be noted that the heavily stressed s y l l a b l e s in the l a s t utterance are approximately equally spaced i n time. . 3.9 With the above categories i n mind.6. 1945).^ We could go on to imagine other s i t u a t i o n a l contexts for the above passage and record the probable stress patterns for each occasion. a phenomenon c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of English speech which we w i l l c a l l "isochronism". (1) The speaker gives a casual explanation of the disappear- ance of a cookie: Henry has eaten Jack s elephant 'v (2) The speaker gives a casual explanation of who has eaten whose elephant: Henry has eaten/jJack s elephant" (3) The speaker excitedly t e l l s h i s wife.2. however. the three examples are s u f f i c i e n t 9 For a technical discussion of this phenomenon see Kenneth Lee Pike. who i s upstairs making the beds. Intonation of American English (Ann Arbor. imagining three d i f f e r e n t contexts of s i t u a t i o n .

. terminal junctures. words. i n a l l the utterances there i s a constant r e l a t i v e stress relationship within p a r t i c u l a r words. and the word "elephant" has the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c pattern of strongestweakest-medium. i t seems to be a manifestation of the speaker's immediate emotional. condition. whereby the heaviest stressed s y l l a b l e s tend to space themselves out at approximately equal intervals from one another i n time through passages of sustained utterance. few l i s t e n e r s would have known what he was t a l k i n g about.10 to i l l u s t r a t e a few basic points. or even kinesthetic. and the previously mentioned phenomenon of "isochronism". The stress pattern of the word "eaten" for example i s always i n the order of stronger-weaker. The reader. To begin with. f o r the whole . This type of patterning i s a matter of heavy stresses. mental. Having noted t h i s constant r e l a t i v e stress patterning which i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of English. In t h i s respect we note that the f i r s t of the utterances transcribed above i s made up of one "phonemic clause". w i l l also have noted that there i s another type of stress patterning which varies from occasion to occasion and seems to depend upon the speaker's response to the s i t u a t i o n . however. l e t us refer to i t for the remainder of t h i s paper as "word stress". i n other words. to use the Trager and Smith term. Had the speaker said "elephant". for t h i s word i s not known i n English.

utterance contains only one one terminal juncture. stress i n d i f f e r e n t ways. each system making use of the relative degree of stress i n the uttered s y l l a b l e s . Let us c a l l t h i s l a t t e r type of stress patterning stress". two "rhetorical To summarize. The primary stressed s y l l a b l e and second utterance. but r e l a t i n g t h i s . however. and i s made up of no less than four of these units. therefore. each of which has i t s primary s y l l a b l e i n isochronous r e l a t i o n to the primary s y l l a b l e either preceding i t or following i t . or to both. we have distinguished systems of stress patterning functioning simultaneously i n English speech. i s the t h i r d utterance broken into two phonemic clauses.

In discussing t h i s kind of measure the theoreticians usually conceive of the utterance as being made up of two-syllable units which are c a l l e d feet.50. being s t a t i s t i c a l l y rather more possible of occurrence than the trochaic. By far the best known type of English verse measure relates to what we have c a l l e d "work-stress" and i s generally referred to as "metre". To put i t simply. or the reverse. as described by Trager and Smith. . patterns b i n a r i l y on a constantly varying strongerweaker p r i n c i p l e . i s the overweening basic pattern. and the iambic pattern. verse measure. Edmund L. p. we can now patterning that underlie most English go on to show how to both these stress systems have been s t y l i z e d function as d i s t i n c t i v e modes of English. Occasional Papers 7 (Buffalo. An a l t e r n a t i v e and less frequent variant of t h i s 10 Studies i n L i n g u i s t i c s : 1959). Epstein and Terence Hawkes: L i n g u i s t i c s and English ProsodylQ Having recognized the two c h a r a c t e r i s t i c types of stress speech rhythm. metre occurs when the poet so arranges his words that s y l l a b l e s of weaker and greater stress alternate throughout the utterance.12 PART IV ENGLISH METRE English poetry. deriving i t s basic 'heart beat' from the rhythms of o r a l discourse.

General Prologue. p.\ it — u — B i f i l I that in/'that sesjon on |a day. and by the 14th Century was dominant p r i n c i p l e behind most verse forms. Symbol code: /"/ weaker stress. . i n Southwerk at (the* Tabjard a s / f lay. 17. of course.Robinson. being the greatest medieval master of t h i s type of measure. The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer. f u l l devout jcourage etc. poets counted out groups of ten or twelve s y l l a b l e s 11 Canterbury Tales. V '— u — 1/ . 1957). The f i r s t English metrical forms seem to have been derived from French syllable-counted verse models. F. second e d i t i o n (Boston. /"/ stronger stress.. we might note that metre gradually began to make i t s e l f felt i n English verse forms the a f t e r the Norman Conquest. ed. But when the English. because two- the majority of English metrical poetry i s of the s y l l a b l e variety. and l i k e them. H i s t o r i c a l l y speaking.type of measure involves arranging the words so that two weaker s y l l a b l e s w i l l occur before or a f t e r every stronger s y l l a b l e . shared the complementary device of end-rhyme. we w i l l confine our remarks solely to i t . / ) / foot d i v i s i o n . and i n t h i s case the units or feet are conceived of as being made up of three s y l l a b l e s . 19-24. Chaucer. However. Redy/to" wenjden 0n| my piljgrymage To Caunjterburyj with.N.

Written at the Request of Master Eduardo Donati". because of the d i f f e r e n t degrees of s y l l a b l e stress c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of English speech. a fact which allows for a certain amount of v a r i a t i o n within the l i n e . English poets and theorists 12 "Certain Notes of Instruction concerning the Making of Verse or Rime i n English. 2 v o l s . rather than s t r i c t l y s y l l a b l e counted. we have George Gascoigne.Our father Chaucer hath used the same l i b e r t y in feet and measures that the L a t i n i s t s do use. t h e i r l i n e s took on the patterning of alternating weakerstronger s y l l a b l e s and so became foot-counted. 1961). 49-54. ed. and being anxious to give t h e i r own barbaric tongue l i t e r a r y prestige. 1904). reprinted from Elizabethan C r i t i c a l Essays. w r i t i n g i n 1575 that: . l . . ed. p . hath fewest s y l l a b l e s in it. G.. (London. In i l l u s t r a t i o n of t h i s viewpoint. with s p e l l i n g and punctuation modernized i n Discussions of Poetry: Sound and Rhythm. he s h a l l f i n d that although his l i n e s are not always of one selfsame number of s y l l a b l e s .12 In recognizing and e x p l o i t i n g t h i s fundamental metrical potent i a l of t h e i r language. and that which hath most s y l l a b l e s i n i t .and marked them with pairs of l i k e vowel-consonant clusters (end-rhymes) they discovered that. yet being read by one that hath understanding. George Hemphill (Boston.. one of the f i r s t to theorize on English prosody. units of measure. And whosoever do peruse and well consider his works. the longest verse. Gregory Smith. I. w i l l f a l l (to the ear) correspondent unto that which.

g. we can recognize a. and i n consequence we have English prosodic theorists. ed. considerable body of w r i t i n g devoted to describing and i l l u s t r a t i n g the p r i n c i p l e s of t h i s type of t r a d i t i o n a l English poetic measure. and Manual.15 associated native English s y l l a b l e . .357. Wordsworth was to use as a basis of his poetic d i c t i o n "the r e a l language of men". 1956). p. even down to the present day. History..^ I f we make allowances. (New York.s t r e s s metre with. Noy. we w i l l not dwell on the subject of metre except to emphasize the fact that i t has dominated English poetry for the l a s t f i v e hundred years. but he was to adapt t h i s language "by f i t t i n g it to metrical arrangement". Saintsbury. however. c l a s s i c a l quantitative metre based on vowel length. surviving even such poetic revolutions as that outlined by Wordsworth i n his Preface to L y r i c a l Ballads. 14 Reprinted i n English Romantic Prose and Poetry. -^ 1 And even today we have modern poets who refuse to consider any type of verse form outside the 13 E. But because we are primarily concerned with another basic type of English measure i n t h i s paper. for the inappropriate terminology of many of the theoreticians. t a l k i n g erroneously about "long and short" s y l l a b l e s being the bases of English metre.es. R.

16 s t r i c t l y metrical t r a d i t i o n . . and I don't want any of i t . ^ 15 Conversations on the Craft of Poetry. a good many who think they're writing free verse are r e a l l y w r i t i n g o l d fashioned i a m b i c . had t h i s to say on the subject: And you see. ed. The l a t e Robert Frost. 1961). . maybe you've got true free verse. . I f you do. f o r example. p. Ezra Pound used to say that you've got to get a l l the meter out: of i t — e x t i r p a t e the meter.6. Brooks and Robert Penn Warren (New York. Cleanth.

1883. the stresses came together and so the rhythm i s sprung. 1953). and so on. (4) I t arises i n common verse when reversed or counterpointed. p. l e t us turn our attention to another important although often unacknowledged system which for convenience we w i l l c a l l "strong stress measure". printed i n Poems and Prose of Gerard Manlev Hopkins. (3) I t i s found i n nursery rhymes. the terminations having dropped o f f by the change of language.H. c o l l e c t i o n of poems. For (1) i t i s the rhythm of common speech and of written prose. Gerard Manley Hopkins Having recognized and acknowledged metre as the dominant system of English verse measure. Gardner (Harmondsworth.//. . for the same reason.S. C. ed.t 17 PART V STRONG STRESS MEASURE Sprung Rhythm i s the most natural of things. (2) I t i s the rhythm of a l l but the most monotonously regular music. when rhythm i s perceived i n them. so thatj^he words of the choruses and r e f r a i n s and i n songs written closely to music i t a r i s e s . In defining this system l e t us begin by going back i n t h i s paper to page 11 i n order to consider what we have recognized 16 From author's Preface to M. because. W. weather saws. however these may have been once made i n running rhythm.

Rhetorical stress patterns as well as word stress patterns are present to some degree i n a l l English speech and hence exist i n a l l a r t i c u l a t e d English.18 as the " r h e t o r i c a l stress patterns" i n the transcribed example passages of English speech. And indeed. close examination of English l i t e r a r y history w i l l bear out the fact that there has been from time to time English. I t i s obvious that t h i s r h e t o r i c a l stress patterning i s i n fact a kind of natural system of speech measure i n i t s e l f . utterances We w i l l remember that are broken up into s y l l a b l e groups which the l i n g u i s t s Trager and Smith have termed "phonemic clauses" (see page 10) and that these tend to be i n l i n e a l isochronous r e l a t i o n to one another within the p a r t i c u l a r utterance. Inevitably there . i n c i t i n g these two d i s t i n c t i v e systems of verse measure. verse which. are the bases of t r a d i t i o n a l English meter. as we have seen. we do not t r y to force a l l English poetry to conform exclusively to either one. and therefore might well be s t y l i z e d to function as the underlying p r i n c i p l e of a system of formal verse measure. takes the r h e t o r i c a l stress pattern of the language (as we have defined i t on page 11) as the basis of i t s formal rhythm rather than word stress patterns which. Perhaps i t would be advisable at t h i s point i n our discussion to acknowledge the fact that. poetry.

was In t h i s type of verse the formal measure 17 based on a s t y l i z a t i o n of common speech rhythm. having been f i r s t written down during and a f t e r the 7th Century A. Book I.19 w i l l be some poems which r e l y on both these systems of stress organization for t h e i r aesthetic e f f e c t . "The Middle Ages". The L i t e r a r y History of England. l e t us turn to a few instances of r h e t o r i c a l or strong-stress measure as i t has occurred i n English verse. Baugh (New York. The largest single body of English strong-stress verse i s that which. In such cases we might say that the other type of effect. At any rate. p.. the strong 17 Kemp Malone. stress patterning merely contributes decorative Admittedly t h i s kind of a r b i t r a r y c l a s s i f i c a t i o n w i l l be v a l i d only for those poems whose sound form gives us reasonable evidence for i n c l u s i o n i n either category. . Albert C. therefore. we only one should avoid a f a c t i o n a l i s t attitude that recognizes possible type of stress rhythm i n English poetry and t r i e s to analyse a l l poems i n terms of this single system. With this idea i n mind. comes down from the Anglo-Saxon period. ed. of d i s t i n c t i v e c l a s s i f i c a t i o n we may However.D. for purposes look on certain poems as formal having one of these stress systems underlying t h e i r rhythm. 1948). but descending from an o r a l t r a d i t i o n which extended far into the Old Germanic past. 23.

by a l l i t e r a t i o n . i t does appear from In the l a s t h a l f of the 14th.s I sy<J<tan Sere'st ) we'arct I feasceaft | f u n d i n g ' 1 8 It i s evident that the single unit of formal measure conforms very closely to the s y l l a b l e cluster which we have defined as the the phonemic clause.-^ A f t e r the decline of Anglo-Saxon culture and the submergence of i t s l i t e r a r y traditions subsequent to the Norman Conquest. I t i s d i f f i c u l t to speculate as to whether p r i n c i p l e of isochronism between heavy stresses was a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c feature of t h i s type of verse. 1941).4-7. Lexington. l . but vocal i n t e r pretation of various modern readers would lead us to believe that t h i s was the case. p . Century. John C. Nevertheless. In the following l i n e s of the "Beowulf". PMLA. t h i r d edition (Boston. Pope. ed. National Council of Teachers of English. F r . no. strong-stress verse never again achieved such prominence i n English. no. 181. time to time. 5505. LXXVII (1962)'. 33. 11. Selections from Beowulf. Klaeber. | egsode / eorla.20 stresses of the normal sound sequence having been " l i f t e d " or exaggerated. recordings: Harry Morgan Ayres. . such a stress pattern might well be represented as follows: Oft Scyldj Scef ing ) sceaj^ena ) )»reatum | mon^gum J jna'eg^pum meodosetla | of teah. f o r a similar opinion see Martin Halpern. "On the Two Chief Metrical Modes i n English". . 19 See phonograph. l i t e r a t u r e . Selections from Beowulf. f o r 18 Beowulf and the Fight at Finnsburg.

Humorous doggerel. strong-stress verse measure a l l but disappeared from the main stream of English poetry. | when softe I was je sonne.)^^ | £ schop.A. we can note the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c features of a l l i t e r a t i v e stressed s y l l a b l e s . which mark the formal units of the verse measure: In a somerJsesun. In the following l i n e s of "Piers Plowman". by G. A Handbook of Middle English.21 example. pp. nursery rhymes and popular ballads have continued to be based on strongstress measure r i g h t down to the present. I t was i n the less sophisticated verse of the folk that the o l d rhythmic t r a d i t i o n stayed a l i v e . me f into a shroud. a l b e i t greatly modified from the c l a s s i c a l Anglo-Saxon strong-stress models. which call the l i t e r a r y historians the " A l l i t e r a t i v e Revival". In t h i s respect i t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note that Northrop Frye sees a d i r e c t l i n k between the o l d Anglo-Saxon forms and the folk ballad: 20 Text from Fernand Moss!./!^ O f o I Wehde I wydene | i n ^ i s wdrld | wondres I to' h e r e / ^ ) u 0 However. trans. ) a scheep I as I were$N j | * In hab^te | of ^an he'rmi/te I unholy|#f we^rkes.260-1. a period when the patterns of English metrical verse were being firmly established by such figures as Chaucer and Gower. 1952). one of about 20 such poems which have come down to us from the period of about 1350-1400. . there was also a b r i e f resurgence of the o l d a l l i t e r a t i v e type of verse.Walker (Baltimore. a f t e r t h i s b r i e f f l o u r i s h .

that the metre of the work . with a rest at the end of every other l i n e . 21 "Lexis and Melos". p . or for the mere ends of convenience. Nevertheless. or the beat coming at a point of actual silence. 1956 (New York. Sound and Poetry: Essays. 1957). p. was already established i n Old E n g l i s h . we may read and transcribe a how portion of " C h r i s t a b e l " i n the following manner. English I n s t i t u t e 22 Coleridge. This p r i n c i p l e of the rest. . properly speaking. yet i n each l i n e the accents w i l l be found to be only four. "Christabel". t h i s occasional v a r i a t i o n i n number of s y l l a b l e s i s not introduced wantonly. ed.22 The four-three-four-three stress quatrain of the ballads i s a c t u a l l y a continuous four-beat rhythm. but i n correspondence with some t r a n s i t i o n i n the nature of the imagery or passion. though i t may seem so from i t s being founded on a new p r i n c i p l e : namely that of counting i n each l i n e the accents. ^ 1 It was probably an interest i n b a l l a d measure that led Samuel Taylor Coleridge i n 1797 measure. i n the preface to his poem fragment. x v i i . Elisabeth Schneider (New York. to a rediscovery of strong-stress He t e l l s us. i s not. Selected Poetry and Prose. noting the l i n e s analyse into the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s y l l a b l e c l u s t e r s . .70. Though the l a t t e r may vary from seven to twelve. With the above note i n mind. i r r e g u l a r . . not the s y l l a b l e s . 1951).

70-71. including regular anapestic or d a c t y l i c metre. i t i s merely t r a d i t i o n a l metrics with a high degree of foot s u b s t i t u t i o n . 1962). His d e f i n i t i o n of the two d i s t i n c t i v e genres of verse 23 24 Coleridge.^ | N > 23 In other parts of Christabel. . as some prosodists claim. Selected Poetry and Prose. i n his "On the Two Chief M e t r i c a l Modes i n English". PMLA.LXXVII (June. pp. Ty | .^ J Tu J— whi 1\ //. Whether or not Christabel i s t r u l y i n the strong-stress mode or whether. 177-186. Hopkins' preface to his unpublished c o l l e c t i o n of poems shows a remarkable insight into the whole question of prosody. a point of view would c l e a r l y put " C h r i s t a b e l " i n the strong-stress category. 25 There i s no question at a l l . Manual. .ll the* crowing | cock. 25 Martin Halpern.97-100. having i d e n t i f i e d what we-have c a l l e d metrics and strong-stress measure. Saintsbury. pp. a reader has some d i f f i c u l t y i n ascertaining the stressed s y l l a b l e s . And hark | again'. verse measure outside the s t r i c t l y two-syllable foot type (iambic or trochaic) i s i n the strong-stress t r a d i t i o n .23 'Tis the ^middle /j of the jiight | by the castle[jclock | And the owls ) have awakened |j the crowing | cock. c i t . . ^ r e a l l y 2 depends upon one's point of v i e w . but we w i l l discuss t h i s problem l a t e r i n the paper./| | How | drowsily/ i t / crew. i n the case of our next exponent of the strongstress system.whoo \ jl . Such. however. maintains that a l l English. Gerard Manley Hopkins. op.

. I t has one stress. we might read and transcribe a few l i n e s of Hopkins i n the following manner: 26 Prose and Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins. . and paying attention to the d i a c r i t i c a l marks which Hopkins included i n h i s manus c r i p t s as a guide to the poem's a r t i c u l a t i o n .10. and for p a r t i c u l a r e f f e c t s . for could hardly be stated more c l e a r l y a l l our technical knowledge about the language. even today with Consider. the feet are assumed to be equally long or short and t h e i r seeming inequality i s made up by pause or stressing. England. . which f a l l s on only one s y l l a b l e .^6 C l e a r l y . and simply.. h i s following remarks on strong-stress measure: Sprung Rhythm. W.9v 27 Ibid. . Nominally the feet are mixed and any one may follow any other. example."27 With the above ideas i n mind. . p. any number of weak or slack s y l l a b l e s may be used. .24 measure: "running rhythm" and "sprung rhythm" as he c a l l s them.H.is measured by feet of from one to four s y l l a b l e s regularly. . the foot of Hopkins' Sprung Rhythm i s equivalent to the Trager and Smith "phonemic clause" {cf. It is also notable that Hopkins took account of the isochronous character of this type of measure.. page 10^ . Gardener (Harmondsworth. p. for he states that " i n Sprung Rhythm . 1953). ed.

i b i d . been assimilated by modern poetry. for at least t h i r t y years academic c r i t i c i s m has neglected the subject e n t i r e l y . p. Indeed. 28 A r t i c u l a t i o n based on reproduction of Hopkins' o r i g i n a l manuscript. . . and especially being read aloud.230. ^ and b/rdy | handsome | | / „ Pining ( pining^|j t i l l ^ t i m e j l when reason I . than ever before. j rambled i n it^&and some] F a t a l 1 f o'url d i s o r d e r s I fleshed there |j i i l l J contended // J s v 28 Hopkins' Sprung Rhythm has. s t i l l great confusion about the theory of modern verse measure. to a great extent.25 F e l i x J Randal J the f a r r i e r | 0 i s he dead thenll j | my duty | a l l e^ded H w / / \ Whd have watched I h i s mould | of man fj big-bonedj . that there seems to have been any progress i n bringing to l i g h t the p r i n c i p l e s involved i n English strong-stress verse form. how- ever. so much so that today there seems to be more strong-stress poetry being written. and i t i s only since the s t r u c t u r a l l i n g u i s t s have turned t h e i r attention to verse forms. There i s .

i i . ed. .901.B. i s further complicated by the issue of v a r i a b l e form. 1948). and i n i t . from prose. Shakespeare: Hamlet.. especially in connection with modern poetry. p. 31 (London. existence precedes essence. 1934).43. Ezra Pound: Make I t New 31 Any discussion of English verse measure. or the blank verse s h a l l h a l t for i t . p. 337-39 Compose by the sequence of the musical phrase. they argue. not i n sequence of a metronome.. Jean Paul Sartre: E x i s t e n t i a l i s t Psychoanalysis ^ 2 . does verse d i f f e r To such doctrinaire exponents. the term "free-verse" 29 Translation by Hazel E. G. Barnes of a major part of L'£tre et l e neant (Chicago. 1962).26 PART VI VARIABLE VERSE FORMS Freedom i s existence. p. How else. In the minds of a few prosodic theor- i z e r s the p r i n c i p l e of r e g u l a r i t y of pattern i s implied i n any d e f i n i t i o n of verse.335. Harrison (New York.and the lady s h a l l say her mind f r e e l y . 30 I I . 30 The Complete Works.

I t i s not surprising that a theorist would see s t r i c t r e g u l a r i t y as a v i r t u e i f we remember that i t i s a much simpler undertaking to describe and theorize about regular. from i n d i v i d u a l to individual. to keep the prosodists happy i n their investigations and tabulations of the norms of various types of verse measure. each h a l f l i n e was made up of two phonemic clauses. d i f f e r from period to period. verse has been b u i l t upon some degree of formal r e g u l a r i t y . enough. and more p a r t i c u l a r l y . of formal v a r i a b i l i t y seems to be always at work. of course. Attitudes towards r e g u l a r i t y . The p r i n c i p l e Consider. Speaking generally. at l e a s t . at most. u n t i l the r e g u l a r i t y of the form becomes nothing more than an abstract theory. And i t must be admitted that the great mass of English. the development of Anglo-Saxon verse. or to use our technical terminology. The two short three l i n e s were linked by a l l i t e r a t i o n (usually on the f i r s t . however. for example. was rigidly l i n e a r . we can note that r i g i d l y regular verse patterns become more f l e x i b l e with use.27 i s a contradiction. from what we can gather from the few remaining fragments that have come down to us. a page convention. or. predictable patterns than about i r r e g u l a r ones. The so- c a l l e d " p r e . the l i n e being made up of two halves each containing two heavily stressed s y l l a b l e s and a varying number of slack s y l l a b l e s .c l a s s i c a l " form.

long l i n e . and the matter i s preserved en masse. etc. i n some cases.) remained. The verses give the e f f e c t of a never-ending flow. or indeed of clear-cut units of any kind. During the middle part of the c l a s s i c a l But during the period t h i s v a r i a b i l i t y was not excessive. the r e g u l a r i t y of the s t r u c t u r a l units d i s appeared. Since the sentences usually begin and end i n the middle of a l i n e . form. and three of these mark the end of a f i t . XIX . 203-204. gave way end- This highly regular verse to a less r i g i d form i n the l a t e r c l a s s i c a l period by admitting expanded l i n e s which contained more heavily stressed s y l l a b l e s than the usual four. RES. l a t e r stages of the period. almost e n t i r e l y . the syntactic and a l l i t e r a t i v e patterns r a r e l y coincide at any point. four-beat. apart from the f i t s [[verse paragraphs] . I f we follow the punctuation of Wulcker. exemplifies the l a t e stage of the run-on s t y l e . 3 2 32 " P l u r i l i n e a r Units i n Old English Poetry". Here one can hardly speak of p l u r i l i n e a r units at a l l . although the bases of the form measure (strongly stressed s y l l a b l e s l i f t e d by a l l i t e r a t i o n . only 11 of the 350 l i n e s end with a f u l l stop.28 heavily stressed s y l l a b l e s ) to form the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c stopped. To such a case Kemp Malone refers i n the following passage: Judith. however. but t h i s continuous effect i s gained at a heavy structural c o s t . and l i n e endings which ran on without syntactic pause. t h i s l a s t device giving r i s e to p l u r i l i n e a r s t r u c t u r a l units of v a r i a b l e length. so to speak. (1943).

and at the same time to keep i n t e r n a l pauses to a minimum. they began to treat the l i n e with more f l e x i b i l i t y . Gradually. i n t h i s new unrhymed form the whole r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for the s t r u c t u r a l demarcation f e l l on the syntactic pause. the most prominent device since he was eliminating for marking o f f the larger s t r u c t u r a l units of the verse form. When the Elizabethan dramatists took up blank verse as their medium they too tended to use i t as a basis for s t r u c t u r a l r e g u l a r i t y . an attitude which i s not shared by the writer of t h i s paper. And hence. however. i f regular form was to be maintained. Whereas the sense of the l i n e could s t i l l be retained i n run-on couplets because the r e p e t i t i o n of similar vowel-consonant clusters marked the l i n e endings. l i n e s had to be f u l l y or at least p a r t i a l l y endstopped. A p a r a l l e l s h i f t from regular to variable form can be seen i n the development of English blank verse. allowing run-ons . end-rhyme. When Surrey gave us our f i r s t sample of unrhymed iambic pentameter i n his t r a n s l a t i o n of the Aeniad he was very careful to mark the end of each of his l i n e s with a d i s t i n c t i v e syntactic pause.29 Malone's concluding remark i s worth noting i n that i t implies that s t r u c t u r a l r e g u l a r i t y i n verse i s equivalent to s t r u c t u r a l excellence. That t h i s should be the case i s not surprising.

taken from w his l a t e r Tempest: Prospero: I f I have too austerely punished you. who once again I tender to thy hand. (IV. Do not smile at me that I boast her o f f . Compare the regular measure of the following l i n e s . and hence blank verse l o s t i t s l i n e a l . i . For thou shalt f i n d she w i l l outstrip a l l praise And make i t halt behind her. and thou Hast strangely stood the t e s t . That t h i s i s true father. Here. a downright blow. Part I I I : Warwick: I wonder how the king escaped our hands. Is either s l a i n or wounded dangerously. and regular. breaking i n Were by the swords of common soldiers s l a i n . taken from h i s early Henry VI. A l l they vexations Were but my t r a i l s of love. Charged our main battle's front and. i . the multi-foot s t r u c t u r a l units being phrases. York: While we pursued the horsemen on the North. I t became more and more a form of variable verse measure. Whose warlike ears could never brook retreat. and himself. Or that for which I l i v e . (I. afore Heaven. sentences and paragraphs rather than five-foot l i n e s . Edward: Lord Stafford's father. This development from regular to v a r i a b l e measure i s especially evident i n the work of Shakespeare. and Lord Stafford a l l abreast. Whereat the great Lord of Northumberland. Your compensation makes amends..30 and i n t e r n a l breaks and stops. I r a t i f y this my r i c h g i f t . clauses. character. For I Have given you here a t h i r d of mine own l i f e . Duke of Buckingham. behold h i s blood. 0 Ferdinand. 1-12) i t h the variable measure of the following passage. 1-11) . Cheered up the drooping army. I c l e f t h i s beaver with. He s l y l y stole away and l e f t his men. Lord C l i f f o r d .

we w i l l have to admit that i t has remained to t h i s day predominantly a variable form of verse measure.If we consider the use of blank verse since Shakespeare's time for example i n the works of Milton and Wordsworth. . We might even see a certain type of so-called modern "free verse" as blank verse which no longer preserves the o l d page convention of the five-foot l i n e .

. against the 33 The Writings of William Blake. both of cadences & number of s y l l a b l e s .32 PART VII ORGANIC FORM But words came h a l t i n g forth. to be a necessary and indispensable part of Verse. ed.. We who dwell on Earth. Every word and every l e t t e r i s studied and put into i t s f i t place. Geoffrey Keynes. Fool. But I soon found that i n the mouth of a true Orator such monotony was not only awkward. And others' feet s t i l l seemed but strangers i n my way.Eliot t e l l s us that Free Verse was "a revolt against dead form [and] . Sir P h i l i p Sidney: Astrophel and S t e l l a . but as much a bondage as rhyme i t s e l f .. the t e r r i f i c numbers are reserved for the t e r r i f i c parts. Nations are Destroy'd or Flourish. and helpless i n my throes. can do nothing of ourselves. Painting and Music are Destroy'd or F l o u r i s h ! The Primeval State of Man was Wisdom. essentially an insistence upon the inner unity which i s unique to every poem. Thus great with c h i l d to speak. f l e d step-dame Study's blows. look i n thy heart and write.Art and Science. l i k e that used by Milton & Shakespeare & a l l writers of English Blank Verse. every thing i s conducted by S p i r i t s . I consider'd a Monotonous Cadence. nature's c h i l d .. derived from the modern bondage of Rhyming. 1925). Poetry Fetter'd Fetters the Human Race. 167. .. When t h i s Verse was f i r s t dictated to me. William Blake: "Of the Measure i n which Jerusalem is Written" 33 When T.. i n proportion as Their Poetry. no less than Digestion or Sleep. said my muse to me. wanting inventions stay. 9-14. Invention. beating myself for spite. I I I (London. B i t i n g my truant pen. I. the mild & gentle for the mild & gentle parts.S. a l l are necessary to each other. and the prosaic for i n f e r i o r parts. I therefore have produced a v a r i e t y i n every l i n e .

33 outer unity, which i s typical",34 he i s emphasizing the academic a t t i t u d e towards modern verse that has prevailed for the l a s t forty years. The so-called New C r i t i c i s m i s , for the

most part, a system for analysing and evaluating poetry without regard to the organization of i t s sound-form t h i s organization

being, from the point of view of t h i s paper, the very essence of verse. I t i s s i g n i f i c a n t that, i n the above remark, E l i o t d i d

not mention the p o s s i b i l i t y of an outer unity which might be (and i n free verse often i s ) as unique as the inner. In this

respect E l i o t ' s attitude i s t y p i c a l of the reluctance on the part of many c r i t i c s , and poets themselves for that matter, to recognize the concreteness of v a r i a b l e measure and the v a l i d i t y of organic verse form. The contemporary f a i l u r e to come to adequate terms with variable measure has resulted, i f we may generalize to some degree, i n two quite d i f f e r e n t schools of present-day poets. On one hand there are those reactionaries who tend to resurrect the o l d established metrical forms or even regular blank verse the sonnet, rhymed couplets,

to use as models for t h e i r works.

Usually the exponents of this t r a d i t i o n maintain that they are creating a poetic tension by counterpointing the normative


The Music of Poetry (Glasgow, 1942), p.26.

metrical patterns by the cadence rhythms of t h e i r own phrasing. Typical of the attitude of t h i s school i s Robert Frost, who has been quoted on several occasions as saying that he would as soon write verse without metre as play tennis with the net down.36 Xn other words, the basic form of the verse pattern the poet plays h i s own game, but

i s preordained and regular;

abides by the rules and confines h i s a c t i v i t y to the markedout area of the tennis court. The v a r i a t i o n occurs not i n the of i t .

basic formal measure, but i n the ornamentation

At the other extreme there are the doctrinaire exponents of organic verse form. For them the poem shapes i t s e l f not i n

reference to any abstract or preconceived model, but according to the emotional response of the poet. Anything can happen.

The poet himself has no idea of the formal outcome u n t i l the

35 The practice of counterpointing, i n i t s various forms, i s as old as the metrical t r a d i t i o n i t s e l f , and the theory behind i t i s also nothing new, See Hopkins' remarks on "running rhythm", Prose and Poems, pp.7-9. Edgar A l l a n Poe on "bastard" iambs and trochees i n "Rationale of Verse", Complete Works, V o l . 14 (New York, 1902), 209-265. Saintsbury on "equivalent substitution" i n Manual. For s c i e n t i f i c statement on same subject, see Epstein and Hawkes, L i n g u i s t i c s and English Prosody. 36 See Conversations, Brooks and Warren. For a t y p i c a l rejoinder to the remark from the opposition group, see Robert Duncan, "Ideas on the Meaning of Form", Kulture, IV ( F a l l , 1961), 73.

35 poem i s finished. As Robert Creeley has put i t , "form i s an
3 a n (

extension of content" ?

j content, i n t h i s sense, i s the

charge of the poet's expressive energy e x i s t i n g at the moment of creation. The theory of organic form has never been expounded with anything l i k e the d e t a i l that has gone into works on t r a d i t i o n a l prosody. One reason i s that there has not been

a common set of terms which can be applied to t h i s type of verse form. The r e s u l t i s that there i s great confusion

about most aspects of v a r i a b l e measure and organic form, even among the poets who practise i t successfully. To some

of them, measure i s to a large extent a matter of spontaneous intuition; often they break t h e i r l i n e s up on the page quite

a r b i t r a r i l y , and then disregard l i n e breaks altogether when they read the poem a l o u d . ^

In f a c t , the most embarrassing question poet of the non-traditional

that one can ask a contemporary

37 Quoted by Charles Olson i n "Projective Verse", New American Poetry 1945-1960, ed. Donald M. A l l a n (New York, 1960), p.387. 38 The reader may make the test for himself by comparing the written texts of poems by such poets as Wallace Stevens, William Carlos Williams, or Kenneth Rexroth with, phonograph recordings of the poets' own readings.

. yet i r o n i c a l l y i t s value l i e s i n the fact that the whole p r i n c i p l e i s vague enough to be u n r e s t r i c t i v e when i t i s put into practice by the poet. I t i s a technical point but a point of vast importance. the question by maintaining that the breath i s the basis of true l i n e measure. a man who struggled a l l h i s l i f e to a r t i c u l a t e the basis of h i s measure.320. he claimed.36 school i s on what basis does he end h i s l i n e s . Selected L e t t e r s . "Projective Verse". p. pp. Whitman with h i s so-called free verse was wrong: there can be no absolute freedom i n verse. Another long-time exponent of organic verse form i s William Carlos Williams. which. John C. In t h i s regard. As he points out.39 t r i e s to deal with. should not be considered properly " f r e e " . Charles Olson. 39 New American Poetry. 1957). where the units do not depend upon concrete features of the sound sequence i t s e l f . Olson's idea i s i n t e r e s t i n g and probably sound as far as i t goes. ed.40 What Williams seems to have arrived at i s a system which might be c a l l e d "c o v e r t measure". You must have a measure to exclude what has to be excluded and to include what has to be included.387-397. 40 L e t t e r to Richard Eberhart. T h i r l w a l l (New York. i n h i s much-read essay.

The musical pace proceeds without them. syntactic measure i s not d i r e c t l y relevant to the concerns of t h i s paper. However. suggests that the basis of Williams' measure i s syntactic rather than prosodic. having been freed. 1962). have become e n t i r e l y divorced from the beat. . the l i n e s (not necessarily the words) make i n our e a r s " ^ 2 i s much too vague to be of value. Ibid. p. that i s the measure. This-has • amounted to no more ( i n Whitman and others) than no d i s c i p l i n e at a l l . l i k e h i s much- talked about "variable foot" which also has never been adequately defined. have been allowed to run a l l over the map.326. that i s to say the count. i s returned to the music. but he has f a i l e d to come up with any r e a l solution to i t . Therefore the measure. pp. His concept of " c o v e r t " measure seems to side-track the main issue of organic form altogether. L i n g u i s t i c Structures i n Poetry ('S-Gravenhage.37 he explains that: The stated s y l l a b l e s . The words. " f r e e " . less mysterious than Williams' own utterances on the subject. Samuel R. as i n the best present day free verse. having got r i d of the words. 43 I f Williams has made a contribution to modern prosody i t i s i n his poems rather than i n his writings on the subject. because i t goes outside the sound structure of the poem. His appeal to "the tune which. L e t t e r s . 41 42 L e t t e r to Richard Eberhart. a theory which i s much. as we have mistakenly thought. i n his most i n t e r e s t i n g study.34-35. Levin. ^ 1 Williams has put h i s finger on one of the major problems involved with modern free verse form. which held i t down.

And variable strong-stress verse.38 I f variable measure i s to be the basis of a verse form. . Their measure i s based on a s t y l i z a t i o n of various fixed elements i n the language. i t must necessarily be as "overt" as the o l d regular measure. Hence. i s therefore one of the most authentically organic verse forms a v a i l a b l e . and i f t h i s verse form i s to be considered t r u l y organic. But organic form. The o l d regular verse forms are c e r t a i n l y not organic. mental and kinesthic state of the poet. i n contrast to regular forms^depend upon those speech elements which vary with the speaker's (or poet's) emotional state. the patterning of these sound elements must r e l a t e i n some d i r e c t way to the immediate emotional. what we have defined as r h e t o r i c a l stress patterning (page 11) i s a very natural basis for variable verse measure. the best example being word stress i n the case of metre. the s t y l i z a t i o n of r h e t o r i c a l stress patterning. i f the term i s to have meaning must. i t must be based on some element (or elements) of the sound sequence of the poem.

1945). H. R. while the written (and printed^.17. . c h i e f l y conversation (dialogue) . (London. p. or are imperfectly rendered by such means as underlining ( i t a l i c i z i n g ) and punctuation.20. but i n other respects a poor o n e — — f o r the spoken and heard word. thus e s p e c i a l l y those elements which give expression to emotions rather than to l o g i c a l thinking disappear i n the comparatively r i g i d medium of writing. why has i t not been used more in the past. i . colour of the voice. Stetson: Bases of Phonology' In our so-called c i v i l i z e d l i f e p r i n t plays such an important part that educated people are apt to forget language i s primarily speech. Many things^fiave v i t a l importance i n speech stress. e . and why today i s i t not recognized as the t r u l y variable measure of modern organic verse form? The answer i s 44 45 (Oberlin. word i s only a kind of substitute i n many ways a most valuable. p. Otto Jespersen: The Essentials of English Grammar^ 5 I f strong-stress measure i s as natural to English verse as we have made out i n t h i s paper. p i t c h . 1933).39 PART VIII NOTATION Whatever the i n t e l l e c t u a l message of a r t i c u l a t e language i n i t s most general and diffused forms i t c a r r i e s a mighty burden of emotional meaning.

Pease porridge hot pease porridge cold Pease porridge i n the pot nine days o l d . f i f t y w i l l be able to make nothing of i t s rhythm. that that very clever person i s myself. a f t e r the fourth or f i f t h perusal. ° For a l l his sarcasm.238.on reader. 1902). fancy they comprehend i t . . the part of the In the same essay Poe sheds further l i g h t on the subject by going on to discuss the strong-stressrhythm as i t occurs i n nursery rhymes. p.40 quite simple. for one moment. Now who of my readers who have never heard t h i s poem pronounced according to the nursery conv e n t i o n a l i t y . w i l l f i n d i t s rhythm as obscure as an explanatory note. while those who have heard i t w i l l divide i t thus 46 The Complete Works. It i s inter- esting to note that i t was p r e c i s e l y on these grounds that Edgar A l l a n Poe attacked Coleridge's " C h r i s t a b e l " experiment: Out of a hundred readers of "Christabel". Our writing system does not indicate r h e t o r i c a l stress patterning. while forty-nine of the remaining f i f t y w i l l . at least without some experimentation. with some ado. Poe i s quite r i g h t . V o l . 14 (New York. and therefore conventional page layout cannot properly accommodate strong-stress verse. The one out of the whole hundred who s h a l l both comprehend and admire i t at f i r s t sight must be an unaccountably clever person and I am by far too modest to assume. There are passages of "Christabel" which are d i f f i c u l t to read without hesitation.

strong-stress form. And i n a l l other instances of the success- f u l practice of strong-stress measure there have been special techniques for preserving the rhythmical patterns. editors are i n the habit of leaving out these d i a c r i t i c a l s . I f we turn again to Poe's essay. the true master of the forced to invent a whole system of Unfortunately. and consequently there i s s t i l l a great deal of unnecessary confusion today about the nature of Hopkins' measure. Nursery rhymes. was Hopkins. c i t . . which.41 Pease | porridge ) hot I pease I porridge I coldl Pease \ porridge \ i n the | pot | nine J daysj old. have survived because they come down i n the o r a l t r a d i t i o n . p. we note h i s comment that: 47 The Complete Works. . This i s also true of popular ballads.238. another strong-stress verse form.l Again we must acknowledge Poe's i n s i g h t . although the rhythm patterns i n t h i s case are also preserved i n their accompanying melodies. op. are transcribed in musical notation. ^_ which are d e f i n i t e l y a strong-stress verse form. In Anglo- Saxon verse the devices seem to have been a l l i t e r a t i o n to mark stressed s y l l a b l e s and spaces between the written words to mark every second juncture. and do not therefore depend upon page t r a n s c r i p t i o n for t h e i r preservation. d i a c r i t i c a l marks to indicate h i s Sprung Rhythm.

c i t . the writer has found i t expedient to work out a system of verse notation which he feels can handle the variable strong-stress measure of his own verse. 48 The Complete Works. and the fact that these modern devices have i n the past few years made contemporary poetry more and more an o r a l a r t form. the bulk of t h i s verse s t i l l ends up on the page. as we have noted.42 The chief thing i n the way of t h i s species of rhythm [strong-stress] i s the necessity which i t imposes upon the poet of t r a v e l l i n g i n constant company with h i s compositions. i t s formal structure disappears. p. In consequence. Even so. the poet may also a v a i l himself of the phonograph and tape recorder.48 Today.239. of course. to a v a i l himself of a w e l l understood p o e t i c a l l i c e n s e — t h a t of reading aloud one's own doggerel. Various poets have t r i e d to work out systems of verse notation. yet none have h i t upon one that i s s a t i s f a c t o r y i n c o r r e l a t i n g the essential rhythmic form of the poem's sound structure with the space design of the poem on the page. so as to be ready at a moment's notice. op. . . and here. or at best. i s greatly obs^ired. accounts for the increasing use by contemporary poets of variable strong-stress verse measure.

1854. p .43 PART IX STACKED-VERSE "What do you say". Specifi- c a l l y i t indicates such e s s e n t i a l features of English speech. x x i i i ...patterns of the voice traced by the oscillograph are much closer to what a proper poetry notation would be. typography i s helpless and the notation of ordinary music worse than useless." Charles Dickens: When i t comes to reproducing the melody and rhythm of speech. and r e l i e s on the 49 (New York. Bounderby. English I n s t i t u t e Essays (New York.. "to h i s being seen night a f t e r night watch the Bank? to his lurking about there a f t e r dark? To i t s t r i k i n g Mrs. as i f i t were a tambourine. 50 In Sound and Poetry. The. with. 1958). F i r s t published Lonibn.. gave a beat upon the crown at every l i t t l e d i v i s i o n of his sentences. 1956 . Sparsit that he could be lurking for no good. and isochronism pages 7-9 (see for explanation of these terms). 1957).. his hat i n his hand. as terminal junctures. Mr. p. 169. Northrop Frye: "Lexis and Melos"50 Hard Times'^ Stacked-Verse i s a system of verse notation designed to accommodate on the page the formal rhythms of my own poems which are written i n v a r i a b l e strong-stress measure. primary stress.

The terminal juncture which separates the outrider from an accompanying stack-foot i s s i g n a l l e d on the page by either a space or a regular juncture s i g n a l l i n g punctuation mark (.?'. . the outriders. Each stack-foot i s written h o r i z o n t a l l y on a on the page. the stack-foot i s preceded. primary stress regardless of the number of intervening s y l l a b l e s and junctures. followed. we come up with the following set of d e f i n i t i o n s . ) . however. where possible. In p a r t i c u l a r cases..44 s y l l a b l e c l u s t e r or "phonemic clause" (see page 8) as i t s basic unit of measure. a group of s y l l a b l e s ending i n a terminal juncture but containing no primary s t r e s s . passes through. no more than one stack-foot appearing single l e v e l . The basic unit of stacked-verse i s the STACK-FOOT. a l i n e which. with. Correlating. or replaced by an OUTRIDER. that i s to say there i s an approximately equal time i n t e r v a l between each. The STACK proper or STACK-VERSE i s a group of one or more stack-feet which on the page are strung on a v e r t i c a l STRESS-AXIS. the f i r s t l e t t e r of the vowel nucleus of the heavily stressed s y l l a b l e i n each stack-foot.:. a group of s y l l a b l e s containing one primary stress and ending i n a terminal juncture. these speech features with the t r a d i t i o n a l terms of v e r s i f i c a t i o n . Naturally the stress-axis does not touch The stresses along the axis are ISOCHRONOUS for the duration of the stack.

a x i s . s i n g l e phonemic The f i r s t passage. we were u s i n g f o r i l l u s t r a t i o n i n t h i s paper (page 9 ) . c o n t a i n i n g two phonemic handled i n a two-foot stack: H^nry has eaten Jack's e l e p h a n t . f o r example. Stacked-Verse accommodates i s a s t y l i z a t i o n o f normal English.45 A t the end o f the stack t h e r e i s a d e f i n i t e break i n the isochronous b e a t . would be . I will.s t r e s s measure which. be it i n v e r s e or n o t .f o o t stack: Henry has eaten Jack's elephant'. A STACK-STANZA i s made up o f a number o f c o n s e c u t i v e s t a c k s u s i n g a common s t r e s s . would be i n d i c a t e d i n a one-foot stack: Henry has eaten Jack's e l e p h a n t . stack the a n a l y s e d earlier passages o f speech which. b e i n g made up o f a c l a u s e . The second passage. speech rhythms. Because the s t r o n g . clauses. c l a u s e s . And t h e t h i r d . the n o t a t i o n system can handle any E n g l i s h speech rhythm. where the speaker's emotion breaks the sound sequence up i n t o four i s o c h r o n o u s l y r e l a t e d phonemic would make up a f o u r .

therefore are written i n Stacked-Verse. The forms of the poems themselves are based on v a r i a b l e stong-stress measure as i t has been defined and discussed i n the above essay.The poems i n the following c o l l e c t i o n . .

Measuring i t out the page. T ill I shouted and my father drove into a d i t c h . Coughing up the residue of past i n t e n s i t i e s .PROCESS The f x r s t time i I s^w a d i e s e l locomotive we were across the l i n e . .

To l i t t e r pavements and corrupt the a i r : (continued) .48 AMBERGRIS: A STATEMENT ON SOURCE Over spire and flag-pole Past a e r i a l and chimney-pot Shrouded i n nylon Or naked i n the wind With clouded eye and scAr o f autopsy- Ghostly floaters on the tide of morning These c l o t t e d forms i n the ectoplasmic dawn To shed sleeve or thigh-bone Wrist or meaty c a l f .

.and b4arers of wisdom Rotting noblemen Leprous mimbers of a garbled vision.

My o l d did with matted h a i r and grey whisker stubble I (continued) . I pack the water back up the t r a i l . Bright blue f a l l morning sky s t i l l nippy-cold. F r i e d egg and bacon smell coming from the tent. Skim of i c e at the lake edge. Two whiskey-jacks i n the brush.50 COMPOSITION Frost melting in the sun. run d j w to get <>n water.

"Carries for miles when i t s t h i s cold. he Fries r i c e . b o i l s coffee. Each stroke distinct. he said. While the tent-canvas dries i n the sun (continued) . Echoing once in the distance. An hour e a r l i e r even before sunrise we were l y i n g there Warm in our sleeping-bags Listening to someone Chopping wood on the other side of the v a l l e y .Bends over the gas stove i n h i s woolly undervest. we eat.

. d6wn He leans on a stump and writes something i n h i s book.I go to the lake and shoot at a can with the twenty-two.

NOW What about now? I mean I remember the day my dog died. I mean I came home from school and my mother t o l d me they'd taken him to the vet. mean What kind of an end was that? And what value that l i f e now? . Can you imagine that? V.

And v a p o r ..t r a i l rubric over the s t r a i t . .. New moon. A l l this a jolt i after that Pressing atmosphere of the l i b r a r y stacks.THE SCHOLAR AT FIVE Cold a i r And luminous b r i l l i a n c e of pale blue sk/jr behind silhouette f i r trees.

" he said. "You get exactly what you deserve. It A l l works outI" And i t was funny that f i r s t timehim struggling and grunting underneath the tractor That was before I knew he was actually planning to be a missionary. Sad To witness the power of f a i t h under those conditions .FORMULA "The whole thing i s ordered. Sad ^fterwards of c o u r s e ^ — When the roadway f e l l i n again and Charley and Alec got i t .

Even the i n s t a n t f l i c k o f a swallow past the street-lamp •Are n o t h i n g without a center. the s u b j e c t ... exposed. aware Of R e v a t i pregnant and r e t c h i n g i n the background And the slight wind. the Me s h i v e r i n g on the b i l c o n y . Somewhere squealing t i r e s . suffering it all: The wii t n e s s* . (continued) . Awake. The f a i n t p u l s e o f tug-engines o f f the i n l e t .THINGS Tail-lights on the b r i d g e .

Over the roof-tops among flashing neon signs the clock-face on the distant city-ha11 Is a small splotch of red. .

The others have no claim. (continued) . But why speak of i t here? Those of us who are of i t know.RECALL I t i s quietly awesome to be Born at the same time and grow Up under the same approximate conditions E s p> ic iia l l y e ci i f one s memory i s at a l l functional 1 And b l u r t s out the same kind of music upon occasion. no r i g h t .

Should they come upon ' our secret rhythms Thly w i l l p e r c e i v e only an i n s i g n i f i c a n t Hiss of words i n the wind. .

r i c k e t y land-planes over the Channel And l a t e r i n Russia For money and excitement or perhaps prestige. And a few old snaps Of machines he cracked p Y before his court-martial. no chute." he t o l d me Open cockpit. "Never got over •being scared. Nothing else l e f t now but these.RESIDUE He was f l y i n g DH9As then. I . no radio. And h i s words f l u t t e r i n g around i n my mind.

neck l i k e breath You lurking i n the murky nowhere I Just beyond my ragged rim .of l i g h t . .mpse of long black hair Or that tingling on my.PRESENCE Jolted by an imagined gl:.

Smell of new earth: SpringI And me digging out my ball-glove or o i l i n g up the bike in the basement. . Getting barely enough.i n the grimy snow. But now here i n t h i s Sunless c i t y of well-swept streets and immutable concrete I f i n d myself packing i n a crate of books the used-book dealer. out on the rj>ad the kids are s t i l l playing shinny i n the slush. Though.THAW Brown patches growing . a jug of Berry-Cup and h a l f a tank of gas.

. Noticing where the car had crashed down through the brush: f (continued) . .FAMILY Angelo ducking h i s head below the dash. Puffing to catch the f l i c k e r of Ivo's l i g h t e r . The car speeding straight on End-over-end once slowly waiting for the and one and two r o l l s gently and three and stop We climbed up from beach l e v e l and the wreck. Me beside them i n the front seat watching the road twist away to the l e f t .

Seven . her f i v e b r o t h e r s and me. Old L u d a v i c c i at home. S t r u g g l i n g up i n the r ^ i n onto the highway. at D r i n k i n g h i s wine alone i n h i s b i g house. Mrs. . forty-five M^t r i a L u d a v i c c i .64 Small t r e e s sheared right o f f . L u d a v i c c i Benediction. A scrape on the great douglas f i r by the s i d e o f the r o a d .M.

l i n e s and hor ses And l a t e r t h a t n i g h t one mosquito whining i n s i d e the window-netting .IN BED BEFORE SUNSET Smell o f p i n e .p i t c h and bush-rat And o u t s i d e the c a b i n Bird-noise and t a l k Of t r i p .

But things w i l l gradually s e t t l e down.DEPARTURE Not emptiness or sorrow but turmoil In that house of vampires. See now t h e i r pale eyes pressed against the window. . Their tender proboscides twitching beneath the door.

On the way back to my apartment i t clouded up And was r a i n i n g hard before I reached the door. winked at me. She was straddling a Caddy f i n . her wet jeans almost bursting. and giosed her with the hose. stretched out t r y i n g to get at a spot of chrome on the other side When the foreman came up. 1 ..PRECIPITATION I saw a b i g brown g i r l i n the 2-Minute-Car-Wash i opposite the English Linen Shop.. There she was against the fender squeezing her sponge.

Suddenly a Sanitary-Unit spray-truck rounding the corner and Six or seven uniformed members of the flanking broom-team Flush me up a f l i g h t of s t a i r s . . Ghostly hands among my guts. Chairs on the tables in the dark cafeteria. Menace of cj>ld dawn. Vacant newsstands.LEVITATION Viscous shadows of c i t y .

69 SITUATION Coffee beans in the morning sun. And once Alfonso climbed the h i l l And talked and stayed. Funny stories over at the cantina. And i n the afternoon we sat i n the finca i sipping coco-nuts and rum With f a i n t guaplngo rhythms d r i f t i n g up from some marimba band down i n the v i l l a g e . Small-talk at the s t a l l of Mama Lupita. (continued) . A giant hog asleep between the trays. Music on the wind. that was enough.

A l l you could eat and drink every day. And because i t was Sunday night The b i g band had already set-up i n the plaza And everybody was there jumping up to mambos and cha-cha-chas. It was part of the good-life: Friends and t h e i r families. i too. i reflections on the lake. crackling into the night. And there was love i n that town . The trumpets bouncing o f f the cathedral w a l l .70 A ride to Catamaco. (continued) .

Of dying y l u n g among f i s t s and c u r l i n g lips.71 was But that largely a matter of brothers and guns. .

But that too has i t s own punishment. I've caught you at i t caugl again breathing!" try to hold my breath. Like any act of silence. I .THE REQUISITION OF CATABOLISM You say "There y.

DECOMPOSITION Too much. I t i s time now to d < > i t a l l rjp quit. He lays h i s face in h i s arm-pit and refuses to breathe. Must he leave his bones stacked neatly i n the corner? His intestines c o i l e d up steaming beside the desk? Oh i t i s that "enough-enough. . As for his position in the room. he stands hunched against the f i l i n g cabinet." sickness nothing Nothing nothing thankyou.

So please. I .74 Having f a i l e d to achieve t o t a l evanescence through creative detumescence He now decides merely to decompose on the spot. end. i f you w i l l s l i p his suspenders His bulk w i l l immediately crumple to the f l o o r . Yes He w i l l gently l e t go.

ragged. Braced.. The b l i n d old beggar singing pyrest Malaguefia .VISION My eyes definitely going now.. Remember Blind g u i t a r i s t on roaring second-class-Mexico-City-bus. With those kids on t r i c y c l e s j u s t blobs of color And the mountains a mere approximation. But remember | George Shearing blind No J L j)ther piano like i t at a l l . his boy c o l l e c t i n g centavos..

but enforces a limitation. Notes suppress words. deny them. slips to the fingers Pure sound spreading on the wind. Mind . M ake for . I experience freedom i n t h i s loosening of the brain-knot: Seconds of joy . (continued) . es unity. It's a process of containment.MEASURE Melody curls from the f l u t e i n the evening a i r . 1 I Words control my inner dimension through a sequence of d e f i n i t i o n s .

77 Words for everything. . Meditations too are strong-armed by words I concede to them now. frequently there's that blockage between gut and pennib: I Maybe I need a transformer i n the arm to r e l i e v e the congestion. Though. thinking That man's life f u t i l e as A melody on the evening wind.

POETIC I t i s dangerous to think i n a poem and doubly so to dream.. myopic miscalculations of rudimentary organs and Other nAtural phenomena: Poems j I jumping from the t i p s o f my immature f i n g e r s . I At night words grow too bxg f o r the man I know. Value l i v e s i n the mind of an economist. Having strained my limbs i n quixotic attempts to encompass them. Recount for yourself those f r a n t i c apprehensions of the vision-in-the-glass-of-beer. Reams o f conjured testimony f a l l i n g i n disorder under my desk. Beware (continued) ..

.Twisting metaphor and hardening animal matter. The authentic dance i s the wobbly stance of a l i v i n g man.

IN-GROUP N . The only others with.on e e ran up and shook Christ's hand. that kind of i n c l i n a t i o n Had theirs n a i l e d down too. .

and f l i c k e r i n g synapse: My f a l t e r i n g rhythms from under the rack. Hysterical signs i n the dusty a i r ! Hand. Interval or i n t e l l e c t ? Feet i n the shade of i t . from the beginning extends i n the dark.81 VASTATION IN THE STACKS There i s the agglutinous W R O D Which. (continued) . F i l l i n g the mouths and ears of men. Lethal cryptology there on the s h e l f . Stopping t h e i r blood.

But I would usurp that adhesive gidhead of W( IRD. Making my ppem with a knife. .

next morning among f a l l e n branches and other debris. A thing apart To be used or discarded Or kept on the m i l mantel as decoration Or thrown into the f i r e The . the poem Crashes down during the night of the b i g wind And i s discovered i .IT inane justice of gratuitous insanity.

84 THE CHARNEL-HOUSE OF DHARMA Obscuring the sun. s t e r i l i z i n g the atmosphere. Staggered v i s i o n above my v i s i o n . the mystical condom slumps i n the sky a menace to geese. Bylbous Abnormity. 0 Rubbery Muzak of Sphere. B l i s t e r there. (continued) . a f l i c k of h i s forensic cathode. neglected to dub me INCONCEIVABLE With. you monster my jab I But o l d Rumpelstiltskin who was then on guard. my seven apertures bunged with sprigs of rhubarb DEFENSE DE CRACHER). as I crept by (Eyes masked with polaroid goggles.

The upshot being that I worked on fncognito. i * shamelessly inscrutable to scholars. I (Clad only i n tartan jock and white bow-tie) jump up my cork-lined lab The subversive man with a portent device: My tongue-struck charge of utter CANT Exploding towards urge of absolute BANG! . And now as distant reports and repeated detonations Omen t h i s nebulous structure of cosmic disavowal.

They have jabbed him several times i n the arm Without producing a drop. Three of them are s t r a i n i n g at the hose. Now the head-nurse (distinguished . They t r y the other arm. (continued) .as ijisual by a cr|sp white uniform and red face) Pushes through the astonished group. They cannot extract the needle. Nothing'.86 THE YOGI AS HUMORIST Confusion The man won't bleed.

Bending ver edled aonor.Fixes her bloody r e g a r d upon the p r o s t r a t e form and Slips the needle out w i t h an a i r o f subdued alacrity. . Without warning a thick jet o f yellow b i l e hi^ts her i n the eye. I ? She examines the dry i n c i s i o n i n the f l e s h .


H i s beard knotted i n a make-shift loin-cloth, around a sagging cardboard-box half-filled w i t h cake-mix samples and r a f f l e - s l i p s from h e a r i n g - a i d f i r m s ,
His inns

He stumbles over empty bottles, Apple cores and crumpled program leaves
An escapee from the Shrine Circus. As the Whip c r a c k s , the Zoomo-Plane takes people up and the Snake g i v e s them six-minute thrills, he w h i s p e r s : " T h i s midway i s n ' t licensed for wine,



But they can spin candy out of f l e s h , "

And gies on

tossing hoops at cupie d o l l s and panda bears. Now

his legs in f u l l lotus Just behind the Crown & Anchor stand Where agents display t h i r t y brands of silver-base deodorant And pitchmen ramble i n their s t a l l s about a fountain-pen that writes on walls. But the crowd from the Fun-House kick him and jeer,

he crosses



Though the star contortionist (having always been good at guessing


pivots on one pointed


And wipes her eyes with her tattooed heels, While the sky streaks red above the row of f l o o d l i g h t s ,


And they j o s t l e him up the h i l l towards the three F e r r i s Wheels

laughing. Blood trickles into the water. L (continued) . He kicks h i s feet in frantic propulsion. At the back of the boat instead of an out-board engine a rn^n has been bolted into place.i. His neck seems broken too. His arms are fastened to the steering cables. And i n t w T two water-skiers doing acrobatics. The crew (both male and female) in bikinis.91 STUNTMAN Th.s time i n the darkness a twelve-foot pleasure-launch sleek and gleaming white.

But now there i s scarcely any noise i s moving faster than the speed of sound. For the biat I .

Yellow-eyed. A black s l i t opens in the sky. Yards and sidewalks l i e t<|)rn open by t h e i r ravening But they have not yet turned d i r e c t l y on the homes. or urinate on the darkened shopping center. they set t h e i r teeth. A l i t t l e boy i s climbing out of an abandoned bus.APPOINTMENT The nightmare dog-pack prowls the suburb. . on parked cars and lamp-posts. Look. snarling.

What to do w i t h them? Books a r e n ' t a problem. . but what about These other scraps of u s e l e s s n e s s : A piece o f shabby l a c e .REMAINS Have you ever n o t i c e d how a dead man's personal a r t i c l e s Take on a c l r t a i n contentious air As i f t h e y ' r e offlnded for being l e f t And are making t h i n g s difficult out of s p i t e . o f God-knows-who i This o l d phltograph w i t h something s c r i b b l e d on the back.

Or that ^finished manuscript An inch in dust and dedicated To h i s son? Imagine that . . 1 And him with no family at a l l .

r even st<j>ne-lipped silence And no tears and no great w^ste of ammunition. . Yes everybody should d .96 PROTOTYPES Consider the deaths of Indians i n T-V westerns How undisturbingly spectacular: F a l l i n g o f f horses out of trees or over the high precipice Always at the right moment. :e l i k e a T-V Indian On the face of i t only a b r i e f aaaaaah.

clearing h i s throat i n reply.CONTRA DICTION At worst I think poetry only a hobby. My father at h i s guns. An a c t i v i t y similar to The youthful assembly of s i l e n t model planes My mother commenting: So constructive and i t teaches something too. .

THEOLOGY HAIKU Taking God a l l around l i k e a dough-nut Oscar saw into the heart of things • I .

99 THE SENSATIONALIST I f you stand on a h i l l and open your side with a spear Or wrap your guts around a tree It's n(j)t going to enhance your place in the community Or even strengthen your character And chances are that while the crowd gathers and the reporters are trying to get the d e t a i l s and the camera-men asking for another reverse shot Some smart-guy w i l l be ransacking your house ~ And joyously giving your wife the best screwing she's had I n years (continued) .

And however things turn out Whether your kids go insane or die or grow up to be respected torturers You'll have the s a t i s f a c t i o n of knowing i t ' s a l l your f a u l t And by Christ that's a damned uncomfortable position I .

101 REPORT Watching the ambiguous people turning away from the ^nti-Nuclear-Arms petitioners. She and I are s t i l l l i v i n g i n t h i s house on the corner. I . I am f i l l e d with wordless imperative. In these days of vapor-trails and statistics"" We r a i s e a few flowers and children as fast as we can.

But don't bother to look i n the rear-view mirror. you make i t by burning i t up. Driver. Yeah. you and your horn and your headlights Jabbing into the black the highway. Because i t ' s a t r a i l of exhaust. You see. —that's .HOMAGE TO MACHADO Watch i t Driver I There i s n ' t any I . road. J There's only the sound of t i r e s i n the night. Driver.

George Hemphill. The Selected Poems and Prose. Cleanth. Reprinted New York.Poetry: Rhythm and Sound. Northrop. Harrison.W." reprinted i n Hemphill. pp. 1904. "Dance to a Measure. 60-74. Occasional Papers 7. "Lexis and Melos. 3-14. I. Campion. 1959. 2 v o l s ." PMLA. Prosody. i i i ." . Edmund L. ed. George. ed. Thomas. Halpern. Robert. G. Glasgow. "Robert Frost's 'Mowing': An Inquiry into Prosodic Structure. Rhythm and Sound. Buffalo. 1602. L. ed. 1925. (1962). From "Certain Notes of Instruction Concerning the Making of Verse or Rime i n English. ed.385-400. Gascoigne." Sound and Poetry: English I n s t i t u t e Essays. pp.-New York. 1961. pp. Gerard Manley. B. I. H. 49-54. Epstein. Seymore. eds. "ideas on the Meaning of Form." Discussions of. Harmondsworth. XIII (Spring. Duncan. Chatman. . T. Kaiser. 1942. L i n g u i s t i c s and English.Gregory Smith. "On the Two Chief M e t r i c a l Modes i n English. •o 1961. 1953. LXXVII. Hopkins. Studies i n L i n g u i s t i c s .S." Kulture. Frye.Manual of Phonetics. G. i v . George. ( F a l l . Boston. New York. from Elizabethan C r i t i c a l Essays.1-3. Gardiner. 1957. "Phonetics i n i t s Relation to Aesthetics.83-92. Amsterdam. De Groot.. Brooks. The Music of Poetry. W. and Terence Hawkes. E l i o t . London. Conversations • ' n the Craft of Poetry. pp. Martin.A SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY 103 Bowering. Observations i n the Art of English Poesie. and Robert Penn Warren.iv-xxvii. 1964). ed. 1961). 1956." Kulture. 177-186. A. 1957.

LXXVI (1961). Jespersen. Vol." RES. ed. 1957. L i n g u i s t i c Structures i n Poetry. 1933. Thomas. William Carlos. Studies i n L i n g u i s t i c s . 1956. La Driere. Rhythm and Sound. "Notes of Meter. pp. Saintsbury. Sound. H i s t o r i c a l Manual of English Prosody. 14. 201-4. 1902. K a r l . New. From "Thoughts on English Prosody (1786). Donald M. New York. . Malone. A Bibliography of Modern Prosody. Craig. Trager. Shapiro. and Meaning. Selected Letters of William Carlos Williams.209-265. 1951. John C. Edgar A l l a n . Williams. A l l e n . 'S-Gravenhage. George B. Olson. Baltimore. 1934. Outline of English Structure." Sound and Poetry: English I n s t i t u t e Essays. George L. 1910. Oklahoma. Ezra. 74 (1943)." L i n g u i s t i c a . 1960. Otto.85-108. pp. George. Kemp. Thulwall. 1957." New American Poetry 1945-1960. London. 1948. New York.York. "The Two Domains: Meter and Rhythm. and Henry Lee Smith J r . "Projective Verse.20-25. Normand. ed. New York.247-274. 413-419." PMLA. pp. "Structure. Charles. ABC of Reading. XIX. " P l u r i l i n e a r Units i n Old English Poetry. pp. Pound.386-397. Poe. Levin. Coperhagen. Pace.Jefferson. "Rational of Verse. Occasional Papers 3. London. pp." Complete Works. Samuel R. 1962." Hemphill.

R. New York.134-145. pp. Harold-B. Harold. and Archibald A. XIII (1951) 710-714. Harold. Harold. 1956.394-397. Noyes. "From L i n g u i s t i c s to Poetry. 1800. Trager and Henry Lee Smith. pp.Whitehall." Sound and Poetry: English I n s t i t u t e Essayr. William. Review of George L. . Whitehall. "Preface to L y r i c a l Ballads. 1956. Structure. New York 1957. New York. Reprinted i n English Romantic Prose and Poetry. ed. "A Report on the Language-Literature Seminar. An Outline of English. A l l a n . ed. H i l l . pp. in Kenyon Review.357-367. 1958." Readings i n Applied English L i n g u i s t i c s . Whitehall. Wordsworth.

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