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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

A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n the Department of English

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

THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A p r i l , 1964

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

ii

ABSTRACT

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

A poet may either begin h i s composi- t i o n with some f i x e d model i n mind. 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 . pauses. 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. i t has nevertheless come down to us i n folk verse and i n the work of such poets as Langland. as opposed to regular. l e t t i n g the poem take the shape which h i s emotion. 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 . Skelton. 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. gives i t . form.s y l l a b l e groups. Closely associated with v a r i a b l e verse measure i s the theory of organic form. 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 . This brings us to the question of v a r i a b l e . 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 . 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. and equal time i n t e r v a l s between heavily stressed s y l l a b l e s .

t h i s notation "Stacked Verse". 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. 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. 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. 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. The writer c a l l s . Such a speech feature i s r h e t o r i c a l stress patterning.individual's emotional condition. 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.

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 .

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 .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.

.vi Vastation i n the Stacks It The Charnel-House of Dharma The Yogi as Humorist. 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 .

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. p. and whether we think of the matter i n terms o f form and content. symbol and 1 (New York. 1956). 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. 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 .a u r a l system of human communication. Content may be put into any form whatever. sound and meaning..88 . of the referents.PART I VERSE There remains. and that by "language" we mean simply an o r a l .. I t i s important that we are aware of t h i s dual aspect of language.aesthetic discourse. Joshua Whatmough: Language Let us begin our d e f i n i t i o n by saying that verse i s language. or meanings. This i s at the bottom more a matter o f form than of content. and on the other hand. associated with the various sound forms i n the minds of those people who speak the language.

we must recognize the fact that unless both these elements are present an utterance cannot be regarded as a phenomenon of language. f o r example 2 sonic ordering. 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 . 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. 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 . however. of course. A l l language. 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. Verse. The former depends f o r i t s e f f e c t upon reference. 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. . 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. on the other hand. i s not verse. which i s to a large extent interchangeable between languages. categories which. There can never be any precise d i v i d i n g l i n e between the two genres. there can only be works that approach one side of the graph or the other. 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 . or even into other words of the same language.2 referent. whereas verse cannot. 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. verse and prose. must be taken as cardinal rather than functional.

however contingent or minimal t h i s may be.3 i n i t s sound forms. 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. The reader must r e a l i z e . however. i s the actual poem. . 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.

. and i t s formal structure. so the creation and appreciation of verse form must involve t h i s same p r i n c i p l e . Particular 3 (New York. l i k e music. i f we use this term to mean a chronological series of perceptible points and their intervals.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. 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 . 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.202. In fact. may be thought of as rhythm. 1934) p. 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. verse measure can be based on any functional element of the sound system of the language i n question. In theory. or perhaps we should say process.

however. For example. and Manual of English. 1906-1910 ) 3 v o l . This system. . 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. i t would be absurd to t a l k . . George Saintsbury.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 . are-of value only i f we disregard his confused c r i t e r i a f o r . 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. see Manual. i s a case i n point. His works: A History of English Prosody (London. and so we have poetic rhythms that are based on the r e l a t i v e loudness or duration of syllables. as many t r a d i t i o n a l prosodists^ do. pp. 1910). 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. and interpret his longs and shorts as being strong and weakly stressed s y l l a b l e s . 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. 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". Prosody (London. 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. 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. 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.5 sound q u a l i t i e s may also function i n t h i s way. 1956 ) . Fundamentals of Language ( 'S-Gravenhage. See Roman Jacobson and Morris Halle. S i m i l a r l y .19-23.4 We should emphasize.

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 . at l e a s t .being based on vowel length. . 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. for vowel length. i s not an operative element i n the English language. not been for the l a s t few hundred years.

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 . usually 6 Kenyon Review. /// primary or And l e t and /*/ weak. 713. not metalinguistics. 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. XIII (1951). . In so doing i t w i l l be convenient to adopt certain terms. i s not semantics. micro l i n g u i s t i c s . 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 . /*/ secondary.. 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 . but down to earth. Let us therefore use four degrees of stress: heavy. by George L. . Trager and Henry Lee Smith. us also recognize those p i t c h shapes which occur.. . /V tertiary. Harold Whitehall: reviewing An Outline of English Structure. categories and symbols from the l i n g u i s t s . or perhaps we should c a l l i t s y l l a b l e prominence.7 PART I I I ENGLISH STRESS PATTERNS As no science can go beyond.. mathematics.

ends i n one of the terminal junctures. Such. a minimal complete utterance may be c a l l e d by the technical term PHONEMIC CLAUSE. characterized by a f a l l i n g pitch contour and occurring usually at the end of a sentence.. pp.. 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. terminal junctures r e l a t e i n the following way to stress patterns i n English.. at the ends of s y l l a b l e c l u s t e r s . the double bar juncture J\\l. contour and occurring i n a sequence such.8 accompanied by a s l i g h t pause. . 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.one AND ONLY ONE primary stress and may have one or more other stresses . as "He came /||/ he saw //(/ he conquered/jj/'V and the single bar juncture /|/.49-50. Trager and Henry Lee Smith. and every primary stress i s followed by one terminal juncture at some point subsequent to i t . characterized by a r i s i n g pitch.? a work which.. 8 Outline. Any utterance made i n English. speech: Between any two successive primary stresses there i s always one of the terminal junctures. The three the double cross juncture /$/.8 7 Studies i n L i n g u i s t i c s : Oklahoma. I f i t i s a minimal complete utterance i t has no other terminal junctures within' i t . 1951). Occasional Papers 3 (Normand. and main types are: are c a l l e d "terminal junctures". According to An Outline of English Structure by George L.. In that case i t must have.

(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.^ 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.9 With the above categories i n mind. 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. 3. who i s upstairs making the beds. 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". l e t us analyse the stress patterns of the following sentence." The writer w i l l a r t i c u l a t e the passage himself. however. 1945).6. "Henry has eaten Jack's elephant.2. . 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. 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 .

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. condition. 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 .. to use the Trager and Smith term. terminal junctures. and the previously mentioned phenomenon of "isochronism". or even kinesthetic. 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". however. f o r the whole . The stress pattern of the word "eaten" for example i s always i n the order of stronger-weaker. Had the speaker said "elephant". This type of patterning i s a matter of heavy stresses. The reader. for t h i s word i s not known i n English. To begin with. l e t us refer to i t for the remainder of t h i s paper as "word stress". i t seems to be a manifestation of the speaker's immediate emotional. 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 n other words. mental. 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. 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. words.

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

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.50. as described by Trager and Smith. i s the overweening basic pattern. 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). p. To put i t simply. and the iambic pattern. patterns b i n a r i l y on a constantly varying strongerweaker p r i n c i p l e . deriving i t s basic 'heart beat' from the rhythms of o r a l discourse. 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. 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.12 PART IV ENGLISH METRE English poetry. verse measure. 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. . 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". Edmund L. Occasional Papers 7 (Buffalo. or the reverse.

Redy/to" wenjden 0n| my piljgrymage To Caunjterburyj with. Chaucer. General Prologue. 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. 19-24. /"/ stronger stress. we w i l l confine our remarks solely to i t . p. 17. Symbol code: /"/ weaker stress. of course.. The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer.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 . ed. H i s t o r i c a l l y speaking. poets counted out groups of ten or twelve s y l l a b l e s 11 Canterbury Tales. 1957). being the greatest medieval master of t h i s type of measure.\ 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. However.N. But when the English. The f i r s t English metrical forms seem to have been derived from French syllable-counted verse models. / ) / foot d i v i s i o n . F. . because two- the majority of English metrical poetry i s of the s y l l a b l e variety. second e d i t i o n (Boston. V '— u — 1/ .Robinson. shared the complementary device of end-rhyme. and l i k e them. i n Southwerk at (the* Tabjard a s / f lay. f u l l devout jcourage etc. 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 .

and marked them with pairs of l i k e vowel-consonant clusters (end-rhymes) they discovered that. and being anxious to give t h e i r own barbaric tongue l i t e r a r y prestige. English poets and theorists 12 "Certain Notes of Instruction concerning the Making of Verse or Rime i n English. 2 v o l s . one of the f i r s t to theorize on English prosody. 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. In i l l u s t r a t i o n of t h i s viewpoint. reprinted from Elizabethan C r i t i c a l Essays. w i l l f a l l (to the ear) correspondent unto that which.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. 1904). with s p e l l i n g and punctuation modernized i n Discussions of Poetry: Sound and Rhythm. ed. 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. (London. l . hath fewest s y l l a b l e s in it. w r i t i n g i n 1575 that: . And whosoever do peruse and well consider his works. ed. I. Gregory Smith.. 1961). and that which hath most s y l l a b l e s i n i t . we have George Gascoigne. . yet being read by one that hath understanding. 49-54. a fact which allows for a certain amount of v a r i a t i o n within the l i n e . the longest verse. p . 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. units of measure. George Hemphill (Boston. rather than s t r i c t l y s y l l a b l e counted. Written at the Request of Master Eduardo Donati". G.

ed. .s t r e s s metre with. for the inappropriate terminology of many of the theoreticians.^ I f we make allowances. 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. c l a s s i c a l quantitative metre based on vowel length. -^ 1 And even today we have modern poets who refuse to consider any type of verse form outside the 13 E.15 associated native English s y l l a b l e . p. and i n consequence we have English prosodic theorists. and Manual. 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). But because we are primarily concerned with another basic type of English measure i n t h i s paper. R.357.. 14 Reprinted i n English Romantic Prose and Poetry. we can recognize a. (New York.g. surviving even such poetic revolutions as that outlined by Wordsworth i n his Preface to L y r i c a l Ballads. 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". even down to the present day. Saintsbury. however.es. 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. History.

Cleanth. 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 . 1961).6. The l a t e Robert Frost. p. I f you do. . maybe you've got true free verse. had t h i s to say on the subject: And you see. ed. . f o r example. . 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.16 s t r i c t l y metrical t r a d i t i o n . ^ 15 Conversations on the Craft of Poetry. and I don't want any of i t . Brooks and Robert Penn Warren (New York.

because. 1953). C. when rhythm i s perceived i n them. ed. the terminations having dropped o f f by the change of language. .t 17 PART V STRONG STRESS MEASURE Sprung Rhythm i s the most natural of things. (4) I t arises i n common verse when reversed or counterpointed. and so on.//. Gardner (Harmondsworth.1883. W. 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. (3) I t i s found i n nursery rhymes. (2) I t i s the rhythm of a l l but the most monotonously regular music.H.S. 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". the stresses came together and so the rhythm i s sprung. 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. printed i n Poems and Prose of Gerard Manlev Hopkins. weather saws. p. however these may have been once made i n running rhythm. 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 . Gerard Manley Hopkins Having recognized and acknowledged metre as the dominant system of English verse measure. for the same reason.

Inevitably there . 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. 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 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. are the bases of t r a d i t i o n a l English meter. 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. we do not t r y to force a l l English poetry to conform exclusively to either one. Perhaps i t would be advisable at t h i s point i n our discussion to acknowledge the fact that. poetry. verse which. 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 . 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. as we have seen.

the strong 17 Kemp Malone. p. 23. The largest single body of English strong-stress verse i s that which. 1948). . therefore. The L i t e r a r y History of England. 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. ed. 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. 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. 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. Baugh (New York. having been f i r s t written down during and a f t e r the 7th Century A. "The Middle Ages". In such cases we might say that the other type of effect. 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. 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.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 . At any rate. Albert C. Book I. comes down from the Anglo-Saxon period.

f o r 18 Beowulf and the Fight at Finnsburg. 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. National Council of Teachers of English. no. Pope. p . 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. Century. l i t e r a t u r e . strong-stress verse never again achieved such prominence i n English. Klaeber. 33. . 19 See phonograph. John C. t h i r d edition (Boston. PMLA. 181. i t does appear from In the l a s t h a l f of the 14th. by a l l i t e r a t i o n .-^ 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. . ed. 1941). Selections from Beowulf. no. In the following l i n e s of the "Beowulf". 5505. Selections from Beowulf. F r . f o r a similar opinion see Martin Halpern.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. "On the Two Chief Metrical Modes i n English". 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. 11. time to time. l .20 stresses of the normal sound sequence having been " l i f t e d " or exaggerated. LXXVII (1962)'. | egsode / eorla. Nevertheless. Lexington. recordings: Harry Morgan Ayres.4-7.

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

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

Ty | . 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. Such. Gerard Manley Hopkins. pp. as some prosodists claim. PMLA. but we w i l l discuss t h i s problem l a t e r i n the paper. op. . 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 Martin Halpern. 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 . Saintsbury. And hark | again'. c i t . 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./| | How | drowsily/ i t / crew.LXXVII (June. maintains that a l l English.^ J Tu J— whi 1\ //. 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.ll the* crowing | cock. i n his "On the Two Chief M e t r i c a l Modes i n English". 177-186. 25 There i s no question at a l l . pp.70-71. 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 . ^ r e a l l y 2 depends upon one's point of v i e w .97-100.whoo \ jl . i n the case of our next exponent of the strongstress system. Selected Poetry and Prose. 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 .^ | N > 23 In other parts of Christabel. . Whether or not Christabel i s t r u l y i n the strong-stress mode or whether. 1962). Manual.23 'Tis the ^middle /j of the jiight | by the castle[jclock | And the owls ) have awakened |j the crowing | cock. however.

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

230. . 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.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 . been assimilated by modern poetry. . s t i l l great confusion about the theory of modern verse measure. than ever before. to a great extent. 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. 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 . i b i d . p. so much so that today there seems to be more strong-stress poetry being written. 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. ^ and b/rdy | handsome | | / „ Pining ( pining^|j t i l l ^ t i m e j l when reason I . There i s . how- ever. 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 else. from prose. i i . or the blank verse s h a l l h a l t for i t . . the term "free-verse" 29 Translation by Hazel E. not i n sequence of a metronome..B. especially in connection with modern poetry. Jean Paul Sartre: E x i s t e n t i a l i s t Psychoanalysis ^ 2 . 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.. p. ed. they argue. existence precedes essence. 1934). Shakespeare: Hamlet. Harrison (New York. Ezra Pound: Make I t New 31 Any discussion of English verse measure. p. 337-39 Compose by the sequence of the musical phrase. 1962). i s further complicated by the issue of v a r i a b l e form.26 PART VI VARIABLE VERSE FORMS Freedom i s existence.335. and i n i t . does verse d i f f e r To such doctrinaire exponents.43.901. 30 I I . Barnes of a major part of L'£tre et l e neant (Chicago. G. 31 (London. 30 The Complete Works.and the lady s h a l l say her mind f r e e l y . 1948). p.

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. Speaking generally.27 i s a contradiction. 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. enough. 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. verse has been b u i l t upon some degree of formal r e g u l a r i t y . predictable patterns than about i r r e g u l a r ones. of course. however. Attitudes towards r e g u l a r i t y . The so- c a l l e d " p r e . the development of Anglo-Saxon verse. or. and more p a r t i c u l a r l y . from i n d i v i d u a l to individual. of formal v a r i a b i l i t y seems to be always at work. or to use our technical terminology. from what we can gather from the few remaining fragments that have come down to us. each h a l f l i n e was made up of two phonemic clauses. 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 . d i f f e r from period to period. at most. a page convention. at l e a s t . to keep the prosodists happy i n their investigations and tabulations of the norms of various types of verse measure. 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 . And i t must be admitted that the great mass of English.c l a s s i c a l " form. for example. The p r i n c i p l e Consider.

form. Since the sentences usually begin and end i n the middle of a l i n e . The verses give the e f f e c t of a never-ending flow. i n some cases. apart from the f i t s [[verse paragraphs] . etc. but t h i s continuous effect i s gained at a heavy structural c o s t . and the matter i s preserved en masse.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. or indeed of clear-cut units of any kind. (1943). 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. 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. 3 2 32 " P l u r i l i n e a r Units i n Old English Poetry". however. 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. l a t e r stages of the period. exemplifies the l a t e stage of the run-on s t y l e . To such a case Kemp Malone refers i n the following passage: Judith. 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 . RES. almost e n t i r e l y .) remained. XIX . 203-204. long l i n e . four-beat. and three of these mark the end of a f i 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. Here one can hardly speak of p l u r i l i n e a r units at a l l . I f we follow the punctuation of Wulcker. 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. only 11 of the 350 l i n e s end with a f u l l stop. so to speak.

however. 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. 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. 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. Gradually. and at the same time to keep i n t e r n a l pauses to a minimum. an attitude which i s not shared by the writer of t h i s paper. That t h i s should be the case i s not surprising. 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. 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. allowing run-ons . And hence.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. 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. end-rhyme. they began to treat the l i n e with more f l e x i b i l i t y . 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 . i f regular form was to be maintained.

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

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 . .If we consider the use of blank verse since Shakespeare's time for example i n the works of Milton and Wordsworth. 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.

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

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

34

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 . ^
3

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.

"Projective Verse".36 school i s on what basis does he end h i s l i n e s . p. In t h i s regard.387-397. ed. I t i s a technical point but a point of vast importance. which. he claimed. 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. Whitman with h i s so-called free verse was wrong: there can be no absolute freedom i n verse. i n h i s much-read essay. 40 L e t t e r to Richard Eberhart. where the units do not depend upon concrete features of the sound sequence i t s e l f . 39 New American Poetry.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". 1957). T h i r l w a l l (New York.320. 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. Another long-time exponent of organic verse form i s William Carlos Williams. John C. Selected L e t t e r s .39 t r i e s to deal with. You must have a measure to exclude what has to be excluded and to include what has to be included. the question by maintaining that the breath i s the basis of true l i n e measure. Charles Olson. . As he points out. should not be considered properly " f r e e " . pp. 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.

His appeal to "the tune which. The words. However. The musical pace proceeds without them. Ibid. suggests that the basis of Williams' measure i s syntactic rather than prosodic. l i k e h i s much- talked about "variable foot" which also has never been adequately defined. which held i t down. syntactic measure i s not d i r e c t l y relevant to the concerns of t h i s paper. ^ 1 Williams has put h i s finger on one of the major problems involved with modern free verse form. as we have mistakenly thought. 41 42 L e t t e r to Richard Eberhart. a theory which i s much. 1962). . have become e n t i r e l y divorced from the beat. less mysterious than Williams' own utterances on the subject.326. i s returned to the music. Levin. L i n g u i s t i c Structures i n Poetry ('S-Gravenhage. 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.34-35. having got r i d of the words. have been allowed to run a l l over the map. His concept of " c o v e r t " measure seems to side-track the main issue of organic form altogether. that i s to say the count.37 he explains that: The stated s y l l a b l e s . p. 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. " f r e e " . pp. i n his most i n t e r e s t i n g study. 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. having been freed. as i n the best present day free verse. L e t t e r s . 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 . because i t goes outside the sound structure of the poem. Samuel R. that i s the measure.

And variable strong-stress verse. 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. i f the term i s to have meaning must. But organic form. . i t must be based on some element (or elements) of the sound sequence of the poem. 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. 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.38 I f variable measure i s to be the basis of a verse form. The o l d regular verse forms are c e r t a i n l y not organic. and i f t h i s verse form i s to be considered t r u l y organic. 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 t must necessarily be as "overt" as the o l d regular measure. Hence. mental and kinesthic state of the poet. i s therefore one of the most authentically organic verse forms a v a i l a b l e .

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.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. p i t c h . H.20. 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. but i n other respects a poor o n e — — f o r the spoken and heard word. i . Many things^fiave v i t a l importance i n speech stress. e . 1945). 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. p. c h i e f l y conversation (dialogue) . 1933). 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. (London.17. . while the written (and printed^. word i s only a kind of substitute i n many ways a most valuable. or are imperfectly rendered by such means as underlining ( i t a l i c i z i n g ) and punctuation. p. R. colour of the voice. why has i t not been used more in the past.

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 .on reader. fancy they comprehend i t . and therefore conventional page layout cannot properly accommodate strong-stress verse. p. 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". with some ado. . Pease porridge hot pease porridge cold Pease porridge i n the pot nine days o l d .40 quite simple. ° For a l l his sarcasm. Our writing system does not indicate r h e t o r i c a l stress patterning. that that very clever person i s myself. for one moment. Poe i s quite r i g h t . 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. 14 (New York.238. 1902). f i f t y w i l l be able to make nothing of i t s rhythm. There are passages of "Christabel" which are d i f f i c u l t to read without hesitation. 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. at least without some experimentation. while those who have heard i t w i l l divide i t thus 46 The Complete Works. a f t e r the fourth or f i f t h perusal. V o l . w i l l f i n d i t s rhythm as obscure as an explanatory note. while forty-nine of the remaining f i f t y w i l l .

^_ which are d e f i n i t e l y a strong-stress verse form. and consequently there i s s t i l l a great deal of unnecessary confusion today about the nature of Hopkins' measure. I f we turn again to Poe's essay. 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. the true master of the forced to invent a whole system of Unfortunately. This i s also true of popular ballads. d i a c r i t i c a l marks to indicate h i s Sprung Rhythm. Nursery rhymes. . was Hopkins. another strong-stress verse form. are transcribed in musical notation.l Again we must acknowledge Poe's i n s i g h t . which.41 Pease | porridge ) hot I pease I porridge I coldl Pease \ porridge \ i n the | pot | nine J daysj old. c i t . op. . editors are i n the habit of leaving out these d i a c r i t i c a l s . have survived because they come down i n the o r a l t r a d i t i o n . although the rhythm patterns i n t h i s case are also preserved i n their accompanying melodies. 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. strong-stress 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.238. p. we note h i s comment that: 47 The Complete Works.

Even so. . 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. c i t . p. i t s formal structure disappears. 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. Various poets have t r i e d to work out systems of verse notation. the bulk of t h i s verse s t i l l ends up on the page.239.48 Today. i s greatly obs^ired. and here. as we have noted. so as to be ready at a moment's notice. accounts for the increasing use by contemporary poets of variable strong-stress verse measure. 48 The Complete Works. . op. or at best.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. of course. In consequence. 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. 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. the poet may also a v a i l himself of the phonograph and tape recorder.

. 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. 1958). his hat i n his hand. primary stress. with. 169. 1957). 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. The." Charles Dickens: When i t comes to reproducing the melody and rhythm of speech. Specifi- c a l l y i t indicates such e s s e n t i a l features of English speech. p . and r e l i e s on the 49 (New York. Bounderby. and isochronism pages 7-9 (see for explanation of these terms).. 1854.. as i f i t were a tambourine. Mr. "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. x x i i i .patterns of the voice traced by the oscillograph are much closer to what a proper poetry notation would be. English I n s t i t u t e Essays (New York. p. as terminal junctures.. Sparsit that he could be lurking for no good. 1956 . 50 In Sound and Poetry.. typography i s helpless and the notation of ordinary music worse than useless.43 PART IX STACKED-VERSE "What do you say". F i r s t published Lonibn.

a l i n e which.?'.:. 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 . . Each stack-foot i s written h o r i z o n t a l l y on a on the page. with. 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.. the stack-foot i s preceded. passes through. 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 . however. or replaced by an OUTRIDER. 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. a group of s y l l a b l e s containing one primary stress and ending i n a terminal juncture. where possible. ) . that i s to say there i s an approximately equal time i n t e r v a l between each. we come up with the following set of d e f i n i t i o n s . no more than one stack-foot appearing single l e v e l . primary stress regardless of the number of intervening s y l l a b l e s and junctures. Correlating. The basic unit of stacked-verse i s the STACK-FOOT. followed. the outriders. 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. Naturally the stress-axis does not touch The stresses along the axis are ISOCHRONOUS for the duration of the stack. 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 (.

Because the s t r o n g . would be . the n o t a t i o n system can handle any E n g l i s h speech rhythm. And t h e t h i r d . be it i n v e r s e or n o t . f o r example. 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 .f o o t stack: Henry has eaten Jack's elephant'. clauses. 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 . speech rhythms. 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 .a x i s .s t r e s s measure which. The second passage. Stacked-Verse accommodates i s a s t y l i z a t i o n o f normal English. 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 . 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 . 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 ) .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 . I will. s i n g l e phonemic The f i r s t passage. c l a u s e s .

The poems i n the following c o l l e c t i o n . . 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.

Measuring i t out the page. . Coughing up the residue of past i n t e n s i t i e s . T ill I shouted and my father drove into a d i t c h .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 .

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 . To l i t t e r pavements and corrupt the a i r : (continued) .

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

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

he said. 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 . While the tent-canvas dries i n the sun (continued) . we eat.Bends over the gas stove i n h i s woolly undervest. b o i l s coffee. "Carries for miles when i t s t h i s cold. he Fries r i c e . Each stroke distinct. Echoing once in the distance.

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. .

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? .NOW What about now? I mean I remember the day my dog died. Can you imagine that? V.

. A l l this a jolt i after that Pressing atmosphere of the l i b r a r y stacks.. New moon.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. And v a p o r .t r a i l rubric over the s t r a i t ..

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 ." he said. "You get exactly what you deserve.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 .

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 .. Awake. (continued) . suffering it all: The wii t n e s s* . 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.THINGS Tail-lights on the b r i d g e . The f a i n t p u l s e o f tug-engines o f f the i n l e t . 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..

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

(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. The others have no claim. 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.

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

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

a jug of Berry-Cup and h a l f a tank of gas.THAW Brown patches growing . Though. 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.i n the grimy snow. . out on the rj>ad the kids are s t i l l playing shinny i n the slush. Getting barely enough. 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.

Me beside them i n the front seat watching the road twist away to the l e f t .FAMILY Angelo ducking h i s head below the dash. . . 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. Noticing where the car had crashed down through the brush: f (continued) . Puffing to catch the f l i c k e r of Ivo's l i g h t e r .

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

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 .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 .IN BED BEFORE SUNSET Smell o f p i n e .

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. . Their tender proboscides twitching beneath the door. See now t h e i r pale eyes pressed against the window.

stretched out t r y i n g to get at a spot of chrome on the other side When the foreman came up. her wet jeans almost bursting.. winked at me. 1 . There she was against the fender squeezing her sponge. and giosed her with the hose.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. 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. She was straddling a Caddy f i n ..

Ghostly hands among my guts.LEVITATION Viscous shadows of c i t y . 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 . Vacant newsstands. Chairs on the tables in the dark cafeteria. . Menace of cj>ld dawn.

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 . (continued) . Funny stories over at the cantina. Music on the wind. And once Alfonso climbed the h i l l And talked and stayed.69 SITUATION Coffee beans in the morning sun. that was enough. Small-talk at the s t a l l of Mama Lupita. A giant hog asleep between the trays.

i too. i reflections on the lake. And there was love i n that town . 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. A l l you could eat and drink every day. It was part of the good-life: Friends and t h e i r families. crackling into the night. The trumpets bouncing o f f the cathedral w a l l . (continued) .70 A ride to Catamaco.

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

THE REQUISITION OF CATABOLISM You say "There y. 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 .

" sickness nothing Nothing nothing thankyou. he stands hunched against the f i l i n g cabinet. 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. . He lays h i s face in h i s arm-pit and refuses to breathe. I t i s time now to d < > i t a l l rjp quit.DECOMPOSITION Too much. As for his position in the room.

I . So please. Yes He w i l l gently l e t go. 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 .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.

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

Notes suppress words. It's a process of containment. es unity. but enforces a limitation. I experience freedom i n t h i s loosening of the brain-knot: Seconds of joy .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 . Mind . (continued) . slips to the fingers Pure sound spreading on the wind. deny them. M ake for .

77 Words for everything. 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. thinking That man's life f u t i l e as A melody on the evening wind. . Though. Meditations too are strong-armed by words I concede to them now.

Value l i v e s i n the mind of an economist. Having strained my limbs i n quixotic attempts to encompass them.POETIC I t i s dangerous to think i n a poem and doubly so to dream.. Beware (continued) .. Reams o f conjured testimony f a l l i n g i n disorder under my desk. Recount for yourself those f r a n t i c apprehensions of the vision-in-the-glass-of-beer. 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.

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

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

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

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 .IT inane justice of gratuitous insanity. the poem Crashes down during the night of the b i g wind And i s discovered i .

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

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! .The upshot being that I worked on fncognito. And now as distant reports and repeated detonations Omen t h i s nebulous structure of cosmic disavowal. i * shamelessly inscrutable to scholars.

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

I ? She examines the dry i n c i s i o n i n the f l e s h . Without warning a thick jet o f yellow b i l e hi^ts her i n the eye. .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. Bending ver edled aonor.

FRIDAY AT THE EX

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,

(continued)

89

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

l

(continued)

Though the star contortionist (having always been good at guessing

weight)

pivots on one pointed

breast,

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 ,

I

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

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

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

snarling. 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. Look. on parked cars and lamp-posts. .APPOINTMENT The nightmare dog-pack prowls the suburb. Yellow-eyed. A black s l i t opens in the sky.

What to do w i t h them? Books a r e n ' t a problem. 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. .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 . 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 .

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

r even st<j>ne-lipped silence And no tears and no great w^ste of ammunition.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. . Yes everybody should d .

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. My father at h i s guns. . clearing h i s throat i n reply.CONTRA DICTION At worst I think poetry only a hobby.

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 .

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.101 REPORT Watching the ambiguous people turning away from the ^nti-Nuclear-Arms petitioners. 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.

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

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

'S-Gravenhage. Normand. 201-4. Outline of English Structure. L i n g u i s t i c Structures i n Poetry. Occasional Papers 3. London. and Henry Lee Smith J r . Shapiro. George B. A Bibliography of Modern Prosody. LXXVI (1961). 1962. Craig. La Driere. Oklahoma. Poe." L i n g u i s t i c a . Baltimore. Charles. George L. and Meaning." New American Poetry 1945-1960. 413-419. Studies i n L i n g u i s t i c s . New York. Sound. Edgar A l l a n . pp. New York. Donald M." RES. "Projective Verse. ABC of Reading. Trager. pp.20-25. Levin. Ezra. 1960. H i s t o r i c a l Manual of English Prosody. 1933. "Notes of Meter.247-274.York. George.Jefferson. From "Thoughts on English Prosody (1786). 1934. London.209-265. Saintsbury. ed. Olson. 1902. 14. A l l e n . pp. Pound. 1957. . K a r l . " P l u r i l i n e a r Units i n Old English Poetry." Sound and Poetry: English I n s t i t u t e Essays. pp. New York." PMLA. pp. Selected Letters of William Carlos Williams. "Rational of Verse. Thulwall. 1957.85-108. 1948. Kemp. Jespersen. John C. Pace. 1951. 1910. New. "The Two Domains: Meter and Rhythm. 74 (1943). Vol. XIX." Hemphill. Otto. Malone.386-397. Samuel R. 1956." Complete Works. Thomas. ed. William Carlos. Williams. "Structure. Rhythm and Sound. Coperhagen.

"From L i n g u i s t i c s to Poetry.Whitehall. Structure. New York.357-367. 1958. pp. Noyes. Harold. An Outline of English. XIII (1951) 710-714. ed. Harold. Harold. 1956. in Kenyon Review. pp. Whitehall. Harold-B. New York 1957.394-397." Sound and Poetry: English I n s t i t u t e Essayr. Whitehall. pp. R. 1956. Review of George L. Reprinted i n English Romantic Prose and Poetry. . New York. ed. "Preface to L y r i c a l Ballads." Readings i n Applied English L i n g u i s t i c s . William. A l l a n . Wordsworth.134-145. "A Report on the Language-Literature Seminar. 1800. Trager and Henry Lee Smith. H i l l . and Archibald A.

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