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


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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

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 . Closely associated with v a r i a b l e verse measure i s the theory of organic form. 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 . Coleridge and Hopkins. Skelton. or he may choose to compose i n u t t e r freedom. 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. l e t t i n g the poem take the shape which h i s emotion. pauses. form.s y l l a b l e groups. This brings us to the question of 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. 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 . as opposed to regular. and equal time i n t e r v a l s between heavily stressed s y l l a b l e s . and i s being practised increasingly by poets i n our own day. i t has nevertheless come down to us i n folk verse and i n the work of such poets as Langland. 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. 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. not h i s conscious i n t e l l e c t .

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

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 .ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Farts of t h i s thesis have appeared i n the following publications.

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.

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..

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

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

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

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

and Manual of English. 1956 ) . 1906-1910 ) 3 v o l . . are-of value only i f we disregard his confused c r i t e r i a f o r . i t would be absurd to t a l k . 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. 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. 1910). however. and interpret his longs and shorts as being strong and weakly stressed s y l l a b l e s . see Manual.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 . . i f applied to poetry. 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. See Roman Jacobson and Morris Halle.19-23. S i m i l a r l y . 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". 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. as many t r a d i t i o n a l prosodists^ do. George Saintsbury. For example. and so we have poetic rhythms that are based on the r e l a t i v e loudness or duration of syllables.5 sound q u a l i t i e s may also function i n t h i s way. pp. 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 s a case i n point. His works: A History of English Prosody (London. metre i s an example of terms relevant to the c l a s s i c a l languages being misapplied to English.4 We should emphasize. 5 The idea of vowel duration as the basis of English. Prosody (London. 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. Fundamentals of Language ( 'S-Gravenhage. This system.

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

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

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

Intonation of American English (Ann Arbor. (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.9 With the above categories i n mind. imagining three d i f f e r e n t contexts of s i t u a t i o n . 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. however. ." 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.^ 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.6. "Henry has eaten Jack's elephant.2. who i s upstairs making the beds. 1945). 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". 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.

for t h i s word i s not known i n English. Had the speaker said "elephant". terminal junctures. 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. and the word "elephant" has the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c pattern of strongestweakest-medium. 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.10 to i l l u s t r a t e a few basic points. i n other 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. condition. mental.. or even kinesthetic. f o r the whole . This type of patterning i s a matter of heavy stresses. l e t us refer to i t for the remainder of t h i s paper as "word stress". to use the Trager and Smith term. 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. The reader. i t seems to be a manifestation of the speaker's immediate emotional. few l i s t e n e r s would have known what he was t a l k i n g about. 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". To begin with. words. 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.

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

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

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

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

15 associated native English s y l l a b l e . Noy. But because we are primarily concerned with another basic type of English measure i n t h i s paper. .es.^ 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. however. -^ 1 And even today we have modern poets who refuse to consider any type of verse form outside the 13 E. surviving even such poetic revolutions as that outlined by Wordsworth i n his Preface to L y r i c a l Ballads. (New York. and i n consequence we have English prosodic theorists. c l a s s i c a l quantitative metre based on vowel length. 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". and Manual. but he was to adapt t h i s language "by f i t t i n g it to metrical arrangement". History. 1956).. ed. p. for the inappropriate terminology of many of the theoreticians. even down to the present day.g.357. 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. 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. R. Saintsbury. we can recognize a.s t r e s s metre with. 14 Reprinted i n English Romantic Prose and Poetry.

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

when rhythm i s perceived i n them. (3) I t i s found i n nursery rhymes. for the same reason. the stresses came together and so the rhythm i s sprung. 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. the terminations having dropped o f f by the change of language. printed i n Poems and Prose of Gerard Manlev Hopkins. W. 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". p. however these may have been once made i n running rhythm. 1953). (4) I t arises i n common verse when reversed or counterpointed. because.H. ed.//. 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. Gardner (Harmondsworth. and so on. C. . For (1) i t i s the rhythm of common speech and of written prose. c o l l e c t i o n of poems.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.1883.S. weather saws.

verse which. Perhaps i t would be advisable at t h i s point i n our discussion to acknowledge the fact that. are the bases of t r a d i t i o n a l English meter. 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. we do not t r y to force a l l English poetry to conform exclusively to either one. And indeed. poetry. 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 . 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 n c i t i n g these two d i s t i n c t i v e systems of verse measure.18 as the " r h e t o r i c a l stress patterns" i n the transcribed example passages of English speech. 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. 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 . as we have seen. 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.

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. comes down from the Anglo-Saxon period. Baugh (New York. 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. "The Middle Ages". Albert C. Book I. At any rate. 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.. having been f i r s t written down during and a f t e r the 7th Century A. With this idea i n mind.D. 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. . The L i t e r a r y History of England. p. the strong 17 Kemp Malone. In such cases we might say that the other type of effect.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 . 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. 1948). 23. The largest single body of English strong-stress verse i s that which. therefore. 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. ed. for purposes look on certain poems as formal having one of these stress systems underlying t h e i r rhythm.

. National Council of Teachers of English. 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. 5505.20 stresses of the normal sound sequence having been " l i f t e d " or exaggerated. Nevertheless. 19 See phonograph. time to time. by a l l i t e r a t i o n . . 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. strong-stress verse never again achieved such prominence i n English. Pope. no. Century. t h i r d edition (Boston. 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. In the following l i n e s of the "Beowulf".4-7. ed. Klaeber. recordings: Harry Morgan Ayres. "On the Two Chief Metrical Modes i n English". 11.-^ 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. 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. l . Lexington. f o r a similar opinion see Martin Halpern. PMLA. f o r 18 Beowulf and the Fight at Finnsburg. no. 33. F r . LXXVII (1962)'. Selections from Beowulf. Selections from Beowulf. l i t e r a t u r e . p . 1941). 181. | egsode / eorla. John C.

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

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

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

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

230. There i s . been assimilated by modern poetry. 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. 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. 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. so much so that today there seems to be more strong-stress poetry being written.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 . . ^ and b/rdy | handsome | | / „ Pining ( pining^|j t i l l ^ t i m e j l when reason I . to a great extent. . how- ever. 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. p. 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 . and especially being read aloud. Indeed. s t i l l great confusion about the theory of modern verse measure. than ever before. i b i d .

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

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

or indeed of clear-cut units of any kind. l a t e r stages of the period. etc. 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. however. Since the sentences usually begin and end i n the middle of a l i n e . form. i n some cases. 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. and l i n e endings which ran on without syntactic pause. (1943). The verses give the e f f e c t of a never-ending flow. XIX . and three of these mark the end of a f i t . four-beat. but t h i s continuous effect i s gained at a heavy structural c o s t . long l i n e . exemplifies the l a t e stage of the run-on s t y l e .) remained. 3 2 32 " P l u r i l i n e a r Units i n Old English Poetry". 203-204. 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. apart from the f i t s [[verse paragraphs] . To such a case Kemp Malone refers i n the following passage: Judith. 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. RES. I f we follow the punctuation of Wulcker. 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. Here one can hardly speak of p l u r i l i n e a r units at a l l .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. 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 . and the matter i s preserved en masse. only 11 of the 350 l i n e s end with a f u l l stop. almost e n t i r e l y . so to speak.

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

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

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. 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.

. Thus great with c h i l d to speak. i n proportion as Their Poetry. Poetry Fetter'd Fetters the Human Race. 9-14. I I I (London. Nations are Destroy'd or Flourish.32 PART VII ORGANIC FORM But words came h a l t i n g forth. the mild & gentle for the mild & gentle parts. Invention. beating myself for spite. 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. Fool. Geoffrey Keynes.. But I soon found that i n the mouth of a true Orator such monotony was not only awkward. and the prosaic for i n f e r i o r parts. I. 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 . 1925).S. against the 33 The Writings of William Blake. And others' feet s t i l l seemed but strangers i n my way. Sir P h i l i p Sidney: Astrophel and S t e l l a .Art and Science.. . the t e r r i f i c numbers are reserved for the t e r r i f i c parts. to be a necessary and indispensable part of Verse. both of cadences & number of s y l l a b l e s .. wanting inventions stay. a l l are necessary to each other. ed. 167.. no less than Digestion or Sleep. We who dwell on Earth. I consider'd a Monotonous Cadence. Every word and every l e t t e r i s studied and put into i t s f i t place. l i k e that used by Milton & Shakespeare & a l l writers of English Blank Verse.. derived from the modern bondage of Rhyming. and helpless i n my throes. f l e d step-dame Study's blows. William Blake: "Of the Measure i n which Jerusalem is Written" 33 When T. B i t i n g my truant pen. nature's c h i l d . I therefore have produced a v a r i e t y i n every l i n e . essentially an insistence upon the inner unity which i s unique to every poem. look i n thy heart and write. said my muse to me. but as much a bondage as rhyme i t s e l f .Eliot t e l l s us that Free Verse was "a revolt against dead form [and] .

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.

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

41 42 L e t t e r to Richard Eberhart. 1962). 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 got r i d of the words. i n his most i n t e r e s t i n g study. 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. The words.37 he explains that: The stated s y l l a b l e s . Ibid. . have been allowed to run a l l over the map. 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. having been freed. ^ 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. that i s to say the count.34-35. L i n g u i s t i c Structures i n Poetry ('S-Gravenhage. Levin.326. His appeal to "the tune which. which held i t down. " f r e e " . i s returned to the music. L e t t e r s . Samuel R. less mysterious than Williams' own utterances on the subject. that i s the measure. have become e n t i r e l y divorced from the beat. pp. syntactic measure i s not d i r e c t l y relevant to the concerns of t h i s paper. suggests that the basis of Williams' measure i s syntactic rather than prosodic. Therefore the measure. because i t goes outside the sound structure of the poem. However. p. His concept of " c o v e r t " measure seems to side-track the main issue of organic form altogether. a theory which i s much. but he has f a i l e d to come up with any r e a l solution to i t . as i n the best present day free verse. The musical pace proceeds without them.

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

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

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

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

48 Today. 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. i t s formal structure disappears.239. p.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. Even so. . 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. i s greatly obs^ired. In consequence. 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. accounts for the increasing use by contemporary poets of variable strong-stress verse measure. . so as to be ready at a moment's notice. or at best. 48 The Complete Works. op. the bulk of t h i s verse s t i l l ends up on the page. as we have noted. the poet may also a v a i l himself of the phonograph and tape recorder. and here. 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. c i t . of course.

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

. no more than one stack-foot appearing single l e v e l . Correlating. passes through. where possible.?'. a l i n e which. 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. with. 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. 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 . 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. Naturally the stress-axis does not touch The stresses along the axis are ISOCHRONOUS for the duration of the stack. Each stack-foot i s written h o r i z o n t a l l y on a on the page. the outriders. we come up with the following set of d e f i n i t i o n s . . however.:. ) . In p a r t i c u l a r cases. the stack-foot i s preceded. followed. 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 (. 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 . primary stress regardless of the number of intervening s y l l a b l e s and junctures. The basic unit of stacked-verse i s the STACK-FOOT.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.

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

The poems i n the following c o l l e c t i o n . . 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. therefore are written i n Stacked-Verse.

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

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

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

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

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

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

" he said.FORMULA "The whole thing i s ordered. Sad To witness the power of f a i t h under those conditions . 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 . "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.

. 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. exposed. the Me s h i v e r i n g on the b i l c o n y . The f a i n t p u l s e o f tug-engines o f f the i n l e t .. suffering it all: The wii t n e s s* . Awake. the s u b j e c t .THINGS Tail-lights on the b r i d g e . 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. (continued) . Somewhere squealing t i r e s .

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

But why speak of i t here? Those of us who are of i t know. no r i g h t .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. (continued) .

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. .

I . Nothing else l e f t now but these. no radio. 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. "Never got over •being scared. And h i s words f l u t t e r i n g around i n my mind." he t o l d me Open cockpit. no chute.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.

.PRESENCE Jolted by an imagined gl:.mpse of long black hair Or that tingling on my. 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 .

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

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 . . . Me beside them i n the front seat watching the road twist away to the l e f t . 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) .

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

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

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

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

LEVITATION Viscous shadows of c i t y . . Menace of cj>ld dawn. Ghostly hands among my guts. 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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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. The b l i n d old beggar singing pyrest Malaguefia . ragged. But remember | George Shearing blind No J L j)ther piano like i t at a l l ..VISION My eyes definitely going now. his boy c o l l e c t i n g centavos.. Braced..

(continued) . Notes suppress words. 1 I Words control my inner dimension through a sequence of d e f i n i t i o n s . M ake for . but enforces a limitation. es unity. slips to the fingers Pure sound spreading on the wind. It's a process of containment. deny them. 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 . Mind .

77 Words for everything. thinking That man's life f u t i l e as A melody on the evening wind. 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.

. Beware (continued) ..POETIC I t i s dangerous to think i n a poem and doubly so to dream. Having strained my limbs i n quixotic attempts to encompass them. Value l i v e s i n the mind of an economist. 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. .

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. .IN-GROUP N . The only others with.

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

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

next morning among f a l l e n branches and other debris.IT inane justice of gratuitous insanity. 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 .

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

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.

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

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

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

on parked cars and lamp-posts. A black s l i t opens in the sky. or urinate on the darkened shopping center. A l i t t l e boy i s climbing out of an abandoned bus.APPOINTMENT The nightmare dog-pack prowls the suburb. snarling. . they set t h e i r teeth. 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. Yellow-eyed. Look.

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 . 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 . 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.

. 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. 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. 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. .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 .

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

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

W. Amsterdam. ed. Chatman. 1961." . Prosody." reprinted i n Hemphill. T. De Groot. and Robert Penn Warren. ed. "ideas on the Meaning of Form. Frye. L. •o 1961. from Elizabethan C r i t i c a l Essays. Thomas. 1964). 1957. "Phonetics i n i t s Relation to Aesthetics. Reprinted New York. . New York. Halpern. 49-54. A.A SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY 103 Bowering.Poetry: Rhythm and Sound. Glasgow. Gerard Manley.iv-xxvii. 1602. From "Certain Notes of Instruction Concerning the Making of Verse or Rime i n English. 1957. Occasional Papers 7. Observations i n the Art of English Poesie. Brooks. H. Kaiser. I. 1925. Conversations • ' n the Craft of Poetry. L i n g u i s t i c s and English. G. pp.. pp. Northrop.Manual of Phonetics.1-3. "Lexis and Melos. 60-74. pp. 1961). George. The Selected Poems and Prose. Gascoigne. ed. XIII (Spring. pp.Gregory Smith. 1959. Martin.W." PMLA.83-92. Robert. Harrison. ed. "On the Two Chief M e t r i c a l Modes i n English. 1942. Seymore. E l i o t . Gardiner." Discussions of. "Robert Frost's 'Mowing': An Inquiry into Prosodic Structure. Epstein. G. Rhythm and Sound. "Dance to a Measure." Kulture. eds. Buffalo. 3-14. Campion." Sound and Poetry: English I n s t i t u t e Essays. Hopkins. 177-186. B. ed. London." Kulture. i v . The Music of Poetry. ( F a l l . 1904. Harmondsworth. (1962).-New York. Cleanth. George. Studies i n L i n g u i s t i c s .S. 1956.385-400. I. LXXVII. 2 v o l s . Edmund L. Duncan. i i i . George Hemphill. 1953. Boston. and Terence Hawkes.

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

Whitehall. XIII (1951) 710-714. A l l a n . ed. Harold. Review of George L. Harold-B. R. and Archibald A. Reprinted i n English Romantic Prose and Poetry. Wordsworth." Readings i n Applied English L i n g u i s t i c s .134-145. in Kenyon Review. 1958. Structure. 1956." Sound and Poetry: English I n s t i t u t e Essayr. "Preface to L y r i c a l Ballads. 1956. New York. . H i l l . pp. 1800. "A Report on the Language-Literature Seminar. ed. Harold.Whitehall. "From L i n g u i s t i c s to Poetry. Noyes.394-397. An Outline of English. New York.357-367. pp. William. New York 1957. pp. Harold. Whitehall. Trager and Henry Lee Smith.

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