Metre, Rhythm and Verse Form by Philip HobsbaumPoetry criticism is a subject central to the study of literature. However, it is laden with technical terms that, to the beginning student, can be both intimidating and confusing. Philip Hobsbaum provides a welcome remedy, illuminating terms ranging from the iambus to the bob-wheel stanza, and forms from the Spenserian sonnet to modern rap, with clarity and comprehensiveness. It is an essential guide through the terminology which will be invaluable reading for undergraduates new to the subject.
Metre Rhythm Verse Form by Hobsbaum Philip
In poetry , metre British or meter American ; see spelling differences is the basic rhythmic structure of a verse or lines in verse. Many traditional verse forms prescribe a specific verse metre, or a certain set of metres alternating in a particular order. The study and the actual use of metres and forms of versification are both known as prosody. Within linguistics , " prosody " is used in a more general sense that includes not only poetic metre but also the rhythmic aspects of prose , whether formal or informal, that vary from language to language, and sometimes between poetic traditions. The metre of most poetry of the Western world and elsewhere is based on patterns of syllables of particular types. The familiar type of metre in English-language poetry is called qualitative metre , with stressed syllables coming at regular intervals e. Many Romance languages use a scheme that is somewhat similar but where the position of only one particular stressed syllable e.
He does this in part by staying under two hundred pages and diving into great poetry at every turn, teaching how to scan meter, and what psychological impact a tiny alteration in form can have. He also defines three kinds of free verse: free blank verse, cadenced verse, and pure free verse. Hobsbaum explores the use of rhyme and partial rhyme. And he is always going back to the subject of how all these matters, and a few more affect the final rhythm, which he points out is a different animal from a fixed form like iambic pentameter. At the end of the book, Hobsbaum runs through a number of popular verse forms. One of the most interesting things about this book is how we are given access to the historical origin and development of certain types of stanzas such as the ballad and hymn and elegiac stanza and how their potential was discovered over time in significant usages. To poets who want to gain more conscious understanding of the nuances of meter and form I recommend this volume wholeheartedly.
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Poetry For Dummies
Rhythm is the pattern of stresses in a line of verse. When you speak, you stress some syllables and leave others unstressed. When you string a lot of words together, you start seeing patterns. Rhythm is a natural thing. Much of English poetry is written in lines that string together one or more feet individual rhythmical units. Feet are the individual building blocks of meter.
Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book. Philip Hobsbaum is never less than exhilarating in this high-paced introduction, though at times the wealth of technical detail on such matters as sprung rhythm or the use of Trager-Smith notation threatens to overwhelm the neophyte. Patience is undoubtedly a virtue with a text like this, and a degree of humility. Rather, treat it as a resource that may be returned to again and again. Whether that will aid your appreciation of the poems you read, however, is an open question.