Winter 1958 • Vol. XX No. 1 NonfictionJanuary 1, 1958 |

Sir Philip and the Forsaken Iamb

To see what meter is and what it is good for, it might be well to go back to a sort of beginning. Today the techniques of metrical analysis have been extended and refined far beyond our basic understanding of meter. Who could ask for anything subtler than Mr. Stein's or Mr. Ransom's teasing of the lines from Milton and Donne, in their essays in the Summer 1956 number of this Review? And no doubt there will be further records kept along the lines of Mr. Chatman's transcriptions of Robert Frost's poem in the same number. Critics become better and better at suggesting interpretations of poems, and soon they will be able to write them down with every trick of the voice represented on the page and then explained. But is this what we need to know about meter? Mr. Chatman and Mr. Stein are giving us examples of the differences between the abstract metrical pattern of stresses and the pattern of stresses as these occur in the language of any line of poetry. Mr. Chatman has a very precis

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Goodbye Now

By John Thompson

To see what meter is and what it is good for, it might be well to go back to a sort of beginning. Today the techniques of metrical analysis have […]

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