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Songs of circum/stance-original poems and introduction Kearns, Lionel John 1964

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SONGS OF CIRCUM/STANCE - o r i g i n a l poems and introduction by LIONEL JOHN KEARNS B.A., The University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1961  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n the Department of English  We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A p r i l , 1964  In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make i t freely available for reference and study*  I further agree that per-  mission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representatives.  It is understood that copying or publi-  cation of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permissions,  Department of The University of British Columbia, Vancouver 8, Canada  ii  ABSTRACT  This thesis consists of a s e l e c t i o n of o r i g i n a l poems and an introductory essay which treats the subject of poetic form and sets out an o r i g i n a l system of verse notation, c a l l e d "Stacked Verse" which i s used i n laying out the poems. The essay may be summarized as follows.  Verse, i n i t s  widest d e f i n i t i o n , i s language whose sound form has been ordered or s t y l i z e d f o r s p e c i a l aesthetic e f f e c t .  Because  verse i s a time a r t , i t s e s s e n t i a l form i s a rhythm, that i s , a chronological set of points and t h e i r i n t e r v a l s .  These  points may be marked by any s i g n i f i c a n t feature of the language, although i n English verse the speech feature most commonly used as a basis f o r measure i s s y l l a b l e s t r e s s .  Yet t h i s  term i s ambiguous because i n English speech there are two d i f f e r e n t systems of r e l a t i v e stress patterning at the same time.  operative  On one hand there i s the r e l a t i v e stress  within i n d i v i d u a l words.  This type of patterning, which we  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  s y l l a b l e groups, pauses, and equal time i n t e r v a l s between heavily stressed s y l l a b l e s .  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, i t has nevertheless come down to us i n folk verse and i n the work of such poets as Langland, Skelton, Coleridge and Hopkins, and i s being practised increasingly by poets i n our own day. This brings us to the question of v a r i a b l e , as opposed to regular, form.  The s t y l i z a t i o n o f speech features does not  necessarily imply r e g u l a r i z a t i o n .  The prevalence of run-on  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. Closely associated with v a r i a b l e verse measure i s the theory of organic form.  A poet may either begin h i s composi-  t i o n with some f i x e d model i n mind, or he may choose to compose i n u t t e r freedom, l e t t i n g the poem take the shape which h i s emotion, not h i s conscious i n t e l l e c t , gives i t .  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 , 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  individual's emotional condition.  Such a speech feature i s  r h e t o r i c a l stress patterning, and therefore a v a l i d l y organic verse form would be one based on v a r i a b l e strong stress measure. The 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, 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. 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, 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. t h i s notation "Stacked Verse".  The writer c a l l s  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS  Farts of t h i s thesis have appeared i n the following publications. Prism Delta Poet Evidence Canadian Forum Outsider Genesis West E l Corno Emplumado Tish Tamarack Review Envoi Prometheus: Poetry 64 CHQM CBC  The Young S o c i a l i s t  Quarterly  v  TABLE OF CONTENTS  INTRODUCTION I Verse II Measure I I I English Stress Patterns IV English Metre V Strong Stress Measure VI Variable Verse Forms VII Organic Form VIII Notation IX Stacked Verse  1 4 7 12 17 26 32 39 43  POEMS Process Ambergris: A Statement on Source. Composition Now The Scholar at Five Formula Things Recall Residue Presence Thaw Family In Bed Before Bunset Departure Precipitation Levitation Situation The Requisition of Catabolism Decomposition Vision Measure Poetic In Group  47 48 50 53 54 55 56 58 60 61 62 63 65 66 67 68 $9 72 73 75 76 78 80  vi  Vastation i n the Stacks It The Charnel-House of Dharma The Yogi as Humorist.. Friday at the Ex Stuntman Appointment Remains Prototypes Contra D i c t i o n Theology Haiku The Sensationalist Report Homage to Machado A SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY  81 83 84 86 88 91 93 94 96 97 98 99 101 102 103  PART I VERSE  There remains...aesthetic discourse, 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 . This i s at the bottom more a matter o f form than of content. Content may be put into any form whatever. 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. Joshua Whatmough:  Language  Let us begin our d e f i n i t i o n by saying that verse i s language, and that by "language" we mean simply an o r a l - a u r a l system of human communication.  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, and on the other hand, of the referents, or meanings, associated with the various sound forms i n the minds of those people who speak the language.  I t i s important that we are aware of t h i s  dual aspect of language, and whether we think of the matter i n terms o f form and content, sound and meaning, symbol and  1 (New York, 1956), p.88  2  referent, we must recognize the fact that unless both these elements are present an utterance cannot be regarded as a phenomenon of language. A l l language, however, i s not verse, and we must narrow our d e f i n i t i o n even more by saying that verse i s language whose sound form has special aesthetic appeal. 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 ; 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, f o r example  the  the distinguishing feature of verse i s i t s  2 sonic ordering.  This d e f i n i t i o n implies two categories of  language a r t , verse and prose, categories which, of course, must be taken as cardinal rather than functional.  There can never  be any precise d i v i d i n g l i n e between the two genres; there can only be works that approach one side of the graph or the other, 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, or even into other words of the same language, whereas verse cannot. The former depends f o r i t s e f f e c t upon reference, which i s to a large extent interchangeable between languages. Verse, 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 , 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. 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.  3  i n i t s sound forms, however contingent or minimal t h i s may be. Having accepted the above d e f i n i t i o n of verse we are now ready to go on to discuss the nature of certain types of poetic form.  The reader must r e a l i z e , however, 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, i s the actual poem.  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, l i k e music, i s a time a r t , and i t s formal structure, therefore, may be thought of as rhythm, i f we use this term to mean a chronological series of perceptible points and their intervals.  In fact, we might even think of rhythm i n t h i s  way as being time measured i n the concrete. production and contemplation of spacial a r t sculpture for example  And just as the painting or  involves the p r i n c i p l e of measure, so  the creation and appreciation of verse form must involve t h i s same p r i n c i p l e , or perhaps we should say process. In theory, verse measure can be based on any functional element of the sound system of the language i n question.  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.  3  (New York, 1934) p.202.  Particular  5 sound q u a l i t i e s may also function i n t h i s way, and so we have poetic rhythms that are based on the r e l a t i v e loudness or duration of syllables.4  We should emphasize, however, 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. For example, 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.  S i m i l a r l y , i t would be absurd to t a l k , as many  t r a d i t i o n a l prosodists^ do, of verse structures i n English  4 Although i t does not d i r e c t l y concern t h i s paper, i t 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", 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, Fundamentals of Language ( 'S-Gravenhage, 1956 ) . This system, i f applied to poetry, would be something very s i m i l a r to poet Robert Duncan's concept of an "absolute scale of resemblance and disresemblance" i n speech sounds upon which the poet i d e a l l y constructs h i s rhythmic patterns. 5 The idea of vowel duration as the basis of English, metre i s an example of terms relevant to the c l a s s i c a l languages being misapplied to English. George Saintsbury, 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, i s a case i n point. His works: A History of English Prosody (London, 1906-1910 ) 3 v o l . , and Manual of English. Prosody (London, 1910), are-of value only i f we disregard his confused c r i t e r i a f o r - 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 , see Manual, pp.19-23, and interpret his longs and shorts as being strong and weakly stressed s y l l a b l e s .  being based on vowel length, for vowel length, i s not an operative element i n the English language; not been for the l a s t few hundred  years.  at l e a s t , i t has This i s not to  say that a l l English vowels are of equal duration; because t h i s kind of v a r i a t i o n i s not meaningfully  but signifi-  cant i n i t s e l f , i t passed unnoticed by the ear of the averag English speaker.  7 PART I I I ENGLISH STRESS PATTERNS As no science can go beyond; mathematics, 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 . 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 . . . i s not semantics..., but down to earth, l i n g u i s t i c s , micro l i n g u i s t i c s , not metalinguistics. Harold Whitehall: reviewing An Outline of English Structure, by George L. Trager and Henry Lee Smith." 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 , or perhaps we should c a l l i t s y l l a b l e prominence.  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, categories and symbols from the l i n g u i s t s . Let us therefore use four degrees of stress: heavy;  /*/ secondary;  /V  tertiary;  /// primary or  and /*/ weak.  And l e t  us also recognize those p i t c h shapes which occur, usually  6  Kenyon Review, XIII (1951), 713.  8 accompanied by a s l i g h t pause, at the ends of s y l l a b l e c l u s t e r s , and  are c a l l e d "terminal junctures".  main types are:  The  three  the double cross juncture /$/, characterized  by a f a l l i n g pitch contour and occurring usually at the end of the double bar juncture J\\l,  a sentence;  characterized by a  r i s i n g pitch, contour and occurring i n a sequence such, as "He  came /||/ he saw  //(/ he  conquered/jj/'V  and the single bar juncture /|/, where the voice neither r i s e s nor f a l l s before a r t i c u l a t i o n stops.  According to An Outline of  English Structure by George L. Trager and Henry Lee Smith,? a work which, 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, terminal junctures r e l a t e i n the following way  to stress patterns i n English, speech:  Between any two successive primary stresses there i s always one of the terminal junctures, and every primary stress i s followed by one terminal juncture at some point subsequent to i t . Any utterance made i n English, ends i n one of the terminal junctures. I f i t i s a minimal complete utterance i t has no other terminal junctures within' i t . In that case i t must have...one AND ONLY ONE primary stress and may have one or more other stresses .... Such, a minimal complete utterance may be c a l l e d by the technical term PHONEMIC CLAUSE.8  7 Studies i n L i n g u i s t i c s : Oklahoma, 1951). 8  Outline, pp.49-50.  Occasional  Papers 3 (Normand,  9 With the above categories i n mind, l e t us analyse the stress patterns of the following sentence, "Henry has eaten Jack's elephant."  The writer w i l l a r t i c u l a t e the passage himself,  imagining three d i f f e r e n t contexts of s i t u a t i o n . (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, who  i s upstairs  making the beds, 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, 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".^ 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;  however, the three examples are s u f f i c i e n t  9 For a technical discussion of this phenomenon see Kenneth Lee Pike, Intonation of American English (Ann Arbor, 1945), 3.6.2.  10 to i l l u s t r a t e a few basic points.  To begin with, 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.  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.  Had the speaker said "elephant", few l i s t e n e r s  would have known what he was t a l k i n g about, for t h i s word i s not known i n English.  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, words, l e t us refer to i t for the remainder of t h i s paper as "word stress".. The reader, however, 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 ;  i n other words, i t seems to be a manifestation  of the speaker's immediate emotional, mental, or even kinesthetic, condition.  This type of patterning i s a matter of heavy  stresses, terminal junctures, and the previously mentioned phenomenon of "isochronism", 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.  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 use the Trager and Smith term, f o r the whole  utterance contains only one  primary stressed s y l l a b l e  one  second utterance, however, i s  terminal juncture.  broken into two  The  phonemic clauses, and  and  the t h i r d utterance  i s made up of no less than four of these units, each of which has  i t s primary s y l l a b l e i n isochronous r e l a t i o n to  the  primary s y l l a b l e either preceding i t or following i t , or to both.  Let us c a l l t h i s l a t t e r type of stress patterning  "rhetorical  stress".  To summarize, therefore, we have distinguished  two  systems of stress patterning functioning simultaneously i n English  speech, each system making use of the  degree of stress i n the uttered s y l l a b l e s ; stress i n d i f f e r e n t ways.  relative  but r e l a t i n g t h i s  12  PART IV ENGLISH METRE English poetry, deriving i t s basic 'heart beat' from the rhythms of o r a l discourse, as described by Trager and Smith, patterns b i n a r i l y on a constantly varying strongerweaker p r i n c i p l e , or the reverse, and the iambic pattern, being s t a t i s t i c a l l y rather more possible of occurrence than the trochaic, i s the overweening basic pattern. Edmund L. 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  patterning that underlie most English go on to show how to  speech rhythm, we can  now  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, verse measure. 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, metre occurs when  the poet so arranges his words that s y l l a b l e s of weaker and greater stress alternate throughout the utterance.  In discussing  t h i s kind of measure the theoreticians usually conceive of the utterance as being made up of two-syllable units which are c a l l e d feet.  An a l t e r n a t i v e and less frequent variant of t h i s  10 Studies i n L i n g u i s t i c s : 1959), p.50.  Occasional Papers 7 (Buffalo,  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 , 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 .  However, because  the majority of English metrical poetry i s of the  two-  s y l l a b l e variety, we w i l l confine our remarks solely to i t . H i s t o r i c a l l y speaking, we might note that metre gradually began to make i t s e l f  felt  i n English verse forms  a f t e r the Norman Conquest, and by the 14th Century was  the  dominant p r i n c i p l e behind most verse forms, Chaucer, of course, being the greatest medieval master of t h i s type of measure. V '— u — 1/ -— \ it — u B i f i l I that in/'that sesjon on |a day, i n Southwerk at (the* Tabjard a s / f lay, Redy/to" wenjden 0n| my piljgrymage To Caunjterburyj with, f u l l devout jcourage  etc. The f i r s t English metrical forms seem to have been derived from French syllable-counted verse models, and l i k e them, shared the complementary device of end-rhyme.  But when the  English, poets counted out groups of ten or twelve s y l l a b l e s 11 Canterbury Tales, General Prologue, 19-24, The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer. F.N.Robinson, ed., second e d i t i o n (Boston, 1957), p. 17. Symbol code: /"/ weaker stress, /"/ stronger stress, / ) / foot d i v i s i o n .  and marked them with pairs of l i k e vowel-consonant clusters (end-rhymes) they discovered that, 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, 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,  rather than  s t r i c t l y s y l l a b l e counted, units of measure, a fact which allows for a certain amount of v a r i a t i o n within the l i n e . In i l l u s t r a t i o n of t h i s viewpoint, we have George Gascoigne, one of the f i r s t to theorize on English prosody, w r i t i n g i n 1575  that: ...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. And whosoever do peruse and well consider his works, 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 , yet being read by one that hath understanding, the longest verse, and that which hath most s y l l a b l e s i n i t , w i l l f a l l (to the ear) correspondent unto that which, hath fewest s y l l a b l e s in it.12  In recognizing and e x p l o i t i n g t h i s fundamental metrical potent i a l of t h e i r language, and being anxious to give t h e i r  own  barbaric tongue l i t e r a r y prestige, English poets and theorists  12 "Certain Notes of Instruction concerning the Making of Verse or Rime i n English, Written at the Request of Master Eduardo Donati", reprinted from Elizabethan C r i t i c a l Essays, ed. G. Gregory Smith, 2 v o l s . (London, 1904), I. 49-54, with s p e l l i n g and punctuation modernized i n Discussions of Poetry: Sound and Rhythm, ed. George Hemphill (Boston, 1961), p . l .  15 associated native English s y l l a b l e - s t r e s s metre with, c l a s s i c a l quantitative metre based on vowel length, and i n consequence we have English prosodic theorists, even down to the present day,  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.^ I f we make allowances, however, for the inappropriate terminology of many of the theoreticians, we can recognize a. 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.  But because we are primarily concerned with  another basic type of English measure i n t h i s paper, 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, surviving even such poetic revolutions as that outlined by Wordsworth i n his Preface to L y r i c a l Ballads. 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", but he was to adapt t h i s language "by f i t t i n g it  to metrical arrangement". -^ 1  And even today we have modern  poets who refuse to consider any type of verse form outside the  13  E.g., Saintsbury, History, and Manual.  14 Reprinted i n English Romantic Prose and Poetry, ed. R. Noy.es, (New York, 1956), p.357.  16 s t r i c t l y metrical t r a d i t i o n .  The l a t e Robert Frost, f o r  example, had t h i s to say on the subject: And you see, 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 . . . 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. I f you do, maybe you've got true free verse, and I don't want any of i t . ^  15 Conversations on the Craft of Poetry, ed. Cleanth. Brooks and Robert Penn Warren (New York, 1961), p.6.  17  t  PART V STRONG STRESS MEASURE Sprung Rhythm i s the most natural of things. For (1) i t i s the rhythm of common speech and of written prose, when rhythm i s perceived i n them. (2) I t i s the rhythm of a l l but the most monotonously regular music, 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 . (3) I t i s found i n nursery rhymes, weather saws, and so on; because, however these may have been once made i n running rhythm, the terminations having dropped o f f by the change of language, the stresses came together and so the rhythm i s sprung. (4) I t arises i n common verse when reversed or counterpointed, for the same reason. Gerard Manley Hopkins Having recognized and acknowledged metre as the dominant system of English verse measure, 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". 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.S. c o l l e c t i o n of poems, C.1883, printed i n Poems and Prose of Gerard Manlev Hopkins, ed. W.H. Gardner (Harmondsworth, 1953), p.//.  18 as the " r h e t o r i c a l stress patterns" i n the transcribed example passages of English speech. 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. I t i s obvious that t h i s r h e t o r i c a l stress patterning i s i n fact a kind of natural system of speech measure i n i t s e l f , and 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. And indeed, close examination of English l i t e r a r y history w i l l bear out the fact that there has been from time to time English, verse which, 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, as we have seen, are the bases of t r a d i t i o n a l English meter. Perhaps i t would be advisable at t h i s point i n our discussion to acknowledge the fact that, i n c i t i n g these two d i s t i n c t i v e systems of verse measure, we do not t r y to force a l l English poetry to conform exclusively to either one. 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, poetry.  Inevitably there  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 . 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, for purposes  look on certain poems as  having one of these stress systems underlying t h e i r rhythm.  formal  In such cases we might say that the other type of  stress patterning merely contributes decorative  effect.  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.  At any rate, we  should avoid a f a c t i o n a l i s t attitude that recognizes  only  one  possible type of stress rhythm i n English poetry and t r i e s to analyse a l l poems i n terms of this single system.  With this  idea i n mind, therefore, 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 largest single body of English strong-stress verse i s that which, comes down from the Anglo-Saxon period, having been f i r s t written down during and a f t e r the 7th Century  A.D.,  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.  In t h i s type of verse the formal measure 17  was  based on a s t y l i z a t i o n of common speech rhythm,  the  17 Kemp Malone, "The Middle Ages", Book I, The L i t e r a r y History of England, ed. Albert C. Baugh (New York, 1948), p. 23.  strong  20 stresses of the normal sound sequence having been " l i f t e d " or exaggerated, by a l l i t e r a t i o n .  In the following l i n e s of the  "Beowulf", 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. | egsode / eorla.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  phonemic clause.  I t i s d i f f i c u l t to speculate as to whether  the  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, 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.-^ 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, strong-stress verse never again achieved such prominence i n English, l i t e r a t u r e . time to time.  Nevertheless, i t does appear from  In the l a s t h a l f of the 14th. Century, f o r  18 Beowulf and the Fight at Finnsburg, ed. F r . Klaeber, t h i r d edition (Boston, 1941), p . l . , 11.4-7. 19 See phonograph, recordings: Harry Morgan Ayres, Selections from Beowulf, National Council of Teachers of English, no. 33; John C. Pope, Selections from Beowulf, Lexington, no. 5505; f o r a similar opinion see Martin Halpern, "On the Two Chief Metrical Modes i n English", PMLA, LXXVII (1962)', 181.  21 example, a period when the patterns of English metrical verse were being firmly established by such figures as Chaucer and Gower, there was also a b r i e f resurgence of the o l d a l l i t e r a t i v e type of verse, a l b e i t greatly modified from the c l a s s i c a l Anglo-Saxon strong-stress models.  In the following l i n e s of  "Piers Plowman", one of about 20 such poems which have come down to us from the period of about 1350-1400, we can note the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c features of a l l i t e r a t i v e stressed s y l l a b l e s , which mark the formal  units of the verse measure:  In a somerJsesun, || when softe I was je sonne,)^^ £ schop, me fj into a shroud, )| a* scheep I as I were$N In hab^te | of ^an he'rmi/te II unholy|#f we^rkes,/!^ O f o Wehde I wydene | i n ^ i s wdrld |) wondres I to' h e r e / ^ u  However, a f t e r t h i s b r i e f f l o u r i s h , which call  0  the l i t e r a r y historians  the " A l l i t e r a t i v e Revival", strong-stress verse measure  a l l but disappeared from the main stream of English poetry. 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 .  Humorous doggerel, nursery  rhymes and popular ballads have continued to be based on strongstress measure r i g h t down to the present.  In t h i s respect i t  i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note that Northrop Frye sees a d i r e c t l i n k between the o l d Anglo-Saxon forms and the folk ballad:  20 Text from Fernand Moss!, A Handbook of Middle English, trans, by G.A.Walker (Baltimore, 1952), pp.260-1.  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, with a rest at the end of every other l i n e . This p r i n c i p l e of the rest, or the beat coming at a point of actual silence, was already established i n Old E n g l i s h . ^ 1  It was probably an interest i n b a l l a d measure that led Samuel Taylor Coleridge i n 1797 measure.  to a rediscovery of strong-stress  He t e l l s us, i n the preface to his poem fragment,  "Christabel", that the metre of the work . . . i s not, properly speaking, i r r e g u l a r , 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, not the s y l l a b l e s . Though the l a t t e r may vary from seven to twelve, yet i n each l i n e the accents w i l l be found to be only four. Nevertheless, t h i s occasional v a r i a t i o n i n number of s y l l a b l e s i s not introduced wantonly, or for the mere ends of convenience, 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. With the above note i n mind, we may  read and transcribe a  portion of " C h r i s t a b e l " i n the following manner, noting  how  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 .  21 "Lexis and Melos", Sound and Poetry: Essays; 1956 (New York, 1957), p . x v i i .  English I n s t i t u t e  22 Coleridge, Selected Poetry and Prose, ed. Elisabeth Schneider (New York, 1951), p.70.  23 'Tis the ^middle /j of the jiight || by the castle[jclock And the owls ) have awakened |j the crowing |J cock;^ Tu J— whi 1\ //, Ty | - whoo \ jl , , And hark || again'.ll the* crowing | cock,/| How || drowsily/ i t / crew.^ N  >  23  In other parts of Christabel, 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 , but we w i l l discuss t h i s problem l a t e r i n the paper. Whether or not Christabel i s t r u l y i n the strong-stress mode or whether, 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 , ^ r e a l l y 2  depends upon one's point of v i e w .  25  There i s no question at  a l l , however, i n the case of our next exponent of the strongstress system, Gerard Manley Hopkins. 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.  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  Coleridge, Selected Poetry and Prose, op. c i t . , pp.70-71.  24  Saintsbury, Manual, pp.97-100.  25 Martin Halpern, i n his "On the Two Chief M e t r i c a l Modes i n English", PMLA.LXXVII (June, 1962), 177-186, 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, maintains that a l l English, 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 , including regular anapestic or d a c t y l i c metre. Such, 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.  24 measure:  "running rhythm" and "sprung rhythm" as he c a l l s them,  could hardly be stated more c l e a r l y  and simply, even today with  a l l our technical knowledge about the language.  Consider, for  example, h i s following remarks on strong-stress measure: Sprung Rhythm...is measured by feet of from one to four s y l l a b l e s regularly, and for p a r t i c u l a r e f f e c t s , any number of weak or slack s y l l a b l e s may be used. I t has one stress, which f a l l s on only one s y l l a b l e . . . . Nominally the feet are mixed and any one may follow any other.^6 C l e a r l y , the foot of Hopkins' Sprung Rhythm i s equivalent to the Trager and Smith "phonemic clause" {cf. page 10^ .  It is  also notable that Hopkins took account of the isochronous character of this type of measure, for he states that " i n Sprung Rhythm . . . 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."27 With the above ideas i n mind, 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 , 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. ed. Gardener (Harmondsworth, England, 1953), p.9v 27  Ibid., p.10.  W.H.  25 F e l i x J Randal Jj the f a r r i e r || 0 i s he dead thenll 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 j rambled i n it^&and some] F a t a l 1i f o'url d i s o r d e r s I fleshed there |j i l l JJ contended // s  v  28  Hopkins' Sprung Rhythm has, to a great extent, been assimilated by modern poetry, so much so that today there seems to be more strong-stress poetry being written, and especially being read aloud, than ever before.  There i s , how-  ever, s t i l l great confusion about the theory of modern verse measure.  Indeed, 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 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, 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.  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, i b i d . , p.230.  26  PART VI VARIABLE VERSE FORMS Freedom i s existence, and i n i t , existence precedes essence. Jean Paul Sartre:  E x i s t e n t i a l i s t Psychoanalysis ^ 2  ...and the lady s h a l l say her mind f r e e l y , or the blank verse s h a l l h a l t for i t . Shakespeare:  Hamlet,  30  I I , i i , 337-39  Compose by the sequence of the musical phrase, not i n sequence of a metronome. Ezra Pound:  Make I t New  31  Any discussion of English verse measure, especially in connection with modern poetry, i s further complicated by the issue of v a r i a b l e form.  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. from prose.  How else, they argue, does verse d i f f e r  To such doctrinaire exponents, the term "free-verse"  29 Translation by Hazel E. Barnes of a major part of L'£tre et l e neant (Chicago, 1962), p.43. 30 The Complete Works, ed. G.B. Harrison (New York, 1948), p.901. 31  (London, 1934), p.335.  27  i s a contradiction.  And i t must be admitted that the great  mass of English, verse has been b u i l t upon some degree of formal r e g u l a r i t y , enough, 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.  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, predictable patterns than about i r r e g u l a r ones. Attitudes towards r e g u l a r i t y , of course, d i f f e r from period to period, and more p a r t i c u l a r l y , from i n d i v i d u a l to individual.  Speaking generally, however, 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, 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, or, at most, a page convention. of formal v a r i a b i l i t y seems to be always at work. for example, the development of Anglo-Saxon verse.  The p r i n c i p l e Consider, The  so-  c a l l e d " p r e - c l a s s i c a l " form, from what we can gather from the few remaining fragments that have come down to us, was  rigidly  l i n e a r , 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 , or to use our technical terminology, each h a l f l i n e was made up of two phonemic clauses.  The two  short  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  three  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, four-beat, long l i n e . form, however, gave way  end-  This highly regular verse  to a less r i g i d form i n the l a t e r  c l a s s i c a l period by admitting expanded l i n e s which contained more heavily stressed s y l l a b l e s than the usual four, and l i n e endings which ran on without  syntactic pause, t h i s  l a s t device giving r i s e to p l u r i l i n e a r s t r u c t u r a l units of v a r i a b l e length.  During the middle part of the c l a s s i c a l  period t h i s v a r i a b i l i t y was not excessive.  But during the  l a t e r stages of the period, 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 , etc.) remained, 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, i n some cases, almost e n t i r e l y .  To such a case  Kemp Malone refers i n the following passage: Judith, exemplifies the l a t e stage of the run-on s t y l e . Here one can hardly speak of p l u r i l i n e a r units at a l l , or indeed of clear-cut units of any kind, apart from the f i t s [[verse paragraphs] . I f we follow the punctuation of Wulcker, only 11 of the 350 l i n e s end with a f u l l stop, and three of these mark the end of a f i t . Since the sentences usually begin and end i n the middle of a l i n e , 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 the matter i s preserved en masse, so to speak. The verses give the e f f e c t of a never-ending flow, but t h i s continuous effect i s gained at a heavy structural c o s t . 3 2  32 " P l u r i l i n e a r Units i n Old English Poetry", RES, (1943); 203-204.  XIX  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, an attitude which i s not shared by the writer of t h i s paper. 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.  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, and at the same time to keep i n t e r n a l pauses to a minimum.  That t h i s should be the case i s not surprising,  since he was eliminating  end-rhyme, the most prominent device  for marking o f f the larger s t r u c t u r a l units of the verse form. 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, 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.  And hence, 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.  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 .  Gradually, however, they began  to treat the l i n e with more f l e x i b i l i t y , allowing run-ons  30 and i n t e r n a l breaks and stops, and hence blank verse l o s t i t s l i n e a l , and regular, character. I t became more and more a form of variable verse measure, the multi-foot s t r u c t u r a l units being phrases, clauses, sentences and paragraphs rather than five-foot l i n e s .  This development from regular to  v a r i a b l e measure i s especially evident i n the work of Shakespeare.  Compare the regular measure of the following l i n e s ,  taken from h i s early Henry VI, Part I I I : Warwick: I wonder how the king escaped our hands, York: While we pursued the horsemen on the North, He s l y l y stole away and l e f t his men. Whereat the great Lord of Northumberland, Whose warlike ears could never brook retreat, Cheered up the drooping army, and himself, Lord C l i f f o r d , and Lord Stafford a l l abreast, Charged our main battle's front and, breaking i n Were by the swords of common soldiers s l a i n . Edward: Lord Stafford's father, Duke of Buckingham, Is either s l a i n or wounded dangerously. I c l e f t h i s beaver with, a downright blow. That t h i s i s true father, behold h i s blood. (I, i , 1-12)  w  i t h the variable measure of the following passage, taken from  his l a t e r Tempest: Prospero: I f I have too austerely punished you, Your compensation makes amends. For I Have given you here a t h i r d of mine own l i f e , Or that for which I l i v e , who once again I tender to thy hand. A l l they vexations Were but my t r a i l s of love, and thou Hast strangely stood the t e s t . Here, afore Heaven, I r a t i f y this my r i c h g i f t . 0 Ferdinand, Do not smile at me that I boast her o f f , For thou shalt f i n d she w i l l outstrip a l l praise And make i t halt behind her;. (IV, i , 1-11)  If we consider the use of blank verse since Shakespeare's time for example  i n the works of Milton and Wordsworth,  we w i l l have to admit that i t has remained  to t h i s day predominantly a variable form of verse measure. 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 .  32 PART VII ORGANIC FORM But words came h a l t i n g forth, wanting inventions stay; Invention, nature's c h i l d , f l e d step-dame Study's blows, And others' feet s t i l l seemed but strangers i n my way. Thus great with c h i l d to speak, and helpless i n my throes, B i t i n g my truant pen, beating myself for spite, Fool, said my muse to me, look i n thy heart and write. Sir P h i l i p Sidney:  Astrophel and S t e l l a , I,  9-14.  We who dwell on Earth, can do nothing of ourselves; every thing i s conducted by S p i r i t s , no less than Digestion or Sleep.... When t h i s Verse was f i r s t dictated to me, I consider'd a Monotonous Cadence, l i k e that used by Milton & Shakespeare & a l l writers of English Blank Verse, derived from the modern bondage of Rhyming, to be a necessary and indispensable part of Verse. But I soon found that i n the mouth of a true Orator such monotony was not only awkward, but as much a bondage as rhyme i t s e l f . I therefore have produced a v a r i e t y i n every l i n e , both of cadences & number of s y l l a b l e s . Every word and every l e t t e r i s studied and put into i t s f i t place; the t e r r i f i c numbers are reserved for the t e r r i f i c parts, the mild & gentle for the mild & gentle parts, and the prosaic for i n f e r i o r parts; a l l are necessary to each other. Poetry Fetter'd Fetters the Human Race. Nations are Destroy'd or Flourish, i n proportion as Their Poetry, Painting and Music are Destroy'd or F l o u r i s h ! The Primeval State of Man was Wisdom,- Art and Science. William Blake: "Of the Measure i n which Jerusalem  is Written"  When T.S.Eliot t e l l s us that Free Verse was "a revolt against dead form [and]  ...  33  essentially  an insistence upon the  inner unity which i s unique to every poem, against the  33 The Writings of William Blake, ed. Geoffrey Keynes, I I I (London, 1925), 167.  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  34  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  i s preordained and regular;  the poet plays h i s own game, but  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  basic formal measure, but i n the ornamentation  of i t .  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  extension of content" ? 3  a  n  (  j content, i n t h i s sense, i s the  charge of the poet's expressive energy e x i s t i n g at the moment of creation. The theory of organic form has never been expounded with anything l i k e the d e t a i l that has gone into works on t r a d i t i o n a l prosody.  One reason i s that there has not been  a common set of terms which can be applied to t h i s type of verse form.  The r e s u l t i s that there i s great confusion  about most aspects of v a r i a b l e measure and organic form, even among the poets who practise i t successfully.  To some  of them, measure i s to a large extent a matter of spontaneous intuition;  often they break t h e i r l i n e s up on the page quite  a r b i t r a r i l y , and then disregard l i n e breaks altogether when they read the poem a l o u d . ^ 3  In f a c t , the most embarrassing question  that one can ask a contemporary  poet of the non-traditional  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.  36 school i s on what basis does he end h i s l i n e s . Charles Olson, i n h i s much-read essay, "Projective Verse",39 t r i e s to deal with, the question by maintaining that the breath i s the basis of true l i n e measure.  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, 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. Another long-time exponent of organic verse form i s William Carlos Williams, 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, which, he claimed, should not be considered properly " f r e e " .  As he points out,  Whitman with h i s so-called free verse was wrong: there can be no absolute freedom i n verse. You must have a measure to exclude what has to be excluded and to include what has to be included. I t i s a technical point but a point of vast importance.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", where the units do not depend upon concrete features of the sound sequence i t s e l f .  39  In t h i s regard,  New American Poetry, pp.387-397.  40 L e t t e r to Richard Eberhart, Selected L e t t e r s , ed. John C. T h i r l w a l l (New York, 1957), p.320.  37 he explains that: The stated s y l l a b l e s , as i n the best present day free verse, have become e n t i r e l y divorced from the beat, that i s the measure. The musical pace proceeds without them. Therefore the measure, that i s to say the count, having got r i d of the words, which held i t down, i s returned to the music. The words, having been freed, have been allowed to run a l l over the map, " f r e e " , as we have mistakenly thought. 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 . ^ 1  Williams has put h i s finger on one of the major problems involved with modern free verse form, but he has f a i l e d to come up with any r e a l solution to i t .  His appeal to "the  tune which, 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, l i k e h i s much-  talked about "variable foot" which also has never been adequately defined.  His concept of " c o v e r t " measure seems to  side-track the main issue of organic form altogether, because i t goes outside the sound structure of the poem.  41  L e t t e r to Richard Eberhart, L e t t e r s , p.326.  42  Ibid.  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. Samuel R. Levin, i n his most i n t e r e s t i n g study, L i n g u i s t i c Structures i n Poetry ('S-Gravenhage, 1962), pp.34-35, suggests that the basis of Williams' measure i s syntactic rather than prosodic, a theory which i s much, less mysterious than Williams' own utterances on the subject. However, syntactic measure i s not d i r e c t l y relevant to the concerns of t h i s paper.  38 I f variable measure i s to be the basis of a verse form, i t must necessarily be as "overt" as the o l d regular measure; 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, 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, mental and kinesthic state of the poet. The o l d regular verse forms are c e r t a i n l y not organic. 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, the best example being word stress i n the case of metre.  But organic form, i f the term i s to  have meaning must, i n contrast to regular forms^depend upon those speech elements which vary with the speaker's (or poet's) emotional state.  Hence, 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.  And variable strong-stress verse, the  s t y l i z a t i o n of r h e t o r i c a l stress patterning, i s therefore one of the most authentically organic verse forms a v a i l a b l e .  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. R. H. 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, i . e . c h i e f l y conversation (dialogue) , while the written (and printed^, word i s only a kind of substitute i n many ways a most valuable, but i n other respects a poor o n e — — f o r the spoken and heard word. Many things^fiave v i t a l importance i n speech stress, p i t c h , colour of the voice, 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, or are imperfectly rendered by such means as underlining ( i t a l i c i z i n g ) and punctuation. 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, why has i t not been used more in the past, and why today i s i t not recognized as the t r u l y variable measure of modern organic verse form?  44  (Oberlin, 1945), p.20.  45  (London, 1933), p.17.  The answer i s  40 quite simple.  Our writing system does not indicate r h e t o r i c a l  stress patterning, and therefore conventional page layout cannot properly accommodate strong-stress verse.  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", f i f t y w i l l be able to make nothing of i t s rhythm, while forty-nine of the remaining f i f t y w i l l , with some ado, fancy they comprehend i t , a f t e r the fourth or f i f t h perusal. 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, for one moment, that that very clever person i s myself. ° For a l l his sarcasm, Poe i s quite r i g h t .  There are passages  of "Christabel" which are d i f f i c u l t to read without hesitation, at least without some experimentation,on reader.  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. Pease porridge hot pease porridge cold Pease porridge i n the pot nine days o l d . Now who of my readers who have never heard t h i s poem pronounced according to the nursery conv e n t i o n a l i t y , w i l l f i n d i t s rhythm as obscure as an explanatory note; while those who have heard i t w i l l divide i t thus 46  The Complete Works. V o l . 14 (New York, 1902), p.238.  41 Pease | porridge ) hot I pease I porridge I coldl Pease \ porridge \ i n the | pot | nine J daysj old.l Again we must acknowledge Poe's i n s i g h t .  ^_  Nursery rhymes,  which are d e f i n i t e l y a strong-stress verse form, have survived because they come down i n the o r a l t r a d i t i o n , 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. This i s also true of popular ballads, another strong-stress verse form, although the rhythm patterns i n t h i s case are also preserved i n their accompanying melodies, which, are transcribed in musical notation.  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.  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. strong-stress form, was  Hopkins, the true master of the  forced to invent a whole system of  d i a c r i t i c a l marks to indicate h i s Sprung Rhythm.  Unfortunately,  editors are i n the habit of leaving out these d i a c r i t i c a l s , and consequently there i s s t i l l a great deal of unnecessary confusion today about the nature of Hopkins' measure. I f we turn again to Poe's essay, we note h i s comment that:  47  The Complete Works, op. c i t . , p.238.  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, so as to be ready at a moment's notice, 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.48 Today, of course, the poet may also a v a i l himself of the phonograph and tape recorder, 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. Even so, the bulk of t h i s verse s t i l l ends up on the page, and here, as we have noted, i t s formal structure disappears, or at best, i s greatly obs^ired. 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.  In consequence, the writer  has found i t expedient to work out a system of verse notation which he feels can handle the variable strong-stress measure of his own verse.  48  The Complete Works, op. c i t . . p.239.  43 PART IX STACKED-VERSE "What do you say", Mr. Bounderby, with, his hat i n his hand, 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, as i f i t were a tambourine, "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. Sparsit that he could be lurking for no good..." Charles Dickens:  Hard Times'^  When i t comes to reproducing the melody and rhythm of speech, typography i s helpless and the notation of ordinary music worse than useless.... The.patterns of the voice traced by the oscillograph are much closer to what a proper poetry notation would be. Northrop Frye:  "Lexis and Melos"50  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.  Specifi-  c a l l y i t indicates such e s s e n t i a l features of English speech, as terminal junctures, primary stress, and isochronism pages 7-9  49  (New  (see  for explanation of these terms), and r e l i e s on the  York, 1958), p. 169.  F i r s t published Lonibn,  50 In Sound and Poetry, English I n s t i t u t e Essays (New York, 1957), p . x x i i i .  1854.  1956  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.  Correlating, where possible, 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 , we come up with the following set of d e f i n i t i o n s . The basic unit of stacked-verse  i s the STACK-FOOT,  a group of s y l l a b l e s containing one primary stress and ending i n a terminal juncture.  Each stack-foot i s written h o r i z o n t a l l y  on the page, with, no more than one stack-foot appearing single l e v e l .  on a  In p a r t i c u l a r cases, however, the stack-foot i s  preceded, followed, or replaced by an OUTRIDER, 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 .  The terminal juncture which separates  the  outrider from an accompanying stack-foot i s s i g n a l l e d on the page by either a space or a regular juncture s i g n a l l i n g punctuation mark (.,:;?'.  ) . The 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 l i n e which, passes through, 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. the outriders.  Naturally the stress-axis does not touch  The stresses along the axis are ISOCHRONOUS for  the duration of the stack, that i s to say there i s an approximately equal time i n t e r v a l between each, primary stress regardless of the number of intervening s y l l a b l e s and junctures.  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 .  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 - a x i s . Because the s t r o n g - s t r e s s measure which. Stacked-Verse accommodates i s a s t y l i z a t i o n o f normal English, speech rhythms, the n o t a t i o n system can handle any E n g l i s h speech rhythm, be it  i n v e r s e or n o t .  I will,  f o r example,  stack the a n a l y s e d  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 ) . s i n g l e phonemic  earlier  The f i r s t passage, b e i n g made up o f a  c l a u s e , 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 . The second passage, c o n t a i n i n g two phonemic  c l a u s e s , would be  handled i n a two-foot stack: H^nry has eaten Jack's e l e p h a n t . And t h e t h i r d , 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 - f o o t  stack: Henry has eaten Jack's elephant'.  clauses,  The poems i n the following c o l l e c t i o n , therefore are written i n Stacked-Verse.  The forms of the poems  themselves are based on v a r i a b l e stong-stress measure as i t has been defined and discussed i n the above essay.  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 . Coughing up the residue of past i n t e n s i t i e s , Measuring i t out the page.  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)  Rotting noblemen  and b4arers of wisdom  Leprous mimbers of a garbled vision.  50 COMPOSITION  Frost melting in the sun, Bright blue f a l l morning sky s t i l l nippy-cold; run d<j>wn to get water;  I  Two whiskey-jacks i n the brush, Skim of i c e at the lake edge, I pack the water back up the t r a i l . F r i e d egg and bacon smell coming from the tent, My o l d did with matted h a i r and grey whisker stubble  (continued)  Bends over the gas stove i n h i s woolly undervest; he Fries r i c e , b o i l s coffee; we eat. 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 , Each stroke distinct, Echoing once in the distance; "Carries for miles when i t s t h i s cold, he said. While the tent-canvas dries i n the sun  (continued)  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.  NOW  What about now? I mean I remember the day my dog died, I mean I came home from school and my mother t o l d me they'd taken him to the vet. Can you imagine that? V. mean What kind of an end was that? And what value that l i f e now?  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... A l l this a jolt i after that Pressing atmosphere of the l i b r a r y stacks. New moon. And v a p o r - t r a i l rubric over the s t r a i t .  FORMULA  "The whole thing i s ordered," he said. "You get exactly what you deserve. It A l l works outI" And i t was funny that f i r s t timehim struggling and grunting underneath the tractor That was before I knew he was actually planning to be a missionary. Sad ^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 . Sad To witness the power of f a i t h under those conditions  THINGS  Tail-lights on the b r i d g e ; Somewhere squealing t i r e s ; The f a i n t p u l s e o f tug-engines o f f the i n l e t ; Even the i n s t a n t f l i c k o f a swallow past the street-lamp •Are n o t h i n g without a center, Awake, exposed, suffering it all: The wii t n e s s*, the s u b j e c t , the Me s h i v e r i n g on the b i l c o n y , 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... (continued)  Over the roof-tops among flashing neon signs the clock-face on the distant city-ha11 Is a small splotch of red.  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>eicc ii ia l l y 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. But why speak of i t here? Those of us who are of i t know; The others have no claim, no r i g h t .  (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.  RESIDUE  He was f l y i n g DH9As then, 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," he t o l d me Open cockpit, no chute, no radio. And a few old snaps Of machines he cracked p Y before his court-martial, Nothing else l e f t now but these,  I  And h i s words f l u t t e r i n g around i n my mind.  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 .  THAW  Brown patches growing - i n the grimy snow, 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, Though, out on the rj>ad the kids are s t i l l playing shinny i n the slush. 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, Getting barely enough, 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 . . .  f  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:  (continued)  64  Small t r e e s sheared right o f f , A scrape on the great douglas f i r by the s i d e o f the r o a d .  Seven .M.  forty-five  M^t r i a L u d a v i c c i , her f i v e b r o t h e r s and me, S t r u g g l i n g up i n the r ^ i n onto the highway;  at  Mrs. L u d a v i c c i Benediction; Old L u d a v i c c i at home,  D r i n k i n g h i s wine alone i n h i s b i g house.  IN BED BEFORE SUNSET  Smell o f p i n e - p i t c h and bush-rat And o u t s i d e the c a b i n Bird-noise and t a l k Of t r i p - 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  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. See now t h e i r pale eyes pressed against the window, Their tender proboscides twitching beneath the door.  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. She was straddling a Caddy f i n , stretched out t r y i n g to get at a spot of chrome on the other side When the foreman came up, winked at me, and giosed her with the hose.  1  There she was against the fender squeezing her sponge, her wet jeans almost bursting... 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.  LEVITATION  Viscous shadows of c i t y , Vacant newsstands, Chairs on the tables in the dark cafeteria. Ghostly hands among my guts. Menace of cj>ld dawn. 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 .  69 SITUATION  Coffee beans in the morning sun, A giant hog asleep between the trays, And once Alfonso climbed the h i l l And talked and stayed. 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, that was enough. Small-talk at the s t a l l of Mama Lupita; Funny stories over at the cantina; (continued)  70  A ride to Catamaco,  i  reflections on the lake. 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, The trumpets bouncing o f f the cathedral w a l l , crackling into the night. 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. And there was love i n that town  . i  too,  (continued)  71  was  But that largely a matter of brothers and guns. Of dying y l u n g among f i s t s and c u r l i n g  lips.  THE REQUISITION OF CATABOLISM  You say y, "There I've caught caugl you at i t again breathing!" try to hold my breath. But that too has i t s own punishment,  I  Like any act of silence.  DECOMPOSITION  Too much. I t i s time now to dr<j>p i t a l l quit. He lays h i s face in h i s arm-pit and refuses to breathe. As for his position in the room, he stands hunched against the f i l i n g cabinet. Must he leave his bones stacked neatly i n the corner? His intestines c o i l e d up steaming beside the desk? Oh i t i s that "enough-enough," sickness nothing Nothing nothing thankyou.  74  Having f a i l e d to achieve t o t a l evanescence through creative detumescence  I  He now decides merely to decompose on the spot. So please, i f you w i l l s l i p his suspenders His bulk w i l l immediately crumple to the f l o o r . Yes He w i l l gently l e t go, end.  VISION  My eyes definitely going now, With those kids on t r i c y c l e s j u s t blobs of color  JL  And the mountains a mere approximation... But remember | George Shearing blind  j)ther piano like i t at a l l . Remember  No  Blind g u i t a r i s t on roaring second-class-Mexico-City-bus, Braced, ragged, his boy c o l l e c t i n g centavos.. The b l i n d old beggar singing pyrest Malaguefia  MEASURE  Melody curls from the f l u t e i n the evening a i r ; Mind , slips to the fingers  I  Pure sound spreading on the wind. Notes suppress words, deny them. I experience freedom i n t h i s loosening of the brain-knot: Seconds of joy . 1  Words control my inner dimension through a sequence of d e f i n i t i o n s ; It's a process of containment; M,akees for unity, but enforces a limitation.  (continued)  77  Words for everything, Though, 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. Meditations too are strong-armed by words I concede to them now, thinking That man's life f u t i l e as A melody on the evening wind.  POETIC  I t i s dangerous to think i n a poem and doubly so to dream.  I  At night words grow too bxg f o r the man I know, Having strained my limbs i n quixotic attempts to encompass them. Recount for yourself those f r a n t i c apprehensions of the vision-in-the-glass-of-beer, myopic miscalculations of rudimentary organs and Other nAtural phenomena:  I  Poems j  jumping from the t i p s o f my immature f i n g e r s , Reams o f conjured testimony  f a l l i n g i n disorder under my desk...  Value l i v e s i n the mind of an economist. Beware  (continued)  Twisting metaphor and hardening animal matter. The authentic dance i s the wobbly stance of a l i v i n g man.  IN-GROUP  Ne- on e ran up and shook Christ's hand. The only others with, that kind of i n c l i n a t i o n Had theirs n a i l e d down too.  81 VASTATION IN THE STACKS  There i s the agglutinous WORD Which, from the beginning extends i n the dark, F i l l i n g the mouths and ears of men, Stopping t h e i r blood. Interval or i n t e l l e c t ? Feet i n the shade of i t ; Lethal cryptology there on the s h e l f . Hysterical signs i n the dusty a i r ! Hand, 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.  (continued)  But I would usurp that adhesive gidhead of W( IRD, Making my ppem with a knife.  IT  The  inane justice of gratuitous insanity, the poem Crashes down during the night of the b i g wind And i s discovered i . next morning among f a l l e n branches and other debris, A thing apart To be used or discarded i l Or kept on the mmantel as decoration  Or thrown into the f i r e  84 THE CHARNEL-HOUSE OF DHARMA  Obscuring the sun, s t e r i l i z i n g the atmosphere, the mystical condom slumps i n the sky a menace to geese. B l i s t e r there. Bylbous Abnormity, Staggered v i s i o n above my v i s i o n , 0 Rubbery Muzak of Sphere, you monster my jab I But o l d Rumpelstiltskin who was then on guard, neglected to dub me INCONCEIVABLE With, a f l i c k of h i s forensic cathode, as I crept by (Eyes masked with polaroid goggles, my seven apertures bunged with sprigs of rhubarb DEFENSE DE CRACHER);  (continued)  The upshot being that I worked on fncognito, i * shamelessly inscrutable to scholars. And now  as distant reports and repeated detonations  Omen t h i s nebulous structure of cosmic disavowal, 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!  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. They t r y the other arm. Nothing'. They cannot extract the needle. Three of them are s t r a i n i n g at the hose. Now the head-nurse (distinguished - as ijisual by a cr|sp white uniform and red face) Pushes through the astonished group,  (continued)  Fixes her bloody r e g a r d upon the p r o s t r a t e form and  I  Slips the needle out w i t h an a i r o f subdued alacrity. Bending ver edled aonor,  ?  She examines the dry i n c i s i o n i n the f l e s h . Without warning a thick jet o f yellow b i l e hi^ts her i n the eye.  FRIDAY AT THE EX  H i s beard knotted i n a make-shift loin-cloth, His  inns  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 ,  He stumbles over empty bottles, Apple cores and crumpled program leaves An escapee from the Shrine Circus. As the Whip c r a c k s , the Zoomo-Plane takes people up and the Snake g i v e s them six-minute thrills, he w h i s p e r s : " T h i s midway i s n ' t licensed for wine,  (continued)  89  But they can spin candy out of f l e s h , "  And gies on  tossing hoops at cupie d o l l s and panda bears. Now  he crosses  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  l  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,  (continued)  Though the star contortionist (having always been good at guessing  weight)  pivots on one pointed  breast,  And wipes her eyes with her tattooed heels, While the sky streaks red above the row of f l o o d l i g h t s ,  I  And they j o s t l e him up the h i l l towards the three F e r r i s Wheels  91 STUNTMAN  Th.i.s time i n the darkness a twelve-foot pleasure-launch sleek and gleaming white, The crew (both male and female) in bikinis, laughing; And i n t w T  two water-skiers doing acrobatics. At the back of the boat instead of an out-board engine a rn^n has been bolted into place, He kicks h i s feet in frantic propulsion.  L  His arms are fastened to the steering cables. Blood trickles into the water. His neck seems broken too.  (continued)  But now there i s scarcely any noise  For the biat  i s moving faster  I  than the speed of sound.  APPOINTMENT  The nightmare dog-pack prowls the suburb. Yellow-eyed, snarling, they set t h e i r teeth, on parked cars and lamp-posts, or urinate on the darkened shopping center. 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. A black s l i t opens in the sky. Look, A l i t t l e boy i s climbing out of an abandoned bus.  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 , This o l d phltograph  o f God-knows-who i  w i t h something s c r i b b l e d on the back,  Or that ^finished manuscript An inch in dust and dedicated To h i s son? Imagine that . 1  And him with no family at a l l .  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. Yes everybody should d:.e l i k e a T-V Indian On the face of i t only a b r i e f aaaaaah. r even st<j>ne-lipped silence And no tears and no great w^ste of ammunition.  CONTRA DICTION  At worst I think poetry only a hobby, An a c t i v i t y similar to The youthful assembly of s i l e n t model planes My mother commenting: So constructive and i t teaches something too. My father at h i s guns, clearing h i s throat i n reply.  THEOLOGY HAIKU  Taking God a l l around l i k e a dough-nut  •I  Oscar saw into the heart of things  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  I  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  101  REPORT  Watching the ambiguous people turning away from the ^nti-Nuclear-Arms petitioners,  I  I am f i l l e d with wordless imperative. 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. In these days of vapor-trails and statistics"" We r a i s e a few flowers and children as fast as we can.  HOMAGE TO MACHADO  Watch i t Driver I There i s n ' t any I . road. J  There's only the sound of t i r e s i n the night. You see, Driver, you make i t by burning i t up, Yeah, you and your horn and your headlights Jabbing into the black  —that's  the highway. But don't bother to look i n the rear-view mirror, Driver, Because i t ' s a t r a i l of exhaust.  A SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY  103  Bowering, George. "Dance to a Measure," Kulture, XIII (Spring, 1964), 3-14. Brooks, Cleanth, and Robert Penn Warren, eds. Conversations ••'on the Craft of Poetry. New York,  1961.  Campion, Thomas. Observations i n the Art of English Poesie, 1602. G. B. Harrison, ed. Reprinted New York,  1925.  Chatman, Seymore. "Robert Frost's 'Mowing': An Inquiry into Prosodic Structure," Discussions of.Poetry: Rhythm and Sound, ed. George Hemphill. Boston, 1961, pp.83-92. De Groot, A.W. "Phonetics i n i t s Relation to Aesthetics," - Manual of Phonetics, ed. L. Kaiser. Amsterdam, 1957, pp.385-400. Duncan, Robert, "ideas on the Meaning of Form," Kulture, I, i v , ( F a l l , 1961), 60-74. E l i o t , T.S. The Music of Poetry. Glasgow,  1942.  Epstein, Edmund L., and Terence Hawkes. L i n g u i s t i c s and English. Prosody, Studies i n L i n g u i s t i c s , Occasional Papers 7. Buffalo, 1959. Frye, Northrop. "Lexis and Melos," Sound and Poetry: English I n s t i t u t e Essays, 1956.-New York, 1957, pp.iv-xxvii. Gascoigne, George. From "Certain Notes of Instruction Concerning the Making of Verse or Rime i n English," reprinted i n Hemphill; Rhythm and Sound, pp.1-3, from Elizabethan C r i t i c a l Essays, ed. G.Gregory Smith. 2 v o l s . London, 1904, I, 49-54. Halpern, Martin. "On the Two Chief M e t r i c a l Modes i n English," PMLA. LXXVII. i i i , (1962), 177-186. Hopkins, Gerard Manley. The Selected Poems and Prose, ed. W. H. Gardiner. Harmondsworth, 1953.  Jefferson, Thomas. From "Thoughts on English Prosody (1786)," Hemphill, Rhythm and Sound, pp.20-25. Jespersen, Otto. "Notes of Meter," L i n g u i s t i c a . Coperhagen, 1933, pp.247-274. La Driere, Craig. "Structure, Sound, and Meaning," Sound and Poetry: English I n s t i t u t e Essays, 1956. New York, 1957, pp.85-108. Levin, Samuel R. L i n g u i s t i c Structures i n Poetry. 'S-Gravenhage, 1962. Malone, Kemp. " P l u r i l i n e a r Units i n Old English Poetry," RES; XIX, 74 (1943), 201-4. Olson, Charles. "Projective Verse." New American Poetry 1945-1960, ed. Donald M. A l l e n . New.York, 1960, pp.386-397. Pace, George B. "The Two Domains: Meter and Rhythm," PMLA, LXXVI (1961), 413-419. Poe, Edgar A l l a n . "Rational of Verse," Complete Works. Vol. 14, New York, 1902, pp.209-265; Pound, Ezra. ABC of Reading. London, 1934. Saintsbury, George. H i s t o r i c a l Manual of English Prosody. London, 1910. Shapiro, K a r l . A Bibliography of Modern Prosody. Baltimore, 1948. Trager, George L. and Henry Lee Smith J r . Outline of English Structure, Studies i n L i n g u i s t i c s , Occasional Papers 3. Normand, Oklahoma, 1951. Williams, William Carlos. Selected Letters of William Carlos Williams, ed. John C. Thulwall. New York, 1957.  Whitehall, Harold. Review of George L. Trager and Henry Lee Smith, An Outline of English. Structure, in Kenyon Review, XIII (1951) 710-714. Whitehall, Harold. "From L i n g u i s t i c s to Poetry," Sound and Poetry: English I n s t i t u t e Essayr, 1956. New York 1957, pp.134-145. Whitehall, Harold, and Archibald A. H i l l . "A Report on the Language-Literature Seminar," Readings i n Applied English L i n g u i s t i c s , Harold-B. A l l a n , ed. New York, 1958, pp.394-397. Wordsworth, William. "Preface to L y r i c a l Ballads, 1800. Reprinted i n English Romantic Prose and Poetry, ed. R. Noyes. New York, 1956, pp.357-367.  

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