When words of multiple syllables appear, Zimmer generally avoids iambs in favor of trochees or spondees
. Alliteration and compounds are frequent go-to devices--and he likes compounds that create more spondee
Moreover, sound again unifies the passage with the consonance of g, r, and t sounds and the expressive spondees
in the phrases "out- / stretch'd arms" (11) and "but the / old top / is green" (14).
In the conclusion to part 1, after the spell has taken effect and silenced her, Christabel's appearance (presumably because of a collapse in her inward being) deteriorates in shifting lines whose spondees
contract the four beat lines into three: It was a lovely sight to see The lady Christabel, when she Was praying at the old oak tree.
. Unpublished master's thesis equivalency project, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Despair (the Tennysonian "breaks, breaks, breaks") would be more like it." Many nursery rhymes have exactly this mix of spondees
, iambs, and anapests in rhyming stanzas, which is why I called its rhythm "chug-chug."
The main parameters of variation are rhythm (anapests are unmarked, dactyls, iambs, and spondees
are marked) and length (dimeter is unmarked, trimeter, tetrameter, and so on are marked).
In a note to chapter one, Steele does dispute two erroneous scansions by Paul Fussell in Poetic Meter and Poetic Form (scansions involving pyrrhics and spondees
), but this is very nearly it for criticism, at least when it comes to the current corps of writers.
There are runs of dactylic rhythm ([GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] with synizesis, [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], and some attempt seems to be made to end sentences with spondees
, molossi, or still longer sequences of long syllables [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]).
So what if sex, religion, politics, history and personal identity are treated as secondary to spondees
, adjectives and enjambments?
Verses consisting entirely of spondees
were sung or chanted by the ancient Greeks during performance of a libation, and from such hymns the foot took its meaning.
Night is therefore preferable, and also provides an unforced rhyme, and makes all four elements of the first two lines into English monosyllables, so that the lines become two pairs of spondees
, and Blok's simplicity and regularity are respected.
Choosing here among several eligible emphases entails interpreting Pilate's riposte to Jesus from John 18:38, "What is truth?"--a skeptical parry that, according to the scansion I propose, he here reconsiders and then swiftly reinstates in sandbagging spondees
: "He claimed to know truth, which no man yet knew." The real intrigue attaches to the line's first half, where one may initially want to stress the repeated word "truth" rather than "know" but where, in accommodating the repetition and following the meter, one follows Pilate's (which is Webster's) secular curiosity away from metaphysical ontology onto psychological and epistemological ground.