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Yvonne Calder
Oct 20, 2021
In Poetry Discussion
@Shen Friebe @Marc A Brimble @Bendy Nguyen @Adam Gary intersted in your ideas. You don't need to use highbrow terms, but your poetic competence gives you insight. Stephen Fry in an 'ode less travelled' p24 states 'the organising principle behind the verse is the metre not the sense'. I am by no means as learned as he and have no disagreement with this statement, but organising a verse is not primary to expressing a poetic idea. Before verse comes consideration of 'what am I trying to express'. This i believe is where meaning reigns supreme. Form including: rhythm, rhyme scheme, stanza length, etc all need to add to meaning. But also the comprehension of the reader needs to be considered. Whilst a temporal change within a line or stanza i believe creates confusion and loss of meaning, a temporal (tense) change between stanzas is ok, as long as it adds sense to the message of the poem. Whether the poet was conscious ( ie intended) the change doesn't matter. I have great admiration for Elizabeth barret browning as poet, but having read 'Essay on mind' rhyming couplets, even when broken into chapters, is not the form to communicate nature of intelligence. The form and content separated to the point when I struggled for the meaning. In fact I only finished it because I was in lock down. Whereas her husband, Robert Browning uses heroic verse as a tool of irony in 'the last duchess ' see Stephen Fry p 205 -6; the nobleman narrator's attitude is indicated by the form although the content of the poem is how his jealousy led to killing his wife. I would love to hear your ideas even if you think this unimportant.

Yvonne Calder

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