Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Marianne the Great …

… Less Is Moore | The Nation. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

 … as a maker of poems, Moore often arranged her sentences in intricately designed stanzas, not so much to control as to heighten the extravagance of her syntactical flights. In this she resembles the 17th-century poet John Donne, another poet of irresistible argument, except that Donne, like most English-language poets, organizes his lines by their number of metrical feet. (What we call a pentameter line, for instance, contains five feet, each foot containing a stressed syllable: “For Godsake hold your tongue, and let me love.”) In contrast, Moore often organizes her lines by their number of syllables, allowing the stresses to fall in a variety of patterns.
Poets are guided by meter and rhyme. They are not imprisoned by it.

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