The Passion of Meter: A Study of Wordsworth's Metrical Art
Brennan O'Donnell's The Passion of Meter is the first extended critical study of Wordsworth's metrical theory and his practice in the art of versification. Until now, relatively little attention has been paid to the relationship between Wordsworth's attempt to incorporate into his poetry the language of "common life" and the highly complex and decidedly conventional metrical forms in which he presents this language. O'Donnell provides a detailed treatment of what Wordsworth calls the "innumerable minutiae" that the art of the poet depends upon, and of the broader vision to which those minutiae contribute. The core of this book is dedicated to a close examination of the elements of Wordsworth's craft. It sets forth in detail the rules and conventions that govern the poet's habits of metrical composition, identifying the idiosyncrasies that distinguish his practice from those of his predecessors and contemporaries. It also offers a close reading of a substantial body of Wordsworth's poetry, with careful attention paid to complex relationships between the minutiae of its sensuous forms (metrical form, rhythm, rhyme, assonance, alliteration) and larger thematic, aesthetic, and philosophic concerns.
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accentual-syllabic verse alliteration anapests appropriate Attridge ballad stanza blank verse Coleridge Coleridge’s complex couplet deﬁned deﬁnition Descriptive Sketches diction Dorothy Wordsworth double offbeat effect elements employ English English Poetry enjambment Ernest de Selincourt example expressive feeling ﬁgures ﬁnal ﬁnd ﬁrst ﬁt ﬁtting ﬁve ﬁve-beat ﬁxed four-beat frequently Henry Crabb Robinson Idiot Boy impulses inﬁnitely initial inversion kind language Lyrical Ballads metrical art metrical form metrical frame metrical set Milton mind natural passage passion of meter pattern percent phrase pleasure poem’s poet poet’s poetic poetry Pope’s Power of Sound Preface Prelude Prose prosodic reader reading realization relationship rhyme rhythm rhythmic romantic Sailor’s Mother sense signiﬁcant song sonic sonnet speaker speaker’s speciﬁcally speech stressed syllables structure style stylistic suggests syllables syntactic tendency tends tension Thelwall Tintem Abbey trochaic University Press unstressed verse forms versiﬁcation voice William Wordsworth words Wordsworth’s blank verse Wordsworth’s metrical Wordsworth’s verse Wordsworthian worth’s Yew-Trees