Suzuki presents his research into verse types and their realizations, anacrusus and catalexis
, resolutions, the cadence, alliteration, and the stanza.
And then there was James Russell Lowell, a contemporary of Whitman, whose Fable for Critics (1848) at first bothered its readers, until they understood Lowell's internal joke: though he made the introduction appear to be prose on the page, it was actually poetry and quite stylized poetry at that--rhymed couplets in anapestic tetrameter, characterized by both catalexis
and feminine endings:
Comparative Table of Catalexes and Harsh Mappings (1000-line samples) Lines with Initial Internal Total Harsh Catalexes Catalexis Catalexis Mappings Pope 0 0 0 0 Milton (PL) 0 0 0 0.
Before the twentieth century, catalexis was avoided in the literary or "for-print" tradition as a solecism, even by Shakespeare: after all, the one thing every schoolboy knows about iambic pentameter is that it has at least ten syllables, two per foot, and even theoreticians of meter only came to recognize the possibility of the so-called "monosyllabic foot" in the second half of the nineteenth century (see, for example, Abbott 372-85).
But though catalexis may irritate the pedants, it is not (as it would be in French) a metrical defect, since meter-in English is based in the first instance on a count not of syllables but of beats.
Misleading also is his explanation of the important technical term catalexis
as a "fade-out, or tail-away" (p.
Note that the last line has only seven metrical positions (H or LL) rather than the expected eight; the traditional term for this is catalexis.
Each line of dimeter has four complete verse feet except for the last line, which has three and a half, due to the catalexis.
We understand catalexis to be the metrical counterpart: of rest in music (Burling 1966).
On the other hand a robust majority of readers, their habits formed perhaps on the Africanizing backbeat of blues and rock, look to the end and read the line iambically with the acephalous catalexis of a premised initial slack.
For, given his poem's theme of marital haunting, Hardy has with characteristic ingenuity made feminine endings an earnest of uncanny wifely initiatives; acephalous catalexis becomes a prosodic trope for the absence/presence of a remarried widower's paranormal experience.
Timothy Steele, in his exploration of catalexis
, discusses the tetrameters of Barrett Browning's "The Best Thing in the World" (1862) in All the Fun's in How You Say a Thing: An Explanation of Meter and Versification (Athens: Ohio Univ.