At any rate the double coincidence of a dactylic
line, and an ending [Greek], seems conclusive as to the familiarity of the writer of the "Odyssey" with the Iliadic line.
His brief 'Andromeda' is one of the best English poems in the classical dactylic
And I think that I have an indistinct recollection of his mentioning a complex Cretic rhythm; also a dactylic
or heroic, and he arranged them in some manner which I do not quite understand, making the rhythms equal in the rise and fall of the foot, long and short alternating; and, unless I am mistaken, he spoke of an iambic as well as of a trochaic rhythm, and assigned to them short and long quantities.
Rhythm is constructed, for example, by the percussive dactylic
beat of the "Seventh Eclogue" and the iambic one of "Letter to My Wife," both of which have been restored in the translations into English by Zsuzsanna Ozsvath and Frederick Turner in Foamy Sky: The Major Poems of Miklos Radnoti.
The crimson ran rapidly down to meet the black ocean, changing and doubling and spreading as it ran"; this sentence gains its effect of motion by listing present participles; it also evokes dactylic
metre (crimson ran rapidly, changing and doubling and spreading), whose high proportion of unstressed syllables traditionally evokes speed.
The recurrence of such phrases as 'thrilled with chilly horror' imparts a falling rhythm--fundamentally trochaic, with occasional dactylic
feet to the language that conveys the experience.
It is composed of 9,896 lines in dactylic
Although the lines can quite effectively be scanned as trochaic octameter with some dactylic
substitutions, Tennyson insisted on a scansion that, I think, would out-spring Hopkins:
One conspicuous case in point is the "heroic rhythm," the dactylic
hexameter, where the longest syllable in the foot comes first--perpetuated by the venerable Greek and Roman epic tradition.
At this point Thoreau, having interrupted his own cadence with other people's jingles and slogans, re-establishes a strong rhythm for his own voice by using this ten-syllable line propelled by the vigorous repetition of a compact, regular dactylic
Because of the character of accentuation, dactylic
rhymes are absolutely impossible in French.
AF When I was getting my PhD at Stanford and writing The Ghost of Meter, I scanned the poetry of Whitman, Dickinson, Ginsberg, Lorde, and other poets and discovered that on some probably unconscious level, based on their patterns of imagery and meaning, iambic pentameter represented power and patriarchy to these poets, while the dactylic
meter was linked to intuition and the body and a revolutionary approach to the world.