Suzuki presents his research into verse types and their realizations, anacrusus and catalexis
, resolutions, the cadence, alliteration, and the stanza.
literally means "coming to an abrupt end," and according to Roger A.
1-2: 93-110) instead takes Hopkins at his word: the poetry really does show evidence of Hopkins drawing on Shakespearean iambic pentameter models, including "more peculiar practices, in particular his use of catalexis
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: This trifle, begun to please only myself and my own private fancy, was laid on the shelf.
The final line, accordingly, seems to become a series of amphibrachs, the final one, a catalexis
that shifts the initial absence to the end: "Hath mel ted | like snow in | the glance of | the Lord." The double unstressed syllables are supple, drawn, in each model, to one stress over the other, signaling a difference between the two.
Both poets sought a pentameter that would sound more natural, less orotund and Tennysonian, and in doing so they reintroduced into the line (deliberately or otherwise) a feature that had hitherto (as the following table shows) characterized only the specifically oral medium of Shakespeare's dramatic verse: catalexis
, or the omission of nonbeatbearing syllables in the line: 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 0.2 Shakespeare (Sonn) 0 0 0 1.3 Shakespeare (Tp.) 0.9 1.0 1.9 01.4 Byron (Don Juan) 0 0 0 0.2 Tennyson 0 0 0 0.2 Browning (R&B) 0.1 0 0.1 3.2 Betjeman (b.
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
. Tradition has it that the final metrical position is catalectic (--), but a moment's thought reveals that this could be otherwise and we will have to seriously consider the possibility that, for example, the initial position of the last line is catalectic instead.
This line exhibits catalexis
, the common variation of omitting an unstressed syllable at the end of a line.
(So runs the shorthand jargon, no worse than others, that the 4B4V glossary and discussions employ: it means here that the last trochee is missing its slack.) 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.
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.