danshane at bellsouth.net
Wed Jul 5 15:56:58 CEST 2006
ELAINE RAMSHAW WROTE:
Dan, I can't read the first paragraph of Don's message in Hiawathan either;
but the second I can.
By the way, it isn't hard to
Write in rhythm, and the Song of
If you're European) is a-
Mong the simplest. Just in case you
Haven't noticed (or are used to
Other ways of reading English)
I've been using Hiawatha
Rhythm this entire message. >>>
AND I GRUMBLE:
Sorry Elaine, but I have trouble buying the idea that one can claim a poetic
metric is applied by simply breaking sentences (or syllables, for that
matter!) wherever one wants. Such a pattern would mean every sentence in
the English language is written in Longfellow's Song of Hiawatha meter as
long as the paragraph's syllables are divisible by eight. That would seem
to diminish the hard work Longfellow, Barks, and Rosa put into carefully
constructing their phrases to achieve the sing-song rhythm that is so
obvious to anyone who reads it.
I don't wish to belittle Don Markstein's past creative works, but in this
one instance I still cannot pick up the intended beat even after you have
broken the lines for me. Yes, I can force the inflections if I read it
aloud, but it doesn't naturally flow (at least not in my lazy brain).
The Song of Hiawatha has been one of my favorite written works since
childhood. I would certainly like to think that Longfellow spent his
one-and-one-half years on the poem doing more than writing his story in
prose and simply breaking the sentences at every eighth silly-bobble,
ignoring any natural breaks due to punctuation or change of thought.
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