Hiawatha rhythm

Daniel van Eijmeren dve at kabelfoon.nl
Sun Jul 9 14:36:23 CEST 2006

> Date: Sat, 08 Jul 2006 17:16:11 -0700
> From: "Donald D. Markstein" <ddmarkstein at cox.net>

<Of course, the syllables aren't as heavily accented as I've indicated, but 
if you read it in a normal speaking voice, you'll see that they're right 
where they should be. Like I said earlier, the first paragraph would be 
better done with a non-accented syllable transposed from the beginning to 
the end (Hiawatha starts with an accented one and each line ends with a 
non-accented one), but geez, it's just a mailing list comment.>
Objection. You wrote that mailing list comment to prove that the 
Hiawath-rhythm is among the simplest. If you give an example, it should work 
obviously. Otherwise it's not an example.
I'm interested in rhyme and poetry, and for a simple rhythm I find your 
explanation difficult to follow.

<Writing in rhythm is purely a mechanical operation. You could train a 
monkey to do it, if the monkey happened to be fluent in the language.>
I see this as a contradiction. You explain that being fluent in the language 
is important for writing in rhythm. You say that a monkey could do it, and 
then you explain that a monkey can't do it at all. That's confusing.

<A writing acquaintance of mine, seeing a Bucky Bug script I'd written 
(Bucky is written in meter AND RHYME) once remarked that for all the 
different things he'd written, he'd never succeeded at poetry. I vehemently 
denied that a Bucky Bug script is even remotely like poetry. It's written in 
four-beat iambic verse, and it rhymes. It's designed to amuse children. 
That's all.>
Do you mean that a text designed to amuse children is no poetry?

<Now, have we discussed this topic to death yet?>
Discussing rhyme, rhythm and poetry to death? Is that ever possible?

Barks used a lot of rhythm and poetry. His dialogue looks almost musical to 
me. In an interview, maybe in Donald Ault's book, Barks told he counted 
syllables to prevent to words and dialogue getting too difficult and 
long-winded. And there's of course his 'Ode to the Disney Ducks' from 1999.


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