And we are beginning to see what is meant by meter. When we learn to read for ourselves and find a voice of our own we look for verse to speak aloud. One of my own favourites was G. K. Chestertons Lepanto,4 with lines such as: Dim drums throbbing, in the hills half heard, Where only on a nameless throne a crownless prince has stirred, Where, risen from a doubtful seat and half attainted stall, The last knight of Europe takes weapons from the wall, The last and lingering troubadour to whom the bird has sung, That once went singing southward when all the world was young. In the bailiwick of free verse the music is even more essential because thats all there is. With no end rhyme and no meter to hold the frame together the integrity of it depends on the endings of the lines and the singing within them. For example: After the Sea Ship6 After the sea ship, after the whistling winds, After the white-gray sails taut to their spars and ropes, Below, a myriad myriad waves hastening, lifting up their necks, Tending in ceaseless flow toward the track of the ship, Waves of the ocean bubbling and gurgling, blithely prying.
Swipe to navigate through the chapters of this book
Please log in to get access to this content
To get access to this content you need the following product:
- The Singing Within
- Macmillan Education UK
- Sequence number
- Chapter number