Listen! When anyone speaks, some syllables are more stressed and higher pitched than others. Only a robot would say ‘how-is-it-go-ing, then?-all-right?’; a person would say ‘HOW’s it GOing then? All RIGHT?’, with their voice rising and falling. The patterns of stress and pitch vary from language to language, from person to person, and according to what is being said, the urgency and emotion: and, as you can see if I put the stresses in capitals and divide the syllables into pairs, sometimes | the PAT — | tern’s VE — | ry REG — | uLAR; | AND SOME- | times it | CHANges | irREG- | ular- | ly: but there is always a pattern. Nor is this pattern of sounds wholly lost in writing: it is often suppressed, especially in reading non-fictional prose; but poetry (like drama), even when printed and read silently, remains close to the spoken and the heard, so the play of stress and pitch is unavoidably active in both writing and reading poetry. Writing without it is impossible, and the choice is simply whether you attend to it, writing to a design, or allow it to happen haphazardly.
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