A non-existent stair in the dark.

June 21, 2009

“[M]etrical form must depend in part upon the informed (though possibly unconscious) co-operation of the reader, who establishes the appropriate metrical matrix from clues of various kinds—generic, linguistic, typographical and so on–and attempts to accommodate his or her utterance of each verse to some template of that metre. Most readers will have had the experience of mistaking the metrical pattern on first attempting to read a verse—the verse-reader’s equivalent of treading on a non-existent stair in the dark.”

Peter L. Groves, Strange Music: The Metre of the English Heroic Line, Victoria, B.C: U of Victoria, 1998: 78.

One Response to “A non-existent stair in the dark.”

  1. Uncle Tree Says:

    Interesting, and well put.
    I keep my best foot forward
    for that very non-existent reason.

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