From stress to stress

an autobiography of English prosody

By Raffel, Burton

Publishers Summary:
Burton Baffel demonstrates an absolutely unique, absolutely foolproof, completely accurate and thoroughly comprehensive method of understanding prosody in English. Instead of deriving an irrelevant terminology from Greek or Latin, instead of manufacturing a theory, instead of presenting mere verbiage, he offers hundreds of examples from the years 800 to 1990, of how poets actually use prosody, and the patterns of stress, in their work. What poets in fact do is what the prosody of poetry written in English in fact is: understanding what the poems tell us is not only the crucial but in a sense the only task. So English prosody may best tell its own story, by its own practice. Mr. Raffel has entirely refrained from offering elaborate conclusions, or imposing any theoretical frame work. It is his implicit thesis that "theories of prosody" are an unnecessary evil, and an unnecessary befuddlement that, as often as not, make poetry seem unappealing and boring to those who want to understand it. Mr. Baffel helps guide his reader by calling attention to the actual practice of real poets (both famous and not-so-famous), and he does so in his usual acute and often rather pointed way. Selections of what poets themselves say about prosody are included, as is modern linguistic explanation and commentary.

 Not Rated. Be the first to rate this product!

ISBN
978-0-20802-330-8
Publisher
Hamden, Conn. : Archon Books, 1992.


REVIEWS

Library Journal

Reviewed on June 1, 1992

Raffel's book is not--and is not meant to be--a "standard'' like Paul Fussell Jr.'s Poetic Meter and Poetic Form (1965). It is, rather, a single-minded theoretical history of English scansion. Sometimes very interesting, e.g., when it treats the pre-Romantic/Romantic breakdown of what Raf...Log In or Sign Up to Read More

Become a Pro


This feature is only available to Pro subscribers. Please log in, or upgrade your subscription.

Add To My List

cover
by

This feature is only available to Pro subscribers. Please log in, or upgrade your subscription.

Export


This feature is only available to Pro subscribers. Please log in, or upgrade your subscription.

Save List Search Query


This feature is only available to Pro subscribers. Please log in, or upgrade your subscription.

Follow Lists


This feature is only available to Pro subscribers. Please log in, or upgrade your subscription.