(See also Amphigouri)
Sidelight: The name of Sheridan's character, Mrs. Malaprop, was taken from the French expression for "inappropriate" or "out of place," mal à propos.(See also Catachresis, Enallage, Mixed Metaphor, Oxymoron, Paradox, Solecism, Synesthesia)
(See also Baroque, Conceit, Euphuism, Gongorism, Melic Verse)
(Contrast Feminine Rhyme)
Sidelight: While the two terms are usually used synonymously, meter suggests a predictable regularity, so measure is more aptly used in reference to the irregular rhythm of free verse.(See Accentual Verse, Quantitive Verse, Syllabic Verse)
Sidelight: Just as a hyperbole can underscore a truth by overstatement, the meiosis achieves the same effect with understatement.(See also Litotes)
Sidelight: Applicants had to study poetry and singing while learning their trade and pass examinations through degrees of "scholars," "schoolmen," "singers," and "poets," to eventually become Meistersingers (Mastersingers). The most famous of the Meistersingers was Hans Sachs (1494-1576), to whom about 6,000 poems are attributed.(See also Improvisatore, Jongleur, Minstrel, Troubadour, Trouvere)
Sidelight: Melic verse was the forerunner of lyric verse.(Compare Canzone, Ghazal, Ode, Pindaric Verse, Romance, Society Verse)
(See also Conceit, Euphuism, Gongorism, Marinism)
The Leaves of Life keep falling one by one.
--- Edward Fitzgerald, The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám
I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed!
--- Percy Bysshe Shelley, "Ode to the West Wind"
. . . The cherished fields
Put on their winter robe of purest white.
--- James Thomson, The Seasons
Sidelight: While most metaphors are nouns, verbs can be used as well:Till the calm rivers, lakes, and seas,
Like strips of the sky fallen through me on high,
Are each paved with the moon and these.
--- Percy Bysshe Shelley, "The Cloud"
Sidelight: The poetic metaphor can be thought of as having two basic components: (1) what is meant, and (2) what is said. The thing meant is called the tenor, while the thing said, which embodies the analogy brought to the subject, is called the vehicle.
Sidelight: Both metaphors and similes are comparisons between things which are unlike, but a simile expresses the comparison directly, while a metaphor is an implied comparison that gains emphatic force by its connotative value.
Sidelight: A word or expression like "the leg of the table," which originally was a metaphor but which has now been assimilated into common usage, has lost its figurative value; thus, it is called a dead metaphor.
Sidelight: Frequently, the term metaphor, as opposed to a metaphor, is used to include all figures of speech, so the expression, "metaphorically speaking," refers to speaking figuratively rather than literally.(See also Allegory, Conceit, Extended Metaphor, Mixed Metaphor,
Objectivism, Realism, Romanticism, Symbolism)
The metrical element of sound makes a valuable contribution to the mood and total effect of a poem.
Sidelight: In the composition of verse, poets sometimes make deviations from the systematic metrical patterns. This is often desirable because (1) variations will avoid the mechanical "te-dum, te-dum" monotony of a too-regular rhythm and (2) changes in the metrical pattern are an effective way to emphasize or reinforce meaning in the content. These variations are introduced by substituting different feet at places within a line. (Poets can also employ a caesura, use run-on lines and vary the degrees of accent by skillful word selection to modify the rhythmic pattern, a process called modulation. Accents heightened by semantic emphasis also provide diversity.) A proficient writer of poetry, therefore, is not a slave to the dictates of metrics, but neither should the poet stray so far from the meter as to lose the musical value or emotional potential of rhythmical repetition. Of course, in modern free verse, meter has become either irregular or non-existent.
Sidelight: Generally speaking, it is advisable for poets to delay the introduction of metrical variations until the ear of the reader has had time to become accustomed to the basic rhythmic pattern.
Sidelight: In music, the term, rubato, refers to rhythmic variations from the written score applied in the performance.(See Common Measure, Scan, Scansion)
Sidelight: Some metonymic expressions, like paleface for white man or salt for sailor, have become so much a part of everyday language that they can no longer be considered as figurative in a poetic sense.
Sidelight: Neither a metrical pause itself nor its length can be scanned, but scansion will show the omission of the unstressed syllable(s) it replaces.
Sidelight: Edgar Allan Poe described the metrical pause as "a variable foot which is the most important in all verse," but some theorists disagree that a time value is valid in modern metrics.
Sidelight: A pause that is non-metrical and expressed only in the
performance is called a caesura.
(See also Bard, Poet, Sonneteer, Versifier, Wordsmith)
Soft is the strain when Zephyr gently blows,(See also Ekphrasis, Sound Devices)
And the smooth stream in smoother numbers flows.
Sidelight: The Minnesingers used the collective term, Minnesang, for their work on themes of courtly love.(See also Improvisatore, Jongleur, Minstrel, Troubadour, Trouvere)
(See also Gleeman,
(Compare Bard, Metrist, Sonneteer, Wordsmith)
Sidelight: The effect of a mixed metaphor can be absurd as well as sublime.(See also Catachresis, Enallage, Malapropism, Oxymoron, Paradox, Synesthesia)
Sidelight: An outstanding example in English verse is Pope's The Rape of the Lock, which he wrote to expose the absurdity of a threatened feud between two families over an incident in which a young baron cut a curl from the head of a society belle.(See also Hudibrastic Verse)
Sidelight: Modulation is a process by which the stress values of accents can be increased or decreased within a fixed metrical pattern.(See also Alliteration, Assonance, Consonance, Euphony)
(See also Dirge, Elegy, Epitaph)
(See also Ghazal)
(Compare Distich, Hemistich)
Sidelight: Although the idea of a monosyllabic foot in English verse has been proposed, i.e., an accented syllable plus a hypothetical pause, the notion that pauses may constitute parts of feet is contrary to generally accepted metrical theories.(See also Disyllable, Polysyllable, Trisyllable)
Sidelight: Byron's Don Juan, contains many examples of mosaic rhymes.(See also Disyllabic Rhyme, Triple Rhyme)
(See also Burden, Theme)
(Compare Content, Diction, Form, Persona, Style, Texture, Tone)
Sidelight: In Greek mythology, the nine daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne were called the Muses, each of whom was identified with an individual art or science. While there are historic inconsistencies in the records that have been handed down, a common listing is as follows:(See also Afflatus, Helicon, Numen, Parnassian, Pierian)Calliope (kuh-LY-uh-pee): Muse of epic poetry
Clio (KLY-oh or KLEE-oh): Muse of history
Erato (EHR-uh-toh): Muse of lyric and love poetry
Euterpe (yoo-TUR-pee): Muse of music, especially wind instruments
Melpomene (mel-PAH-muh-nee): Muse of tragedy
Polymnia (pah-LIM-nee-uh): Muse of sacred poetry
Terpsichore (turp-SIK-uh-ree): Muse of dance and choral song
Thalia (thuh-LY-uh): Muse of comedy
Urania (yooh-RAY-nee-uh): Muse of astronomy