Tennyson's Alcaics: Greek and Latin Prosody and the Invention of English Meters

Tennyson's Alcaics: Greek and Latin Prosody and the Invention of English Meters by John Talbot `` HE grandest of all measures,'' Tennyson called the classical alcaic meter; but could it be brought over grandly into English? 1 Other Greek and Latin lyric meters had been Englished with some success. The sapphic, for instance: dozens of English sapphics from the sixteenth century onward attest to its virtual naturalization into the English tradition.2 But the alcaic--which packs three different and complex metrical patterns into its four lines--had proven more difficult, and only a handful of poets had dared to hazard an English version. Tennyson not only attempted it but also applied himself as no previous poet to making the alcaic a vehicle of serious poetic expression in English. On and off, over the course of forty years, he explored the possibilities of the English alcaic in a series of remarkable poems running the gamut from strict accentual-syllabic copies to freer, more innovative adaptations. The freest of these deserves to be seen as a new English stanza form in its own right. Together the five alcaic poems not only cast light on the subtlety of Tennyson's response to the classics but also constitute an important and neglected chapter in the history of classical http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Studies in Philology University of North Carolina Press

Tennyson's Alcaics: Greek and Latin Prosody and the Invention of English Meters

Studies in Philology, Volume 101 (2)

Loading next page...
 
/lp/university-of-north-carolina-press/tennyson-s-alcaics-greek-and-latin-prosody-and-the-invention-of-VEynlSUmpV
Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2004 by The University of North Carolina Press.
ISSN
1543-0383
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

by John Talbot `` HE grandest of all measures,'' Tennyson called the classical alcaic meter; but could it be brought over grandly into English? 1 Other Greek and Latin lyric meters had been Englished with some success. The sapphic, for instance: dozens of English sapphics from the sixteenth century onward attest to its virtual naturalization into the English tradition.2 But the alcaic--which packs three different and complex metrical patterns into its four lines--had proven more difficult, and only a handful of poets had dared to hazard an English version. Tennyson not only attempted it but also applied himself as no previous poet to making the alcaic a vehicle of serious poetic expression in English. On and off, over the course of forty years, he explored the possibilities of the English alcaic in a series of remarkable poems running the gamut from strict accentual-syllabic copies to freer, more innovative adaptations. The freest of these deserves to be seen as a new English stanza form in its own right. Together the five alcaic poems not only cast light on the subtlety of Tennyson's response to the classics but also constitute an important and neglected chapter in the history of classical

Journal

Studies in PhilologyUniversity of North Carolina Press

There are no references for this article.

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create folders to
organize your research

Export folders, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off