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ERIC Number: ED179978
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Nov
Pages: 28
Abstractor: N/A
Teaching Meter: Why and How.
Roberts, John J.
In poetry, the only escape from meter is mastery. An understanding of the physical basis of poetry contributes not only to the literary appreciation and analysis of poetry but also to effective communication and language usage in daily life. The ideal time to begin teaching meter is in early childhood, but many older students need to be reacquainted with the fact that all poetry has to have structure, even free verse, concrete poetry, and the lyrics of popular music. English has become a remarkably rich language that, through historical accidents and its inherent potential, offers poets such metrical curiosities as sprung or dipodic rhythm, which combines different stresses to produce a lilt or swing in the reading of a poetic line. Meter can contribute to poetic "meaning" in a number of ways: it appeals to the human love for form; metrical substitutions can emphasize important passages; and poems can be linked by metrical associations or conventions. Most of all, writing poetry within a prescribed or preselected form allows the author to proceed with a needed distance, objectivity, or detachment that lifts the work out of the depths of sentimentality or emotionalism. (Examples of poetic rhythms and their effects are included.) (RL)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English (69th, San Francisco, CA, November 22-24, 1979)