In Good Company

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When I read this, I let out a sigh of relief:

"Any variant foot within a line that consists predominantly of another metrical pattern is called a substitution.  The most sommon substitutions are the following:

A spondaic foot, or spondee, two stressed syllables in a row..." (Essential Literary Terms Hamilton 202).

Yes, this means, to me, that if I'm unable to fit the meter exactly, or I just feel it would do the poem more justice, I CAN deviate from the given meter!  I'm not a weakling because Wordsworth (this really cannot be this man's name), Yeats, Donne and Shakespeare, the father of all literature, used substitutions all the time!  I detinately don't mind being able to compare myself to these gentlemen.

4 Comments

That's right, a poet chooses ev'ry rule.
You need a reason for each change you make,
And thinking on these rules inspires the mind.

Maddie Gillespie said:

You and I are of the same frame of mind, most definitely! This line was well and truly a balm to some nasty burns (skid marks more like) garnered in the act of trying to fit, compress, or otherwise significantly alter words in order to make them fit. Sometimes it serves everyone and everything if a substitution is used. Then again, there are also times when the faltering or skipping created from such an event could create an awkwardness to appear when read. That's not saying that I don't like substitutions, I simply like to play the Devil's Advocate. Anyways, you'll find agreement here and quite possibly with more than one of our fellow peers as well!

Tiffany Gilbert said:

Hey now, I'm going to agree with Dr. Jerz here. If he is agreeing that it is okay to change a rule, I'm going with it. Haha. Plus, remaining within the boundries can become boring. What about putting your work and ideas out there even if they bend the rules a little bit, you never know what kind of result you'll get!

Greta Carroll said:

Angela, the only problem is, since you are not Shakespeare, you have to be cautious with your choices to break the rules. If you aren’t careful people will think you did it by accident or because of lack of knowledge of the rules for the poetic form you are using. And as nice as it is to just throw in a spondaic foot because it fits better, you have to make sure that you have a good reason to be doing so and that that reason is clear to your audience or they’ll think you just messed up.

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