Scansion: the disease of scanning a poem (no cure available at this time).

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Scansion: the process of analyzing and marking the type and number of feet in each line of verse. (Hamilton, 205)


Attention ladies and gentlemen! We have an epidemic on our hands! We've finally found the scientific name to an activity that has brought joy to others, while others seem inflicted by various groans, grimaces, and cringes at the mere act. What's worse is the fact that it never ceases, for if we do not learn it, we will never fully understand it (at least that's the argument I'm gonna present here). I found this entry to be particularly enlightening when reading Hamilton's sentences: "Scanning a poem should not be confused with performing it. A scanned poem is roughly an analogous to a musical score: it marks the stresses and pauses and provides a guide to the rhythms, but it takes a performance with the instrument of the human voice to bring out the variations in intonations, lengths of syllables, and emphases that give the work full meaning." It's comforting to know that no matter much you analyze a work or poem that you will inevitably miss something of great import if you do not simply take the time to read the work aloud as it was meant to be. You can rip something apart as many times as you'd like, but until you place it all together into a cohesive piece...you will never garner its full intrinsic value.


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1 Comments

Angela Palumbo said:

This is a funny entry Maddie. I agree with you. This is a pretty basic concept with a fancy name. I never really knew what scansion was before I read Hamilton. I enjoy reading your blog. :)

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This page contains a single entry by MadelynGillespie published on April 8, 2008 9:01 PM.

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