Archive for the ‘Poetic form’ Category

Fables of the trees

October 15, 2018

It began with this poignant texty on Facebook:


Voting as part of the story marks this as a recent version, and the shrinking forest (possibly an allusion to deforestation) might be recent as well. But the main idea — that the trees accepted the axe because its handle was wood and they thought it was one of them — feels antique, fabulesque. And so it is.


Imperfect rhyme, part 3

October 6, 2018

Previously on this blog:

on 9/30, “AZ on imperfect rhyme” (part 1 of a series): an inventory of publications of mine on half-rhyme and phonological similarity

on 10/1, “Imperfect rhyme, part 2”: an inventory of postings on this blog that discuss particular examples of half-rhyme

And now, part 3, the last: an inventory of publications that cite the papers of mine on imperfect rhyme in part 1 — mostly the first, the 1976 rock rhyme paper.


Imperfect rhyme, part 2

October 1, 2018

First installment: my 9/30 posting “AZ on imperfect rhyme”, an inventory of publications of mine on half-rhyme and phonological similarity. Today, the second installment, an inventory of postings on this blog that discuss particular examples of half-rhyme. To come: an inventory of publications that cite the 5 papers of mine on imperfect rhyme, especially the first, the 1976 rock rhyme paper.


AZ on imperfect rhyme

September 30, 2018

I’ve been assembling a bibliography of my papers on rock rhyme, half rhyme / half-rhyme, imperfect rhyme etc. and of other work springing from these. This is the first part, on 5 papers of mine.


Proustian paradise poems

September 17, 2018

In the most recent New York Times Magazine, “On a Line by Proust” by Adam Giannelli. Then, from the “graduation dinner” for the 1990-91 Fellows at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, my “class poem”, “Les vrais paradis sont les paradis qu’on a perdus” (the very line by Proust). The Giannelli is a villanelle of sorts, for a general audience; mine is very free verse, also occasional verse written for a small community.

In chronological order.


Mandarin orange at the Malamute Saloon

August 30, 2018

Yesterday’s morning names. I have a ghost of a clue as to why Mandarin oranges came to me at dawn, but the Malamute Saloon is a total mystery.


The crystal ball of cartoon understanding

August 17, 2018

Today’s Mother Goose and Grimm takes us through the murky realms of cartoon understanding:


At the surface level, the fortune teller offers a preposterous prediction about how Grimm will be reincarnated, and Grimm says he doesn’t believe in reincarnation. Entirely comprehensible (so long as you know about fortune tellers, and can recognize a stereotype of one —  woman in gypsy costume with crystal ball — and so long as you know what reincarnation is), but not funny, unless you also know about Carnation brand evaporated milk (sweetened powdered milk that comes in cans). It’s a joke, son.


P-alliterative and tetrametric lines

August 11, 2018

…  front-accented (especially trochaic) tetrametric, in fact. Separately and in concert.  Notably combined in

purple rainbow puppy pen (SW SW SW S)

which is the household name for this object, recently acquired by Kim Darnell at a local vet’s office and now added to my cabinet of curiosities display:



Swiss spin-off: Wallisellen

June 27, 2018

The town of Wallisellen in Canton Zürich, Switzerland, has just come up again on this blog (in the posting “Three Züricher Peter Zwickys”), as the site of the Zwicky silk-thread company and now the Zwicky construction and real estate company. Two notable things about the place (from its Wikipedia page): the etymology of its name, which looks like a compound (and is), but without easily identifiable parts; and a Swiss German nonsense rhyme that incorporates the town’s name.


Metered verse

June 3, 2018

Link passed on by Nelson Minar to a MetaFilter posting yesterday on “Approaches to Metered Verse”:

At The Paris Review, Anthony Madrid works through “A Homework Assignment from W. H. Auden” that others have also tried. At Herbert Tucker’s For Better For Verse, two introductory exercises are worked out on the instructions page, and another explains itself; for the rest, click above, on, and right of each line to try to solve. Several linguistic introductions are available online too, e.g. Mark Liberman, “An Internet Pilgrim’s Guide to Accentual-Syllabic Verse” (etc., etc.); Arnold Zwicky, “Word Accent, Phrase Accent, and Meter” [PDF]; and Bruce Hayes & Russell Schuh, Linguistics 251: Metrics (+ earlier version). Incidentally, Auden’s original [PDF] “hardest course in the humanities” [PDF] required memorization of poetry–a practice historically linked with meter.
posted by Wobbuffet