Cover image for All the fun's in how you say a thing : an explanation of meter and versification
Title:
All the fun's in how you say a thing : an explanation of meter and versification
Author:
Steele, Timothy.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Athens : Ohio University Press, [1999]

©1999
Physical Description:
xi, 366 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780821412596

9780821412602
Format :
Book

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Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library PE1505 .S73 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Summary

Summary

Perfect for the general reader of poetry, students and teachers of literature, and aspiring poets, All the Fun's in How You Say a Thing is a lively and comprehensive study of versification by one of our best contemporary practitioners of traditional poetic forms. Emphasizing both the coherence and the diversity of English metrical practice from Chaucer's time to ours, Timothy Steele explains how poets harmonize the fixed units of meter with the variable flow of idiomatic speech, and examines the ways in which poets have used meter, rhyme, and stanza to communicate and enhance meaning. Steele illuminates as well many practical, theoretical, and historical issues in English prosody, without ever losing sight of the fundamental pleasures, beauties, and insights that fine poems offer us.



Written lucidly, with a generous selection of helpful scansions and explanations of the metrical effects of the great poets of the English language, All the Fun's in How You Say a Thing is not only a valuable handbook on technique; it is also a wide-ranging study of English verse and a mine of entertaining information for anyone wishing more fully to write, enjoy, understand, or teach poetry.


Summary

Perfect for the general reader of poetry, students and teachers of literature, and aspiring poets, All the Fun's in How You Say a Thing is a lively and comprehensive study of versification by one of our best contemporary practitioners of traditional poetic forms.

Emphasizing both the coherence and the diversity of English metrical practice from Chaucer's time to ours, Timothy Steele explains how poets harmonize the fixed units of meter with the variable flow of idiomatic speech. He examines the ways in which poets have used meter, rhyme, and stanza to communicate and enhance meaning. Steele illuminates as well many practical, theoretical, and historical issues in English prosody, without ever losing sight of the fundamental pleasures, beauties, and insights that fine poems offer us.

Written lucidly, with a generous selection of helpful scansions and explanations of the metrical effects of the great poets of the English language, All the Fun's in How You Say a Thing is not only a valuable handbook on technique; it is also a wide-ranging study of English verse and a mine of entertaining information for anyone wishing more fully to write, enjoy, understand, or teach poetry.


Author Notes

Timothy Steele is Professor of English at California State University, Los Angeles. He is the author of Missing Measures: Modern Poetry and the Revolt against Meter . His collections of poetry include The Color Wheel and Sapphics and Uncertainties: Poems 1970-1986 .


Timothy Steele is Professor of English at California State University, Los Angeles. He is the author of Missing Measures: Modern Poetry and the Revolt against Meter. His collections of poetry include The Color Wheel and Sapphics and Uncertainties: Poems 1970-1986.


Reviews 2

Choice Review

Those who expect books about poetic meter to be dull, ponderous, and specialized will find that this volume fails in all these respects. Though sufficiently specialized to inform scholars, the book will not bewilder uninitiated readers. Steele is an adroit writer, imaginative, vibrant, alluring. Even the most hardened antimetricist will be lured into the chapter entitled "The Story of Elision, Including the Famous Rise, Troublesome Reign, and Tragic Fall of the Metrical Apostrophe." Steele writes personally and with deep feeling about how language operates as sound and rhythm. Of John Milton's line (in "On Shakespeare") "For whilst, to th' shame of slow-endeavoring art," Steele writes: "When first encountering Milton's line about Shakespeare, I thought th' went with shame and attempted to pronounce the phantom collocation, thsh." This title contains many such examples. A worthy successor to studies like Paul Fussell's Poetic Meter and Poetic Form (CH, May'66; rev. ed., 1979), John Thompson's The Founding of English Metre (1961), and Derek Attridge's Poetic Rhythm: An Introducti


Choice Review

Those who expect books about poetic meter to be dull, ponderous, and specialized will find that this volume fails in all these respects. Though sufficiently specialized to inform scholars, the book will not bewilder uninitiated readers. Steele is an adroit writer, imaginative, vibrant, alluring. Even the most hardened antimetricist will be lured into the chapter entitled "The Story of Elision, Including the Famous Rise, Troublesome Reign, and Tragic Fall of the Metrical Apostrophe." Steele writes personally and with deep feeling about how language operates as sound and rhythm. Of John Milton's line (in "On Shakespeare") "For whilst, to th' shame of slow-endeavoring art," Steele writes: "When first encountering Milton's line about Shakespeare, I thought th' went with shame and attempted to pronounce the phantom collocation, thsh." This title contains many such examples. A worthy successor to studies like Paul Fussell's Poetic Meter and Poetic Form (CH, May'66; rev. ed., 1979), John Thompson's The Founding of English Metre (1961), and Derek Attridge's Poetic Rhythm: An Introducti


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