Northern Drive to St Lucy

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Monday, May 27, 2013

Comments on Blissful Countryside

Blissful Countryside

Hate the restriction on living on folks in suburbia;
Lately she suffers from noise, and from hyperthermia;
Longing to swing in the trees and to feed animals and birds;
Whispering wind on eaves in her ears and the barking curs;
Smell the aroma of boiling sugar in atmosphere;
Hearing the galloping sound of a buggy in tow by mare;
Rural abode and so blissfully healthy for good life;
Loving the land and its sacred endowments with good wife;
Marvel at smiling sky kissing the fertile and sweet land;
Ponders annoying dilemma; concrete jungles withstand.

High on your feet, will you! Hear ye the planet, it cries out;
Littering bugs they disrupt in and out; so insane! Shout;
Speak will you, killers of earth, polluters, shameful, with hard-ears;
Polluting, burning and wasting of crops with ashes’ tears.
Now we behold the miracle of creation close-up;
Slaving away on the plantation days of yore pile-up;
Free to reminisce on porch and to savor the view;
Swinging with the trade winds in a hammock of sky blue;
Pastures again, the hillsides, and the fields very green;
Here ye this! Food for masses to live fat or lean...

“Blissful Countryside” has two stanzas and each stanza has ten verses. A poem with ten verses in each stanza is called a decastich. The poem also has rhyming couplets. A rhyming couplet is when two verses rhyme with each other and this poem is made up of couplets where each pair of verses rhyme with each other and they have the same meter. Also, it falls into the category of lyric poetry in the genre of an Idyll. What is lyric poetry? Lyric poetry presents the deep feelings and emotions of the poet as opposed to poetry that tells a story or presents a witty observation. Sonnets, odes, and elegies are examples of lyric poetry. Lyric poetry has a pleasing musical quality and often can be set to music. Examples of lyric poets of by-gone eras are William Wordsworth, John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and William Blake. What is an Idyll poem? An Idyll is defined as a pastoral poem relating to the countryside or to the rural way of life. It stresses the picturesque nature of rural living. The theme throughout the poem “Blissful Countryside” suggests a yearning for country living instead of the suburban or city living. The imagery in this short idyllic poem gives out a nostalgic feeling; there is also this impression in the poem that the environment is badly mistreated, and is seen as an affront to the Creator of earth. God in all his goodness and love for mankind gave this gift called earth to mankind to take good care of it and to enjoy its wonderful multifarious fruits it offers.

John Milton wrote a long lyric narrative poem in idyllic form called “L’ Allegro” (meaning “The Happy Man”) with one hundred and fifty-two verses in 1633, forty-one years before his death. Exhibit 1 shows verses one to twenty-four where it reflects on the pleasures of a beautiful spring day in two venues, the countryside and in the urban setting.

Exhibit 1
L’Allegro”
A Poem by John Milton (1608-1674)
(Excerpt)

Hence, loathed Melancholy,
Of Cerberus and blackest Midnight born,
In Stygian cave forlorn,
'Mongst horrid shapes, and shrieks, and sights unholy!
Find out some uncouth cell,
Where brooding Darkness sprends his jealous wings,
And the night-raven sings;
There under ebon shades, and low-brow'd rocks,
As ragged as thy locks,
In dark Cimmerian desert ever dwell.
But come, thou goddess fair and free,
In Heaven yclep'd Euphrosyne,

And by Men, heart-easing Mirth;
Whom lovely Venus, at a birth,
With two sister Graces more,
To ivy-crowned Bacchus bore:
Or whether (as some sager sing)
The frolick wind, that breathes the spring,
Zephyr, with Aurora playing,
As he met her once a-Maying;
There on beds of violets blue,
And fresh-blown roses wash'd in dew,
Fill'd her with thee a daughter fair,
So buxom, blithe, and debonair.


“Blissful Countryside” reflects the dactylic pentameter decastich with rhyming couples. The pentameter has five feet and is associated with qualitative meter or accentual-syllabic verse in English Language poetry. In accentual-syllabic verse every syllable counts in creating the proper rhythm and flow of the meter. Dactylic as a qualifier of the noun “dactyl” is a falling meter with a trisyllabic foot meaning that the foot is made up of three syllables; the first syllable is stressed and the two remaining syllables are unstressed. These stressed and unstressed syllables are identified by diacritical marks such as the ictus (⁄) for stressed syllable and the breve ( ˬ ) for unstressed syllable in the combination of one ictus and two breve ( ⁄ ˬ ˬ ). The words “poetry” and “dactylic” are useful mnemonics for remembering this stressed-unstressed-unstressed pattern in the dactyl foot. The foot is the unit of such measurement hence the measuring instrument is known as the metric foot. Meter means measurement.

What is a dactylic pentameter? Let’s revise some terms to help explain this one. Meter refers to the pattern of syllables in a verse of poetry. The most basic unit of measure in a poem is the syllable and the pattern of syllables in a verse, from stressed to unstressed and vice versa. Two syllables together (Hate the), three-syllable construction (re stric tion) or four-syllable construction (ce le bra tion), each of these examples measures one foot. These various foot types and their diacritical marks are shown in Exhibit 2 as follows:

Exhibit 2

SYLLABLE CONSTRUCTION


Disyllable Foot Types

Diacritical Marks

Trisyllable
Foot Types


Diacritical Marks


Tetrasyllable Foot Types

Diacritical Marks
Iamb
ˬ  ⁄
Amphibrah
ˬ  ⁄ ˬ

Antipast
ˬ  ⁄ ⁄ ˬ
Spondee
⁄ ⁄

Anapest
ˬ ˬ  ⁄
Choriamb
⁄ ˬ ˬ  ⁄
Trochee
⁄ ˬ

Antibacchius
⁄ ⁄ ˬ
Diiamb
ˬ  ⁄ˬ  ⁄
Pyrrhic
ˬ ˬ

Baccius
ˬ  ⁄ ⁄
Dispondee
⁄ ⁄ ⁄ ⁄


Cretic

⁄ ˬ ⁄
Ditrochee

⁄ ˬ  ⁄ ˬ


dactyl

⁄ ˬ ˬ
Epitrite

⁄ ⁄ ⁄ ˬ


Molossus

⁄ ⁄ ⁄
First
Epitrite

ˬ  ⁄ ⁄ ⁄


Tribrach

ˬ ˬ ˬ
Second Epitrite

⁄ˬ  ⁄ ⁄




Third Epitrite

⁄ ⁄ ˬ  ⁄




Fourth Epitrite

⁄ ⁄ ⁄ ˬ




Greater Ionic

⁄ ⁄ ˬ ˬ




Lesser Ionic

ˬ ˬ ⁄ ⁄




Tetrabrach

ˬ ˬ ˬ ˬ




Paeon

⁄ ˬ ˬ ˬ

The dactylic pentameter is a line of verse measuring five feet. The metrical foot of a poem is determined by the poem’s predominant meter. Metered poems will be quite regular, but in order to provide special emphasis in some places or to avoid monotonous rhythm of the “DUM da da DUM da da DUM da da DUM da da DUM da da” , poets often use substitutions in some of the poems verses as are evident in “Blissful Countryside”. These substitutes are taken from disyllable foot types (iamb, spondee, and trochee, pyrrhic) and from trisyllable foot types (amphibrach, anapest, antibacchius, baccius, cretic, molossus and tribrach).  In dactylic pentameter verses the spondee, trochee, cretic and anapest are often seen as substitutes. It is okay to have variations in the rhythmic flow of verses. However, when writing a metered poem the poet gets to choose the meter but is obligated to maintain the selected meter throughout the poem; it’s only the foot type that may be substituted; unless of course, the variation is set up regularly and clearly as part of the poem’s metrical pattern. When constructing the dactylic pentameter verse it is important to maintain the integrity of the verse by ensuring that the first foot is a dactyl and that no other substitute supersedes the dactyl. The foot in the third and fourth position in the verse is more likely to change. The last foot in dactylic pentameter verse tends to fall on a spondee.

In order to verify that the verses in “Blissful Countryside” are indeed dactylic pentameter verses it was essential to produce a diagrammatic representation of this poem by way of scansion. The scansion unlocks those techniques used in creating the rhythmic effects in the poem; it helps readers grasp layers of meaning in the poem, and to indicate how to read the poem aloud. The results of the scansion of the metrical effect of the poem are shown in Exhibits 3 and 4.

Exhibit 3










































































Exhibit 4




















































































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