Textkit Logo

re: can't we do something else? elegiacs.

This board is a composition workshop, like a writers' workshop: post your work with questions about style or vocabulary, comment on other people's work, post composition challenges on some topic or form, or just dazzle us with your inventive use of galliambics.

Moderator: annis

re: can't we do something else? elegiacs.

Postby whiteoctave » Tue Aug 03, 2004 8:47 pm

evening all,

i imagine many of you are not currently overloaded with things to do, especially in the scholarly field.
accordingly, i challenge all people interested to write an elegiac couplet. just one - in latin or greek.

most of you, i should think, are familiar with basic prosody and can scan. if not, there are many fine sites online that can introduce you to the basics (for that is all here necessary).

the mechanics of the metre are very simple. an elegiac couplet consists of two verses, the former in dactylic hexameter, the latter in dactylic pentameter.
the most basic metrical rules that must be followed are these:

for the hexameter:
-the first four feet should be either a dactyl (long-short-short) or a spondee (long-long)
-the fifth foot must be a dactyl (special licence for Greek proper names and effect need not be considered at present)
and the sixth a spondee or trochee (long-short)
-there must be a caesura (i.e. a gap between words in a foot) after the long of the third foot (so-called 'third strong' caesura) OR, if this is not the case, a caesura after the first short of the third foot ('third weak') backed up by BOTH a strong in the second AND in the fourth.
-the metrical scheme for the hexameter is thus:
(~ marks long; u marks short; / separates feet; // marks main caesura):

~ u u / ~ u u / ~// u u / ~ u u/ ~ u u / ~ ~
~ ~ / ~ ~ / ~ // ~ / ~ ~ / ~ u u / ~ u

for each foot either the top or bottom option is available, though the fifth foot dactyl needs to be adhered. i have not included the much rarer pattern of caesurae (2nd s + 3rd w + 4th s).

if we take the opening line to Ovid's Amores (i will use Latin as the explanatory language, for here it is commoner to more), we see:

Arma gravi numero violentaque bella parabam

which can be broken down thus:

Arm-a gra- - first foot dactyl
-vi nu-me - second foot dactyl
-o // vio- - third foot dactyl with typical strong caesura
-lentaque - fourth foot dactyl
bella par- - fifth foot dactyl
-abam - sixth foot trochee

the line is thus as dactylic as possible (Ovid's purpose, incidentally, is to pretend that he is writing epic at the very start so the characteristic tum-ti-ti of the dactylic hexameter is over-used. lines with the first four feet as dactyls number only 6.7% in the Corpus Ovidianum.)


the following line is the pentameter, so called (rather inappropriately) because the metrical 'value' of its constituents 'add up' to five dactylic feet.

the main rules for the pentameter:

-the first half of the line has two feet that can be either dactyls or spondees, followed by a long syllable (this can be long of itself or lengthened by position)
-the second half of the line has to be two dactyls, followed by an anceps (i.e. either a long or a short syllable).
-there must be caesura after the end of the first half (so after the long on its own).

the metrical scheme runs thus:

~ u u / ~ u u / ~ // ~ u u / ~ u u / ~
~ ~ / ~ ~ / ~ // ~ u u / ~ u u / u


so if we look at the following line of the Amores' inception:

edere, materia conveniente modis.

we have:

edere - first foot dactyl
materi - second foot dactyl
a - long syllable
caesura
conveni - third foot dactyl
ente mo - fourth foot dactyl
dis - long syllable

Ovid has continued the silliness and retained as many dactlys as possible in this line.

One final essential point needs to be observed for the pentameter line of LATIN elegiacs:

the last word must be disyllabic, i.e. words of three syllables (or more) or monosyllables are prohibited. [for those interested, prodelided forms of sum are permitted and Greek proper names of polysyllabic nature are occasionally accepted, but are not to be imitated here.]

so, i hope my instructions have not been too haphazard and that the basics are understood. if any of you can pull off a couplet, that would be superb. if anyone is especially interested, i will append some more detailed notes on the latin elegiac (for it was more polished metrically, in the guise of Ovid, than the counterpart of its sister language).

happy versifying.

~D

any questions will be answered with interest.
User avatar
whiteoctave
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 603
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2003 11:42 pm
Location: Cambridge

Postby Turpissimus » Tue Aug 03, 2004 9:41 pm

My choice of words appears to be considerably limited.

Hmmm, I suppose if I shuffle them round a great deal I may be able to produce something......perhaps.........
phpbb
User avatar
Turpissimus
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 424
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 12:49 pm
Location: Romford

Postby whiteoctave » Tue Aug 03, 2004 9:52 pm

Eng-Lat dictionaries: smith is all online at
http://www.grexlat.com/biblio/smith/
and you just have to download a little
program on the right to view it. also there is a smaller version at
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/en ... lang=Latin


eng-Grk: woodhouse is online at http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/efts/Woodhouse/

Perseus also has eng-grk at
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/en ... y&display=


such dictionaries are of little use, of course, unless author usage and
specific context is checked in LSJ or OLD/L&S.

~D
User avatar
whiteoctave
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 603
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2003 11:42 pm
Location: Cambridge

Postby Turpissimus » Tue Aug 03, 2004 10:11 pm

It'll have to be perseus for me. I'm running WinXP and Mozilla 0.9.2 as my web browser. I'm not switching back to the insecurity of automatically loaded ActiveX plug ins for love or money.
phpbb
User avatar
Turpissimus
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 424
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 12:49 pm
Location: Romford

Postby whiteoctave » Tue Aug 03, 2004 10:31 pm

ok.

some minor further points:

work out the english first, then tackle the end of the hexameter, then the start, and fill the middle.
in a single couplete it is best to have the punctuation (if any) at either the end of the hexameter or at the main caesura of the pentameter, the last full or half pentameter somehow responding to or qualifying the rest.
the hexameter should end with a di- or tri-syllabic word, though a monosyllable with good cause is permissible here.
the last dissyllabic word of the pentameter should not be an adjective or adverb, but a verb, noun or pronoun.
it is favourable for both the hexameter and the pentameter to start with a dactyl rather than a spondee.
don't forget that final -m elides before a vowel and 'h' - therefore no short syllable can end in 'm'.
a word with a cretic rhythm (long-short-long) can go NOWHERE!
[the first solo long syllable of the pentameter (i.e. the syllable between the third and fourth feet) should not be a monosyllable, unless preceeded by another monosyllable or a word that is a pyrrhic (short-short)]

~D

(hex.) dulcia permultos facturos carmina spero.
User avatar
whiteoctave
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 603
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2003 11:42 pm
Location: Cambridge

Postby Turpissimus » Tue Aug 03, 2004 10:45 pm

Work out the English first? I think the best way for me is to assemble a bag of suitably themed words and concoct verse therefrom.

I seem to have rather a lot of spondees and not too many dactyls.
phpbb
User avatar
Turpissimus
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 424
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 12:49 pm
Location: Romford

Postby annis » Tue Aug 03, 2004 10:59 pm

[face=spionic]w= Leukogdoa/dh[/face]... er.

Um.

That's a hemiepes at least... Unless you have some other way you prefer your login to be rendered into Greek. If so, I beg that it not contain cretics.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;
annis
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 3397
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 4:55 pm
Location: Madison, WI, USA

Postby Turpissimus » Tue Aug 03, 2004 11:41 pm

Yes, I realize the metrical possibilities of my username are limited.

However, progress is being made. He is within my sights.
User avatar
Turpissimus
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 424
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 12:49 pm
Location: Romford

Postby whiteoctave » Wed Aug 04, 2004 8:49 am

nunc oculos adhibe, sapiens Turpissime, verbis:
[face=SPIonic]dei~ se no/mouj au0tou\j prostiqe/nai ge me/trou.[/face]

And W, I like the ingenuity of your hemiepes a lot!

~D
User avatar
whiteoctave
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 603
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2003 11:42 pm
Location: Cambridge

Postby Turpissimus » Wed Aug 04, 2004 2:00 pm

the last word must be disyllabic, i.e. words of three syllables (or more) or monosyllables are prohibited.


Always?

What about Martial -

"Vicini non somnum tota nocte rogamus
Nam vigilare leve est; pervigilare grave est."

I suppose the elision means "grave est" is counted as one word.

I always remember this couplet whenever my neighbours are playing "Steps" at two o'clock in the morning.
User avatar
Turpissimus
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 424
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 12:49 pm
Location: Romford

Postby whiteoctave » Wed Aug 04, 2004 2:49 pm

as i mentioned in brackets earlier on, prodelided forms of sum, especially est are tolerated at the close of the pentameter, for they form the latter syllable when prodelided with the preceeding disyllable.

~D

Where are the efforts of, say, Benissimus, Annis, Jeff, Skylax, Mariek, Paul, Eureka, Chad, Episcopus etc?

come on...
User avatar
whiteoctave
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 603
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2003 11:42 pm
Location: Cambridge

Postby Amy » Wed Aug 04, 2004 5:25 pm

The inevitable vocab question.
To say "Midwest" as in the US, "medias occasus"? Or would that be referring to Gaul, Germany, etc.?
phpbb
Amy
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 207
Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2004 2:01 am
Location: Massachusetts

Postby whiteoctave » Wed Aug 04, 2004 7:42 pm

it may well be best to use the neo-latin America (which has a long 'i'). medias occasus would not really make much geographical sense to a Roman.

(pent.) tu 'media', Ami, uti / non 'America' potes?

with Ami being a vocative scanning as a spondee (with rather unfriendly elision of a long 'i'). the phrase need not be in the ablative, thankfully.

~D
User avatar
whiteoctave
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 603
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2003 11:42 pm
Location: Cambridge

Postby annis » Wed Aug 04, 2004 8:56 pm

whiteoctave wrote:Where are the efforts of, say, Benissimus, Annis, Jeff, Skylax, Mariek, Paul, Eureka, Chad, Episcopus etc?

come on...


[face=spionic]h(ma=j boulo/menoj speu/dein poi/hm' e)caitei=j:
   mh\ Mou/saij e)noxlei= mh\ Ne/mesij dika/sh|
[/face].
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;
annis
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 3397
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 4:55 pm
Location: Madison, WI, USA

Postby Turpissimus » Wed Aug 04, 2004 9:29 pm

Hmmmm. This couplet reflects on my frustration at finding a theme:

Insipientia est grave quam stulte toleramus.
Complet mentem sed pagina est vacua.

How about that? I think it would take a man of exeptional modesty not to feel proud at having produced that on a first attempt. And I am certainly not a man of exceptional modesty.

Of course the use of the first person plural was a common way for the poet to talk about himself. For example, Martial VI.60

Laudat, amat, cantat nostros mea Roma libellos,
meque sinus omnes, me manus omnis habet.
etc.

EDIT: for "grave quam" I'll try "gravis et". Always good practice to have one's nouns and adjectives agree.
Last edited by Turpissimus on Fri Aug 06, 2004 12:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
phpbb
User avatar
Turpissimus
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 424
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 12:49 pm
Location: Romford

Postby whiteoctave » Wed Aug 04, 2004 9:43 pm

check your pm Turps,

my finest commendations to Will. with little surprise your prosody and syntax is without flaw (the thinking man indeed uses dative with enochlew!). the 5th foot spondee is a licence well used, surely for the gravity of my Draconian demands. finally, the flow of the pent., with such exquisite use of the two hemiepes, is to be envied by all.
i surely would, as you no doubt should, be proud.

~D
User avatar
whiteoctave
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 603
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2003 11:42 pm
Location: Cambridge

Postby Michaelyus » Wed Aug 04, 2004 9:57 pm

Oh no! Me miserum. I am totally ignorant of the rules of Latin poetry, and I am no good at composition of English, let alone Latin. :cry: :oops: :cry: :( :cry:

I think I should use what I compose in my libretto (for a hopefully good Latin opera, which I entitle "Vesuvius et Campania") , but I don't know what to write about. The plot so far: after the celebratory night of Vulcanalia, where the drunk men have beseeched the god's wife Venus for protection, but have turned the chorus into a debauched plea to Venus for love. Deeper into the night, a few Grecians give a small chorus that pleas with the Fates on the night (it is the day of Moira and Nemesea, please pardon my bad transliterated Greek). Another tremor strikes, but the Pompeiians dismiss as another troublesome tremor. The next morning, Eumachia (was she alive in 79AD?) goes out and admires the Bay of Naples. The fisherman from Herculaneum sings a small recitative hoping for a good catch, and a plea to Neptune. Next is a sinfonia called "Ad Forum".

Then I'm stuck. :(

Please help. Please. I beg you. Please. :cry: :oops: :cry:

When does a plosive and a "liquid" equal one consonant?

I admire you, Annis, even though I do not understand it.
Last edited by Michaelyus on Wed Aug 04, 2004 10:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
phpbb
Michaelyus
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 200
Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2004 8:47 pm
Location: London, UK

Postby Turpissimus » Wed Aug 04, 2004 10:11 pm

If you're asking about Latin poetry, Mike (I can call you mike, can't I?), the rule seems to be that a word like patria can be scanned either -

pa-tri-a (short short short)

or -

pat-ri-a (long short short, in other words a dactyl)

And check your e-mail Dave. And thanks.
phpbb
User avatar
Turpissimus
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 424
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 12:49 pm
Location: Romford

Postby Michaelyus » Wed Aug 04, 2004 10:31 pm

So a vowel ending in a plosive followed by a liquid means the syllable is long or short.

Not keen on "Mike".
phpbb
Michaelyus
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 200
Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2004 8:47 pm
Location: London, UK

Postby Turpissimus » Wed Aug 04, 2004 10:45 pm

So a vowel ending in a plosive followed by a liquid means the syllable is long or short.

Not keen on "Mike".


Yes. A syllable ending in a plosive (that's another term for a stop isn't it?), can be joined to the next liquid, or not, as the meter demands.

And fair enough, no Mike.
phpbb
User avatar
Turpissimus
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 424
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 12:49 pm
Location: Romford

Postby PeterD » Wed Aug 04, 2004 11:15 pm

I have a question. Since Latin words are based on accent rather than pitch, would not elegiac couplets (or any Greek poetic meter for that matter) be inappropiate for the Latin language?

I would love to write a couplet, but I do believe that Iambic poetry better suits my temperment if you know what I mean. :wink:


~[face=SPIonic]e(khbo/loj[/face]
Fanatical ranting is not just fine because it's eloquent. What if I ranted for the extermination of a people in an eloquent manner, would that make it fine? Rather, ranting, be it fanatical or otherwise, is fine if what is said is true and just. ---PeterD, in reply to IreneY and Annis
PeterD
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 591
Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2003 6:54 pm
Location: Montreal, Canada

Postby annis » Wed Aug 04, 2004 11:29 pm

Turpissimus wrote:I seem to have rather a lot of spondees and not too many dactyls.


A pain I know all too well.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;
annis
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 3397
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 4:55 pm
Location: Madison, WI, USA

Postby whiteoctave » Wed Aug 04, 2004 11:31 pm

latin words in poetry did not take their main influence from accent but from quantity. accordingly the elegiac metre, inherited and refined from the greek precedent, was perhaps the most common metre employed in latin. its early origins are with the neoterics, it reached its technical peak with ovid, and it has continued, relatively unabated, to this day.
the effect of accent was made secondary, though its consideration is still important. for instance, the consideration of ictus resulted in the general stylistic rule that the hexameter should end with a di- or tri-syllable. since the penultimate syllable of the line must needs be long, the accent always coincided with the arsis of the sixth foot. additionally, whether this last word be of two or three syllables, the accent of the preceeding word will necessarily coincide with the arsis of the fifth foot. the hexameter line will therefore end with a pleasing coincidence of arsis and ictus in the last two feet. such coincidences, however, were avoided generally in the second, third and fourth.

as for iambics, they never really took off in latin. the finest example of their employment (in trimeter at any rate) is perhaps catullus IV.

~D
User avatar
whiteoctave
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 603
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2003 11:42 pm
Location: Cambridge

Postby annis » Wed Aug 04, 2004 11:37 pm

whiteoctave wrote:the 5th foot spondee is a licence well used, surely for the gravity of my Draconian demands.


I could find no way around that in the time I had. I think it would have reduced the effect a bit if I took a week to produce a couplet telling you not to rush us. :)

finally, the flow of the pent., with such exquisite use of the two hemiepes, is to be envied by all.


Getting the second hemiepes right took the most work, but I'm pleased how the line turned out: the echo of MouSaiS in neMeSiS, the double use of the negative, a verb ending each hemiepes. It's too bad Calvert Watkins doesn't visit us.

i surely would, as you no doubt should, be proud.


Thank you for your kind words.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;
annis
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 3397
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 4:55 pm
Location: Madison, WI, USA

Postby chad » Wed Aug 04, 2004 11:47 pm

just to start up some friendly olympic rivalry, here's an elegaic about the Aussie 4 x 100 freestyle relay swim champions:

[face=SPIonic]au)=tij )Olumpioni=kai o(mou= stefanwqh/sontai
)Antipo/dwn xrusw=| i)=fi a)nassome/nwn
[/face]

once again, the Olympic champions (from the strongly-dominating Antipodes) will be crowned all together with gold.

(nb in ...ni=kai, -ai scans short before a following vowel; upsilon in "gold" scans long naturally)

for more information about grammar, syntax and scansion, United States classicists may visit the following site:

http://www.swimming.org.au/gallery/view ... MeetID=214

:) :)
chad
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 757
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2003 2:55 am

Postby Amy » Thu Aug 05, 2004 12:35 am

Uh just putting this here for people's reference, mostly mine. couplet in progress, dave! thanks.
http://suberic.net/~marc/scansion.html
phpbb
Amy
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 207
Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2004 2:01 am
Location: Massachusetts

Postby annis » Thu Aug 05, 2004 1:01 am

Amy wrote:Uh just putting this here for people's reference, mostly mine.


I'm working on a similar reference for Greek, with special attention on places to trip when writing your own. May take a few more days...

EDIT: also, this same person has Do-It-Yourself: How to Write Latin Verse, by H. Schnur, for hexameters. I knew I recognized that URL...
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;
annis
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 3397
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 4:55 pm
Location: Madison, WI, USA

Postby benissimus » Thu Aug 05, 2004 6:43 am

My first attempt at Latin poetry ever:

quid ridetis acres ingratae mihi Musae
me errantem aspecta quomodo labar ego

The first line is addressed to the muses, the second to the reader. This is perhaps the penalty of completing the pentameter before refining the hexameter. Please tell me if I have erred.
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae
User avatar
benissimus
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2733
Joined: Mon May 12, 2003 4:32 am
Location: Berkeley, California

Postby annis » Thu Aug 05, 2004 9:15 pm

Some guidance for the Hellenists: The Greek Elegiac Couplet: A Writer's Guide. I focus a bit more on some of the considerations particular to Greek.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;
annis
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 3397
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 4:55 pm
Location: Madison, WI, USA

Postby annis » Thu Aug 05, 2004 9:31 pm

chad wrote:just to start up some friendly olympic rivalry, here's an elegaic about the Aussie 4 x 100 freestyle relay swim champions:

[face=SPIonic]au)=tij )Olumpioni=kai o(mou= stefanwqh/sontai
)Antipo/dwn xrusw=| i)=fi a)nassome/nwn
[/face]


Chad, that's great! Next, you'll need to compose in Dactylo-epitrites, like Pindar used for the victory odes. :)

If you'll forgive me for entering workshopping mode briefly, the location of [face=spionic]xrusw=|[/face] is a bit of a shock. I'd be inclined to put that in place of [face=spionic]au)=tij[/face] (correption preserves the meter). The meter of [face=spionic]xrusw=|[/face] is fine, of course, with the hiatus across the caesura, but the sense is hard to connect to the verb in the previous line, for me at least.

Of course I should offer a suggestion for the missing uu-, but nothing comes to mind at the moment.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;
annis
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 3397
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 4:55 pm
Location: Madison, WI, USA

Postby Turpissimus » Thu Aug 05, 2004 10:11 pm

Benissimus wrote:quid ridetis acres ingratae mihi Musae
me errantem aspecta quomodo labar ego


Not quite as easy as all that!

First of all, no caesura in the hexameter. You need this.
EITHER:
1) After the first sylllable of the third foot (Third strong)
OR
2) After the second of the third foot (assuming it's a dactyl) AND after the first syllables of the second and fourth foot.
At least that's the impression I got from reading WhiteO's piece.
This places considerable limitations on your choice and position of words.

Second, I believe in the second foot of your hexameter the second syllable is short by position since it is a short vowel, followed by a consonant which will, unfortunately attach itself to the beginning of the next syllable, because that syllable begins with a vowel.

So...

The syllable around the first "u" of "annus novus" is long here, but short in "annus octavus".

As for your pentameter (is the translation Watch me erring, just as I slip?)

That seems good to me. You might want to check with WhiteO whether long vowels can elide themselves like that. I've read that diphthongs can, so probably your verse is OK.



And the envy burns me up. You seem to have quite a good grasp of elision, which to me is the real bugbear preventing any kind of progress. I suppose that once I'm used to the idea, it will be quite natural. Until then, however......

You see the difficulty is that dactyls are required in many places, and it is quite impossible of course to find short syllables that do not end in vowels. But if vowels are used, then they tend to be elided with vowels or diphthongs beginning the next word. This is especially difficult with the post caesura part of the pentameter, where I have found it difficult to resist the temptation to use "est", which will naturally elide the vowel of the previous syllable, making it long.

Of course, my grasp of Latin scansion will horrify the more skilled members here, so if I have misled you, I offer you my most heartfelt apologies.
phpbb
User avatar
Turpissimus
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 424
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 12:49 pm
Location: Romford

Postby Turpissimus » Thu Aug 05, 2004 10:23 pm

I should add a short note about what caesura actually is.

It's a gap in the words (the latin word actually means cutting)

So for instance with...
progeniem sed enim Troiano a sanguine duci (third strong)

FOOT ONE: pro ge ni
FOOT TWO: em sed e
FOOT THREE: nim Troi
FOOT FOUR: an(o) a
FOOT FIVE: san gui ne
FOOT SIX: du ci

The caesura is between "nim" and "Troi"

And also, to provide you with an example of Third weak (I believe that was what WO called it).....

id metuens veterisque memor Saturnia belli

FOOT ONE: id me tu
FOOT TWO: ens ve te
FOOT THREE: ris que me
FOOT FOUR: mor Sa
FOOT FIVE: tur ni a
FOOT SIX: bel li

Caesura in three places, between "ens" and "ve", between "que" and "me", and finally between "mor" and "Sa"

Dreadful, eh? Imagine Lucretius composing six whole books of verse like that. It fair boggles the mind.

'Till next time then.

EDIT: And thanks to Will for the link.
Last edited by Turpissimus on Fri Aug 06, 2004 12:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
phpbb
User avatar
Turpissimus
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 424
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 12:49 pm
Location: Romford

Postby benissimus » Thu Aug 05, 2004 10:37 pm

Turpissimus wrote:
Benissimus wrote:quid ridetis acres ingratae mihi Musae
me errantem aspecta quomodo labar ego


Not quite as easy as all that!

First of all, no caesura in the hexameter. You need this.
EITHER:
1) After the first sylllable of the third foot (Third strong)
OR
2) After the second of the third foot (assuming it's a dactyl) AND after the first syllables of the second and fourth foot.
At least that's the impression I got from reading WhiteO's piece.
This places considerable limitations on your choice and position of words.

Second, I believe in the second foot of your hexameter the second syllable is short by position since it is a short vowel, followed by a consonant which will, unfortunately attach itself to the beginning of the next syllable, because that syllable begins with a vowel.

My scansion is extremely mediocre as well, so I was quite confident there would be mistakes in my first composition.

I intend it to be scanned thus:
quid ri/detis a/cres || ingra/tae mihi / Musae
m[e] erran/t[em] aspec/ta || quomodo / labar e/go


In this case there would be a caesura in the hexameter, but I was going on an assumption that I could choose how to break up acres, similarly to something like pa-tris or pat-ris. Do you suppose this works or am I still in error? Dave pointed out some previous errors, but he has not yet commented on this version.

As for your pentameter (is the translation Watch me erring, just as I slip?)

Yes, that is what I mean, or "Watch me erring, (watch) how I slip" - same difference.

You might want to check with WhiteO whether long vowels can elide themselves like that. I've read that diphthongs can, so probably your verse is OK.

I hope so, or perhaps it can be short (though I doubt it).

And the envy burns me up. You seem to have quite a good grasp of elision, which to me is the real bugbear preventing any kind of progress. I suppose that once I'm used to the idea, it will be quite natural. Until then, however......

I spent a good amount of my day reading through the prosody section of A&G yesterday, although most of the time spent went into rearranging and reselecting words. A&G says that lines with lots of elisions are seen as ugly, which may help to emphasize the idea of going astray in my pentameter (though I shouldn't pretend to know what I am talking about ;) ).
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae
User avatar
benissimus
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2733
Joined: Mon May 12, 2003 4:32 am
Location: Berkeley, California

Postby Turpissimus » Thu Aug 05, 2004 10:54 pm

quid ri/detis a/cres || ingra/tae mihi / Musae


OK, you and I are talking at cross purposes here, but I still think that hexameter is a little bit dodgy.

I believe the second syllable of the third foot here is long. While you can certainly join the g to the next syllable to create "in-gra" I still think the "n" will have to stay at the end of the second syllable there.

So either way, your couplet is in trouble....

Look on the bright side, it can't possibly get as bad as mine.

I'm off to read some Propertius now. The muses are not coming to Romford tonight, if indeed they have ever been here.

EDIT: Yes, you can break up acres as you please. I've overlooked that. I was scanning your verse from the back, as is my habit, and assumed you wanted in-gra as two long syllables.
Last edited by Turpissimus on Thu Aug 05, 2004 11:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
phpbb
User avatar
Turpissimus
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 424
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 12:49 pm
Location: Romford

Postby Turpissimus » Thu Aug 05, 2004 11:00 pm

That link Amy provided really is superb.

Interesting to see that the poets avoided certain words. For arbor for instance they used arbusta (which is incidently, the spanish word for bush, and the name of one of George W's oil companies).

Also the article notes the problems with finding short syllables. Once you include them into verse they tend, immediately, to be elided. I think we've all noticed that.
phpbb
User avatar
Turpissimus
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 424
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 12:49 pm
Location: Romford

Postby chad » Fri Aug 06, 2004 12:24 am

Will wrote:
If you'll forgive me for entering workshopping mode briefly, the location of xrusw=| is a bit of a shock. I'd be inclined to put that in place of au)=tij (correption preserves the meter). The meter of xrusw=| is fine, of course, with the hiatus across the caesura, but the sense is hard to connect to the verb in the previous line, for me at least.


Thanks for your help Will: Dave mentioned the same thing. I think this might be a better 2nd line:

[face=SPIonic]au)=tij )Olumpioni=kai o(mou= stefanwqh/sontai
oi)/kade d' i/)contai xrusw=| e)j )Antipo/daj
[/face]

once again, the Olympic champions will be crowned,
and will come home to the Antipodes with gold.


it gets rid of the hiatus at the caesura, and it no longer resurrects digamma at a)nassome/nwn, 2 rules in your (once again excellent) .pdf on writing elegaic couplets, as linked above.

I don't know how to get rid of the hiatus at the fem caesura in the first line though, without throwing it to the end of the line and re-writing the line: do you think I should do that as well? Thanks, Chad. :)
chad
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 757
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2003 2:55 am

Postby benissimus » Fri Aug 06, 2004 2:42 am

I believe this will work:
quid ridetis acres || hostes mihi Musae
me errantem aspecta || quomodo labar ego
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae
User avatar
benissimus
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2733
Joined: Mon May 12, 2003 4:32 am
Location: Berkeley, California

Postby Turpissimus » Fri Aug 06, 2004 2:56 am

Excuse my ignorance.

Is hostis an adjective?

(I know I should really get a better dictionary, but they are pricey.)
phpbb
User avatar
Turpissimus
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 424
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 12:49 pm
Location: Romford

Postby benissimus » Fri Aug 06, 2004 8:34 am

I have swapped adjective for appositive noun, "why do you laugh, my bitter enemies, the muses". I think this is within acceptable limits...
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae
User avatar
benissimus
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2733
Joined: Mon May 12, 2003 4:32 am
Location: Berkeley, California

Postby annis » Fri Aug 06, 2004 10:16 pm

chad wrote:it gets rid of the hiatus at the caesura, and it no longer resurrects digamma at a)nassome/nwn, 2 rules in your (once again excellent) .pdf on writing elegaic couplets, as linked above.


I have pondered. I have browsed parts of the Greek Anthology.

I have consulted the Holy Books, namely M.L. West's Greek Metre.

Early elegiasts do tolerate hiatus across the caesura. They also seem perfectly happy to resurrect digamma. Due to private reading I've been focusing a lot on Imperial poets recently, and I've skewed my advice to their much stricter practice. I'll be updating the Guide soon to make that clear.

I don't know how to get rid of the hiatus at the fem caesura in the first line though, without throwing it to the end of the line and re-writing the line: do you think I should do that as well?


Whoo, boy. Now we're playing with deep mojo. I could find no direct comment in His Metrical Holiness' works about correption at the caesura. I did, however, find this line in Homer after a few minutes:

[face=spionic]ou)k e)/qelon de/casqai, e)pei\ polu\ bou/lomai au)th/n[/face] A.112

So it appears Homer at least can do this. In general the Hexameter is afforded more freedoms in stichic verse, and is more regulated in elegiacs. But your hexameter is probably fine.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;
annis
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 3397
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 4:55 pm
Location: Madison, WI, USA

Next

Return to Composition Board

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: bedwere, jeidsath and 7 guests