Textbook on Meter

Discuss meter, interpretation, and all things Latin Poetry
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Barry Hofstetter
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Textbook on Meter

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Thu Sep 20, 2018 2:38 pm

I have Rosenmeyer et al., The Meters of Greek and Latin Poetry. Is there anything more recent than this that covers the same ground? Preferably something that would include examples and exercises.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
The Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

mwh
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Re: Textbook on Meter

Post by mwh » Fri Sep 21, 2018 1:37 am

I think that’s about as good as you’ll find in English for elementary purposes, provided you have the 2nd edn. You should be easily able to make your own exercises on the basis of it. But it’s a shame the Greek and the Latin are not integrated, and the book has various faults, esp. in the Latin half. There’s also D.S. Raven, in some ways better, but in separate volumes for Greek and Latin, and British not U.S.American.

If you’re serious about it you should of course use Martin West’s Greek Metre (which has a cool appendix on Latin) or his abridgment of it (Intro to GM), but I guess you’re after prep school sort of material. Or you could be venturesome and use the ancient metricians’ handbooks, even more jejune for the most part but at least showing how they went about metrical analysis. Not a lot has really changed since then, except for theory, along with the recognition that metrics belongs to the domain of linguistics. Things get very dodgy very fast there, but there's been very fine work done in the last few decades, at least on the Greek side, also on the saturnian.

I trust you won’t be making a purely pen-and-paper exercise of it, and will teach your students how to read whole verses metrically without resorting to syllable-by-syllable scanning. And that should be just for starters.

Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Textbook on Meter

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Fri Sep 21, 2018 11:53 am

MIchael, thanks for the response, and I appreciate the suggestions. With most of my students, we never do any meter other than dactylic hexameter (though we briefly discuss other meters at that point so they become at least aware of their existence), but occasionally I get students who want to know more about it, and it would be nice to have a resource at hand in addition to Rosenmeyer, which is essentially impenetrable for students at that level. I did find this, A Guide to Latin Meter and Verse Composition:

https://www.amazon.com/Guide-Compositio ... tin+poetry

Which teaches the subject with a view toward actual composition. Anyone have any experience with it?
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
The Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

mwh
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Re: Textbook on Meter

Post by mwh » Sun Sep 23, 2018 2:49 am

I’ve looked through the pages available on Google books, and I’d have thought this would suit your purposes admirably. It will work best if composition is not the goal, I’d say. I’m not a fan of shuffling words around, though I expect you’ll have fun with that if you get that far. I am a fan of studying poetic word order and its aesthetic effects, and he does an excellent job of that, with the main focus on the Vergilian hexameter. There are aspects of his presentation I do not like, and everything is derivative, but none the worse for that. Overall it’s a commendable synthesis.

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Re: Textbook on Meter

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Thu Sep 27, 2018 2:40 am

Michael, many thanks for taking the time to look at it (I got busy with other things, and haven't gotten back to it yet). Sounds like it might be just what the metricist ordered...
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
The Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

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