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

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PeterD
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Post by 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:


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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

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Post by 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.
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Post by 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

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Post by 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.
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Post by 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

:) :)

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Post by 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

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Post by 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;

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Post by 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

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Post by 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;

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Post by 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;

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