Accentual/syllabic metre

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David Campbell
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Re: Accentual/syllabic metre

Post by David Campbell » Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:58 pm

I’m going to buy into this with a challenge for Neville and anyone else who wants to have a go. For the purpose of the exercise, you’re a judge…and you have to make some decisions. Below are five verses, all very similar and dealing with the topic of dementia. They are your short-list and you have to allocate prizes…a First, Second, Third, Highly Commended and Commended. All can easily be performed, but this is a written competition so you have to rank them…giving reasons for your decisions. And you can’t opt out by saying they’re all equally good or equally bad. Happy judging!

1.
She spends her days just dreaming, while conjuring up a life
that has her almost seeming to think she’s still a farmer’s wife.
The past and future are merging and they form a strange new place
where truth and lies are converging in fragmenting time and space.

2.
She spends her days in foggy dreams while conjuring up a life
where nothing’s quite as it seems, and she’s still a farmer’s wife.
For the past and the future merge to form a strange new place
where truth and lies converge in fragmented time and space.

3.
She spends her days in a fog of dreams, and she conjures up a life
where nothing is ever quite as it seems, she’s still a farmer’s wife.
For the past and the future slowly merge to form a strange new place
where truth and lies converge in a fragment of time and space.

4.
She spends her days in dreams and conjures up a life
where nothing’s as it seems, she’s still a farmer’s wife.
The past and future merge and form a strange new place
where truth and lies converge in fractured time and space.

5.
She spends her days just sitting and dreaming as she conjures up a life
which has her sometimes almost seeming to think she’s still a farmer’s wife.
The past and the future are slowly merging to form a strange new place
where truth and lies are almost converging in fracturing time and space.

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Zondrae
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Re: Accentual/syllabic metre

Post by Zondrae » Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:53 pm

G'day David,
Thanks for the challenge.

I will have to print it out and spend a while in analysis. As I am at a festival from now til Sunday I will get back to it. I will have a go at it though, so please don't rush in with your comments too quickly if you woudn't mind. I would be very iterested in other peoples replies and reasons too.
Zondrae King
a woman of words

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Re: Accentual/syllabic metre

Post by vwalla » Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:30 pm

David
Most interesting.
I, like Marty, read the verses and judged on flow.
Then I became more critical and decided 4th line in No3 did not read too well.
No 1 was more lyrical but I still stuck with my decision
No.2 For me No Rhythm
No.5 Too wordy for me
No. 4 Was surprised to find the syllable count in this one was correct but lack of flow and feeling, left me cold.

My decisions were
First Place ...... ......No 3
Second Place..... .....No 1
Third Place..............No 2
Highly Commended....No. 5
Commended.............No.4

This exercise is certainly a lesson in the difficult task a Judge has and I wouldn't take it on for quids. Thank you to those intrepid people who do!
Val W
PS At least Marty and I agreed on First Placing.

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Re: Accentual/syllabic metre

Post by Peely » Wed Jan 12, 2011 4:12 pm

G'day David

I am happy to have a go at being a judge here.

All of the stanzas have basically the same meaning. As a judge, I would narrow it down to 2, 3 and 4 to start with. The internal rhymes in line two of 1 and 5 sound forced by trying to accommodate the word ‘seeming’. I would place 1 ahead of 5. I don’t like the use of the word ‘almost’ in the final line of number 5

Number 3 loses out on consistency on line 4. Lines 3 has 4 stressed syllables to the internal rhyme (as does one and two) while line 4 has only three. Also I don’t like the use of ‘quite’ in line 2. There is an ambiguity of stresses in this line, should I stress 'quite' or 'as'?

Number 2 has the internal rhymes occurring on the third stressed syllable in lines 2, 3 and 4 but it is on the fourth in line 1.

The structure in number 4 is consistent throughout. Each line has three stressed syllables to the internal rhyme and three stressed syllables following that.

In order of merit (from highest to lowest), I would say 4, 2, 3, 1 and lastly 5

As a footnote, my own personal preference is the ballad line, so I would place something like this ahead of 4 (is a little more descriptive than 4 too):

She spends her days in foggy dreams and conjures up a life
where nothing’s ever as it seems, she’s still a farmer’s wife.
The past and future slowly merge to form a strange new place
where fact and fiction both converge in fractured time and space.

If I was going to mix the metres, something like this might work:

She spends her days in a fog of dreams, and she conjures up a life
where nothing is ever as it seems, she’s still a farmer’s wife.
For the past and the future slowly merge to form a strange new place
where the facts and fictions both converge in a fractured time and space.

When I have tried this myself in the past, it seems to work best when there is no ambiguity in stresses

Regards


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Terry
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Re: Accentual/syllabic metre

Post by Terry » Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:48 pm

G/day David,
I'm fudging here
I didn't have the time to do it all so will just say I think no 4 is the winner because it has the perfect rhythm
making it easy to read, I also think it used the best choice of words and has stuck to twelve syllables throughout the poem
so in my opinion (which isn't worth much I might add) I think it is by far the best.

And David I'd hate to be a judge.

Cheers Terry

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Re: Accentual/syllabic metre

Post by Zondrae » Thu Jan 13, 2011 8:36 am

Having done this once and lost my draft on the website, I am doing it in word first than posting it. (I’m sure my first one was better.)

OK We all recognise that the judge is a human being and therefore has likes and dislikes. There is no such thing as a ‘Judge school’ so each judge would have their own way of approaching the task.
If I were judging a ‘Rhyme and Metre’ written poetry competition the first thing I would check would be rhyme. Having done this I would then begin reading the first few stanzas to see if I can toss the really, really bad ones. We assume this has been done and these are the five left.

My last place goes to No5.- Convoluted language and verbose. Awkward to read.

My fourth place is No2. – Line length varies and although I tried several ways to fit the x/ and xx/ stresses into a consistent pattern, I couldn’t.

My 3rd place is No.1 This one has potential. If a few words were dropped it could polish up nicely. eg line 2 drop ‘still’ and line 3 drop ‘they’.

This leaves me with two. How to choose a winner? Do I select the one with feeling that is not technically correct or the ‘more correct’ one that has little soul? Do I choose the one I ‘like’ or do I stick by the book? (or flip a coin?) Who would be a Judge? Also this is why we have a panel of judges for Championships.

OK I will stick my neck out and place 2nd No3. Although the metre is out, it reads well and has a feel of a more natural pattern of speech. I particularly like ‘fog of dreams’. In my opinion it has ‘Poetic merit’.

Which leaves me with first place No 4.
But I am not really happy with this. Even though this stanza may have more technical merit, I would have preferred to give the prize to No3.

Note: I hope this is not a test of some kind. Can you tell our basic nature by how we have them rated? Anyway, with me, what you see is what you get. (and God help me)
PS I did not look at the other answers... can’t you tell?
Zondrae King
a woman of words

william williams

Re: Accentual/syllabic metre

Post by william williams » Thu Jan 13, 2011 10:03 am

Hi David an interesting group of thoughts placed in words that try to inform you of what you are saying

This is my perception of these 5 stanzas as read by writer? That does not understand very much in the way of poetic jargon (Rhyme Rhythm and Metre Stressed and Unstressed ETC)

and so I give them to you as a reader

In order and reasons for

No 1 becomes No5 second line seeming places her out of character in the tale confused she may be
But that word is not her

No 5 becomes no 2 second line I know she is rather vague and yes confused but again does not seem to jel

No 2, 3, 4 difficult to say the least where preference in wording may place an important direction in the wording the bluntness of your speech would play a very important way in which it is said

Myself I would say No 4 would be my preference as it tells the complete story with out beating around the bush

No 3 would be no 2 because line 2 still assures her she is still a farmers wife
No 2 would become no 3 because to me line 2 it is like after thought and she’s still a farmers wife

Bill Williams the old battler

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Re: Accentual/syllabic metre

Post by Neville Briggs » Thu Jan 13, 2011 4:02 pm

I'll have to think about it for a couple of days David. I'll be back :geek:
Neville
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Re: Accentual/syllabic metre

Post by David Campbell » Thu Jan 13, 2011 6:52 pm

Neville’s asked for a couple of days, so I’ll let this run into the weekend…that should give anyone else who’s interested plenty of time to have a go (or perhaps even rethink choices). Perhaps it’ll help if I indicate that what prompted the challenge was Neville’s comment: “…we go through this strange contortion that what passes in performance does not necessarily apply in written work. For the life of me, I CANNOT SEE WHY.”

Just couldn’t resist those CAPITALS!

Cheers
David

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Re: Accentual/syllabic metre

Post by Neville Briggs » Sat Jan 15, 2011 2:53 pm

G'day Marty. I had some priority things to attend to. :) No you're not rambling on too long. I reckon if we have a bit of a discussion and thinking through things it is all good stuff.

David...Why was the challenge specifically directed at me ? :shock:

I read the little excerpts. I presume they are excerpts because they seem incomplete.

I'm not sure what the main aim of the process would be.

These" poems " all have virtually the same theme and mood and use slight variations of the same phrases. So judging these on word use, images, expression etc would not work, they are all much the same. Hopefully that situation would not occur in a real poetry comp. :shock:

Each uses exactly the same rhyming words, no room for judgement there.

All use vague generalities like, "spending days in dreams", "past and future are merging",
"strange new place", "truth and lies converging", "fragmenting time and space".
In that regard they are all equally bad.

I am guessing that the area of assessment is scansion.

No 1 seems to be organised in lines of syllabic count. line one has 14 syllables the others are 15.
No 2 doesn't seem to scan
No 3 seems to work as accentual or stress metre( without counting the syllables )
No 4 seems to be close to accentual/stress metre. Seems to work as regular iambic if the punctuation marked the caesura in lines 1 & 3 and the enjambments are recognised.
No 5 To me, does not scan. It looks like prose.

So No 4 gets the laurel wreath for proper rhyming and metred bush poetry
No 1 and 3 get the encouragement award for trying to be different.
No 2 and 5 get the wooden spoon for sleeping through Noel Stallard's lesson on
iambic metre.



Neville
Neville
I think therefore I am

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