Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Dept. of complicated rhyme schemes

Brad Leithauser (I think) says this poem has the most intricate rhyme scheme of any really successful poem. BTW flush/flash is what's called pararhyme and was an invention of Wilfred Owen's. It's neither dulce nor decorum but it's kind of a nice effect. Interestingly most of the formal inventions in 20th century English poetry have been by relatively minor writers -- Owen, Marianne Moore, Kay Ryan, R.S. Thomas, Louis MacNeice, H.D. etc. -- and someone like Auden was much more of an adopter than an inventor.

from Five Songs
W.H. Auden
That night when joy began
Our narrowest veins to flush,
We waited for the flash
Of morning's leveled gun.

But morning let us pass,
And day by day relief
Outgrows his nervous laugh,
Grown credulous of peace,

As mile by mile is seen
No trespasser's reproach,
And love's best glasses reach
No fields but are his own.

1 comment:

瑜吟瑜吟 said...

Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live. ....................................................