h is certainly not a Greek alcaic
, but it inveighs against stately-ism and state-ism alike, while it loosens our own notions of what "freer" verse might look like.
Similarly, he suggests that these poetics might have prompted the shift from Sapphics to Alcaics
undergone by 'Thinen' (p.
A.F.: It took me a long time to get those alcaics
. I learned them from you.
into all the other secret societies'; this is not unlike the sort of furtive locker-room sodality which Graves encountered at Charterhouse.(60) The verse-composition has no specific counterpart in Goodbye to All That, but the 'many difficult bardic metres' recalls Ernest Pontifex's struggles with Alcaics
(probably as hard a metre as any, except such oddities as Galliambics).
alcaic Classical Greek poetic stanza composed of four lines of varied metrical feet, with five long syllables in each of the first two lines, four in the third and fourth lines, and an unaccented syllable at the beginning of the first three lines (anacrusis).
Named for and perhaps invented by the poet Alcaeus, the alcaic became an important Latin verse form, especially in the Odes of Horace.
(21) Tennyson might have had in mind "counterpointed" lines that are particularly prominent in Milton; Tennyson suggests this connection in dedicating to Milton his "alcaics
," which share the hendecasyllabic's choriambic nucleus.
The poems are written in various metres: apart from the prevailing elegiac couplets and hexameters, we also find alcaics
(X, XIII, XVI, XIX, XXI, XXVII), the sapphic (XIV), and the second asclepadeic strophe (XXIII).
When it comes to the classical tools of the trade--metrical patterns, assonance, consonance, sprung rhythms, half-rhymes, even alcaics
and all that--know of no other contemporary poet who can come close to her expertise, and yet her use of such tools is so skillful that the reader must look hard to become aware of the sleight-of-hand that takes place beyond her individual words, giving them extraordinary impetus.
Two of my favorite writers, Hacker and DuPlessis, argue for the productivity of opposite approaches: Hacker writes in sapphics and alcaics
, DuPlessis writes "Otherhow," straggling toward a form never before seen.
She's just a registered nurse, I know, I know, but I have her sashay, grind and bump, register Alcaics
, Sapphics, choriambs (my predilection).
And Tennyson (anticipating an important development in twentieth-century poetry) made innovative use of layout: he wished to print "To Virgil" in long-lined couplets to approximate the hexameters of his forebear; indented the third lines of his quatrains in "The Daisy" to recall Horace's Alcaics, the third line of whose quatrains was always shortened; and inserted "The Daisy," "Will," and "To the Rev.
John Talbot examines Tennyson's dialogue with classical authors in "Tennyson's Alcaics: Greek and Latin Prosody and the Invention of English Meters" in Studies in Philology (101, no.
Maurice" in the early 1850s in order to approximate the rhythm of the Horatian Alcaic