Rhythmic motifs in both voice and piano vacillate between the anapests and the amphibrachs
of the poem, but in no regular manner.
"[And] there was no wind" becomes "and not a breath of wind any-where" (2:04): anapest and spondee become three dactyls and an amphimacer; "groping their way in" becomes "groping blindly in" (2:06): dactyl and trochee become three insistent trochees, the last catalectic; "took a ship's shape as she past within" becomes "took on the shape of a ship as she passed within" (2:14): trochee, spondee, anapest, and iamb become three rocking dactyls and an amphimacer; and "my view a live-sea" becomes "my view, a proper, live-sea" (3:15): spondee, pyrrhic syllable, spondee become spondee, amphibrach
, sponde e.
The iconic design, along with its overtones of 'destinationality', is intended to embody those signs of wear which are the poem's preoccupation; but such signs may be deceptive, thanks to the reversibility of, or relationship of dialectical complementarity between - see the rhythm of Jaccottet's final lines - the principal forms of the trisyllabic foot used here: the amphibrach
(x/x) (the 'benign' foot of our first poem) and the amphimacer (/x/).
How does she write the boy?" and, "[t]hrough the classroom window she notes the airy amphibrach
of birds against the sky.
In "Nocturno XII," recurring amphibrachs
parallel the repeated triplets comprising the bass line, groups of six sixteenth notes, and the principal motif (combinations of four sixteenth notes and a quarter note) - all patterns felt in three.
It does not seem enough to declare that beneath a seeming "disarray of amphibrachs
, dactyls, iambs" there is "clear metrical regularity" (188).
This action, though, threatens also the Kantian fact that clear aesthetic autonomous metrical rules (for instance, for "the" ballad, or for amphibrachs
) must act apart from any reduction to political and economic counts.
In the line 'All the completion I of my infructuous | impulses' (II, 53), for example, each noun is trisyllabic, and the first two are self-standing amphibrachs
(trisyllabic feet with a stress in the middle syllable), whereas the last foot is dactylic.
The final line, accordingly, seems to become a series of amphibrachs
, the final one, a catalexis that shifts the initial absence to the end: "Hath mel ted | like snow in | the glance of | the Lord." The double unstressed syllables are supple, drawn, in each model, to one stress over the other, signaling a difference between the two.
Scott's 'phrasal analysis' reveals a veritable zoo of amphibrachs
, amphimacers, and antibacchic feet by dividing the line thus: