(23) As Culler notes, Hopkins's caesural
marks help the reader "keep track" of the poem's progress (Theory, p.
of each line, and so I will call it the "caesural
Why did the poets do these funny things and what are the hidden rules governing these apparent infractions of the isosyllabic and caesural
Most of us now accept that Shakespeare's metrics change over his career and that counts of simple features like caesural
pause, enjambment, and unstressed endings reliably chart this variation.
Forever dancing as Flora, Perdita would in her lover's view "move still, still so." The four words form a wave: action crests with the first "still," suspends itself at the caesural
pause, and sweeps downward and onward again with the second "still" and ensuing "so" (a universalizing adverb that stands for renewed motion).
My guess is that the two unidentified references to Cosijn's earlier opinion, are not to published statements, but merely mean, ~I used to think, but do so no more.' The book is very accurately printed, though I noted Kauftmann for Kauffmann (26), and ~dragen' for ~dragon' (35); in the notes the second half-lines of Old Icelandic and Old English verse appear occasionally as a second column with justified left margin, instead of the meandering caesural
space; when Holder's edition is quoted, a second, justified column is correct.
Shaw notes several instances of Hopkins' sundering objects from their prepositions, removing pronouns from their antecedents, and constructing caesural
breaks to impede completion of a phrase or clause, all of which help dramatize what Shaw regards as Hopkins' central theme--that God and faith, though certainties, are "incomprehensible certainties" (88).
Highlighting the fracture between metrical form and syntax, he exposes the shift from caesural
displacements to increasingly daring enjambement and the staccato texture of line-initial accents.
Then Perdita would "move still, still so." The arresting phrase imitates the movement of a sea swell (motion crests with the first "still," suspends itself at the caesural
pause, and then sweeps downward again with the second "still" and ensuing "so"--an adverb secondarily suggesting the repetition of the process indefinitely).
Let us return to the first stanza, for it sets the poem's unsettling tone through alliterative and caesural