(15.) Other famous lines in this catalectic
meter include William Blake's "Tyger, Tyger, burning bright/In the forest of the night" and John Donne's "Go and catch a falling star."
Tetrameter, clearly, as in Blake; and (while a trochee-iamb pairing is possible for the first two feet) most probably a catalectic
rising line, again as in Blake but now involving anapests rather than iambs, and thus premising two ghost slacks rather than one at the head of the line (parenthetized above) to fill the number of anapestic feet out to four.
Caesurae and bridges are important for determining similarities among distinct meters, which can be instrumental in deciding whether a given meter is a shortened (catalectic) version of one meter or another.
Tradition has it that the final metrical position is catalectic (--), but a moment's thought reveals that this could be otherwise and we will have to seriously consider the possibility that, for example, the initial position of the last line is catalectic instead.
We consider two different lengths here, the simple dimeter and the long tetrameter catalectic.
This means that half of one verse foot goes unfilled with text, that is, is catalectic ([Phi]--).
The anapestic tetrameter catalectic is the most common of the anapestic meters.
Both these lines, however, are catalectic
; the final syllable in each is missing.
Example 9 dissolves into jaunty dactylic tetrameter catalectic
in a natural unforced reading (the unmetrically-occupied S-slot is double-underlined): 9.
But the meter--trochaic tetrameter catalectic
in all but the penultimate dimetric line--bears remote echoes of Caesar's marching songs.
It consists either of the aeolic pattern | UUU U- - U | - U U - in which four variable syllables precede the choriambic nucleus (- U U -) and create what is called choriambic dimeter, or the same pattern lacking the final syllable (catalectic
The last of the feet is catalectic
(incomplete or truncated).
form ( UU | - U U - | - ) is known as a pherecratic.
As Archilochus used it, the iambic line was usually catalectic
, or missing the final syllable.
Trochaic meters were extensively used in ancient Greek and Latin tragedy and comedy in a form called trochaic catalectic
tetrameter (seven and one half trochees), which was particularly favored by Plautus and Terence.