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BRITISH-IRISH-POETS  1998

BRITISH-IRISH-POETS 1998

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Subject:

The Poetic Foot

From:

"Ernest Slyman" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Ernest Slyman

Date:

Thu, 5 Mar 1998 17:05:11 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (140 lines)

The Poetic Foot

Verse’s basic unit of measurement ---
the foot consists of one accented syllable
accompanied by one or two unaccented syllables.

The accented syllable may precede
or follow either one or two unaccented syllables
in a regularly recurring sequence throughout the line.

The iamb or iambic foot --- the most common in English verse.
Various principal types of foot found in English verse
include trochee, trochaic, anapest, dactyl feet,
each consisting of 26 bones ---
Seven thick, short, tarsal bones
compose the heel and back of the instep;
five parallel metatarsal bones,
which form the front of the instep,
spread toward the front of the foot
to form the ball. A verse may have
a unlimited number of feet.

One foot has fourteen smaller phalanges
which makeup the toes; the large toe is composed of two,
and each smaller toe is made up of three.

All the bones are firmly connected
by tough bands of tissue called words.
The verse proceeds on foot,
on good footing or bad,
foot by foot the verse moves.

Some tenderfoot or crow’s foot.
Some verses have one foot in the grave.
Some poets on poor footing.
Web footed club footed barefooted
hop around on one foot
for an interminable time
and get no where.

The verse with its splay foot,
the verse with the hot foot,
light footed nimble footed
with a foot in the stirrup.
The sure-footed verse.

When one writes verse
one puts one's foot down
and underfoot one may get trampled.

The verse written well enough
to wet one's feet.
Verses wear slippers on their feet.
One’s feet should not stink too much.
If feet are sore they should be soaked
in a tub of Epsom salts.

With the thick layer of fatty tissue
under the sole, these flexible arches
absorb pressure and the shocks
of walking and jumping.

Foot. A unit of rhythm or meter,
the division in verse of a group of syllables,
one of which is long or accented.

The most common poetic feet used in English verse
are small pink and with little toes.
Though there are large feet with big toes.
Many feet have musical qualities,
and are so named for their bird-like calls.

The spondee is speckled and lives in Brazil.
Since immersion into modern civilization,
harshly influenced by industrial society,
and the rising rate of illiteracy ---
some feet have taken on unsavory characteristics ---
for example, the snapping amphibrach,
red-breasted antibacchius, flying antispast,
horn-rimmed bacchius, nocturnal choriamb,
hooded cretic, siamese diiamb, lop-eared dispondee,
double-crested dochmius, scarlet molossus,
the proceleusmatic builds its nests in pine forests,
the saliva-spitting pyrrhic as well
and the gum-chewing tribrach,
plus two variations of the web-footed ionic,
four variations of the white-winged epitrite,
and four variations of the man-eating paeon.

The structure of a poetic
classification of verse is determined
by the dominant foot.


Pigeon-toed feet.
Athlete's feet infected by fungi.
Some lint my take up residence between feet.

The foot is subject to numerous deformities
and disabilities, including flatfoot,
which is caused by weakened muscles
and ligaments of the arch.

Deformities can result from shortening of muscles and tendons.
The foot is also a frequent site of arthritis, including gout.

We should not let the grass
grow under the verse’s feet.
Some verses have pig's feet,
crow's feet.

Cut the ground from under the verse’s feet.
Verses light on their feet,
Verses that land on their feet;
or suffer the cold feet.

Bunions on their feet.
The verse springs to it feet.
Verse as lovely as these,
as lovely I shall never see.
Pale bloom the lovely
flat rosy feet of free verse,
and my nose the martyr be.


Ernest Slyman
HomePage
www.geocities.com/soho/7514
email: [log in to unmask]









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