24 jun. 2006

I've become entranced by a particular rhythm. It's all over Góngora and Claudio Rodríguez, and many other poets as well.

Era del año la estación florida

De muchas tardes, para siempre juntas

Miro la espuma, su delicadeza...

It's an 11-syllable line with accents on 4, 8, and 10, that divides up into two phrases of 5 and 6 syllables.

. . . * . / . . * . * . It's got a wonderfully "swinging" quality to it because of the way in which these two phrases are rhythmically so distinct, asymmetrical, yet form a single line of basically alternating binary stresses. (That is, the stresses all fall on even-numbered syllables.) I've been collecting examples.

Especially effective when varied with the more regular sounding pattern of 2,6,10. It's felt as a displacement of that more evenly spaced pattern (accents come every four syllables.)

. * . . . *. . . * .

La lengua de los ásperos sajones

Maybe I'm mildly insane.

3 comentarios:

Jordan dijo...

Sounds like a great rhythm to me. I bet something like it would work in English --

Living in Boston, thinking of leaving soon,
Try not to wonder what idea is scorching
The pavements in cities not organized
By moralist committees...

Jonathan dijo...

Somehow the other accented syllables get in the way in English. We need a line with only three strong stresses, four at the most.

lc1936 dijo...

That's called sapphic (sáfico) verse. It is the only 11-syllable with accent on the 8th syllable, although it can be on the 6th. Most of spanish 11-syllable put it on the 6th, being the exceptions sapphic and the rarely used 'galician pipe' (gaita gallega, with accents on 3,7 and 10).