Picture of two heads

Open Access research that challenges the mind...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including those from the School of Psychological Sciences & Health - but also papers by researchers based within the Faculties of Science, Engineering, Humanities & Social Sciences, and from the Strathclyde Business School.

Discover more...

Metrical Complexity in Christina Rossetti's Verse

Fabb, N.A.J. and Halle, M. (2006) Metrical Complexity in Christina Rossetti's Verse. College Literature, 33 (2). pp. 91-114. ISSN 0093-3139

Full text not available in this repository. (Request a copy from the Strathclyde author)

Abstract

Bracketed Grid Theory interprets metricality as fundamentally a matter of counting syllables, with rhythm derived from counting. Syllables are grouped into pairs or triplets, which in turn are grouped, thus building a scansion from the line. The article compares the traditional approach to meter with its inventory of feet as building-blocks combined to make a scansion of a line which expresses the rhythms of its performance. It applies this theory to a strict iambic meter and a loose iambic meter, each used by Rossetti, and shows that though the number of syllables in the line varies in the latter it is nevertheless scanned by a counting system. The article shows that in the poem "Up-hill" Rossetti uses a strict meter to mimic the rhythmic effect of a loose meter. The essay formulates a theory of metrical mimicry because it distinguishes between underlying meter and performed rhythm.