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Lecture 4

ENGB04H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Iambic Tetrameter, Olfaction, Sestet

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Daniel Tysdal

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Lecture 4
Three elements of form that poets pay attention to when they want to highten the musical qualities
of poetry
o Rhythm = particular fixed form
o Rhyme
o Length of the line
- Stanzas are identifiable in metrical verse, blank verse and free verse
o Couplet: a pair of lines
o Quatrain: four lines
o Sestet: six lines
o Octave: eight lines
Ballad Stanza: A quatrain in which the first and third line (4 beats) are unrhymed and the second and
fourth line (3 beats) are rhymed)
- Iambic tetrameter
- Trimester for 2nd and 3rd lines
- Often rhymes ABCB or ABAB
The Italian (Petrarchan) Sonnet: consists of an octave and a sestet. There are embraced rhymes in the
octave: abbaabba. The sestet of a Petrarchan sonnet can rhyme in several different ways, but the most
common are cdecde and cdcdee.
The English (Shakespearean) Sonnet: consists of three four-line quatrains, alternately rhymed
(ababcdcdefef) and a couplet gg”
- The “volta” or “turn” (usually in the ninth line) signals a shift in proposition or a move toward
o Shift in argument, counter point
o Amplification of poem before hit resolution of sonnet
Love Sonnets:
o Often preceding moment is the desire to offer love and fame that initiates a meditation
on the temporariness of human existence and the eternity of verse
Edmund Spenser’s “Sonnet 75”
- First quatrain talks of writing name and it washes away
- Second quatrain the girl tells him he is wasting his time
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