Jump to content
Poetry Magnum Opus
Sign in to follow this  
Tinker

Heroic Hexameter or Dactylic Hexameter

Recommended Posts

Tinker

Explore the Craft of Writing
Greek Verse

The Heroic Hexameter or dactylic hexameter was considered the Grand Style of classic Greek and Latin verse displayed in Homer's Iliad and Odyssey and Virgil's Aeneid. The line was often enjambed which was conducive for the long almost prose like epic verse.

The line employs Alcmanic verse in the first 4 feet, the 5th foot is almost always another dactyl and the line ends with a spondee. Suu/Suu/Suu/Suu/Suu/SS Classic meter allows for the substitution of a spondee for a dactyl at any position in the line but the dominant meter here is the dactyl. Somewhere in the line there is at least 1 caesura. And if you want to really get technical there are 2 bridges, 1 in the 2nd foot (Meyer's bridge) and another in the 4th foot (Hermann's bridge). Yep, they even have names. A bridge is an unbroken word unit in a metric foot. e.g. In the line below, "murmuring" is a bridge, "primeval" is not a bridge.

This is the / forest pri / meval. The | murmuring | pines and the | hem locks
                                                                          
from Longfellow's Evangeline

Here is the intro to this very long poem    Evangaline by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

THIS is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks,
Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight,
Stand like Druids of eld, with voices sad and prophetic,
Stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on their bosoms.
Loud from its rocky caverns, the deep-voiced neighboring ocean
Speaks, and in accents disconsolate answers the wail of the forest.
This is the forest primeval; but where are the hearts that beneath it
Leaped like the roe, when he hears in the woodland the voice of the huntsman?
Where is the thatch-roofed village, the home of Acadian farmers --
Men whose lives glided on like rivers that water the woodlands,
Darkened by shadows of earth, but reflecting an image of heaven?
Waste are those pleasant farms, and the farmers forever departed!
Scattered like dust and leaves, when the mighty blasts of October
Seize them, and whirl them aloft, and sprinkle them far o'er the ocean.
Naught but tradition remains of the beautiful village of Grand-Pré.
Ye who believe in affection that hopes, and endures, and is patient,
Ye who believe in the beauty and strength of woman's devotion,
List to the mournful tradition still sung by the pines of the forest;
List to a Tale of Love in Acadie, home of the happy.


~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.