Verse and Meter: Passage 1

by Lincoln Smith

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    00:00 When I read the CARS passage, I like to take a look at the little citation at the end of the passage to know what I'm getting myself into.

    00:09 This passage states that the title is On The Capital Difficulty of Verse on the Art of Writing.

    00:15 We can therefore read ourselves in the topic of the passage. This is a literature passage.

    00:21 We'll have to get to the passage itself but as we'll see there's also some music involved.

    00:27 This is therefore a humanities passage that we can expect to be opinionated and focused on connections between different ideas.

    00:35 Let's just focus on a few key parts of the passage.

    00:38 For my keywords, a D stands for when an author is creating a distinction between 2 ideas, a C when the author is connecting to ideas, a + or - for when a positive or negative sentiment is expressed, and a P or a T for the P in sharpening and the T in softening when an idea that has been expressed strongly is reinforced for sharpening or when an idea that has been expressed strongly is then kind of drawn back a little bit, the T for softening.

    01:07 As we start this passage, the author starts to compare what we call verse with prose.

    01:12 This states that we traced that difference as you will remember to music; to the harp, the lyre, the dance, the chorus, all those first necessary accompaniments which verse never quite forgets.

    01:23 So I put a D here because we're trying to distinguish verse away from prose.

    01:28 Next, then the author states "music ever introduces emotion which is indeed her proper and only means of persuading." So this is a little bit of a reinforcement of the difference between verse and prose and I think this will only here really sharpens the point that music only persuades through emotion and that it is also a basis for a verse.

    01:51 We see that the author is using history to establish his authority so I put a P here or he reinforces this points crowning them in historical examples.

    02:03 Next, the author states that verse does start with musical accompaniment, musical accompaniment does introduce emotion and emotion does introduce an order of its own into speech.

    02:15 So nothing incredibly new here, the author is simply reinforcing his point and maybe clarifying a little bit how emotion is introduced by music, shapes, verse.

    02:25 As we jump down then, the author is going to clarify the Statue of Calliope in the Vatican as opposed to the Calliope of Homer.

    02:36 And to examine the Calliope of Homer which the author has a little bit more of an affinity for, we get to the bottom of the screen where we state "For what purpose does the poet wish for a thousand tongues but to sing?" For what purpose a thousand hands but to pluck the wires?" In this scenario, the author is clarifying that Calliope, the kind of stand in for what we might call verse, the epic is involved with music, the very inspiration for poetry is being inspired by music.

    03:10 As we move to the next page, we see that the author starts to introduce another point of view.

    03:17 This is the point of view of Coleridge.

    03:20 The author states "Nor am I daunted on comparing it is on viewpoint but Coleridge is more philosophical viewpoint which you will find in the Biographia Literaria.

    03:30 This I would trace to the balance, this is Coleridge in the mind effected by that spontaneous effort which strives to hold in check the workings of passion and that would be the origin of meter or verse.

    03:44 We move forward to clarify just a little bit further Coleridge's viewpoint by supervening act of the will and judgment consciously and for the foreseen purpose of pleasure where Coleridge breaks down just a little bit further is viewpoint on how verse originates.

    03:58 So, I'm putting a D here for distinction because the author puts this here in order to create kind of this alternate viewpoint in order to more clarify his own.

    04:07 We'll move forward to where the author further compares the 2 viewpoints by stating that on the principle that have 2 hypotheses, each in itself adequate we should choose the simpler is for me a bit of actually a softening phrase because this starts with "but at any rate." So, the author is trying to state that he actually has no clue what Coleridge means but actually he kind of does.

    04:32 And that he thinks his viewpoint is better because it's a little bit simpler.

    04:37 Then we have a sharpening keyword here where the author states that something has the further disadvantage.

    04:44 So that clues us in to the fact that the author is further distinguishing his viewpoint from Coleridge where Coleridge's viewpoint is scarcely amenable to positive evidence.

    04:53 Last but not the least, the author reinforces his own viewpoint just a little bit more.

    04:57 We can stay with historical warrant that Sappho struck the wire and argue therefrom, still within close range of correction, that her singing responded to the instrument.

    05:07 His own viewpoint that he's been stating all along reinforced one more time.

    05:12 And then we can contrast that to Coleridge's viewpoint whereas to assert that Sappho's mind was balanced by spontaneous effort which strove to hold in check the workings of passion is not amenable to positive evidence.

    05:25 I go so far to state that that's a bit of a negative connotation here because if something can't be backed up by positive evidence, that's a further argument from your point of view.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Verse and Meter: Passage 1 by Lincoln Smith is from the course CARS Passage Walkthroughs.

    Author of lecture Verse and Meter: Passage 1

     Lincoln Smith

    Lincoln Smith

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