Sound, Sense, and Rhythm

Sound, Sense, and Rhythm : Listening to Greek and Latin Poetry

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This work concerns the way we read - or rather imagine we are listening to - ancient Greek and Latin poetry. Through penetrating analysis Mark Edwards shows how an understanding of the effects or word order and meter is vital for appreciating the meaning of classical poetry, composed for listening audiences. The first of four chapters examines Homer's emphasis of certain words by their positioning; a passage from the "Iliad" is analyzed and a poem of Tennyson illustrates English parallels. The second considers Homer's techniques of disguising the break in the narrative when changing a scene's location or characters, to maintain his audience's attention. In the third we learn, partly through an English translation matching the rhythm, how Aeschylus chose and adapted meters to arouse listeners' emotions. The final chapter examines how Latin poets, particularily Propertius, infused their language with ambiguities and multiple meanings. An appendix examines the use of classical meters by twentieth-century American and English poets.
Based on the author's Martin Classical Lectures at Oberlin College in 1998, this book will aid classicists and their students in the possibilites of the la
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Product details

  • Hardback | 208 pages
  • 152 x 235 x 19.05mm | 454g
  • New Jersey, United States
  • English
  • 0691086664
  • 9780691086668

Review quote

"If by this book [Edwards] succeeds in heightening sensitivity to the features which he seeks to recuperate, he will indeed have done good service to his peers and successors... and have given renewed hope for the continued vitality of ancient Greek and Latin literature." - Michael W. Haslam, Bryn Mawr Classical Review; "Sound, Sense, and Rhythm is superb. Among its many virtues is a remarkable mastery of technical aspects of ancient verse, providing a treasurehouse of information for classicists and other professionals; the excellent use of modern and/or contemporary literature to help explain ancient practice; and the clear and graceful writing." - Thomas Van Nortwick, Oborlin College"
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About Mark W. Edwards

Mark W. Edwards is Emeritus Professor of Classics at Stanford University. He is the author of Homer: Poet of the Iliad and Volume 5 of The Iliad: A Commentary.
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