Dr. Morillo, English 207Q Midterm: Knowledge of Prosody & Form        10/11/2006


·        Answer each question. All may receive full or partial credit. 25 @ 4 pts. each.


1. Which of these are 2-syllable poetic feet?:   a) trochee    b) anapest  c) pyrrhic


2. Scan these two lines from Frost by marking the accented and unaccented syllables:


The rumbling sound    ux ux

Of load on load of apples coming in.  ux ux ux ux ux


3. Lennard’s definition of free verse is: “poetry in which the meter varies.”  Explain briefly what is inadequate about Lennard’s definition. Only attends to meter and doesn’t explain that meter typically varies in formal verse, too; no attention to lineation, rhyme, borders with prose


4. Name the 4 punctuation “stops.”  Which is the lightest stop?  Period, colon, semi-colon, comma;   comma


5. Mark the rhyme scheme in this stanza, using the standard way to mark rhymes:


He took his vorpal sword in hand: a

Long time the manxome foe he sought— b

So rested he by the Tumtum tree, c

And stood awhile in thought. b


6. What are two formal features of the sestina that distinguish it from the villanelle? Sestina is 39 lines, ends in tercet called ‘envoi’, uses autorhyme; viallanell is 15 lines, uses double refrain


7. Which of the lines below has rising rhythm?:


a) From his footprints flowed a river, / Leaped into the light of morning,


b) The world is too much with us; late and soon        because it is iambic

8. According to the rules of meter, which is the “distinguishing foot” in this line? Put a bracket around just the distinguishing foot:


Batter my heart, three-personed God; for you


9. What do we call the last two lines in a Shakespearean sonnet?  couplet


10. What is authorhyme? What does the requirement to use autorhyme in the sestina help make them hard to write? Word rhymes with itself. “This is hard to do when writing a sestina, because it is harder to figure out how to use the same word multiple times at the end of lines”  the more that you are forced to repeat (use old information) the harder it is to add in significant new information, especially in limited lines. That’s why Bishops choice of an even shorter line for her sestina indicates an even higher level of challenge she set herself: her repeated words return even more quickly in a 4-beat, tetrameter line


11. How many feet in any octameter line?   eight


12. Name this poetic form used by Shelley in Ode to the West Wind: linked tercets rhyming aba bcb cdc etc.  terza rima


13. Lennard claims that line 34 of Bishop’s Sestina should be scanned as 1 anapest and 4 iambs. Bracket each foot in the line and mark the stress pattern in each one to show how Lennard hears this line:


From between the pages of the almanac =    uux   ux ux ux ux


14. Is a shorter line or a longer line more likely to contain a medial caesura? Why?  Longer; “the longer the line, the more likely it is that the reader will pause either for breath, or because of a natural sense of stop commonly found in such a long clause.


15. Why does lineation matter so much in free verse? Because the line length of line varies in free verse and is not predetermined by the meter; e. g. any pentameter line must have 5 feet


16. How do both the colon and period in this Frost line contribute affect how we interpret the line?

The scent of apples: I am drowsing off.

Colon establishes logical relation between idea of smell and drowsiness. Period bound the line as single complete thought

Colon forces a semi-pause, whereas period forces a longer pause, making reader contemplate in that pause


17. True of false: a poem should never be one sentence long. false


18. How many syllables in any trochaic tetrameter line? 8


19. What term is being defined here: “of lines, couplets, or stanzas, not end-stopped, with sense and or syntax continuing into the next line, couplet, or stanza.” enjambment


20. What are two specific ways you can use formal properties of poetry to slow down a poetic line?  Use medial punctuation, falling rhythm


21. Give the full name of the type and length of meter used in these lines:  anapestic tetrameter


Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is green,  uux uux uux uux

That host with their banners at sunset were seen:       ux uux uux uux    (first foot of 2nd line is variant, iamb instead of anapest)

22. Name each poetic foot by its accent pattern ( X = accented, U = unaccented)

a) UX   b) X U U   c) U U X  d) XU  e) X X   iamb, dactyl, anapest, trochee, spondee

23. What kind of sonnet has this form: 14 lines, iambic pentameter, ends in a sestet   Italian or Petrarchan

24. In what kind of lines does Lennard claim that we will hear "rocking lineation"?  blank verse or any lines in which the caesurae always fall in the same place in the line (in blank verse, after the 2nd iambic foot)

25. Write one perfect English dactyl.    UNderwear




Bonus: 8 points

In the  free verse we've seen from both Whitman and Ginsberg, are the stanzas isometric or heterometric?  Heterometric (means different length of meter, therefore different line length, and that’s true of both “Supermarket in California” and “Noiseless, Patient Spider”