Lyrics & Writing

Lyrics & Writing

“Dactylic”

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Notes

Before reading this poem, here are a couple of definitions that will help you appreciate it:

In prosody, a line of verse that finishes on a stressed syllable is said to have a masculine ending, as in the opening two lines of this poem:

Tiger, Tiger, burning bright
In the forest of the night,” 

William Blake (1757-1827)

A line of verse that finishes on an unstressed syllable is said to have a feminine ending, as in the opening of Hamlet's famous soliloquoy:

To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing, end them.” 

William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

Dactylic

Poem by Matheson Bayley, 2001

To frolic about the crepuscular glades
Idyllic the pout; the cares at bay;
Still hoping to meet her ’neath heaven’s cascades –
Dactylic the metre, the orgy, the play.

To flop when you stop with a hop and a scotch
Decay autumnal: red head-rushes:
To wither away – while the others all watch –
A feminine end to a boy who blushes.

Matheson Bayley © 2001
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