Victorian Prosody
submitted by Meredith Martin (Princeton University) on Wed, 2010-10-20 13:43

I'm excited to have an online format to discuss some of these ideas. The special issue of _Victorian Poetry_ on Victorian Prosody (summer 2011) was missing these questions, though there are many issues that we also came across. Whose meter is native and whose is foreign, or example, and how that changes. How meter and class become bound together in late century and signalled in different ways. Matthew Campbell just gave a lovely paper about meter and translation at the recent BAVS conference, and I think his new work intersects in important ways with these broader issues; we should invite him to post on the blog. Questions that I always find myself asking is how the concept of "meter" is utterly different in different times and at different places; that is, where Classical meter may have been taught, an understanding of English "meter" based on Classical meter may have also been taught, but what about in a colony where English is the second or third language? I'm interested in this in the post-colonial educational context, particularly, and am reminded of many poems by Derek Walcott that address meter as a hegemonic, colonial structure -- removed from the shaky origins and perhaps enforced more rigorously because of the insecurity hiding (not so well) behind its authority.