Ransom, john Crowe
May 1952
New Republic;5/12/52, Vol. 126 Issue 19, p16
The article focuses on the poet Thomas Hardy. Self-taught, Hardy knew a good deal about English poetry when, in his fifties, he laid the fictions by and returned to his first love. He was an honest craftsman, attending meticulously to what, we probably think of as the three dimensions of a poem. Thus the folk rhythm has an extra musical quality, not in the syllabic or university poetry at all. Hardy would have known exactly how this rhythm was scored in the hymn-books from which as a boy he had sung, by note. His metrical formations are clean and fresh. Oftener than not, he forms the handsome stanza patterns out of ordinary iambic or isambic-anapaestic lines. But there is something special in the way he can make stanzas, out of variations upon the, "folk line," which nowadays is called the dipodic line.


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