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The Rise and Fall of MeterPoetry and English National Culture, 1860--1930$
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Meredith Martin

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691152738

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691152738.001.0001

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Introduction: The Failure of Meter

Introduction: The Failure of Meter

(p.1) Introduction: The Failure of Meter
The Rise and Fall of Meter

Meredith Martin

Princeton University Press

This chapter sets out the book's focus, namely the historical moment when the concept of “English meter” seemed to stabilize. The main intervention of this book is to alter assumptions about English meter as a stable concept, to ask what else “English” and “meter” meant, and might mean. It is the premise of this book that the literary movements around the time of the First World War, along with the national, pedagogical, and political movements in the period leading up to it, essentially erased a vast history of debates about versification in English. These debates are the grounds for the claim that poets did not always approach meter as a stable category. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.

Keywords:   English meter, metrical culture, metrical communities, literary movements, poets

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