5 responses

  1. sorry to hijack the thread, but I’m finishing an essay for school about Sir Philip Sidney’s Astrophil and Stella, and I’m having a lot of trouble with the scansion of these verses from Sonnet 6:

    His paper pale despair, and pain his pen doth move.
    I can speak what I feel, and feel as much as they,
    But think that all the map of my state I display,
    When trembling voice brings forth that I do Stella love

    I realize they’re iambic hexameters, and the first one seems easy to me (-´-´-´-´-´-´):
    His pá|per pále des|páir, and páin his pén doth móve,
    but I’m really struggling with the rest, so any help would be most welcome, thank you!


    • Hi LPG, have you read my posts on Iambic Pentameter? The golden rule is this: If you can read a line as iambic, then you probably should. Meter is poetry’s way (or used to be poetry’s way) of bolding and italicizing, All four lines can be read as iambic. Imagine that “can” in the second line is bolded or italicized, then try reading it that way. Do the same with the other words that are troubling you. Read them aloud like an actor would read them. Let the meter guide you in making sense of the lines — probably in a way you hadn’t expected.


    • Thank you so much UiV, I guess I was stuck on the notion that ‘speak’ in the second verse and ‘state’ in the third had to be stressed at all costs.


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