A reader’s investment in a poem depends, Stephen Dobyns argues, “not just [on] the subject matter, but also the ordering of information,” including the ordering of individual syllables. Arguing that meaning and feeling can be conveyed at the level of the syllable through stress, duration, pitch and timbre, Dobyns explores how each of these sonic qualities are at work in poems by William Barnes, Philip Larkin, Thomas Wyatt, Janet Lewis, John Keats and Robert Lowell.
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