The syllable , " It would do no harm as an act of correction to
both prose and verse, as now written, if both rime and metre, and in
the quantity words, both sense and sound, were less in the foreground
of the mind than the syllable - if the syllable, that fine creature
were more allowed to lead the harmony on." Charles Olson, Poetry
New York 1950 (Scully)
The sentence ; Robert Frost, "I give you a new
definition of a sentence; A sentence is a sound in itself on which other
sounds called words may be strung. You may string words together without
a sentence sound to string them on just as you may tie clothes together
by the sleeve and stretch them without a clothes line between two trees,
but - it is bad for the clothes. " (letter to J.T.Bartlett, in
The Narrative, truth and fiction;The respected Oxford Alderman,
Mr. Trelawny, had regarded his favourite book Robinson Crusoe as Holy
Writ. On being told it was the journal of a Scottish sailor worked up
into a narrative, he replied, "Your information sir may be very
correct, but I wish you had witheld it for in undeceiving me , you have
deprived me of one of the greatest pleasures of my old age." .
a figure of speech The poet Robert Lowell suggested
he stayed with his friend the Tates." ... "We really haven't
any room, you'd have to pitch a tent on the lawn" So I went to
Sears Roebuck and got a tent and rigged it on their lawn. The Tates
were too polite to tell me what they'd said had been just a figure of
a direct comparison of one thing with another (without like or as) "Metaphor
creates a new reality from which the original appears to be unreal."
Wallace Stevens, from Opus Posthumous, quoted in Scully p.156, "Reality
is a cliche from which we escape by metaphor.""Metaphors
? Metaphors - they didn't have metaphors when I was a kid." Fred
Truman, Yorkshire cricketer. quoted Private Eye , August 1996.
cliche a stereotyped expression, with implications
of the duplication of the original. "Two cliches make us laugh
but a hundred cliches move us," Umbert Eco of the film Casablanca.
Travels in Hyperreality Paladin, London 1987.
"What is a bad thing worse than ?" - "Useless"
"What can one do with firece resistance, especially in Russia ?"
- "Offer it."
" But if one puts fierce resistance, in what direction does one
put it ?" - " Up."
The Myles na Copaleen Catechism of Cliche , in K.O Nolan, The Best of
Myles, Picador, 1968.
simile a comparison between two things linked with
the words like or as.
alliteration where the same consonant sound is repeated in words and
syllables in close succession.
onomatopoeia a word whose sound imitates the object
irony where an artist intends one meaning but presents
another ; "Every reader will greaatest difficulty detecting irony
that mocks his own beliefs of characteristics." quoted in D.J.Enright,
The Alluring Problem, an Essay on Irony, OUP London 1986.
words open to more than one interpretation. A classical text is William
Empson's Seven Types of Ambiguity.
personification giving human shape or form to something
non-human, ie Old Father Time.