Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Ecology of Meter: Meter and Language – Meter and Literature – Meter’s Past, Present and Future A Special Issue of RMN Newsletter (February 2016)

The Ecology of Meter
Call for Papers

Metrics is sometimes described as discipline run by people who spend their lives counting syllables. Nothing could be farther from truth – poetic meters do not exist in a mathematical vacuum, and knowing the number of syllables, feet etc. per line rarely equals knowing what a given meter is and how it works. Meter is a creative tool that shapes, and is shaped by, language (John Miles Foley used to talk about “trademark symbiosis between metre and language”), tradition, textual and social environments, as well as other co-existing meters and ultimately the people who use, abuse and transmit texts composed in it. The combined action of these factors, seemingly extra-metrical, constitutes in fact what we would like to call the ecologly of meter. Meter is a living thing of  language(s) and literature(s) that depends on this ecology as much as the poetry itself; the two, consequently, can (and should) be approached from a variety of angles and studied by a variety of methods that touch upon and connect different aspects of a meter’s ecology. 

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