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ORTHOMETRY.
POETRY AND PROSE
Poetry differs from prose mainly in the fact that the words of the former are arranged upon a definite principle of order as to their sound. This principle has not been the same at all times and in all lan­guages. Amongst the Greeks and Romans it was based upon quantity\ i.e. the time occupied in pro­nouncing the syllables, those that are long taking up twice as much time as those that are short. In our own poetry the principle of arrangement is the regu­lar recurrence of accented and unaccented syllables; the stress of the voice in uttering the accented ones occurring as regularly as the beats of the pulse or the ticks of a watch. The undulation of sound produced by this continuous flow of accents and non-accents is known as rhythm, and this it is which constitutes the essential difference between poetry and prose. Other elements, such as rhyme and alliteration, are employed, in some kinds of poetry, in the way of embellishment and aid to the rhythm, but they are not oi its essence, for the larger part and the






E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III