Sprung Rhythm

(183 words)
  • Editors

Literary/ Cultural Context Note

  • The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume 12: Global Voices, Global Histories: World Literatures and Cultures.

A term used by Gerard Manley Hopkins to describe the rhythm of most language and music which he observed to be patterned by a regular beat of stressed syllables, interspersed with a variable number of unstressed syllables. In Hopkins’ view, each foot began with a stress so the natural types of rhythm were dactyl, spondee and trochee, as in the following:

Spring and Fall
to a young child

Márgarét áre you gríeving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leáves líke the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Áh! ás the heart grows older
It will come to such …
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Editors. "Sprung Rhythm". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 November 2001
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=1036, accessed 09 October 2015.]