sprung rhythm


sprung rhythm
a poetic rhythm characterized by the use of strongly accented syllables, often in juxtaposition, accompanied by an indefinite number of unaccented syllables in each foot, of which the accented syllable is the essential component.
[term introduced by Gerard Manley Hopkins (1877)]

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Poetic rhythm designed to approximate the natural rhythm of speech.

It is characterized by the frequent juxtaposition of single accented syllables and by the occurrence of feet with varying numbers of syllables whose sequence is interrupted by unstressed syllables that are not counted in the scansion. Because stressed syllables often occur sequentially, the rhythm is said to be "sprung." This system of prosody was developed by Gerard Manley Hopkins, who saw it as the basis of such early English poems as William Langland's Piers Plowman.

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      an irregular system of prosody developed by the 19th-century English poet Gerard Manley Hopkins (Hopkins, Gerard Manley). It is based on the number of stressed syllables in a line and permits an indeterminate number of unstressed syllables. In sprung rhythm, a foot may be composed of from one to four syllables. (In regular English metres, a foot consists of two or three syllables.) Because stressed syllables often occur sequentially in this patterning rather than in alternation with unstressed syllables, the rhythm is said to be “sprung.” Hopkins claimed to be only the theoretician, not the inventor, of sprung rhythm. He saw it as the rhythm of common English speech and the basis of such early English poems as Langland's Piers Plowman and nursery rhymes such as

      Sprung rhythm is a bridge between regular metre and free verse. An example of Hopkins' use of it is:

      “Spring and fall to a

      Young Child”

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sprung rhythm — is a poetic rhythm designed to imitate the rhythm of natural speech. It is constructed from feet in which the first syllable is stressed and may be followed by a variable number of unstressed syllables. The British poet Gerard Manley Hopkins… …   Wikipedia

  • sprung rhythm — sprung′ rhythm n. pro a poetic rhythm using strongly accented syllables, often juxtaposed, accompanied by an indefinite number of unaccented syllables • Etymology: term introduced by Gerard Manley Hopkins (1877) …   From formal English to slang

  • sprung rhythm — n. [term coined by HOPKINS Gerard Manley] a kind of rhythm in English poetry, based on the normal rhythms of speech and made up of a mixture of feet, each foot consisting of either a single stressed syllable or a stressed syllable followed by one …   English World dictionary

  • sprung rhythm — noun a poetic rhythm that imitates the rhythm of speech • Hypernyms: ↑poetic rhythm, ↑rhythmic pattern, ↑prosody * * * noun : a poetic rhythm designed to approximate the natural rhythm of speech and characterized by the frequent juxtaposition of… …   Useful english dictionary

  • sprung rhythm — noun Date: 1877 a poetic rhythm designed to approximate the natural rhythm of speech and characterized by the frequent juxtaposition of single accented syllables and the occurrence of mixed types of feet …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • sprung rhythm — /sprʌŋ ˈrɪðəm/ (say sprung ridhuhm) noun a system of prosody with the accent always on the first syllable of every foot followed by a varying number of unaccented syllables, all feet being given equal time length …   Australian English dictionary

  • sprung rhythm — noun a poetic metre approximating to speech, each foot having one stressed syllable followed by a varying number of unstressed ones. Origin C19: coined by the English poet G. M. Hopkins …   English new terms dictionary

  • rhythm — rhythmless, adj. /ridh euhm/, n. 1. movement or procedure with uniform or patterned recurrence of a beat, accent, or the like. 2. Music. a. the pattern of regular or irregular pulses caused in music by the occurrence of strong and weak melodic… …   Universalium

  • rhythm — Synonyms and related words: Alexandrine, accent, accentuation, alternation, amphibrach, amphimacer, anacrusis, anapest, antispast, arrhythmia, arsis, bacchius, balance, beat, beating, beauty, cadence, cadency, caesura, catalexis, chloriamb,… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • running rhythm — Pros. the usual English verse rhythm created by a succession of metrical feet each of which consists of a stressed syllable and one or two unstressed ones. Also called common rhythm. Cf. sprung rhythm. [1880 85] * * * …   Universalium