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Meter in The Author to Her Book

Meter Examples in The Author to Her Book :

The Author to Her Book

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"Yet..."   (The Author to Her Book)

The speaker changes tone here indicating that she still holds affection for her book although she is unhappy with the state in which it was published. The speaker compares her affection for her book to the unconditional love of a parent for their child. This change in tone is reflected by the use of a spondee (a double stress) which creates emphasis on ‘mine’ and ‘own.’ By emphasizing these two words, the speaker subverts the meter of the poem and draws attention to the overarching importance of the book to its author. Regardless of the circumstances of its publication, the written work is still the beloved creation of its author.

"more hobbling than is meet;..."   (The Author to Her Book)

The phrase “even feet” plays on the double meaning of feet. It is both the anatomy of the metaphorical infant as well as the metrical feet of the poem. “Even feet” in this case would refer to iambic pentameter—alternating between unstressed and stressed syllables. The phrase “more hobbling than is meet” offers another pun. “Meet” means proper or decorous, but also sounds like “meter,” as in the poetic meter to which Bradstreet’s speaker hopes to shape the poem.

"halting to th’ press..."   (The Author to Her Book)

In this line, the “press” refers to the printing press to which the unfinished poem goes in “halting” fashion. The poem’s “halting,” or unfinished, quality is expressed by the line’s halting meter: the line is composed of iambs, except for the word “halting” itself, which is a trochee (a stressed syllable followed by an unstressed syllable). This is an example of a clever and intentional shift in meter.

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