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The line reflects its contents (1 Viewer)


Senior Member
I couldn't find this in the site search, so I thought I'd put it up. It's a poem by Alexander Pope, and demonstrates how the use of words can emphasise the content of the line. Read it aloud and you'll see what I mean.

Sound and Sense

True ease in writing comes from art, not chance,
As those move easiest who have learned to dance.
'Tis not enough no harshness gives offense,
The sound must seem an echo to the sense:
Soft is the strain when Zephyr gently blows,
And the smooth stream in smoother numbers flows;
But when loud surges lash the sounding shore,
The hoarse, rough verse should like the torrent roar;
When Ajax strives some rock's vast weight to throw,
The line too labors, and the words move slow;
Not so, when swift Camilla scours the plain,
Flies o'er the unbending corn, and skims along the main.
Hear how Timotheus' varied lays surprise,
And bid alternate passions fall and rise!

Alexander Pope

For example, the line about Ajax reads slow and heavy, whereas the line about swift Camilla reads quickly, and you can hear the waves in the loud surges line.

I find it fascinating to see how easily he does it. (green with envy smily emoticon)



Senior Member
Moderators, the font for the first line is the same as the rest when I edit it, but not when displayed. Can you please correct it.