Concerning metrics; Peter's student's point was a matter of social
perceptions. Was "steak" inconsistent with the "meager" surroundings of the
poem? I thought we had learned not to mix separate threads of reasoning
with our discussion of *metanarrative*.
Your point of "metrical reason" is, however, well taken. Could *toast* have
met both metrical requirements and Peter's slum requirements? Toast does
not have quite the tearing "s" that harmonizes so well with "smell" and
"passageways". Its "s" is internal, not leading, and so creates an entirely
different rhythm for the line. A rhythm that jars with the preceding and
following lines. Upon social reflection, toasting of bread may pose a
technical problem to people of such "meager" circumstances. It also would
be "inconsistent" with the *class* tastes of those *struggling masses of
deprived workers* who inhabit slums. However, the British did report,
during their bigoted persecution of the Irish, that the Irish toasted or
roasted potatoes around rude campfires. But here again the smell of
potatoes toasting certainly would pose metric problems as well as safety
ones. I am afraid you are right. Metrically we are left with "steak" and
must just allow for the social "inconsistency" of the meager folk of Roxbury
(see Southam) even dreaming of the smell.
Peter asked a question of the list. I took that question as a serious one.
You are correct; I should have noted that it was only of "minor" concern and
ignored it. I inappropriately wasted much of the list's valuable
entertainment time with "minor" problems.
Perhaps, in the future, you could referee and provide your definitive
pronouncements in a more timely fashion. The ignorant could then avoid
endangering ourselves raising to the bait of a piece of rotted meat.
I agree that Peter's student's question was a serious one (though you
characterize it as minor) and that it deserved respectful, professional
response. I do not agree that my statement was "silly" and would ask you to
afford me the same respect you demand for Peter's student.
My caps were intended to be offensive. I don't use them often and am
appreciative that they were taken as they were intended. I do guess I
spoiled my copy book and will get an "F" for the day. On the positive side
tomorrow is another day and hopefully I can get it right.