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Dear Gunnar,

It is not a consistent meter.  First you need to put "the" back in "Love is
the unfamiliar name."  Then I think Carrol is right that it is based on three
stresses with variable unstresses.  There is no regular syllable count or
metric pattern but there is the three stress rhythm.
Nancy


Date sent:              Wed, 1 Jan 2003 05:42:53 +0100
Send reply to:          "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
From:                   Gunnar Jauch <[log in to unmask]>
Subject:                Meter in LG IV/208
To:                     [log in to unmask]

Dear all,

while New Year sweeps across our planet, let us all hope for a peaceful
2003. Let us pray that Mr. Bush shall follow up on his promise given
tonight to solve all international problems by ways of diplomacy.

I should like to open a new topical thread with the aforementioned verses
that allude to Julian of Norwich's words, perhaps THE central part of the
entire Quartets:


Who then devised the torment? Love.
Love is unfamiliar Name
Behind the hands that wove
The intolerable shirt of flame
Which human power cannot remove.


There is, it seems to me, a metric problem with the third line.
All other lines have another rhythm (hexameter?), whereas, in the third,
two beats are missing:


 -  -  -  -

 -  -  -  -

 -  -  -

 -  -  -  -

 -  -  -  -


Rereading and memorizing the poem, I keep stumbling over this anomaly over
and over again. Think of altering it into  "gentle/caring/magic" hands,
and the entire stanza would get a more fluent rhythm.

The  stanza's symmetry the different line denotes, however, would be lost.
And maybe this was the reason why TSE wrote it as such.

Any suggestions?


Gunnar