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Dear Vishvesh,
    Just to add to yesterday's post.  It's funny that Arnold doesn't see 
that Keats, like Burns, used certain "liberties."  I'm thinking here of 
using a grave accent to do what MA says Burns does (I think I'm correct 
in remembering this in Keats -- anyone?) and the apostrophe when used to 
indicate missing letters (o'er, 'gainst).   As I said regarding Chaucer, 
these are not examples of liberty in spelling; they are decisions made 
about word formation and pronunciation.  Today, they might be called 
distortion for meter's sake, but we owe writers their times and 
places--no doubt some such uses are metrical cheats, but not per se.

Best,
Marcia

Vishvesh Obla wrote:

> "The charm is departed. It is often said that the power of liquidness 
> and fluidity in Chaucer's verse was
> dependent upon a free, a licentious dealing with language, such as is 
> now impossible; upon a liberty,
> such as Burns too enjoyed, of making words like neck, bird, into a 
> disyllable by adding to them, and words
> like cause, rhyme, into a disyllable by sounding the e mute. It is 
> true that Chaucer's fluidity is
> conjoined with this liberty, and is admirably served by it; but we 
> ought not to say that it was dependent
> upon it. It was dependent upon his talent. Other poets with a like 
> liberty do not attain to the fluidity of
> Chaucer; Burns himself does not attain to it. Poets, again, who have a 
> talent akin to Chaucer's, such as
> Shakespeare or Keats, have known how to attain his fluidity without 
> the like liberty."
>
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