Talk:Robert Bridges

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I have removed the sentence "He maintained that English prosody depended on the number of "stresses" in a line, not on the number of syllables, and that poetry should follow the rules of natural speech." Because it was taken directly from the 1911 Britannica article I feel this requires an explanation. The sentence reflects what I believe to be a dubious understanding of Bridges's programme for how his own largely theoretical brand of accentual verse should be written and read, but has little to do with how Bridges viewed actual English verse (both his own and others'). Milton's verse he finds essentially syllabic, and a large portion of his own verse uses a related primarily syllabic prosody. Supposedly accentual verse by other poets (including Shelley and Coleridge) comes in for criticism by Bridges precisely because it does not consistently follow the strictures noted in the questionnable sentence. And of course there are his experiments in quantitive verse, which are based, not on stress or syllable count, but on quantity. So this "stress-based" prosody is not the prosody he found in English verse, but essentially a new system of verse which he felt might be useful: he introduces it (in Milton's Prosody (1921)) as "what I believe was the first attempt to make a prosody of English accentual verse as distinct from syllabic verse." Phil wink (talk) 03:38, 18 June 2010 (UTC)

I don't know enough about Bridges prosody, but your argument sounds very reasonable to me. Would it make sense to add your quotation from Bridges in place of the sentence you have removed? Thanks for making this correction and for your explanation above. Mddietz (talk) 20:06, 19 June 2010 (UTC)
Thank you. My first inclination is that this sentence would require more explanation that it's worth. My personal wish would be to see an article on Robert Bridges' Prosodical Theories. I see that User:Stumps has created many brief articles on this topic: Bridges' Analysis of Milton's Later Work, Bridges' Analysis of Paradise Lost, Bridges' Prosody of Accentual Verse, Humdrum and Harum-Scarum, Milton's Prosody (book), Neo-Miltonic Syllabics, Robert Bridges' Theory of Elision -- and perhaps others I haven't noticed. My feeling is that their value would be greatly increased if they were merged to form the skeleton of a single more coherent (but currently non-existent) article. I won't attempt that, because I'm not wise in the ways of the wikiforce. But I might be able to help out if such an article were created. Phil wink (talk) 04:16, 20 June 2010 (UTC)
Afraid I do not know enough about Bridges or prosody to help. I only know that I sense a very subtle nuance in Bridge's poetry. He seldom overwhelms me, but I don't sense he is trying to overwhelm. At the same time his poetry never flat, never uninteresting. And that's about all I know. Mddietz (talk) 19:33, 21 June 2010 (UTC)


I'm working on a rewrite which will totally replace the Personal and professional life and Literary work sections. Anyone who would like to preview, comment, or help, may take a look at the work-in-progress in my sandbox. Phil wink (talk) 03:14, 16 July 2010 (UTC)