Mechanized Metrics: From Verse Science to Laboratory Prosody, 1880-1918
Hall, Jason D
Configurations: A Journal of Literature, Science and Technology
Johns Hopkins University Press
From roughly the 1880s, a methodical verse “science” was beginning to assert itself. Gripped by the thought of articulating an objective, fact-based metrics, poetry scientists brought to bear on the traditional verse line principles of observation and later full-blown experimental practices--not to mention a curious array of instrumentation. By the turn of the century, metrical verse was being subjected to a rigorous measurement regime, which employed techniques and apparatus derived from the new disciplines of experimental physiology and psychology. Proponents of this newly mechanized metrics pitched themselves enthusiastically into the turn-of-the-century prosody fray, believing they could resolve, once and for all, some of the fundamental dilemmas of versification.
Post-print version of the article deposited in accordance with SHERPA RoMEO guidelines. Copyright © 2009, Johns Hopkins University Press. This article first appeared in Configurations: A Journal of Literature, Science and Technology Vol.17(3), pp285-308. Reprinted with permission by The Johns Hopkins University Press.
Vol. 17, Issue 3, pp. 285 - 308