Symbolic action in the oral interpretation of Robinson Jeffers’ "Roan Stallion"

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Symbolic action in the oral interpretation of Robinson Jeffers’ "Roan Stallion"

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Unpublished theses submitted for the Master’s and Doctor’s degrees and deposited in the Northwestern University Library are open for inspection, but are to be used only with due regard to the rights of the authors* Biblio­ graphical references may be noted, but passages may be copied only with the permission of the authors, and proper credit must be given in subsequent written or published work. Extensive copying or publication of the thesis in whole or in part requires also the consent of the Dean of the Graduate School of Northwestern University, Theses may be reproduced on microfilm for use in place of the manuscript itself provided the rules listed above are strictly adhered to and the rights of the author are in no way Jeopardized. This thesis by . . . . . . . . . . . . has been used by the following persons, whose signatures attest their accept­ ance of the above restrictions. A Library which borrows this thesis for use by its patrons is expected to secure the signature of each user.


'Jkk't J a w




' ‘ " U Jy


" — ^ij..

'S u x J l v j -

^ - .. •'0 ,,

— — -dDc-

^ y / ^r>

Us'i zsiS / -i—

^ V

,, .

ollock, op, oit.. p. 137.


tion of th© reader toward referent®, evoking a response to any fact or thought at which words can point.


indicate© other Important possibilities inherent In the evocative use of language.

He says of the writer:

He may through word© arouse the "imaginative coop­ eration" of the reader, stimulating him to complete for himself s*n experience which the word® suggest. He may through words control not only the Individual detail®.,but also th© temporal pattern of the reader's experience * . . . He may through word© build up complex evocative symbol ©— Becky Sharp. Mr. Pickwick and. Sacdon Heath.*Pollock now make© a statement which is important for u® who are trying to see the esthetic experience in it© relation to the real experience.

He says:

Th© story of course actually takes place in the mind of the writer, and it actually take® place in the mind of the reader; but'tHi® :d©W© not mean1that it is used to refer to referents . . . . A nonreferential story is just as "real" a© a mathematic­ al equation, and just a© "symbolic," though it employs a different kind of symbolism. To speak of a writer's or a reader's experience of the story as an "illusion" is to miss the point, or at best to suggest a wrong one. The word illusion has the virtue of suggesting that the experience at least seems to be taking place, but it implies that this "experience 1® in reality false or non-existent, whereas actually it is existent in the only place where a human experience can exist— in someone's mind or psycho-physi©logical organism.** If ©gthelically controlled experience and direct experi­ ence have a concomitant reality, it may be that a mode of action appropriate to the one will toe found equally appropriate to the other. XIhid.. pp. 137-138 p. 188.

If a theorist, writing on the nature of literature, aeemg too remote from the practice of literature to be altogether reliable in his Judgments of the Intentions of an author, let us consider the comments of a renowned critic, Herbert Head, who is himself a novelist.

In his

book8:Jjngl.jsb .Pyose Style, he reprints a long passage from D. M# Lawrence1® ffhe White Peacock a® an example of the use of ^density* a® a function of imaginative decoration In prose.

Head say© that the passage illus­

trate® not the logical arrangement of Item® generally characteristic of prose, but the rhetorical arrangement of sens® impressions in the art of writing: X do not put this passage forward a® a perfect ex­ ample of prose writing . . . . but there is no doubt­ ing its effectiveness. There is present a strong emotional state, an Intense feeling for a definite situation, and this emotion or feeling is 'dealt out' in a steady but always terse evocation of beauty. The object of this description i® to con­ vey the duration of an event or the perspective of a seen® with sufficient density or solidity. The action itself, viewed without emotion, would appear insignificant enough if translated into barely sufficient words— into a 'bald statement.' Only when the action itself is swift and economical, leaving no time for emotional reactions, can the expression be ©wift and economical* Here the pace 1© funereal, the emotion brooding and passionate. The chapter In which the passage appear® is called *A Shadow In Spring,' and the experience to be conveyed is that of the passage of death through the earth at springtide. To do this most effectively the whole scene 1© conveyed through the medium of an adolescent sensibility— a sensibility sympathet­ ically aware of the organic 'thrill and quickening everywhere.' Such a sensibility can conceive all those diverse and even disconcerting incidents with which the scene can be as it were decorated. For by mean® of decoration the essential density is achieved* The triumph of the spink (chaffinch) is

not an Irrelevance; It makes actual the Indifference of renascent life to the dark shadow passing by* And this litany of bird life prepares us aptly for the sudden and shrill lamentation of the mourning woman. It would not have reached us so intensely but for this decorative preparation. The sensibili­ ty then shifts— from Spring to the Shadow. Yet still th© density must be achieved, the passage of the shadow delayed, There is the smell of new. warm elm-wood; th© pee-wlts that are not frightened; the girl with, the jug, and a blue pot; th© horses nodding ©lowly across the fallow. And then the shadow passes, delayed by a new series of impres­ sions; the Spring returns, with glowing coltsfoot discs and th© scent of black-currant leaves. The mood of sorrow is dissipated and sunshine is scattered through the dusk of gloomy rooms*'5* The above passage I© largely a precis of the contents of th© actual passage from Lawrence* s story, and one gets the impression from reading Head's words that he felt emotions, heard birds, saw th© girl with the jug, ex­ perienced the action directly in Its temporal and spatial elements.

Head senses the reality of th© liter­

ary experience so vividly that he can say, ‘'The triumph of the spink . . . . renascent life.**

makes actual th© indifference of

This is not the reaction of a reader

who discriminates consciously between referential and non-ref©ren11a1 verbalising; it is not -for him a matter of th© dominance of elocutional form over locutional* True, the text can be anatomised with some profit; but when an intelligent critic like Head describes the phenomenon of ©xp @rience~transmi ss1on from author to ■**Herbert Head, English Prose Style, pp. 160-161.

reader in terms of the former's "speculative mind" work­ ing on the latter'® "sense— Impressions, " "memories of colors and scent© and sound®, the subjective world within us,*1 we axe ready to accept with fewer reservations the near identity of direct experience and the vicarious experience of literature* Head's acceptance of the descriptive passage from Lawrence aa somehow real was unconscious, intuitive, and In the tradition of what Pollock calls "the properly qualified reader."

However, when Head becomes objective­

ly awar® of th® technique® of th® author and he recog­ nises the ©vocation of emotions in the reader as a "problem, » then we hear a different note in his critical tune.

"In the case of Imagery the speculative organising

mind of th® writer work® with the data of perception." How we have "data of perception" rather than "the girl 'with the jug" and the "smell of new, warm elm-wood, " etc*

The "density" and "intensity" of feeling that h©

sensed earlier become© now a conscious "problem" for the author.

He say®, "To express an emotion in definite

term© prove® to be very difficult; it is the central o problem of literary art." He goes on to say that it I© a problem of the intelligence, and may take the form of the Intuitive or the discursive. 1X b l d ., p. 163.

H© adds:

8 Ibld.. p. 164.

* *■. . th© emotion is orga.nlzed either by an imme­ diate apprehension of an appropriate form* or by a deliberate disposition of its elements or forces. The intuitive organisation of emotion is generally poetic in kind, though there i© a rare type of prose style In which the form is intuitively apprehended, 'fhe discursive organization of emotion, however, has effect in prose style alone . . « .1 Speaking later of th© intuitive organisation of emotion, Read says, Mfhe egression is the emotion.«a

finer© is a

strong echo her© of the James-Lange theory of emotion which must be regarded as accidental, for surely no word-serie© on a printed page

an emotion.

The impor­

tance of the accident, however, lies in a sensitive reader— like Read— instinctively accepting the verbal expression for the real expression.

When he speaks of

the discursive organization of emotion, Read says, ffTh® expression recreates the ©motion, builds up an ordered structure of word® which is the equivalent of th© amotion.

It might be argued that Read* a view of

the discursive aspects of pros® is an abstraction after the fact, the fact being that he is more aw&r© of an identity than of an equivalence when h© submits to the experience of reading literature.. We are., however, more Interested in hi© view of th® intuitive quality of poetry since that is th© form of literature we are to examine.

His acceptance of identity in poetic expression

m y help u© in our search for the mode of action suitable XI M d .




for the oral reader.

Perhaps we ©an never fix the relation between our biological selves and the intelligence which governs our artistic expression and appreciation.

That there is. a

relation seems to be generally acknowledged, but what the relation is seem© vague and indefinite.

Read makes

a quick pass at explaining the biological relation of rhythm and emotion to literary art and unwittingly re­ veals the feebleness of our knowledge.

He states:

There Is some intimate biological connection be­ tween emotion and rhythm. Pain and sorrow are often expressed in rhythmical swaying movements; Joy is expressed in rhythmical dances; religious * emotion© in ritual— there is no need to expatiate On such a oommon-place of social psychology. The voice has its visceral controls, and though it would be rash to assume that the rhythmical reac­ tions of the viscera and larynx to a strong emo­ tion are the rhythms of the accompanying speech, yet these physical connections should be remembered since they are basis £si©l of those refinements of expression which art introduces. What else is art, or conscience and intelligence for that matter, but a subtle extenuation and spiritualization of the gross physical responses of the body to its envi­ ronment? . . . . That the 1emotion© recollected in tranquility1 do nevertheless involve a return to some degree of actual (visceral) feeling, need not be denied; but the essence of Wordsworth1® definition . . . . is in th© word tranquility. The •emotions' come back to us as concrete experiences, ill-defined perhaps, but static, and powerless to overthrow our equanimity. The intelligence has made ready for them, sees them objectively, and proceeds to 'get them In order.' The intelligence give© u© structure; the recollection of emotion should give us rhythm; and with rhythm and.struc­ ture we have the element© of literary art*


This is not tee place for a full discussion of the difficulties in the way of our accepting Read1© ideas.

Yet* consider just one that derives from his

reference to Wordsworth1® “emotion© recollected in tranquility.**

What is it that one recollect© when

recollecting an ©motion?

It may be its occasion, or it©

acoompanlments in terms of movements, sounds, or speci­ fic word© ©poken.

A character in Aldous Huxley1e novel,

ffiyelegg in

1Sbld.. p. 34. SJ. Q. Fletcher, Irradiations... p. xl; Amy Lowell, "Vers Libre and Metrical Prose," pp. 313-330; Eunice Tietjens, "The Cuckoo School of Criticism,tt pp. 96^99. ^Yvor Winters, In Defense of Reason, p. 139; D. A. Stauffer, op. oitT,~~ppV'' 303-305'; 'Stewart, Technique of English Verse, p. 311: Robert Bridges, quoted in #/' Allerf(©&.) The Writer on His Art. pp. 91-93.

nature of versification which seems to do justice to the many different things that Eliot has said about It* Namely, the theory that the essence of metre and thus of versification is any repetitive pattern pf words* and the endless arguments about versifica­ tion from Campion to Amy Lowell and the Free Feree movement are caused by the curious feeling that some one repetitive pattern* or kind of*pattern, is the only true method of versification. the repetitive patterns in Jeffers are not regu­ larly maintained throughout the poem, but from time to time we get a strong sense of the repetition pf consonant and vowel sounds, of stress patterns, of words (identical and Synonymous), of phrases, of images, of ideas.


alternation of stress patterns, images, and ideas, and th© contrastive Juxtaposition of them, makes for the variety that is necessary to balance the elements of repetition. Sound repetitions in “Roan stallion“ are frequent and of great variety.

Alliteration, assonance, and con­

sonance abound! exemplification is superfluous.


would not do complete justice to Jeffers* subtlety of versification simply to acknowledge hi® us© of allitera­ tion, assonance, and consonance; there is evidence of a subtler pattern of sounds than such an acknowledgment would signify.

No attempt will be mad© now to relate

these musical patterns to the expressive intention of th© poet.

It is a controversial subject, and the ad­

ducing of convincing evidence would be an enormous ^Delmore Schwartz, "The Literary Dictatorship of T. 8. Eliot, ** p. 134.


When symbolic action 1© discussed in a later

section gome suggestions will be made about how such tonal gesturing might b@ used to establish certain types of attitudes; but for now, it must suffice simply to identify the kind© of sound pattern® that seem to create a musical effect and hence a poetic texture. Sound® that bear a family resemblance create an harmonic effect that makes for sound-unity.

For example,

phrase 835 is *tranquil and powerful*1; the Initial con­ sonants are voiceless plosive® and hence phonetically related though they are not identical.

Another example

1® found in phrase 635, “tinkle of the April brook11; here the effective consonantal relationship can be ex­ pressed thus, (t— k-l) (pr-1) (br-k). t$ 2l, and

The sound® of

are cognates in that they are of the same

family of plosives, but the musical effect i® enhanced by the Identical repetition of the sounds k,, J., and r. The phonetic interrelation of cognate® and identical sounds is one of the chief means employed by Jeffers for achieving musicality. A valuable device for achieving consistency with variation in the sound structure is what Burke calls “acrostic scr am b l i n g . P h r a s e ©00 in “Hoan Stallion’* ^For a fuller account of the definition® of these musical device® see Kenneth Burk®, “On Musieality in Verse,*1 pp. 31-40.

has an example: nature.**

“wild loves that leap over the walls of

“Loves** ha® this combination of sounds (luvz),

and “wall® of* ha® this combination (— lz> (u?)t


rearranging in haphazard fashion of the same sound® pro­ vide® the consistency with variety that makes this de­ vice effective. A less pure form of the acrostic strategy, called after th® rhetorical term “chiasmus, * has the a-b-b-a arrangement of identical or cognate sound®.

In phrase

891, the words “black moss covered** appear in that order; th© ©ohematio expression of the sound relationship of the first and third words in this phrase looks like this (b— k) (k— — d).

Th© structural frame of “black* is

reversed in *00 vexed* with a variation added by the shift from the labial plosive b to the dental plosive d.


subtler combination is found in phrase 780, “lifting her hand gently to the npflung head.*

Her©, in “lifting*

we have (1-ft) and in “gently* the £ and t are reversed (tl).

A third variation Is rung in th© word “upflung*1

where we have the combination (pfl) which also reverses the (1-ft) but retains more consistency by repeating the £ in th© same central position.

Musical subtlety

is complicated by the shift from the dental plosive £ to the labial plosive Two more devices commonly found in good verse are augmentation and diminution.

In music a theme may be


established in quarter notes and then repeated in half notes.

Thl B 3-® feUCT.en.t&t1on.

of this process.

Diminution is the reverse

Recall the phrase, "tranquil and power­

ful** used as a sample of cognate sounds. augmentation of the (tr) and (p—

There is an

r)j further augmenta­

tion is noted in phrase 489, "pacing the planks of the floor" because there are more sounds Intervening between (p— — s) in "planks" than between (p-s) in "pacing.* An example of diminution is found in phrase 1131, "bitter bird1e cry" which oan be diagrammed thus (b*— r) (b-r) (or).

This progressive diminution is complicated

by the cognate shift from the voiced labial plosive to the voiceless palatal plosive. The repetition of words and phrases in "Roan Stallion" sometimes has the effect of motif, introduced and reintroduced with modifications to create the effect of lyric intensity.

A further function of the repeti­

tion of words and phrases is to establish a strong identity between two disparate elements by entangling them in a skein of words that is only slightly changed with each repetition.

An example of such a use is the

identification of the stallion* s "mane1* with elements of a more cosmic order such as "night," "cloud," "stars," and "God":

Phrase Humber 4X4 487 499 869 738 896 1030

Fhraae The night shaking open like a flag Stoking the r@d-roan mane for a flag (reference here is to the stallion) the red-roan man© shaken out for a flag shaking the red-roan man© for a flag (reference here is to God) the storm cloud mane In whose mane the stars were netted shaking the nightfall of the great mane

Similarly, identifications are made between the thunder of the stallion*a hoove® and the thunder of the stormy sky, between hill® and breast®, and, of course, between the stallion and God. Th® repetition of certain type® of references, lliteral and figurative, tells us something about the quality of the text and the ton© of the narrative.


instance, there are ninety-two references to parte of the human body, sixty-four references to part® of the animal body and twenty-six instance® of personifica­ tion! such insistence on the physical animal keep© the reader in constant -awareness of th© flesh.

This aware­

ness is qualified by fourteen references to nudity, fifty-five to strength and enormity, fifty-eight to wetness and water, mad thirty to rut®, canyons, valleys, road®, lane© and the like. her© la one of sexuality.

The qualification implied Th© references range from

the literal, in the case of nudity, to the symbolic, In th© case of rut®, canyons, and valleys. To this strong impression of the physical and

th® sexual must be added the quality of the action sug­ gested by the high frequency of verbs denoting violent action, such as cracking, splitting, bursting, breaking, forcing, violating, lurching, clutching, grinding, straining, racing,rstreaming, flinging, plunging, crushing, etc.

The impression of violent physical

passion is adequately carried by the diction as these statistics indicate, but there is a further step that must be taken before we can come to an understanding of how such repetitions ultimately reveal the theme of "Roan Stallion.ff W© must integrate, or at least strati­ fy, certain group© of image© and references so that larger whole© may be appreciated. An examination of the references in the poem to th© words curve, cover, curl, arch, over, and hover reveal© a symbolic stratification that lead© the reader to the theme.

To begin with, notice the sound elements

that draw thee© word© together;

all contain th® r.

sound, the first three are alliterative, the first two illustrate chiasmus, (rv) and (v-r), a© well as diminu­ tion, (c— v) and (c~w). fy

notice, too, the visual identi­

over contained in cover,and hover .

Th© ©ound

relationships, however, are of the lowest order of signification here. The "overnee®" of the classical elements— air, earth, and water— is related to the "overness" of animal


The daylight, the clouds, the blinding ra­

diance, the baby face of Christ, and the Father himself are "over" the hills; the hills are arched above the land} and on the lowest level the mare awaite the waterstallion to come up out of the water to "curl over his woman." .There are, however, gradations within this atratif1cation:

at the lowest level, in the valley,

the mare is ridden, not by the water-stallion for whom she waits, but by California; that ia, California i© over th© mare.

The unnatural combination of horse and

human is compounded by the fact that they ax© both fe­ male.

Farther up th® steep road (higher elevation)

Johnny rides (is over) California, and the results are disappointing; she felmx® desire, and though his desire is genuine. he is slow and exacting because he is drunk. As the Porter says in Macbeth, when he speak© of drink as a provoker of lechery, "It provokes the desire, but It takes away the performance."

The Johnny-Callfornia

relationship, operating within the bounds of nature has produced an offspring, Christine, who, like her father, a representative of a bankrupt civilization, is wizened. On the same elevation, the stallion is mated with the bay, again a natural male-female relation, but the natural joy seems to be missing as the bay goes down the M i l with her head hanging a® though she has been shamed merely to feed Johnny*© vanity.

When California

ride© the ©tallIon it i© unnatural because the normal mle^female relation is reversed— he should be riding (be over) her.

One© they have reached the highest point

of elevation, the top of the hill, California and the stallion exchange position'©— he Is above her.


ecstasy of California does not destroy her own dignity or that of the stallion.

The elevation of the hill

symbolizes the elevation of the passion for Cod who "ranges th© bare blue hill of the sky" and can some­ times b© seen "leaping th© hills" like the Shulamite*© lover.

God was over Mary and baby Jesus was born;

there is great dignity then in this mating.

But these

"wild loves that leap over the walls of nature" have no progeny and, Ilk© the bay, California must go down the hill she had ascended.

Returning to the human level

with Johnny and her daughter, California goes down another hill to th© corral where God, the stallion, destroys the ignoble Johnny; and in a tragic moment, "moved by some obscure human fidelity," California kills God, the stallion. The unity of action in "Roan Stallion" depends largely on the skill with which Jeffers has drawn the three levels of elevation— sea, hill, and sky— into a dramatic unity climaxed by the image in phrase© 1041 and 1043.

It was Christine who "saw the ocean come up

out of the west and cover the world."

We sense

immediately the coalescence of the classical god, Poseidon, with the Christian God, the Father of Jesus, In the image of th© stallion whichcoveredCalifornia, th© daughter of earth. The Them© of «Roan Stallion" W© come "Roan Stallion"

to an understanding of the them© of through a study of the relationship of

the human to the non-human elements in the text.


ny, the Hollander, is the most enfeebled of th® humans in the story; he celebrates the procreation ceremony of th© mating of th© stallion with a mare by drinking wine, after th© fashion of the Greeks at their spring festi­ vals.

Johnny, like the Greek©, finds the wine an

aphrodisiac and finds th® prospect of chasing California to finally subdue her, a delicious one, "his mouth curving like a faun1©."

But the win© has been spilled,

and the pool it leaves is like blood, the blood of Christ spilled for man's sins.

Johnny encounters God

in the form of the non-human stallion and he is crushed to an unrecognizable pulp.

God, too, is killed in a

final act of nihilism by a creature, California, who is neither completely human (she is the daughter of native earth and her name is earth and she has consorted with God) nor completely non-human, for in a moment of "obsour© human fidelity" she has killed God.

She is

caught in th© dilemma of the human who would "love out­

ward*1 but has insufficient power to ^leap over the walls of nature15 and commit this ^unnatural crimeH that undi**nified men would call sodomy*

' i



THE PHONEMIC ANALYSIS OF «HOAN STALL!ONM Introduction Inasmuch as poetry 1© written for the ear a® well a® for the eye, no analysis of it is complete until full attention is paid to both aspects.

Generally, in

prosed, !*? analysis, attention is focused on the visual aspects of the rhythmic structure of poetry.

Appeal® to

th© "Innerear are recognised; but not until the verses are sounded aloud can one sense fully the auditory value® of poetry.

No recognition of visual patterns of

consonance, assonance, or alliteration is sufficient to meet all the technical needs of the oral

reader. He

must solve the auditory problems of rate, pitch, volume, and duration.

Certain law® of speech-utteranoe

control oral expression, but the variety possible with* in the confine® of those laws is wide. In spit© of the fact that th® public presenta­ tion ot? poetry is usually visual, poets themselves agree that, Poetry is an art of the ear*© discriminations . . . . Like music, its meanings are conveyed through sound. Sound forms part of its meaning

# * . . Always the sound, whether stressed or unstressed, is an integral part of the poem.1 John Giardl advise® th® reader of verse to "read it aloud • . • • Even difficult poems are meant to go into the voice-box.

Put them there • . . . Every poem is in

part an effort to reconstruct the poet*® speaking voice." Karl Shapiro ha© given the nod to certain values that oral reading may provide for the understanding of poetry; The word® supply the real rhythm through accentua­ tion and pronunciation, and to a great degree these element® remain untransformed when the word i© made poem. Yet even accentuation, time, and pronuncia­ tion develop their own characteristics in a poem, and one can never be certain, until he has heard the poet read, what rhythmical changes have been achieved.^ Two modern poet® have given practical hints— sometimes naive or dogmatic, sometimes clearly help­ ful— to the oral reader of vers®.

John Masefield has

been the moving spirit for year© at the Oxford Recita­ tions Festivals? in a note to the contestant© he has the following general reminders: If the speaker gives the rhythmical movement with a feeling for it© beauty, significance will usually follow# The commonest fault® are a kind of meagerness ^Lloyd Frankenberg, Pleasure Some, pp. 4-5# sJohn Ciardi, "What Does it Take to Enjoy a Poem?" p. 8* ^Shapiro, "Farewell to Criticism," p. 309.

(of voice, rhythm, emotion); literalness, draining the words of life and color; and attempting to be dramatic where there ia no drama.1 Robert f&Xlyer i© equally interested in guiding the oral reader but hie suggestion® are more specific and there­ fore limited in their application; i.e., when he says, "Do not chant it £th© poem]** he cannot in seriousness be referring to some of Vachei Lindsay's vers© like "The Congo" which carries th© author's specific injunc­ tion in the margin of the poem, "solemnly chanted." This is not an isolated exception; many poems depend on the chant for their effect. It seems admissable in this study to paraphrase 3 the nine principles which Mllyer advances for the in­ struction of oral Interpreter® to indicate how inadequate is the knowledge, even of a competent poet, of the com­ plex problems facing th© oral reader; 1.

Head out in a full but unrestrained voice.


Do not dramatise the poem.


Do not chant the poem.


Stress only the syllables that would be stressed in conversation; indeed, let th© stress take oar© of Itself.


Head short syllables in a hurry and long ones at leisure. W. Nevineon, "How to SpeakPoetry," p. 831. HRobert Hillyer, "On HeadingVerse Aloud," p. 94.


Observe all pauses extravagantly.

Silence can

never make a mistake. ?.

Vary the pitch eagerly.


When lines overflow into each other, draw out the last syllable of the overflowing line, and without pause or change of pitch collide with th© first syllable of the line that follows.


All lines in English verse, more than one foot In length, divide into two equal time units.


units Out across feet, accent, syllable©, and may even split a single word.

More often than

not there is a pause between them. Hillyer does not tell us how he arrives at this temporal phrasing, and since It even cute across syllables, on© must agree that any temporal unit, such as be out into two ©qual units.

the line, can

What thi© does for our

understanding, more than cutting a line into two equal time units, the poet does not tell us. It is clear that w© cannot lookto

poets for an

objective method of analysing the auditory structure of their poetry.

No more can we look to the critics for

accurate methodology in studying the speech pattern® of verse, for their training and sensibilities ra&k© them more susceptible to impressions received through the eye. Linguists, whose interest in phonemic® culti-

vates their auditory sensitivity, seem never to choose poetry as their specific object of study; but it may very well be that their general laws can be profitably applied'to the sounding of verse.

Before we describe

the phonemic method of speech analysis: We must, initially, distinguish between performance and pattern of sound. The reading aloud of a liter­ ary "*ork of art Is a performance, a realisation of a pattern which adds something Individual and per­ sonal and, on the other hand, may distort or even entirely ignore the pattern . . . . A second common aSimispiion, that sound should be analysed in com­ plete divorce from meaning, is also false . . . . There is no "musical" verse without some general conception of its meaning or at least its emotional tone.1 A further distinction must be made If we are not to feel too strongly the separation of the prosodic and the phonemic analyse®.

We must first distinguish be­

tween two very different aspect® of the problem of sound in verse:

the "inherent" and the "relational"

elements of sound.

Wellek and Warren describe the

difference in this fashion: By the former, we mean the peculiar individuality of the sound . . . . Inherent distinctions in quality are the basis for the effect® which are usually called "musicality" or "euphony.# Rela­ tional distinction®, on th® other hand, are those which may become the basis of rhythm and meter: the pitch, the duration of the sound©, the stress, the frequency of recurrence, all elements permit­ ting quantitative distinctions. Pitch is higher or lower, duration shorter or longer, stress stronger or weaker, frequency of recurrence greater ^Wellek and Warren, oo. cit., p. 159.

or smaller. This fairly elementary distinction is important, for it Isolates a whole group of linguistic phenomena . . * The study of these "linguistic phenomena" will be the object of the phonemic analysis undertaken here.

will be interested in those appreciable differences in sound quality recognised by the aural mechanism of the listener.

Baoh phonemic methods are applicable to lit­

erary studies, since a poem is, In one sens©, only a ©election from, the system of a given language.

"In a

poem which trie® to achieve effects of 'euphony1 .or nmeie&lity . . . .

the phonemic system will'be organised

to fulfill a specific aesthetic function. The phoneme can be defined as "the smallest unit of sound by which meaning can be d i st in g u i s h e d . T h e sound difference® must be "semantically significant" If they are to be recognised as phonemic.

For this analysis

no instrumental recording® are necessary for they do not record what the sound wave® mean or whether they have any meaning; only an auditory analysis can discover two utterance® that differ by meaning and by sound.


cal sound is, generally speaking, a continuum, while meaning is discernible in it only by isolating certain traits which distinguish on® phoneme from another. 1Xbld.. p. 180


^vSellek, op. clt.. p. 748


phonemic analysis, then* will elaborate and modify the

poetic injunction of Pope* who would have the sound echo the sense.

The phonemic analysis will indicate to

som® extent the sense Itself, for the sounding of words

reveals not only lexical meanings, but also intonation patterns which are the sign® of the speaker*s attitudes. It is to he kept in mind that this phonemic analysis of wHoan Stallion# will serve to reveal th® esthetic function of Jeffers1 language and to lead us, If no further than a step, toward the establishment of a mode of symbolic action.

Intonation should be congru­

ent with the meaning and intention of the poem though it le not signally recorded in the text of the verse. It is not to be understood that phonemic® are separate from symbolic action; on the contrary, the la­ bile process of making minimal distinctions of soundactions carrying significantly different meanings is symbolic action, though not all of it.

In the phrase,

*•1 don*t know,19 there are three sound groups—

don* t.

and know^-that can be identified with lexical meanings that are relatively fixed.

Their meaning as Hspeaker

attitude,** however, may modify their lexical meaning. Such modifications or ^intonation meanings19 are symbolic and may b© expressed graphically in this fashion: 1

don*t know.* ” 3— «**3— 3

The stress is indicated, the signifi-

^Infra, pp. 338 ff.

Cant pitch levels are indicated, and a contour pattern appears that we recognise as indefinite because it is rising; but the degree of rise i® somewhat extreme and experience has shown timt speakers who are thus emphatic about their indefinitenese may b® adding the meaning that they wash their hands of trying to know, or they feel helpless in the face of their repeated failures to know.

A confirmation of the intonation meaning may be

seen In the speaker’s non-vocal activity.

We say that

th© speaker who says, 111 don’t know,** with the Intona­ tion pattern her® described, Is **throwing up his hands.w He may actually indicate this by an elevation of the arm© and a turning up of the palms of his hands; but he may also lift his eyebrow® and his shoulders.

There Is

consistency here of ^throwing up*1 the voice (pitch level), the arms, the hands, the eyebrows, and the shoulders.

Th© throwing up of the hands and the shrug­

ging of the shoulders h&v© become convent lons— cliches of symbolic action— and w® understand their meaning in certain contexts even without the accompanying words. Some definition© of terms used in the phonemic analysis should be mad® in advance.

They are abstract­

ed from th® 1947 edition of Kenneth Pike’s The Intona­ tion of American English published by the University of Michigan Press.


IKTOBATXON COHTOUR; Every sent ence, every word, every syllable is given some pitch when it is spoken. Th© ohang©® of pitch which occur within a sentence are not haphazard variation* The patterns of variation, th© rules of change, are highly organised. 1ITOTATIQH


X . S o m e intonation 'o'feiract®r1stics may be complete­ ly colorless in meaning; they give to the listener no implication of the speaker’s atti­ tude or feeling. 3. Other intonation characteristics may be affected or caused by th© individual’s physiological state— anger, happiness, excitement, age, sex, and so on. 3. In English, many intonation contours are explicit in meaning. Whenever a certain sequence of relative pitches is heard, one concludes that the speaker means things over and above the specific meanings of the words themselves. It I© this type of oontoxxr that will provide the bulk of our analysis. LEXICAL MKANIMq; The lexical meaning is th© intrinsic meaning, the on© found in th© dictionary. IOTONATXOH M E M IIIG; The intonation meaning modifies th© lexical "meaning "of a sentence by adding the speaker’s attitude. ffl>gjA3%KE’$ ATTITUDE: Attitudes vary from surprise to d@llbe¥ati’o'n,' to sharp isolation of some part of th© sentence for special attention, to mild intellectual detachment» GLIDE: When a falling or rising contour occurs in a slngT© syllable, it is known as a glide. FOUH BgLATITO PITCH LETOLS AT gOHTOUH FOIHTS; In EngXf«S7r ''if 'si^ifxo55S levels (pitch pho­ nemes) can be found to serve as building blocks for Intonation contours. They may be numbered from one to four, extra-high, high, mid, and low, respectively. U8AOE3 Of PITCH LKTOLg: Pitch levels appear to be n©ar­ ty ''or'oompisteiy meaningless by themselves. It Is the intonation contour as a whole which carries the meaning, nevertheless some generalisations can be made: there is a tendency for pitch contours which include a pitch of level number one to contain some element of surprise or unexpectedness; pitch two 1© possibly the most frequent level for normal ©tressed syllables, while pitch four

i© frequent for unstressed syllables at the end of fall­ ing contours and pitch three for unstressed syllables elsewhere. These generalisations serve merely as mnemonic devices, for th© exceptions are too numerous for them to have any real validity.^ CONTOUR. POINTS: In determining the pertinent level or levels of a contour one does not classify the pitch of every syllable or part of a syllable, but only those point© in the contour crucial to the establishment of its character!stic rises and falls; these may be called contour points. OQITTOtm POINTS OF PHI MAH T IOT0UATI0U3: It is at the ends of sen tend© s'"that “contour & ~wl'Vh t he strongest mean­ ings tend to occur. These important contours may be called primary types (3-4, 1-4, 3-4-3, 3-3); so are all other contours which are similar in structure; so are the same contours called primary when they appear earli­ er in the sentence. jHBQXITKlNfl frOXKTs A stressed syllable constitutes the oegXnn'i'ng point for every primary contour; there is no primary contour without a stressed syllable, and ©very heavily stressed syllabi© begins a new contour. Th© beginning of the primary contour is shown by the degree sign (°) before th© number of the pitoh level. h

IffKATE. STRES8: Those syllables which regularly receive stres& 'in dissyllabic words, and those monosyllable© which regularly receive stress in normal phrases, may be said to be innately stressed, even though these ©tresses can be partially suppressed* Any syllable that is innately stressed is potentially th© beginning of a primary contour. BffDXHG PQIgT: The ending point completes contour. If the entire contour occurs on syllable, the ending point Ia constituted half of that syllable, with a pitch glide th© beginning and ending points.

the- primary a ©Ingle by the second connecting

PIRSOTIQH-OHAHGE FQtHTi In a few but important primary contours the pitch"changes from falling to rising or (rarely) rising to falling. Th© commonest contour Is Sf£*»4«.3 a Four is the direction-ohange point for this contour* FHEGOWTOUR35 Immediately preceding the stressed syllable of a primary contour there oftentimes will be one or more syllables which are pronounced in the same burst of speed

with that primary contour but which themselves are un­ stressed. These syllables may be called precontoure, and depend for their pronunciation upon the syllables which follow them. TOTAL OONTOIIR: A primary contour with its unstressed precontour knit closely to It in pronunciation forms a single intonations! unit, a total contour. Example: I want to go home. The intonation of X want to gro is --3-' o2_4 -— a precontour, that of home Is a primary contour, and the entire pitch sequence is total contour. If the primary contour happens to have no precontour then In itself It is total contour. U SE OF ,HYPHEN: In this analysis numerals which symbol­ ic© key points in the contour will be connected by hyphen®; the preoontour numeral will be followed by a hyphen. TENTATIVE PJUJSffs A tentative pause is a cessation of i^eeeh t W i ' s selafcively short. It has one very Impor­ tant alternate form: instead of a gap in the speech (a complete cessation of sound), there Is a lengthen­ ing of the last sound or two of the preceding word. This length takes up the same time as the physical pause. There is no confusion with normal sounds that are rela­ tively long or with sounds which are lengthened for em­ phasis, since the prolongation of sound which substitutes for a tentative pause is considerably weakened in stress. It is t M s weakness of ©tress plus the length which substitutes for a physical pause in the tentative pause phoneme. The tentative pause tends to ooour where the attitude of the speaker includes uncertainty or nonfinality. It is found in hesitation, and after almost all questions. A pause in the middle of a sentence is generally, though by no means always, of the tentative type. FINAL'PAUSE:: The final pause generally recognised be­ cause it modifies the preceding contour or contours by lowering In some way the normal height of the end of the contour. If the contour itself ends in pitch four, then preceding a final pause it will tend to fade into silence while drifting downward; this ia considerably different from the pitch of the same contour which has a somewhat level, possibly sustained, ending when it occurs in the middle of the sentence without pause, or before a tenta­ tive pause. Function: The final pause occurs where the speaker’s attitude,1'at the time of pause, Is one of finality, which would be moot often at the end of state­ ments. The final pause i© limited in occurrence almost

entirely to a position after a contour falling to pitch level four. fffflgl DESIGNATION IN THIS STUDY: No effort has been made to distinguish between tentative and final pauses since ©o little interpretative significance derives from such a distinction. Each line in the analysis represent© a complete phrase without a phonemically significant pause within the phrase but a pause of either type does mark the end of each line. Each line is a rhythm unit. SXMffLE RHYTHM spoken with a a pause, is a ©ne, and only unit •

UNITS: A sentence or part of a sentence single rush of syllabi es, uninterrupted by rhythm unit. A rhythm unit that contain© one, primary contour is a simple rhythm

QpMPh.Eff RHYTHM UNIT: Frequently— especially in fast speech— two or more simple rhythm units, eaoh with one primary oontour, may be coalesced into one large rhythm unit. Such a combination comprise© a complex rhythm unit. There is, like the simple rhythm unit, just one rush of speech without pause. PAUSES USED OTHER THAN AT THE END OF PRIMARY CONTOURS: These pause© can be introduced only when the speaker change© hi© attitude or attention, or ©peed, or emphasis, quite sharply. SUMMARY OF THE NOTATION SYSTEM USED IN THIS PHONEMIC W m B l W r^Whe'YSSx reiative^prfciTlevel© "are 'irTdToatad loy"the" use of numeral© I, 3, 3, and 4— extra-high, high, mid, and low respectively. The numerals for the primary contours are placed a© closely a© possible under the beginning, ending, and direction-eh&nge points. Inter­ mediate syllables receive no numeral© since they may optionally be any ©hade of pitch between that of neigh­ boring end points. A precontour receives one or more numeral© depending upon whether it i© of a level or a slurring type. The beginning point of the primary con­ tour Is Indicated by a degree sign (°). All the numer­ als of a total contour are linked by hyphens. Rhythm units are indicated by double spacing between them. Rarely the colon sign (:) appear© after s. numeral to indicate th© elongation of the stressed sound under which the numeral appears. The advantage of this system lies in its unambiguous indication of the contrastive levels, th© contour points, and the like, with resultant presenta-

tion of the structural organisation of the material. The comment© enclosed in parentheses which appear In the course of the following phonemic analysis are Intended to describe the non-vocal as well as the vocal action, both of which are symbolic of emotional attitudes.

Wherever it is relevant, phonetics will

appear as it did in th© discussion of the prosody of "Boan Stallion.» The dialect of Intonation is that of the writer, which is a type frequently called *general American.*1 Traces of an ©astern influence m&y be detected since the writer spent most of his early years in New York and Philadelphia.

Since then his speech has been

largely modified by a vaguely-defined mid-west dialect. No attempt has been mad© to imitate the speech of a Hollander or a native of Span!eh-Indian descent. It was felt that th© dialect transcription would not materially effect th© pattern of symbolic action. It should be emphasised that th© particular pattern© of intonation used here could be varied in­ finitely.

The one given merely reproduces the melody as

it appeared to the present writer at the time of record­ ing.

It must be admitted, too, that the phonemic nota­

tion© are far from complete for speech as a whole. effort ha© been made to give th© intonation oontoiir© themselves, with some indication of changes In pitch



level; but no attempt has been made to record the speed of utterance, superimposed quality, or degrees of stress beyond that of stress and unstress* These limitations do not mean that the intana~ tlonal patterns are without value in this study*


descriptions have been used to augment the schematic designations and nothing has been neglected that would seriously affect the reader*s understanding of symbolic action*


The Phonemic Analysis of #Roan Stallion 1.

The dog harked; °3-3 °3-4 (The body tonus suggests alertness; the Initial stopped consonants are pronounced with strong tension*)


then the woman stood in the doorway, 4“* 3-3 3** —4— 3—4 (The body Is alert, expectant; the head is slightly elevated; the tension is controlled.)


and hearing iron strike stone down the steep road °3— 3 °3 °S-3 °2- -3°2 ®3-3 (Maintain controlled tension of listening; the extreme regularity of the stresses and the relative levelness of the contours supports the symbolic action In this phrase*)


Covered her head with a black shawl 03*3 °3-3 4°2 °S—4 (quicken the temp© of the first two oontours to show ©entrust of her not ion* tempo with that of the mare plodding laboriously up the steep road which is suggested in the deliberate stresses of phrase 3*)


and entered the light rain; °3-3-3- °3-4 (Quicken tempo of th© first contour for reason given in phrase 4*)


she stood at the turn of the road. 4C3 ,3* 03 03^4 (Repeat action of phrase 2; narrow ©yes slight­ ly to suggest peering in the rain.)


A nobly formed woman; ®3—3 '®3—4— —4—4


erect and strong as a new tower; 3-2 2-3 4°2 ®3-4


the features stolid and dark ©2-3 °2-4 °2-4



Bat sculptured Into a strong grace; 4®g- -S 4— . «>3-3 °2-4


straight nos© with a 3-3 °2-3 4—


firm and wide eyes. °2-2 4- °2—3 °3-4


full chin, °3 ®3-4


Bed lips; 6a 3— 4

high bridge, °2-3 52-4

(Phrase© 7 through 14 are considered here as a unit; voice should be full and strong after the conventional notion that persons answering to such a description as is here given of Califor­ nia are identified with such voices unless specifioally contradicted by the text. The reader1® posture should conform to the epithets used in the description, such as “nobly formed,M **©rect,* “strong,n nsculptured, “ *strai ght,* “firm,* “full8; because of the high frequency of initial sibilants and lablo-dental conso­ nants it would be in the interest of symbolic expression to be generous in the breath-ex­ penditure on those sounds in order to express the energy-potential In the figure of California.) 15. she was only a fourth part Indian; 4— 3— ®3—3— -4- ®3—4 16. a Scottish sailor had planted her in young native °3-3 °3-3 °3-3- -3 4- °3 °2-3earth, °4-4 (Put strong explosive emphasis on the initial plosive of “planted8 to express symbolically the primitive energy of the image; the accumula­ tion of three heavy stresses in the last four syllables of the phrase will add strength to the expression of the original act.) 17. Spanish and Indian, °3-3 °3-4 18. twenty-one year® before. °2— 2 —3 ^3— 4



Me had named her California 3°2~ -3 3 °3-4


when ©he was born; 4©3-4


That was her name; °2 4- ©3-4


and had gone north. 3*** ©3—4


$he heard the hooves and wheel© come nearer.






up the steep road. °3 °3 ©3-4


The buckskin mare, ©2- 3 ©2-3 leaning against the bxe&stplece, ©3 ©3 ©32-3 plodded into sight °3-3 ©3-3

36. 27. 28.



round the wet bank. ©2— -3- ©4 (Regularity of stressed syllables in phrase© 34 through 38 suggest© the deliberate quality of plod­ ding plusthe tension of muscular effort; the fre­ quency of the °2-3contours,representing as it does, nonfinality, give© a sense of continuity to the action; hypertension in the voice character­ ises the condition of effort and fatigue. Notice the opportunity for projection of this hyperten­ sion in the articulation of the tongue-arched vowels in phrase 86.}

39. The pale 3-

face of the ©2- -3

driverfollowed; °3-3 ©2 -4

30. the burnt-out eye©; ©3- -3 ©2—4 31. they had fortune in them. 3°a-4-4 33. He sat twisted ©2 ©3-4 33.

On the seat of the old buggy, ©2 3°2-4



leading a second horse by a long halter. 4** ®1-4-3 42°2-4 (the us© of °2-4 contours at the end of phrases 20 through 34 suggests finality; with the addi­ tion of long pauses at the end of each phrase and the use of low vooal energy the sense of weariness—without—effort is produced; body tonus 1® flaccid and the facial muscles relaxed. A gradation of energies is thus expressed symbol­ ically: California is represented as unspent potential energy, the mare represents energy being spent at great cost, and the driver apparently indicates spent energy.)


a '2-4*


a big one,


That stepped daintily; ©2 °2 -4


by the swell of the neck, 4— *2-3


a stallion. °2 -4 (The vocal energy increases and the body tonus tenses to match that used for phrase© 7 through 14 whioh are descriptive Of Califoraia. The energetic release of the stopped consonant® in phrase 37 indicates the nervous action of the animal; the sustaining “swell** in phrase 38 magnifies symbolically the sis© of the arch which is symbolically identified later in the poem with the more magnificent arch of the hills, the sky, and God himself. Th© ©light elevation of the head will recall the posture used earlier for California and will identify the energies of the stallion with those of California.)


“What have you got, Johnny?* 4°3 4-3 (A ©light increase in volume here would suggest speaking outdoors and across some distance.)



tfM&sker el■a stallion. -3 *3-4 (The speech of the Inebriate is indicated toy the relaxation of the facial muscle® involved in articulation— especially the lip® and tongue. The general body tonus is relaxed; and there should be loose movement of the body at emphasis points in speech due to the unsteady control of muscles characteristic of the drunk.)


Mine now* °3-3 $3-4-3 (Fride of possession elevates the head which otherwise tends to hang in the relaxed position. At the same time the eyebrows are elevated in an effort to keep the eyes open at a moment of energetic emphasis.)


I won him last night, °1- -4 3°3-3


X had 0358



(This context suggests satisfaction, which would be indicated by a smile.) 45.

He was quite drunk. °3-4 04


HTkey bring their mares up here now* 3®3-3 $3 -4


1 keep this fellow. °3~ . $3-4


I got money besides, 4°2~3 °3-4 (Mock secrecy i® expressed toy a slight forward Inclination of the body; pleasure in good for­ tune by a smile; and playful surprise by rai &ed eyebrows•)


but I111 not show you. w 4— $2-3 2—3 4— °3- —4— (Mock distrust or suspicion here is indicated by a drawing back to normal position, smile disappearing and eyes narrowing.)



*Dld you buy something, Johnny, 3* °l-2- -4 -4 4-4 For our Christine? 3 °3*-4 Christmas come© in two days, Johnny.

" ' -3


a °1-


(The repetition of ttJobrmy« indicates the impera­ tive nature of California* a remark©. Great ©tress on key words like *feuyM and wtwo days1* characterise® her urgency, The body leans forward in an aggressive effort to penetrate Johnny1© alcoholic defenses.) gy Ggd, 54. 55.

forgot,11 1— 1—4 he answered laughing.





(the use of the expletive indicates the strength of Johnny*© emotional response— laughter is loud, vocal emphasis is strong. Shaking the head* closing the ©yes, and slapping the thigh characterise the protopraatio behavior of a drunkard who 1© only loosely controlled.) 56.

MPon*t tell Christine it1© Christmas; *3 03 4- 03 03 • 4 (The voice Is lowered and the body i© inclined forward to express secrecy. This action is somewhat elaborated by drunkenness.)


after while X get her something, maybe.* ©3; —3—4— 4—4 (A vooal glide from a high to a low level over a long contour has the psychological effect of assurance. Coupled with dwindling vocal energy and the use of the word wmaybe,H the sense of assurance is vitiated and the total effect is ambiguous.)


But California: 3 - °3 -4



•I shared your Xuofc when you lost: °2-3 *3-4 4*3-4


you lost m© once. Johnny. 4— 01— —4 *4—3


remember? *3 -3 (The body bends slightly forward with aggres­ sive emphasis. The tempo is increased to re­ enforce the ©motional urgency of California1-s remarks and the imperative nature of the words 11Johnny* and ^remember? »)


Tom Cell had me two nights °8 *3 3*3 *8—4


Here in the house: *3-3 03-4


other times we1v© gone hungry: *3 *3-4 (The tempo is and there is The eyes are and 63. The derives from


decreased, the energy reduced, slight hypotension in the voice. lowered in sham© on phrases 62 general tone of these phrases a sense of loss.)

now that y©ugve won, *3 *1-3 (&xtra heavy stress on “won* indicate® con­ trastive value with rtlostM in phrases 59 and 60. It also represent® change from shameful resignation in phrases 62, S3, and 64 to aggressiveness with a change in fortune.)



Christine will have her Christmas. 4- °2 °3 -4

6?. We share your luck, Johnny. 3 °a-4 4 -4 @8. 69.

You give me money, *4— *2-4 I go down to Monterey to-morrow, 3 —4—*2 2—4—

04 —



SllV BPAflHllltfa fm* fJhtt1 !e^ina


com® b&ok 1b the evening. °2-3 O3-4


Hext day °3 - 3

73 •

Ghr 1stma@ •H °1 - 4 (Stress on pitch-level© below °B at the begin­ ning of phrases 68, 69, and 70 indicate strong determination on the part of the speaker. In­ creased tempo for urgency and finally an extra heavy ©tress on phrase 73 are used as the cli­ max to California1# speech.)


**You have wet ride.11 *3 0&-4-3


he answered higgling. 4— -4 3—4

Storm to touch him. 03 °4— 4

(In phrases 111 and 112, steady, low International level, together with low vocal energy, suggest the relaxed impervious state of the sleeping drunkard.) 113.

Dawn comeslate in the year1© dark, 3°2~3 3*>2-4


later ®3~4


Into the crack of a canyon under redwoods; 4— **2 ^3—3 4— **8 — 4


and California slipped from bed An hour before it; 3- ®2-3 °3 ®3~3 ^ °3 4-°2- 4


the buckskin would be tired; 3 — 3 **3—4


there was a little barley, 4— —3— **3—3


and why should Johnny Feed all the barley to his 3— -33— *>1-4 3—3 stallion? °3-4




That is what he would do. *>H-4-4- °2-4 She tiptoed out of the room. °2-4-3 5 °2-4



Leaving her clothes* 2-3 2-3


hefci waken If she waited to put them on* 4— 3—4 4 4— —4


and passed from the door of the house 3-3 ®2-3 ©2-3


Into the dark of the rain; 4°3-3 ®3-4 (From phrase 116 through phrase 135 there is a prevailing sense of hast© and hushed quiet. Vo­ cally this would mean frequent use of the aspi­ rate quality for the sense of quiet secrecy and quickening of tempo on such words as wslipped,« ^tiptoed,and *»waken*n to express the anxiety of California.)


the big black drops were cold through the thin ©2 °3 ©3-3 °3 4 03 shift. 03-4 (Successive strong stresses in phrase 136 slow the tempo from that of phrases 116 through 125. Considerable tension In the body may be ex­ pressed by slightly hunched shoulders, knitted brows and strong explosive releases of the initial stopped consonants In *big blade §?ops. A special effect can be produced with the artic­ ulation of the word •cold* by using the aspirate quality and expending considerable breath. The effect is that of sudden exhalation of breath that ha® been held a long while in the chest cavity when the muscles are constricted in that area during the experience of being cold.)


but the wet earth 3- °2—3


Pleasant under her naked feet. 03-4 43-3 ©3-4 (The ©3-4 contour for ^pleasant,# occurring as it does early in the phrase* gives a special im­ pression of finality, hence satisfaction, and conclusiveness. The symbolic action appropriate to the intonation pattern might be a faint smile.)



There was a pleasant smell In the stable; 40 3^ 3 ° 3-*4 03-4


and moving softly, °2 °3-3


Touching thing® gently °3 «>3-3


with thesupplebend of 3



the unclothed body, 03 . 3 03^3

was pleasant.

°3-4 (The adverb® #softly* and Mgently* suggest the same quality of speech. This attitude i® further suppoz*ted by the adjectives *supple* and ^pleasant.*) 134.

She found a box, 4— ^3** *.4


Filled it with sweet dry barley


°2 °2

itdownto the ***3 4-



and took 3—

old corral. ^ 3^ 3*4


The little mare sighed deeply 3* °3~3 3^3 Q3~4 (This phrase is spoken on the sustained expira­ tion of a deep breath in order to project the notion of a sigh. The voice remains gentle.)


At the rail 3-*4


in the wet darkness; 3 °3 -4


and California 3 ®3**3



143 .

between two redwoods 4 4 — —4


up to the house 4—




ffe&rd the happyjaws grinding the grain. 3-







Johnny could mind the pig© and chickens* °3~ 3 ®S-3 °3-4


Christine calledtoher When sheentered the 3 - B °2-4 43 -


but slept again °2~ -4


under her hand* 4— °a-4


She laid the wet night-dress on a chair-back 4 °3-3 ®2- —4


And stole °2-3

house, os-4

intothebedroom to get her clothe®. 403-3 4 ®3-4

(A sustained articulation of the word wstole,* in a low tone, will indicate the quality of the action it describe®.) 151 •

A plank creaked, «>3 03-4 (In contrast to the sustained tones of «stolew in phrase 150, here are two word© «plank creaked11 that hare both initial and terminal stopped consonante. This circumstance provides the opportunity for projecting vocally the dramatic tension of the moment.)


and he wakened* °2-4


She stood motionless 4— —4


Hearing him stir in the bed. 3°3-3 °3-4 (Eyes are opened wide as in fear and also to increase the margin of vision to the lim^t be­ cause it is dark. The voice is tense but hushed, and th© tempo is quickened within the phrase. The pauses are extra long to give her a chance to check on the sounds of stirring.)



When he was quiet 4-



she stooped after her shoes, 3-4


°3— 4

and he said softly, 4-



(The tension is relaxed in phrases 155, 158, and 157* The voice 1® very quiet and the breathing ie steady*) 158.

uWhat are you doing? 03 * 03-4


Oome back to bed* # 403 (There is hypotension in th© voice in phrases 158 and 159 because of sleepiness and drunkeaness. The low level contours attest to that. The eyelids are drooped, and the facial muscles generally are relaxed. It is important for him to speak in uninhibited full tones.)


«!t*s late. °3-4


I*m going to Monterey, 4*»' 4 **


I must hitch up. *} 03 e2 - 4 (The three short, complete phrases 160, 161, and 183 show some anxiety which is also expressed in quick speech tempo, knitted brows, and a definitely aspirate quality.)


#You oome to bed first. °3-





I been away three days. 3~ °2 03-4


I give you money,


1 take back th© money

4~ °3




And what you do in town then?** 4 -3- °2-4 (Her© are five short phrases, 163, 164, 165, 160, and 167, also complete* Th@y match the deliberatones® of phrases 160, 161, and 162* hut par­ take of the vocal quality that characterised phrases 150 and 159.)


She sighed sharply °2~3 3—4


and came to the bed. 3 2-4 (Resignation is expressed by a deep breath which is exhaled in a sigh and serves ae the breathpower for phrase 168. there Is further expres­ sion of resignation when the shoulder® are slightly raised and lowered in this breathing process* The voice is hypotense.)


H© °3


reaching his hands from it $3-4 3—4— 4


Felt the cool curve and firmness of her flank, $3 03—4 $3—4 3—4 3—4


and half rising 4—- $3—3


caught her by the long wet hair. $34 $3 °3 $3-4 (The slow, sustained action involved in phrases 170 through 174 requires a slow speech tempo with sustained sounds in the long vowel© and continuants. Repetition of sound© as in phrase 172 indicate© that the poet has consciously provided a sustained motion in sound which symbolically reenforce© the sustained action in the scene* Tempo 1© quickened at the climax in phrase 174 beginning with "caught1* and then slowing up on "long wet hair" for that relaxes the tensions that had been growing in th© earlier phrase®.)

361 •


8h© gndured, (Excessive tension is shown In holding the atop on the first £ In "endured.» The vole© ie tensed and the sound® are squeezed through the vocal folds. The jaw is tightly closed.)


and to hasten the act °3-3 °3~3


feigned desire; *3—4


she had not for long, s*a-3


except in dream. 3®a~3


felt it. *3 3 -— 4 (The progress of action through phrases 178, 179, and 180 is a gradual relaxation from th© "feigned desire" and this will be shown in the gradual relaxation of bodily and vocal tensions.)


Yesterday1a drunkenness mad© him sluggish Q&m .-3 * 3— —.4 3— ®3 — 4


and exacting; 3—4 (Th© tonus of the body Is further relaxed. Th© body seem© to lurch slightly from the effort of the epigastrium in the enunciation of "sluggish" in phrase 181 and "exacting" in phrase 183.)


she saw, *3-4


turning her head sadly, 4— —4— 4— 4 (Phrase 103 1© spoken with a slow tempo and low energy. Phrase 184 is spoken on the lowest and steadiest level to suggest th© complete collapse of th© sex act.)



Tbe windows were bright gray with dawn: 3*2 °2 °3-4


he embraced her still, °3-3 °2-4


to tgjlk about the stallion.


At length she was permitted to put on her clothes. 4** 03—4 3— ®S—4


Clear daylight over the steep hills; e~ °s-3 3°z °a-4


Cray-shining cloud over th© tops of the redwoods; °3~ B ®3-3 3°3 4— °2 ~ 4


the winter stream sang loud; °3-3 °2-4 (From phrase 188 through phrase 191 there is a gradual increase in the tension of the action: the passing of time* the hint of rain* the swollen stream. To match this increase in ten­ sion is the rising level of th© pitch and the final hi gh level of phrase 191 climaxed toy three strong stresses. The elliptical syntax of phrases 189 and 190 creates a compression of language that supports the general increase in tension.)


the wheels of the buggy Slipped in deep slime* °3-3 ©3-3 °3-3 °2 °2-4


ground on washed stones at the road-edge. ®3 °2 - 4


Down the hill 3 °3-3


the wrinkled river smothered the ford. 3 - 3 - 3 °B - 3 °2-4 (The hint of onomatopoeia throughout phrases 192* 193* 194* and 195 suggests directly the action of slipping* grinding stone, and roar­ ing water. There i® a remarkable musloality and unity created toy the skillful repetition of sounds in these phrase®. A sense of excitement derives from this must callty and symbolically add® to th© excitement of the fictional circum­ stances* )

SC O .


You must keep to the bed of stones: ®I3-2 *2-4 (A sense of direct discourse In this line intens­ ifies the drama* because we seem to hear the living voice of the character. The high pitch level on **mu&t* Indicates urgency. The body leans slightly forward.)


she knew th® way by *3 3


the buckskin halted mid-stream, *2-3 *3-3 *3 - 4


Shuddering# °3 - 4


the water *3-3

201 •

her own color 3 *2—3


washing up to the trace®; *2- ' -3 *3-4

willow and alder: *3-4 *3—4

(Th© somewhat forced pause© that shorten the phrases from 198 through 202 give an erratic rhythm to th© verse and hence create symbolic­ ally the erratic behavior of the mare. A violent expulsion of breath on th© initial sound of #ehu&&eringf* in phrase 199 can be accom­ pli shed by a violent movement of th© epigas­ trium* This convulsive gesture may be somewhat generalised and will serve to express the shuddering of th® mare and th© generally tense anxiety of th© scene.) 202 *

but California, 3- *3-3


drawing up Her feet out of the whirl onto the *3 *3-3 °3 *3-3 *3 seat of the buggy —3— *2-3


swung thewhip over *2 *2 3-

the yellow water *3—2 *2-3


(Phrase 804 is long and has several unstressed syllable® which give a sense of swift movement and, unlike the action of the mare, defined and directed. There is heavy stress, for example* On woutw in phrase 204 and on Montow in 305, which emphasises the direction of the action. The ^3-3 contour® encourage the sustained quality of the action because of the nature of their nonfin&llty.) 306.

And drove to the road. ®3-3 ®3-4 (The near-rhyme on the stressed syllables and the continuants in the short phrase 306 give weight to the expression of the final success of the action. There is a further device em­ ployed by the poet which give® a strong sense of unity, and even self-containment, to this phrase, which is mentioned by Burke in his article on ^Musicality in Verse.w It frames the phrase by repeating the initial sound of the stressed word in the phrase at end of the phrase.)


All morning 8 °8~4 (If "all" is sustained in phrase 207, there will be a symbolic representation of the fullness of time indicated in the meaning of the word.)


the clouds were racing northward like a river. 3~ °2 °2 - 3 3—4 (Strong stress on ^racing* in phrase 208 recommends the energy implied in the aetlon. increased tempo in the phrase suggests the increase In tension in the scene.)


At noon they thickened. *>3-3 03-4 (The opportunity for sustaining ^noon*4 in phrase 209 makes It possible to slow the symbolic action to match the fictional action of thick­ ening clouds.)


When California faced the southwincL 3 °2-3 3°3 - 3



home fro® Monterey 3* 3 3—3


it was heavy with level rainfall. 4°3~4 3% - 4 (density of language is achieved in phrase 312 Toy the close Integration of vowel and non sonant sounds in “heavy,« “level,“ and “rainfall.*1 This density corresponds to the action of th© scene.)


Sh® looked seaward from the foot of the valley; 4 ©3-3 3°2-4


red rays cried sunset 3- 2°3 ©2-4 (The series of five stresses in the five syl­ lables of phrase 314 is strikingly emphatic, its enunciation requires a full voice, elevated posture, and alert body tension. This vocal and postural attitude will motivate the image of the trumpet used in phrase 315.)


from a trumpet of streaming Cloud over hobos, 02-3 °3-2 *3-3 3*3-4

216. the southwest Occident of th® solstice. 3 - ©2 0 2 - 3 °3 - 4 (The close integration of sounds used at the end of a sentence for the achievement of strong uni­ ty seem® to be character!etio of Jeffers* vers© In this poem. In phrase 316 it 1 ® the orches­ tration of t, and j& and of jj, i, and Recall the reference to Burke's article on musloality in notes to phrase 306.) 217.

Twilight came soon, °3-3 3*8-4

218. but the tired mar© Feared the road more than the ©2-3 ©2-3 3— °3-3 3whip. ©2—4 219.

Mile after mile of slow gray twilight. 03 ©3 ©3 °3 ©3-4


(Phrases 31?* 018, and 319 are integrated into a complete statement with the initial and terminal us® of the word “twilight." The vowel sound which i® repeated within the word itself is nevertheless further repeated in “mile,* again in “mile," and in “tired.# More repetition Is accomplished with variety in the close sound-similaritles In the words "tired/1* “mar©," "feared," and "more,11 all in the same phras© 318. This close-knit texture make© it possible to hold together the ambiguous tension of "soon" and "feared" with the relaxa­ tion of "tired" and “glow.") 330*



quite suddenly, 3— 4—3


darkness. •8 - 4 (The contrast of action referred to in th® above note 1© given an area of dominance in phrase® 320, 331, and 233. It is th© tension of speed now that prevails. The shortness of phrases 330 and 323 plus the impulsive vocal accents and lengthened pause© at th® end of phrases give the impression of excited tension.)


“Christine will b@ ©sleep. °2-3 °3-4


It is Christmas fv© 4°3-3 •®3~4


Th© ford. 3—4


That hour of daylight su 4— °a3—- 3—


wasted this morning V? °l-4-4 (Phrase© 325 through 33? contain four short sentence® in direct discourse® The elliptical structure of phrase 225 indicates the compres­ sion and tension of the language. The extra heavy stress on “wasted" in phrase 23? eu< geets further tension.)



She could see nothing; 4— 3— ■**3—4 (The eye© are narrowed for tension of visual foous and th© head nods ©lightly for the emphasis on "nothing.")


she let th© reins lie on the dashboard 4— °2-3 32 - 4


and knew at length °2-3 —3


by the cramp of th© wheels 4— ®3-3 °2-3


tod th© pitch down, 02 °3-3


the y had reaohed it. 402 —4 /


Noise of wheels on stones, 02 °3 °3~4


plashing of hooves In water; 0.3 q3 03-4


a world Of sounds; 02-4 02-4 (The regularity of stress and the intonation pattern provide an expectancy in phrases 334, 235, and 336 that is satisfied, and then is in contrast with the sudden change to two©tresses in two syllables in phrase 33? where th© ex­ pectancy is not satisfied.)

237. no sight; 3— **2—4 338.

the gentle thunder of water; **3-3 °2-3 °3-4


the mare snorting, **2—4 °2-4

240. dipping her head, one knew, 03 @2-3 4-3 241. To look for footing, 3°3-3



in the blackness, 4°2 ~ 4


under the stream* 4®s-4


The hushing and creaking of the sea-wind 3-3 ©3-3 ®3- 3


in the passion of invisible willows. 4— ©3-3 °S~3 °2-4


The mare stood ©till; 3-3 -3®3-4


the woman shouted to her; °3~3 ®ah 4


spared whip, °3-4


For a false leap 4— °3 °3-3 (To secure maximum tension in the action of phrase 249, the final stopped consonant in ^leap** should not be released for th© duration of the pause at the end of the phrase. This will create a sense of suspension*)


would lose tlie track of the ford. 3~ °3-3 °3-4


She stood. ®0*»4


wfhe baby1a things, # 3°2-4


thought California, 4— —4


^Under the ©eat: 4°2-4


th© water will coma over the floor**5 03 ^ ^ 4. 3°2-4 (Phrases 353 through 255 are concerned with th© expression of fear, anxiety, and surprise. Those emotions hav© certain expressive elements In common: widened eyes, shallow rapid breath-* ing and rapid speech.)



and rising in the midst of the water °8 3 03-4-3


She tilted the seat; ®3—3 ®3—4


fetched up the doll, °3 ®2»3


the painted wooden Ohiokens, 8— -3®2—8

360. the wooly bear, 3°3~3 261.

the book Of many pictures, 3^ *3*. 03^3

263. the box of sweets: 3— 3—4 383. she brought them all from under the seat 33—4 4 3 364.

and stored them, ^3-3- -3


trembling, 3— 4


Under her clothes, °3 ®2-3


about the breasts, 03 °2-3


under the arms; °3



the corners of the cardboard boxes Out into the °2-3






soft flesh; ®3 °3-4 270.

but with a piece of rope for a .'-xirdle 4°3— -3 °2—3


and wound about the shoulders ®3 -3 °3 - 3



411 was made fast °3— (When phrases 356 through 273 are regarded as a rhythmical unit, certain ©rganisati on&l features become apparent that function symbolically in the action. To begin with, the emphasis is on the action in phrases 256, 357, and 358 and close integration of the action is obtained by using a participial construction in phrase 256 and a simple past tense in 257 and 358. The participle with the past tense gives the impres­ sion of simultaneity- The emphasis shifts from action to objects in phrase© 359 through 263* Both action and objects are brought together at the1end of the first rhythmic phase in phrase 365 with "brought'» and "all." From this point on to the end of the second rhythmic phase, action and objects combine, starting with *stored them-** in phrase 304 and the quality of action indicated in phrase 365 with the participle "trembling.* Phrases 2BS, 267, and 268 direct the action to clothes, breast®, and arms. Then the main action and the main objects combine again in phrase 369 with "boxes11 and "cut." The full resolution of the long rhythmic unity comes in the last phrase, 272, with "all'1 for the object© and "made fast" for the action* This last is virtually a repetition of the end of the first phase, "brought . . . . all." The significance of this analysis for symbolic action is that Intensity or emphasis will b© determined by what is being rhythmically fea­ tured at the moment: first the action, then the objects, then both in alternation, then the adverbial prepositions, and finally the obj act a and t he actlon together•)


The mare stood still °2-4-3 °3 -4


as if asleep in the midst of the water. 4®33 4


Then California Reached out a hand over the stream 3- -3 — 2—3 °3—3— -3 4°2-3


and fingered her rump; °2 - 3 -4


the solid wet convexity of it °2-3 ®3 ®2~3 —4 -3



Shook like the beat of a great heart. °3 ®3 °2 ®3-4 (in phrase 278 there are five terminal stopped consonants. This preponderance of such sounds gives a drum-like duality to the sound progres­ sion which is b o regularly interrupted. See tons on consonante as drum beat©. The relation to symbolio action here amounts almost to imitation.)


>*Wh&t are you waiting for?w 4— 1—3—* -4 (The strong stress-*- 1-4 level— in phrase 379 is repeated in phrase 384. The combination of Insistence and surprise which characterises this contour is appropriate here.) ace


Bad wakened a dream, °3 °S~4


obscured real danger 03*. °2-3 °2-3


with a dream of danger. 4— °2-4 —4r*4 .


ttWhat fort 4- ®l-4


for the water-stallion To break out of the stream, °2-4 03-3 °3~3 3---3


that is what the rump strains for, ®1— «4(— b4— —4


M m to come up flinging foam sidewise, For a-hooves og ©2 ©2-4 3 ©2-4 In all, ©3—4


crush me and the rig ©2 °2 °2-4


and curl over hie woman.* ©2- —3 ©3-4


(In phrases 386 through 389 th© answer to the uestion asked in phrase 384 is given in the or© of anticipated aotion. the principle stress then will he on the verbs which carry the action, "break out,# Retrains," "come up fling* Ing, ** "crush," and "curl*" Except for "strain" — which really describe© the present action of the mare*® rump rather than the anticipated ac­ tion of the other verbs— all the verbs have Initial stopped consonants. The forceful release of these consonants will project the tension of action. The tempo Is rapid, in keep­ ing with the passionate Intensity of the fic­ tional action.)



She flgng out with the whip then; 3— —3 3— —4 (In the pause between phrase® 389 and 390 a deep breath will symbolise the relief of ten­ sion® developed in th© "dream of danger." The relief is further indicated by the release of California1s action, which can be stressed by an excessive expenditure of breath on the voice­ less continuant £ in "flung.")


The mare plunged forward. 32 °3-4 (Great stress on the verb "plunged" with Its Initial stopped consonant will symbolize the sudden release of action in the mare and pro­ vide a parallel with California1© action. The tempo i® rapid.)


The buggy drifted sidelong: Sl-3 ®3~3 °3-4


was she off groundt 4—




Swimming? °3—3


Ho: °3


by the splashes. 4°3-4 (The use of °3— 3 contours for the quest lon-forms in phrase© 393 and 394 gives the impression of


uncert&inty and a need for completion. The truncated structure of phrases 295 and 298 sug­ gests the tension of compression.) 297.

Th® driver, 2-3


a mere prehensile instinct, 303 ©3-3


clung to thesi deirons of th© seat ©3 - 3 ©3-4 (The tension of the aotion is strong again and it is reflected in the stopped consonant in the Initial position of the verb ,fclung.H)


and felt the force 3 0 2-4-3


But not the coldness 3 ©2-4


of the water, ©3-3


curling over her knees, * 3-* ©3-4


breaking up to the waist °2-3 3°2-4


Over her body. ©2 °2-4 (Initial stopped consonantsin the verbs in phrases 303 and 304 repeatthe patternalready established in previous phrases, and again they may be taken advantage of to indicate tension. The use of a number of adverbial prepositions in quick succession gives intens­ ity to th© action by emphasising its direc­ tion. }


They1*! turned. 3©2-4


Th© mare had turned up stream ©2-3 °3 °3-4


and was wallowing back into shoal water. - 3 3©2—4 -4


Then California dropped her forehead to her kneee, 3




- 3


(A strong release of the initial consonant on the Verb ^dropped,H with a powerful contraction of the muscles in the region of the epigastrium, will incorporate the process of articulation with the adaptive action of tensing the shoulders and bending the back slightly* Vocal tension will carry the impression of symbolic action too*) 310.

having seen nothing, 3°2 °3-3


fgeling a danger, 3 ^3—3


And felt th© brut© weight of a branch of alder, °2 °3 °3 3 °3-4


the pendulous light leave© °3 °3~4


brush her bent neck *>3




Like a child's fingers. 4— °3-3 °3-4


The mare burst out of water ®1 4°3~4 {The °1 contour on wburstM comes as a climax of tension after many phrases devoted tothepro­ cess of th© mare's crossing th© stream. Th© strong release of the Initial consonant in wbursttt will release the tension at the same time and symbolically represent th© relaxation of achisveasnt•)


and stopped on the slope to th© ford. ^3~3 4*» ^3—4


The woman climbed down Between th© wheels ©3 °3 °3-3 3— ©a--3


and went to her head. °2

# 3 -4

(The series of consonantal continuants w, m, and. & reduces the general tempo and hence the


tension of the scene, which is at this moment symbolically appropriate.} 320.

**jJ©or Dora,** °2-3 02-3 (A soothing tone of voice with sustained vowel© will eouple with the °2-3 contour very well, for this particular contour is frequently used by female speaker© for a tone of endearment.)

301. ©he called,her by her name, 3 -4 4^ °3-4 323.

**there, Dora. 0B: °2-3


Quietly,* 02-4-3


And led her around, 5— 4— 3—4

335. there was room to turn on the margin, 4— °3 °2-3 °4~2 308. the head to the gentle thunder of the water. °2 3°S-3 °3-4 3a?« She crawled °3:4 338.

on handsand knees, °3*4 °3-4

felt for the rut a, ®a 5 s-4

339. and shifted the wheels into them. ®2 °3~3 3 4 (In phrase 3a? the sustained vowel in “crawled“ will suggest the slow sustained action of crawl­ ing. The contrast of the ©topped consonant© in phrase 828 in >,feltw and “ruts** will indicate the difference in the quality of this action as compared with crawling. Heavy ©tress with considerable hypertension in th© voice during the articulation of “shifted** will projeot the physical strain of shifting th© wheels.) 330. “You can see, Dora. 3 OB-4 4




°2 333.


But this tim© you111 go through it.M °1 °3-3 °S- -4 (High pitch together with heavy ©tress in th© enunciation of '♦this1* will convey the vocal gesture of Indicative demonstration.)


She climbed into the seat -43-3


and shouted angrily. °2 *3-4


the mare stopped* °3-3 °3-4


her two forefeet in the water. °3 °2 -3 3-4


She touched with the whip. ®3— ®3,*4 (Sharp release of the initial consonant in ♦♦touched** and th® final consonant in Hwhip** will frame the phrase 337 with the flicking quality of the action. Keep the energy low and consistent with the quality of ‘♦touched. n)


The mar© plodded ahead °3 °3 °2-3 (Strong release of th® initial consonant in ♦♦plodded*5 will encourage the impression of effort on the mare1s part. Th© voice will be somewhat lower in pitch than in phrase 337 in order to be con®latent with plodding action. The final consonant in ♦♦ahead*5 is stopped and If it is not released until the final pause is taken it will express again the effort of the mare1s plodding.)


and halted. ^8—4 (As a result of the tension in the pause that precedes phrase 339, th© release in vocalisa­ tion of this phrase will in Itself project the relaxation from effort that th© words connote.)

B 77


Then California thought of prayer: 3— 33-3 3— °3-4


wDear little Jesus, 3 3 ©3-3


Dear baby Jesus °3 °3-3 °3-3


born to-n^ght,


your head was shining Like ellver oandle@. 4°3 °3-3 43-3 e3-3

345* w * * 346* 347.

s“ s

only a girl. ®3 %*3 You had light wherever you walked* -4 °l-3 °3 4~°3~4~


Dear baby Jesus 03 03 ®3-3


give me light*oken in a full voice these syllables, with their heavy stresses and the pauses between, will give an impression of magnitude in harmony with the fictional experience.)


hiding th© ford like a curtain. ©3-3 °2-3 ©2-4


The gentle thunder of water ©2 ©3 °3-3


was a noise of wing-feat hers, ©3-3 ©2 -3 -4


the fans of paradise lifting softly. ®2 °2 -3 °3-3 °2-4


The child


afloat on radiance °2 ©3-8


had a baby face, 4°3-3 °3


but the angels had birds1 heads, ■4— ©3—4—3 1— —4


hawks * heads,

363. Bending over the baby, ©2—2 3©3—3 364. weaving a web of wing® about him. ©3—2 8 ©3—4 4— —4 (Xn phrases 363 and 364 there are two participles that indicate a state of continuous action. The «ing« ending is repeated in the word “wings,«

and so w© get a sound-repetltion that encourages a sense of continuity. Th© three w 1s in phrase 364 also give a sense of continuity by their repetition in the Initial position* This repe­ tition and the subsequent sens© of continuity i® appropriate to the action of the scene.) 385*

He held °2-3


in the small fat hand 4®3 °3 °3-4~3


A little snake 03

O 3 -4


with golden eyes, °2-3- *0*4


and Oalifomia could see dearly on the under 3- °2~3 O3 ®2—4 4— ®3-3 radiance

°2-3 370*

The mar®1® pricked ears, °2 °B ®2~4


a sharp black fork 02 ©2 (The image of the mar©1© ear© making the sil­ houette of a black fork is in contrast to th© web of wing© woven by the angel© in phrase 364. In phrase 371 th® succession of stopped conso­ nant© and the spondees are in contrast with the continuants and the alternation of accent­ ed with unaccented syllables in phrase 364. in the articulation of 371 tension is devel­ oped with th© ©topped ODnscnant© and th® strong accents* This can be built into the atmosphere of fear that is explicitly referred to in phracc 374.)


against the shining light-fall. 03 °2 ®3 -4


But it dropped; 4°2-4


the light of heaven Frightened poor Bora* 4 °3-3 ®14 4



She backed; °2-4


swung up the water, °2 °2 ®2-3


And nearly oversetting the buggy °a °2-3 02-3


and scrambled backward; °S-3 Og — 4


the Iron wheel-tires rang on boulder®. 02 °3 °3 °2-3 °2-4 (Four heavy ©tresses in immediate succession give weight to the texture of the verse. In phrase 380 where this occurs, a strong toneof voice could give further weight and It wouldbe expressive of the fictional action of the scene.)


then California 4— 3 80—3

383. 383.

climbed between the wheels. O0~3 3 °2-4


Her wet clothes and the toys packed under 4- 3°3~3 °2-3 3 °3-3


Dragged her down with their weight| °2 °2-3 4°2-4

386. she stripped off 03 -3

cloak and drees °3 2-4

38s?. and laid the baby* s things in the buggy; 2-2°2—3 °3-4 388.

Brought Johnny's whisky out from under the seat; a°2-3 °2-3 3—4— °2—4


wrapped all in the dress, 3°2 ©3-4




and tied them Into a bundle that would sling over ©23 4©3-3 4* ©2- 3her bach. ©3-4


She unharnessed the mare# 4 -3 °3~4


hurting her fingers against the swollen straps ©2-3 ©8-5 3 ©3-3 ©2-4


and th® wet buckles. °2 °2-4 (The tension of the fictional eoene of the un~ harnessing may be projected by general body tension of considerable intensity, Vocally it would be advisable to take advantage of the h in ^hurting*1 in phrase 393 to foroe the breath between tensed vocal folds# and hence give the impression of physical strain. Then on the £ in wfingers*1 in the same phrase, press the teeth firmly against the lower lip in the form­ ation of the sound and sustain it somewhat longer than is customary, and then suddenly release the sounds of the remainder of the word with accelerated tempo. This, too, gives the Impression of great strain. In phrase 394 the juxtaposition of two ©topped sounds, t, and & in wwet buckles,*1 means that there is but one release for the©® two sounds and th© ©top is held a moment longer than usual. This natural tension pause can be made to serve symbolic action by intensifying the explosive release of the b in *buokl®8* which would suggest the tension of th® experience reported.)


She tied the pack over her shoulder®, ©3**3 '3— ©3-4


the cord© Crossing her breasts, ©3-3 3©3-4


and mounted, ®3-4


She. drew up her shift about her waist ©2-- 3 ©3 3©2—4



sad knotted it, °3



naked thighs Clutching the sides of the mare, ©2 ©3-3 ©2-3 ©3 ©3-4


hake flesh to the wet withers, ©2 ©2-3 ©3 ©2-4


and caught the mane withherright hand, ©3





The looped-uphri&le-reine in the other. ©3-





(In phrases 395 through 403 there are only two stops; yet every phrase ends with a con­ tourThla condition suggests that an unusual

amount of finality and contrastive pointing is intended by the speaker. An examination of the scene r©Teals determination* hence finality* and selectIt© attention, or entrastive pointing* especially in words at the ends of phrases. The intonation pattern seems, therefore* to he related symbolically to the action of the scene.) 404.

*Dorav 03*4


the baby give® you light* 8 *3-8




(The *1— 4 contour used at the end ©f phrase 40© has additional insistence over the *2-4 contour* It is symbolically appropriate in this context because the «lighttt is in extreme contrast with the blackness of the stormy night.) 406.

Th© blinding radiance HoTered the ford. *2-3 °3-3 *3-3 *3-4


11Sweet baby Jesus *2 *3-3 °3-3


give m b light.8 °3 -3 3—4 (Phrases 407 and 408 have the same general quality of the level contours that characterize semi— chant* See note following phrase 349 for th© use of level contours in prayer.)



Cataracts of light




and Latin singing °S-3 °3-4


gell through th© willow©; °S~4 4- ‘ °3-4 (though it is not very pronounced, there is, nevertheless, evidence of a kind in phrases 409, 410, and 4X1 that a pleasant musical quality is intended in the verse, The impression is strong­ est in the i sound of "light,*' "Latin,* "fell,* and "willows. * The initial nnd the medial 1 are different values of sound in the same family: and ar© generally regarded as pleasant sounds.)


the mare snorted and reared: °2 °3-4 °2-4


th© roar and thunder of the invisible water; °2~3 °2-4 *2-3 °3~4 (Phrases 4X2 and 4X3 have an air of onomatopoeia with "snorted," "roar,* and "thunder.* the & sound binds these words together phonetically, and the poet has multiplied that sound in the two phrases to an ertent that seem® deliberate. the result is that the oaomatopoetic effect is spread over the entire two phrases. Th© articu­ lation of the phrases should support the Imita­ tion of "thunder power*, by strong emphasis and full*voiced enunciation of r, sounds particularly. Notice the musical contrast between these two phrase© and phrases 409, 410, and 4X1; the symbolical distinction between these sets of phrase® is equally noticeable.)


Th© night °2-4


shaking open like a flag, °2-2 °3-4


shot with the flashes; °2-4 °2-4


the baby face hovering; °S-2 °2 °3 -4


the eater Beating over her shoes and stockings °3-4 °38 °3 °3-4~3


up to the bare thighs; 3 ®3 °2-4

430 a

and over them, *8 -4


like a beast Lapping her belljr; °3~4 °3~3 ®3-4


the wriggle and pitch of the mare swimming; °3-4 S8~4 °3~4 °2-4


the drift, ^8-4


the sucking water; °3~3 °2-4


the blinding Light O2-.3 °2-4


above and behind °3 °2~3


with not a gleam before, 3 3-64


in the throat of darkness; ®3 °2-4


the shook of the fore-hooves Striking bottom, 03 -4 02 °2-4


the struggle and surging lift of the haunches. °S-4 °2 3 3— °3-4


She felt the water streaming off her °3-3 °8 °3 -4


From th® shoulder® down; 4— °3-3 °S—4


Heard the great strain and sob of the mare1® °2 ®3 °3~3 °3-3 °S breathing, 03



hg&rd the horseshoes grind on gravel. 8 ©3 —4 °2-4 °3-4 (The twenty-one phrases from 414 through 434 have a prosodic and phonetic unity that matches the action unity. The action is that of the suc­ cessful negotiation of the stream by the mare. The use of participles gives a syntactical unity: "shaking*" "hovering* w "beating* w "lap­ ping*" "swimming," and several more. The fre­ quent use of sibilants*— plain s or in combina­ tions of jj£ or gh--gives a kin3-4 °2~4 (In the phrases 646 and 647 the only contours used are the Q2-4. This unusual concentration of a contour generally reserved for the utter­ ance-final position, creates special centers of attention. The finality that derives from this extensive use of the ^2-4 contour within a phrase indicates strong determination. With these qualities in mind, the art!©ulation of the phrases will reflect the proper tension for a symbolic projection of the fictional experi­ ence. )


feeling the sky whiten. 5 3-3 °2~2 °3-4


When the moon stood over the hill 4°3 °2 -3°3-3


©he stole to the house. 4°3-3 °2—4

©si, The child breathed quietly °2



Herself: 3~°3~4 ©53 • ©54.

to sleep! ©3-3 She had seen Christ 3©2-4



in the night 4©3-4


at Christmas. 4— O3—4


The hill® were shining ©3-3 °3~4


open to the enormous nightof the April ©3-3 ©2-3 °3 4°3-3


empty and empty, ©2-3 ©2*4

moon: °3-4


The m e t round backsof the bare 2 °2 °2 °2


If one should ride up high 4** °2 -3°3 2- °2~3


might not the Father himself 3— 3— ^2*3 4— 3-4


Be seen brooding His night, °3 °2-2 3 °3-4


cross-legged. °2 -4


chin in hand, *5-4

6 ©'©*

squatting on the last dome? 3— 4— 3 3—4


More likely 4— ah'3


leaping th® hills, °2 °3~4

©66 *

shaking the red-roan mane for a flag ®3 °2 °a °2 ®3-4


©n the bare hills. 42 3-4

671. Sheblew outthe 3°3 2 673.

hills? °3-4

lamp. °3-4

Bv©ry fiber of flesh trembled with faintness 3— °3 °3—4 °3 —4 (Phrase ©72 ha® three initial f, sounds in ac­ cent ®d syllables. Two of them appear in °3 contours. This combination of low pitch and voiceless csmtinu&nte in prominent positions gives the speaker th® opportunity of suggesting th© rapid, shallow breathing characteristic of th® faintness due to 0 ver-©xoit©ment.)

673. when 4-

shecam® °S

to the door; €>3-4

($0 contour in this phrase is higher than°3.

Perhaps the effect set up in phrase 672 can be


carried on in this phrase, 073, with lte generally low pitch.) 874.

strength lacked, ©3


to wander Afoot °2 ©S-4


into the shining of the hill, 3©3-3 °2-4


high enough, ©24


high enough Oo A ri— 4


...the hateful face of a man ©2 —3 3 ®2-4


had taken The strength that might have served her, °2-3 3—3 -4- 3— °3 -4


. the corral was empty. ©3-8 °3~4

. The dog followed her, °3 °3-4 -4



she caught M m hy the collar, 3°2~ —4 3©3-4


Bragged him in fierce silence ©3— —3 ©3—5 ©3—4


hack to the door of the house, °2 3 °3-4


. latched ©3

him inside* ©3-4

(The use of stopped consonants, £, d9 and lb, in the initial accent of phrases 883, 884, and 885, as well as elsewhere in the same phrases, pro­ vides the reader with the opportunity of de­ veloping tensions and releasing them in the articulation of these consonants in order to convey a sense of the struggle with the dog. The use of the ©am® rowel in the initial accents of phrases 684, 685, and 886 establishes a


center of attention on the action of those phrases,} 687,

It was like daylight Out-doors 4°2-3 °3 -3

688 *

and she hastened without faltering 3~3 0%-4 °2 02-4


She stood in the midst of the corral, °3-3 °3-3 °3—4


panting, °2~4


but johnny °3-3


Paused at the fence* °3-4 -4


The dog ran under it, °2—3 3 °2- -4


and seeing the stallion move, °3 3-3 °3-3


the woman standing quiet, &2-Z °2-3 °3-3


Danced after the beast, ®3—4 °2— —3


with white-toothed feintsand dashes. °3 °3 °2-3 °2—4


When Johnny saw the formidable dark strength °3 3 °3 —3 °2 °3—3 Hecoil from the dog, °3-3 03

he climbed up over the fenoe. ®3— —3 ®3— —4 —4


The ohild Chri etlne °3-3 3- ®3—3


waked when her mother left her °a-4 °3 °3 -4


And lay half-dreaming, ®3 3®3-4


la the half-waking dream 4®3 ®3 °3


she saw the ocean come up out of the ®3 °2-3 3- °3 3-

1 0 4 a.

And cover the world, ®3~3 ®2-4


she looked up through clear water at the tops ©5 ®3-3 03 °2—4

©* co m Im



of the redwoods. °2-4 1044.

She heard the door creak 3°3 ®2-4


And the house empty? ©2 ®a-4


her heart shook her body, ©3 ©3 ©3 - 4


sitting up on the bed, °S -5 4°3-4


and she heard the dog °3 ®3~4


And crept toward light, "•3*h> S**4


where it gleamed under the crack of the door. ©3^4 4— ©3 ©3~4


She opened the door, ©3*» ©3«*4


the room was empty,


The table^top was a red lake tinder the lamplight. 03 03 02 3_ o3 ^4

1034% 1055.




color of itwasterrible to her; °3 -3 °2 -4 -4

She had seen the red juice drip from a coyote1a 3-* 03 03 03 03 0 3 -3 mussle, 0 3-3



father had shotone day in the hills 03-3 °2 3- 3— ®3-4



carried himhome over the saddle: °3-3 -3 °4 4— °3-4


she looked at th© rifle on the wall-rack: °3 °2~3 —4


it was not moved: 4~ 03 3—4


She ran to th© door, 03


0 . 3*4

. th© dog was barking °3 3—4


and the moon was shining: °2 03-4


she knew win© by the odor °3~3 °3—4


But th® color frightened her, 4°S 03 - 4- -4


th© empty house frightened her, °3 03-4 °4-4


she followed down hill in the white lane of 03

moonlight °2 -3







The friendly °3

noise of the dog. °3-3 °2-4


She saw Inthe big horse's corral, °S «>3 °3 *2-3


on the level shoulder of the hill, 4°2 °S —3 °3-3


Black on white* °3 *3-1


th® dark strength of the beast, 0202-3 °2-4


thedancing fury of the dog, °3-3 °2-4 ®2-4



the two


03 03-4


One fled, °2 ®3-4


one foilowed g 03 °3-4


th© big one charged, 02-3 °2-4


rearing}. °2-4


onefell under his fore-hooves. °3 °2-8 4°2 -4


She heard her mother Scream: *3 °3 °l-3 (The 01-3 contour in phrase 1079 reflects the in­ tensity of th© fictional experience. Inasmuch as the fictional experience is vocal, it is help­ ful to realise as much of the original experi­ ence as is expedient by matching the real vocal utterance with the imaginary one.)


without thought 02 °3-3


she ran to th® house, °2 °2-4


she dragged a chair past th© red pool °2-3 °0»5 °2 °2 02-3


and ©limbed to the rifle, °2 °2~4


Got it down from the wall °2-3 °2-3


and lugged it somehow °2-3 -3 °3~3


through the door and down the hillside, °3 ^2-3 °2 03 -3


under the hard weight Sobbing,» 4*2 ®2-3 ®2~4


Her mother stood by the rails of th® corral 02 *3 ®2*3 °2-4


she gstT© it to her* ©3— 4— —4


On the far fide 4~ 3-3


resting the rifle On the top rail 9 °2~3 °2-3 °2 -3


without doubting, *>2 -3


without hesitones, °2 °B -3


M m e d for the leaping body of the d®e» °3-4 °s 4°a °a-s


and when it stood, 3-*




1 . « ^ 5d.


rolled over, °2 °2-3


lay quiet. °2 °2-4


«0 mother, ®8 °l-3


you* ve hit Bruno !•* 3°S °l-3


MI couldn't see the sights in the moonlight ®S-4 4°3 ®3-3 (In phrases 1X10 and 1111 the child1s speech is characterised by the intensity of surprise, hence, there are two °1~3 contours. In phrase 1112, California*s speech, described in phrase 1113 as quiet, ha© a more deliberate, steady Intonation pattern.)


©he answered quietly. 04 «4 o4


She stood ©3-4


And watched. ®S-4


resting the rifle-butt on the ground. °3-3 °s -3 °2-4


The stallion wheeled. °3 -3 2-4


freed from his torment. ®3-3 02-4


the ran °3-3


laurohed up to his knees. ®3— -3 ®3—4


walling a thin and bitter bird*® ory, ®3—3 ®2 3 ®2—3 ®2-4


and the roan thunder Struck; ®3 °2—3 ®3-4


hooves left nothing alive but teeth °3-3 ®3 ®2—3 ®3—4 ®3-4


tore up the remnant. °3 -3 ®3—4


*0 mother, ®1 °l-3


shoot, ®1—3


shoot 1* °1— 3 (In phrase® 1135, 1126, and 1X3? the child1® anxiety is appropriately expressed with several °1 contours, while California1s reaction de­ scribed in phrases 1138 and 1139 has the same steady contours that characterised her speech in phr&s® 1X13.)


Yet California Stood 4— 3— 3—3 ® 2—4


carefully watching, °3 -3 ©S-4


till the beast 3 ©3-3


having fed all his fury 3 °3 2 3- ©3-3


stretched neck to utmost, °2 °B °3-4

XI33 •*

head hi gh, °2 ©3-4


And wrinkled back the upper lip from the teeth, ©2-3 -3 ©3-3 -3 ©2-4

113 5*

yawning obscene disgust over — °2 ©2 ©3-4 ©3-3


not a man— 3— ©2-4-3


A smear ©3-4


on the moon-X&k© earth; ©3— 3 ©2—4


then California 4— 33—3


moved by seme obscure human fidelity ©3-3 °3 °3—3 2—3 4-©2-3


Lifted th© rifle#

©2 1X43-


kach separate nerve-cell of her brain flaming


©2- -2




the stains fell from their places ©2-3 ©2-4 4— 4- ©2-4


Crying in her mind; ©2-3 2— 4


she fired three times ©2-4


©8— 4

°2— 3



before the haunches crumpled sidewise, °3 -3 03 -4 OS -4


the forelegs stiffening:. 52 -3 °3 -4


.tod the beautiful strength °3 -3 °2-3


settled to earth: °3-3 °2~4


she tiirned then °2 -3


on her little daughter 3°2-3 °2 -3


the mask of a woman °2~3 *2-3


Who has killed God. 4*® ^2**4 3—4 (Each of the last two accents of phrase 1153 has a °3-4 contour which normally carries a strong sense of finality. Doming together as they do in this phrase, the effect of finality is increased, the opportunity for expressing the tension of the experience reported is giv­ en in the use of stopped sound© in the Initial position of the last words of the phrase, #killed Qod.»)


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