Andrew Becker: Accents, Rhythms, Meters, Poems

update: 3/28/13: audio of part 2 of the workshop, on Latin hexameters, is now posted below.

Andrew Becker came to Dickinson for a full day workshop on Latin metrics this weekend, and it was a delight. His presentation was overflowing with the love of poetry, deep knowledge of the Latin grammarians, and best of all, lots of common sense in what is too often a contentious and captious area of scholarship.


Here’s a little taste, a section near the beginning where he argues for scanning lines orally, not on the page, and for the idea that word accent is primary, but that ictus still makes itself felt as an undercurrent. Scanning, i.e. reading aloud with an exaggerated ictus, is not wrong, he said, but just a preliminary step towards the actual performance of the verse, with the correct word accents.

Andrew Becker on scanning (1:50)

Here is a longer selection from the first session on scanning vs. reading, among other things. I’ll post more as I get it edited.

Andy Becker part 1.edited (15:40)

Here is an edited selection of part two of the workshop, which deals with scanning and reading hexameters, and the interplay of ictus and accent in some Vergilian lines (19:15):

Andy Becker part 2edited (19:15)



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