Word Ways


What value has the idea of formal reversal in poetry? My immediate inclination is to say 'precious little', with the accent on the 'little' rather than the 'precious'; and I suspect, too, that this may well prove my final estimate. Consider the parallel between music and poetry. Short-term reversals occur in both, e.g. the assertive "I will" and the questioning "Will I?", the full-close and the half-close; but, apart from certain minor applications in fugal writing and a good deal of (dare I say it?) misuse by our contemporary absence from music as it is from poetry.