The hexameters of Homer and Vergil

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Call for Papers for a panel at the next Annual Meeting of the American Philological Association

The Hexameters of Homer and Vergil

Sponsored by the Society for the Oral Reading of Greek and Latin Literature.
Organized by Andrew S. Becker, Virginia Tech.

The contemporary poet Kenneth Koch has said that poetry is language in which the sound of words is raised to an importance equal to that of their meaning, and also equal to the importance of grammar and syntax. Poets and scholars have been telling us such things for many years. Recent innovations in technology can enhance our ability to note and describe aural, rhythmical, and metrical phenomena: for example, James Dee Repertorium Homericae Poesis Hexametricum.  Other recent studies focus on the literary significance of rhythm and meter in local contexts: for example, Mark Edwards, Sound, Sense, and Rhythm: Listening to Greek and Latin Poetry.  Still others serve as protreptic anthologies of verse performed rather than read silently: for example, Clive Brooks Reading Latin Poetry Aloud: A Practical Guide to Two Thousand Years of Verse, and several web sites, including that of the Society for the Oral Reading of Greek and Latin Literature (SORGLL).

We welcome abstracts that treat the sounds of the Homeric and/or the Vergilian hexameter, including but not limited to the relationship between sound, rhythm, meter, and sense.  Although sound need not be rhetorical to be worth noting, those moments when it is‹those passages in which sound and sense seem mutually supportive and interdependent‹are often the most striking and notable.

Equally welcome are abstracts that deal with, inter alia, the linguistics of poetic sound, rhythm, and meter; the ancient Greek and/or Roman reception and perception of such phenomena; adaptations of or responses to the sound of Homeric and/or Vergilian hexameters; the historical development of scholarship on the sounds of Homer and Vergil.  And equally welcome are papers that treat only Homer or only Vergil, as well as papers that take a comparative perspective.  Presenters should be prepared to support their views with oral demonstration.

Abstracts should be sent as e-mail attachments by FEBRUARY 15, 2009
to Andrew S. Becker at
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Abstracts must be only one page in length, and contain no indication of authorship. In accordance with APA regulations, all abstracts for papers will be read anonymously by three outside readers. Please follow the instructions for the format of individual abstracts that will appear in the APA Program Guide.

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