David Shook


by David Shook

molossus logo
molossus logo

From the moment that an explanation is offered, there’s no longer any danger for the reader. — Alain Robbe-Grillet, to Mario Bellatin, for molossus 1


a) In prosody, a molossus is a metrical foot of three long syllables. English language prosody, mapped in stressed and unstressed syllables, is not very accommodating. Attempted examples include Tennyson’s “Break, Break, Break,” which properly scanned makes three separate feet, the end of the second line of Gerald Manley Hopkins’ “The Caged Skylark,” (“Man’s mounting spirit in his bone-house, mean house, dwells—“), which seems a stretch but works if scanned as four feet and its final word does not take on extra stress, and “wild-goose chase,” which works in isolation but seldom in context, as in Thomas Hardy’s “Erotophuseos.”

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