Studies of the Greek Poets

"In order apparently to bring the meter still more within the sphere of prose and common speech, _______ ended his iambics with a spondee or a trochee instead of an iambus, doing thus the utmost violence to the rhythmical structure. These deformed and mutilated verses were called...(lame or limping iambics). They communicated a curious crustiness to the style. The choliambi are in poetry what the dwarf or cripple is in human nature. Here again, by their acceptance of this halting meter, the Greeks displayed their acute aesthetic sense of propriety, recognizing the harmony which subsists between crabbed verses and the distorted subjects with which they dealt--the vices and perversions of humanity--as well as their agreement with the snarling spirit of the satirist. Deformed verse was suited to deformed morality."

-John Addington Symonds
Vol. I, p. 284

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