Flores in the Azores
From Hull AWE
The first line of Tennyson's stirring poem The Revenge: A Ballad of the Fleet causes some trouble to readers. The poem begins:
- At Flores in the Azores Sir Richard Grenville lay
and the problem is in the pronunciation of the two proper nouns.
- One school pronounces 'Flores' as a monosyllable, like floors (IPA: /ˈflɔːrz/, with 'Azores' to match, 'a-zoars',/ə ˈzɔːrz/.
- The other main school treats 'Flores' as a disyllable 'floor-is' /ˈflɔːr ɪz/ and 'Azores' as a trisyllable, 'e-zoar-is', /ə ˈzɔːr ɪz/.
- AWE's advice is to follow the second school above, by and large following the native pronunciation of the place-names. The metre is based on lines of 14 syllables ('rhyming fourteeners': if ‘Flores’ and ‘Azores’ are not said as two and three syllables respectively, that leaves the line short of syllables.