EN 1006 Lecture Notes - Free Verse, Imagism, Internal Rhyme

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Published on 24 Feb 2011
York University
EN 1006
free verse: poems that have neither a dominant metre nor a clear rhyme scheme
imagism: uses clear, concrete, sharp details to evoke a sensory impression
Some logics of lineation:
1. visual effect (let the eye enter, wander, enjoy the shapes and spaces)
2. unit of meaning
3. tentativeness (ending on the wrong word to suspend the line at grammatical openings instead of
having it completed with a strong phrasal ending)
4. breath unit (stopping the line where the speaker should pause for breath)
5. word play
6. 'false' or premature closure on buried idioms (idioms set expectations, wit breaks them)
7. syntactical ambiguity/ ambiguity of meaning
8. arbitrariness – irregular lines add instability to poetic content
9. physical limits (the edge of the page e.g.)
NOTE: the long line will be dominated by referential meaning because of sustained and coherent syntactical
organization. The short line enables attention to shift more readily to formal poetic elements like stress
pattern, internal rhyme groupings and visual arrangements
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