[PDF Notes] Get complete information on Stanza Setting (Poetry)

1. Free Verse:

The rhythm is determined by the subject matter. The lines do not follow a regular meter but vary from thought to thought. Rhyme is usually not used.

Pile the bodies high at Austerlitz and Water loo.

Shovel them under and let me work-

I am the grass; I cover all.

Walt Whitman and Carl Sandburg have helped to establish this as a staple in the repertory of the modern poet. Free verse is a modern form and therefore the images and the language used by the poet tend to be modern.

2. Blank Verse:

Each line contains ten syllables. The predominant bear is iambic. The lines are unrhymed. Blank verse is written in unrhymed iambic pentameter. This has been most popular among the best and the poorest technicians. If each line is a complete thought, then it is end stop. If the ideas flow from one line to the next, then it is enjambed. The pause within the line is called the caesura.

Here we may reign secure and in my choice

When I was young and thought I knew all truths

3. Heroic Couplet:

Two lines of rhymed iambic pentameter.

Know then thy self, presume not God to scan; The proper study of mankind is man.

4. Quatrain:

Any four-line stanza. The best known of the quatrains is in the old English ballads. The most frequent ballad quatrain consisted of alternating iambic tetrameter and iambic trimeter lines rhyming xaya: that is, the second and fourth lines only would usually rhyme.

The king sits in Dumferling town,

Drinking the blood-red wine;

“Oh where will I get a good sailor,

To sail this ship of mine”.

5. Sonnet:

A 14 line stanza usually in iambic pentameter. The Italian sonnet has a thought division. The first eight lines, the octave, will present an idea or state a thesis; the last six lines, the sestet, will apply the idea or give the example that proves the truth in the thesis.

The Italian sonnet is also called Petrarchan or the Miltonic after the Italian master who originated the form and the great English writer who used it as the vehicle for some of his greatest poetic realizations. The Shakespearean sonnet consists of three quatrains and a concluding summarising couplet.

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