free verse and me

You, also, by extension. A random note worth adding to the dialogue here on Invented Usage. Admittedly this dialogue has been a little slow coming lately, but -- as cristi says -- it should be more frequent given the "home" situation. Did anyone mention that Cristi will be Managing Editing the College Hill Independent next semester? Congratulations, Cristi. I'm proud of you.

To poetry. That infernal beast. The topic no one cares about, or at least far less people than should. An interesting point raised by Keith Waldrop and something I talked about for some length in a paper I just completed on Robert Creeley, involves the change in expectation created by free verse. Formal verse, rhymed verse, has a very clear form of expectation. One, simply, expects the rhyme to complete itself. A to rhyme with A, B to rhyme with B. There is also an expectation of ending put in place by a metrical system (Iambic Pentameter [that beast]). One has a conscious and unconscious expectation for the completion of these regular devices.

In free verse, this is not so. Lines can be of indeterminate length (and often are). Free verse is often blank, unrhymed. As one moves from line to line, what is one to expect? What, in a sense, pulls the reader's attention down the page? Simply, it is the expectation of completion. The expectation is not at the end of line, at the termination of the form, but upon the induction of the next thought.

This idea is exemplified well in the poetry of Robert Creeley. I will, tomorrow (later today), post a snippet of his poetry and provide a more in depth explanation. More later.

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