Impelled toward a Momentary Regularity

Emerson’s remark helps suggest the all-important difference: “It is not meters, but a meter-making argument that makes a poem.” In this kind of poem the poet establishes regularity only to depart from it expressively. When he does compose a metrically regular line it is not because the metrical scheme tells him to, but because something in the matter he is embodying impels him toward a momentary regularity.   […] 

The poet working in free verse has already chosen to eschew one of the the most basic expressive techniques in poetry.

Paul Fussell: Poetic Meter and Poetic Form
(from Chapter 3, Metrical Variations)

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One comment on “Impelled toward a Momentary Regularity

  1. Lawrence - reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com says:

    One does want to be regular.

    (Ahem)

    Like

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