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ERIC Number: ED228637
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983
Pages: 18
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Poetic License and Its Limits: An Essay on Word Order and Syntax in Poetic Language.
Brayfield, Peggy L.
Novice poetry readers need to realize that there are limits to poetic license, specifically with regard to the order of words in a sentence of poetry. For example, the integrity of independent clauses is not violated--no word placed in one independent clause is meant to be read as an element of another independent clause. Although parenthetical expressions can strike anywhere, dependent clauses, prepositional phrases, parallel or coordinate structure, and noun phrases also maintain their integrity, except in certain specifiable conditions. Poets are limited in their uses of adjectival relative clauses and verbals much in the same ways that prose writers are. Verb phrases, however, have very little integrity in nonpoetry, and almost none at all in poetry. Although these rules do not solve all the problems of reading poetry, they do indicate that even poetic license will usually submit itself to certain rules of syntax inescapable in any dialect of the English language. (An appendix contains excerpts from poems used in exercises on word order and syntax.) (JL)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A