A line is a poetry subdivision, especially a set of words organized into a row that finishes somewhere other than the right-hand margin. Lines may be as few as five words or as many as several hundred. The term "line" can also be used to describe any subunit of a poem, including sentences, paragraphs, and stanzas.
Lines have various functions in poetry. They can express emotion or thought, tell a story, make a point, invoke an image, etc. Their form is important; without being too rigid, a line should have the same number of syllables (words) as a metered verse line. A line can include more than one word, but it should still be followed by another line (or half line) that ends with a full stop or comma.
A line is a linguistic unit into which a poem or drama is split. A stanza is a discrete and numbered group of lines in verse. In some poems, the title is considered a line. The end of a poem or part of a poem is usually indicated by a punctuation mark, exclamation point or question mark.
A-line sonnet has three quatrains and one final rhyming couplet. It follows the basic form: ABBA - where A stands for "the" and B for "the" with a feminine noun following each B.
I-line sonnet has two quatrains and one final rhyming couplet. It follows the basic form: AA - where an I stands for "inventive" or "imaginative".
K-line sonnet has four quatrains and one final rhyming couplet. It follows the basic form: KK - where the first K stands for "kind" or "classical".
L-line sonnet has three tercets and one final rhyming couplet. It follows the basic form: LLL - where the first L stands for "light".
M-line sonnet has four quatrains and one final rhyming couplet.
A line in a poetry is a row of words, akin to a row of seats in a movie theater. A stanza is a series of lines that are separated from one another, much like a paragraph in an essay. Many poems have more than one line or stanza, but most only have two.
Lines in poetry can be short or long. Short lines are easy to fit onto a page, while long lines make for more difficult reading because they need to be broken up with punctuation or shortened by repeating words or phrases. This is why many poems are written in sentences with different lengths.
In addition to the number of letters, lines also can be classified according to their function: formal, informal, regular, irregular. Informal lines contain words or phrases not found in other lines of the poem; for example, a poet might use an informal line to describe a scene from heaven. Regular lines follow a pattern of strong and weak syllables (usually metrical stresses), while irregular lines do not. Irregular lines are common in free verse poetry where strict rules regarding metric structure are not followed.
Finally, some lines are better described as groups of words or phrases that together tell a story or convey an idea. These groupings are called stanzas.
Many old poems were written in rhyme.
Nowadays, a line of poetry is often referred to as just that—a line. Even if a phrase is not full when the break occurs, a line may be identified as the string of words preceding the break. A couplet is a two-line stanza, a tercet is a three-line stanza, a quatrain is a four-line stanza, and so on.
A line of poetry should be interpreted as a unit of measurement as well as a unit of composition. That is, it should be considered both a word and a sound. Therefore, a line of poetry should be understood as a unit of language expression, similar to the idea of a word or a sound.
A line of poetry should also be interpreted as a unit of thought. That is, it should be considered both a concept and a structure. This means that a line of poetry consists of a beginning pattern which creates an image in the mind of the reader/listener, followed by a conclusion that serves to complete this image or concept.
These are but a few examples of how one can interpret a line of poetry. There are many more ways to look at a line of poetry; therefore, it is important to understand that there is no correct way to do so.
In addition to these definitions, some other terms used to describe a line of poetry include verse line, prose paragraph, and musical measure. These are only some examples of how a line of poetry can be described in many different ways.