The Origins of Blank Verse The Earl of Surrey brought blank poetry into England in 1540. It is the primary metre of Shakespeare's plays, as well as Milton's epic poems and many other great works of poetry.
Blank verse is a form of English poetry that uses iambic pentameter but otherwise has no specific pattern or structure. It can be as simple as five lines with ten syllables in each line or more complex, such as Sonnet-style quatrains or longer narrative poems. Because it is not restricted to any particular subject matter, blank verse is used for a wide variety of topics.
Surrey introduced this form of poetry to England when he published his book Of Poetry in 1553. He based its style on French poetry, especially that of Petrarch. Modern scholars believe that he may have learned about blank verse from Italian poets who visited or lived in England at the time. Although there is some evidence that Italian poets may have influenced how Surrey wrote, they probably did not give him the idea for this new form of poetry. The earliest known use of "blank" in relation to English poetry is found in a 16th-century manuscript called The Book of Sir Thomas Wyatt.
Blank verse is poetry composed in iambic pentameter with regular metrical but unrhymed lines. Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, used blank verse for the first time in English in his translation of the AEneid (written c. 1598–1603). It had been previously translated into English by George Chapman as well as other poets including Thomas Wyatt and John Donne.
In modern usage, the term "blank verse" refers to a type of free verse poem that uses an unrhymed iambic pentameter pattern as its basic unit. The term can also be applied to works written in this form, such as Wilfred Owen's 1918 war poem Blank Verse.
Owen was part of the British "Vorticist" movement that began in 1917 with Ezra Pound's publication of his magazine Poetry. Vorticism aimed to break away from traditional forms of poetry and explore different styles and techniques. Among others, it included contributions from William Butler Yeats, Louis Zukofsky, and Robert Frost.
Although French poet Saint-John Perse used the term "vers libre" to describe his own work, it is usually attributed to Welsh poet Dylan Thomas when he introduced it in a lecture series in New York in 1953. In that same year, Thomas also coined the terms "blues" and "jazz".
Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, used blank poetry for the first time in English in his translation of the AEneid (written around 1540; published posthumously, 1554–1557)...
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"Blank verse" is characterised by the absence of rhyme while imposition of a consistent meter, or beat, on the words. To get the most out of the poet's aim, read it with an emphasis on the rhythm and length of phrases rather than the linguistic connection of phrase ends. This kind of reading will also help you understand how the poet uses language to create effect. " - Langston Warner
Here are some suggestions for how to read blank verse:
Start by looking at the line breaks. Does the poet use more than one line? If so, do these lines have different lengths? Try to think like the poet when you read their work. Would each sentence be complete as a poem in itself?
Now look at the pattern of stresses in a line. Are they regular, with every other syllable carrying a strong stress? Or are there areas where the poet has decided not to stress any particular word, perhaps to allow the meaning to come through from context?
Finally, pay attention to the overall structure of the poem. Is it narrative in form? If so, which parts are telling which story?
Any poem composed of unrhymed lines all in the same meter, commonly iambic pentameter, is considered blank verse. It originated in Italy and gained popularity during the Renaissance because it resembled classical, unrhymed poetry. Iamb: two stressed-unstressed syllables, like in "today"...
Today, most poets write in free verse, which is equally acceptable in modern or contemporary poetry. Free verse is not restricted to a particular type of meter; instead, it refers to any metered poetic form that does not follow the rules of rhyme or meter. Many modern poems are written in free verse.
There are three main types of free verse: formal, concrete, and visual. In formal free verse, the poet uses a strict pattern of line breaks and stresses different parts of a word by using different types of punctuation. This kind of free verse tends to be very abstract and difficult to read because the punctuation can change the meaning of the words. Some famous writers who use formal free verse include Ezra Pound and Allen Ginsberg.
In concrete free verse, the poet avoids using punctuation and changes the length of lines to reflect what he or she wants to say. This type of free verse is the easiest to read but may not make much sense if you do not know what the writer is trying to convey.
Blank verse is a literary technique that consists of unrhyming verse written in iambic pentameter. It has a constant meter in poetry and prose, with 10 syllables in each line (pentameter), with unstressed syllables followed by stressed ones, five of which are stressed but do not rhyme. These stressed syllables are called "feet". There are two types of feet in English: strong and weak.
The first four lines of John Milton's Paradise Lost ("Paradise Lost" means "Lost Paradise") illustrate how blank verse can express intense emotion:
When God created man, he made him in his image; man who now looks down on earth as its ruler.
Man was also given a soul to live forever, but like many other things this most valuable gift was lost over time.
Why did the soul go bad? Because it could not resist temptation!
Blank verse is used extensively in English-language literature because of its simplicity and ease of reading. Unlike classical or medieval poetry, which often had complicated rules regarding formal elegance and decorum, modern poets were free to use the language as they saw fit. Many great writers have used this freedom to create poems that appeal to everyone from schoolchildren to scientists.