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Close ListeningPoetry and the Performed Word$
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Charles Bernstein

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780195109924

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195109924.001.0001

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After Free Verse

After Free Verse

The New Nonlinear Poetries

(p.86) 4 After Free Verse
Close Listening

Marjorie Perloff

Oxford University Press

This chapter started by describing the history of free verse, and stating that it is now more than a century old. The chapter also presents the implication of the claim for “neutral availability”, verse forms, whether free or otherwise, which are independent of history as well as of national and cultural context. In addition to that, the chapter states that a metrical choice is a question of individual preference and free verse is some kind of end point, an instance of writing degree zero from which the only reasonable “advance” can be a return to “normal” metrical forms. This chapter also defines the idea of free verse, and one of the definition is it is described by the lack of structuring grid based on counting of linguistic units and/or position of linguistic features.

Keywords:   free verse, neutral availability, individual preference, lack of structuring grid, linguistic units, linguistic features

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