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Review HIB: Revista de Historia Iberoamericana

Hispanic Research Journal

Review HispanismeS

Year: 2009 vol. 10 n. 2

Duffell, Martin J. The Liberated Line: Versifying in the Twentieth Century. p. 157-173 Comunidad Iberoamericana
Nicaragua
Verso polimétrico; continuidad métrica; cumbre acentual; Lorca; Intervalos; Darío; Métrica; Verso libre; Lawrence; dolniks libres; acentos; pentámetro flexible; Dolnik de dos acentos; versificación; poesía del siglo XX

Summary

This article examines the wide variety of ways that twentieth-century poets versified in English and Spanish. It notes the large number of poets of both languages who continued to employ traditional metres, but focuses on the century's major metrical innovation, free verse, or verso libre. The article analyses in detail the accentual structures of such lines, which it exemplifies in the verse of D. H. Lawrence, Rubén Darío, and Federico García Lorca. Although in its most extreme form 'free verse' consists of free dolniks (lines with a variable number of stress peaks and variable intervals between them), most verse labelled 'free' contains a dominant line length and/or rhythm. Thus the flexible pentameter has either five beats or ten syllables, and the two-ictic dolnik is often in triple time (having a stress-peak on every third syllable). This article concludes that English free verse is a natural development from the numerous attempts to rebel against regular metres in previous centuries and that Spanish verso libre most often combines canonical line lengths in rediscovering the regular rhythms of medieval Castilian verse. The history of versifying in both languages thus reveals a remarkable continuity and an essential similarity, deriving from the shared phonological feature of word stress.

Hispanic Research Journal
Paper | Numerical version with subscription | 5 números al año desde 2007 | United Kingdom Print ISSN: 1468-2737
Online ISSN: 1745-820X
Year of creation: 2000

Publisher: Department of Iberian and Latin American Studies at Queen Mary

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