Versicle (157 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Note

  • The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume : WORLD HISTORY AND IDEAS: A CROSS-CULTURAL VOLUME.


Versicle: a kind of free verse (q.v.) with longish endstopped lines frequently structured by repetition and variation of grammatical patterns, a form modelled rather loosely on Biblical parallelismus. Walt Whitman’s verse generally takes the form of versicles, as in these lines from “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry”:

Others will enter the gates of the ferry, and cross from shore to shore;
Others will watch the run of the flood-tide;
Others will see the shipping of Manhattan north and west, and the heights of Brooklyn to the south and east;
Others …

Groves, Peter Lewis. "Versicle". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 04 June 2008
[, accessed 25 October 2016.]