Isosyllabics

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

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

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Isosyllabics is the regulation of verse lines by the number of syllables. Because English verse, unlike that in some other languages – French, Italian and Japanese for example – is timed by beats rather than syllables (see prosody), this produces only notional metre, undetectable to the ear. Isosyllabic verse begins to be prominent in English shortly after 1900 with the Modernists’ abandoning of metrical form and imitation of such verse forms as the Japanese

haiku

which traditionally comprises no more than ten words and seventeen syllables divided into lines or groups of five, seven, and five. Isosyllabics have often met with indifference from English readers, who will probably not even notice the metre because it is decipherable only by one who is not experiencing the poem but…

331 words

Citation: Groves, Peter Lewis. "Isosyllabics". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 23 June 2004 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=1435, accessed 20 May 2024.]

1435 Isosyllabics 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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