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date: 22 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter fastens on the ‘first moment in literary history when poetry was not expected to follow fixed, inherited, generically specific rules about scansion, line length, syllable weight, or rhyme’—a moment when poetry blossomed in a remarkable efflorescence of prosodic and musical experiment, as represented by Eliot, Dobson, Dowson, Pound, Whitman, and others. The First World War invigorated the writing and reading of poetry but it also had a recursive effect on form and diction. By the 1920s, it is contended, poetry was at a three-way stand-off between modish vers libre, the consoling traditional poetic forms of the soldier poets, and the increasingly complex experiments and pastiches of the avant-garde.

Keywords: Prosody, diction, vers libre, pastiche, experiment, scansion

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