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Gjertrud Schnackenberg Writing Styles in Darwin in 1881

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Style

New Formalism

In the 1980s, American poetry took a turn toward a more formal style of writing than the styles of the previous decades. Free verse certainly did not die out, but it did make room for the emergence of a poetic movement termed the new formalism. In this style, poets use specific form, meter, and usually rhyme, and Schnackenberg is recognized as one of the most prominent poets of the movement. "Darwin in 1881" is composed primarily in rhymed quatrains, or a series of four-line groups, following an a-b-b-a rhyming pattern. Consider the first four lines of the poem, with the endings "room," "miracles," "tales," and "loom." Here, lines 1 and 4 are identical rhymes, and 2 and 3 are slant, or close, rhymes. The next four lines follow a b-c-c-b pattern and consist of two identical rhymes: "upwells" with "tortoiseshells" and "crept" with "slept." This style is seen throughout the poem, although...

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This section contains 384 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Darwin in 1881 Study Guide
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Darwin in 1881 from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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