Sherod Santos Writing Styles in Portrait of a Couple at Century's End

Sherod Santos
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Syllabic Verse

“Portrait of a Couple at Century's End” has little noticeable consistency for readers who try to examine it line by line. The poem does not follow a set rhyme scheme, and the lines within each stanza do not resemble each other in rhythm or length. Santos does, however, use rhythmic consistency in this poem by repeating the pattern of line lengths in each stanza. The first line of each stanza has five syllables; the second lines all have eleven syllables; all but one—line 13—of the third lines have seven syllables; the fourth lines have ten syllables; and the fifth lines have four syllables. Poetry in which lines are measured by the number of syllables in a line, rather than by the rhythm of stressed and unstressed syllables in the line, is called syllabic verse.

Syllabic verse is more common in languages other than English. Japanese, French...

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This section contains 362 words
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