John Yau Writing Styles in Russian Letter

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Couplets

Yau’s poem “Russian Letter” is composed of couplets, a unit of verse made up of two successive lines. The poem consists of ten couplets. No couplet is complete unto itself, however, as both the subject and the grammar continue from one couplet to the next. The poem has only one full stop: a period appears at the end of the first line of the sixth couplet.

Yau has stated that couplets allow him to present brief images. In this way, the poet contends, he can concentrate on the two lines, each in their own time, without thinking ahead and trying to determine what the whole poem will be about. Although in this poem most of Yau’s couplets do not contain complete thoughts, many do create interesting images, which might be explained by another statement that the poet has made. Yau has also...

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This section contains 1,174 words
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Buy the Russian Letter Study Guide
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