National Poetry Month: Blank Verse

Blank Verse

The blank verse is a poem that doesn’t use a rhyming pattern. The reading pattern can be compared to a heartbeat by putting stress on the even numbered syllable of the line. About three out of four English poems are in blank verse. Thomas Norton’s Gorboduc is the first English play that to use blank verse in 1561. Christopher Marlowe, an English poet and playwright as well as an influencer of William Shakespeare, wrote plays known for using blank verse.

Basics

  • Follows an iambic pentameter (iambic being two syllables and pentameter being five feet which two syllables is a foot) where each line uses 10 syllables.
  • Uses an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable.

Examples

  • Faustus, Second Edition: Based on the A Text DB040014
  • Under The Early Morning Trees: Poems DB013535
The word "Blank Verse" on a white background

The word “Blank Verse” on a white background

April marks National Poetry Month! Throughout this month we will share information about some of the varying poetry styles practiced today and a little bit about their history. The purpose of the month is to increase the awareness and appreciation of poetry, and maybe help a few people find their inner poet talent.
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About nclbph

The North Carolina Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NCLBPH) is a special public library that circulates books and magazines especially made for persons who cannot use regular printed material because of a visual or physical disability. The library is located in Raleigh, but mails materials throughout the state. The NCLBPH is a state agency operated by the State Library of North Carolina as a part of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. It is also a part of the network of regional libraries operated by the Library of Congress National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS).
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