There is to date no comprehensive account of the rhythms of free verse. The main purpose of A Prosody of Free Verse: explorations in rhythm is to fill that gap and begin to provide a systematic approach to describing and analyzing free verse rhythms. Most studies have declared the attempt to write such a prosody as impossible: they prefer to see free verse as an aberrant version of regular metrical verse. They also believe that behind free verse is the ‘ghost of metre’.
Running against that current, A Prosody of Free Verse bases its new system on additive rhythms that do not fit conventional time signatures. Inspiration is taken from jazz, contemporary music and dance, not only in their systems of notation but in performance. The book argues that twentieth and twenty-first century rhythms in poetry as based on the line rather than the metrical foot as the unit of rhythm , and that larger rhythmic structures fall into verse paragraphs rather than stanzas.
Table of Contents
- Voice: human embodied cognition
- Breaking the pentameter
- What is distinctive about free verse?
- The basis of prosody in music
- The basis of prosody in dance
- A new prosody 1: elements of the system
- A new prosody 2: how the system works
- A new prosody 3: the system in action
- Free verse across the world
- Free verse in translation
- Writing free verse
- Reading free verse
- What lies beyond free verse?
- Postscript: June Fires
Richard Andrews is Professor of Education and Head of the School of Education and Lifelong Learning at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK. He has recently served as Professor in English and Dean of the Faculty of Children and Learning at UCL’s Institute of Education in London, and as Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge. He is author of several books for Routledge, including Rebirth of Rhetoric, Argumentation in Higher Education, Re-framing Literacy and A Theory of Contemporary Rhetoric.