Triadic-line Poetry
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Triadic-line Poetry

Triadic-line poetry or stepped line is a long line which "unfolds into three descending and indented parts".[1] Created by William Carlos Williams, it was his "solution to the problem of modern verse"[2] and later was also taken up by poets Charles Tomlinson and Thom Gunn.[3]


Williams referred to the prosody of triadic-line poetry as a "variable foot", a metrical device to resolve the conflict between form and freedom in verse.[4] Each of the three staggered lines of the stanza should be thought of as one foot, the whole stanza becoming a trimeter line.[5] Williams' collections Journey to Love (1955) and The Desert Music (1954) [6] contained examples of this form. This is an extract from "The Sparrow" by Williams:

Practical to the end,

it is the poem
of his existence

See also


  1. ^ Hirsch. Edward 'A Poet's Glossary', Houghton Mifflin Hsrcourt, Boston, 2014 ISBN 9780151011957
  2. ^ Berry Eleanor, 'William Carlos Williams: Triadic-line Verse - An Analysis if its Prosidy' Twentieth Century Literature Fall 35.3 1989
  3. ^ Schmidt, Michael, Lives of the Poets, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London 1998 ISBN 978-0753807453
  4. ^ "Interview with Stanley Koehler", Paris Review Vol 6 April 1962
  5. ^ Hartman, Charles, Free Verse an essay on Prosody, Northwestern University Press, Evanston 1996 ISBN 0-8101-1316-3
  6. ^ Collected Poems ed. Christopher MacGowan, Collected Poems Vol II, Carcanet Press, Manchester, 2000 ISBN 1-85754-523-0

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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