Guide to Literary Terms

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What is a stanza?

A stanza is a unit of lines in a poem and can take a variety of forms.

Stanza

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Last Updated on February 25, 2021, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 83

Stanza - an arrangement of lines of verse in a pattern usually repeated throughout the poem. It has a fixed number of verses or lines, a prevailing kind of meter, and a consistent rhyme scheme. A stanza may form a division of a poem or constitute a selection in its entirety.

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The term is from the Latin stantem, which was derived from stare, meaning “to stand.”

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Earlier English terms for stanza were “batch,” “fit”, and “stave.”

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Latest answer posted April 20, 2013, 6:46 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

see: ballad, haiku, ode


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