Guide to Literary Terms

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What is the definition of verse?

The definition of verse is metered formal writing, as in much poetry.

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Last Updated May 26, 2023.

Verse is a form of writing that utilizes metrical and rhythmic patterns, often characterized by a specific rhyme scheme. It is commonly associated with poetry, where lines and stanzas are crafted with careful attention to rhythm, meter, and rhyme. Verse allows for heightened musicality, aesthetic appeal, and the exploration of poetic techniques.

Verse evolved from the Old English word fers, from the Latin versus ("line, line of writing").

This quote from Shakespeare's "Sonnet 18" exemplifies the use of verse:

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?

Thou art more lovely and more temperate.

The verse form enhances the musicality of the lines, contributing to the sonnet's aesthetic appeal and lyrical quality. The structure and rhythm of the verse in this quote exemplify the artistry and precision often associated with poetic composition.

see: poetryblank versefree verse

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