T. S. Eliot

 

 

Reflections on vers libre

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We may therefore formulate as follows: the ghost of some simple metre should lurk behind the arras in even the "freest" verse; to advance menacingly as we doze, and withdraw as we rouse. Or, freedom is only truly freedom when it appears against the background of an artificial limitation.

[..]

And this liberation from rhyme might be as well a liberation of rhyme. Freed from its exacting task of supporting lame verse, it could be applied with greater effect where it is most needed. There are often passages in an unrhymed poem where rhyme is wanted for some special effect, for a sudden tightening-up, for a cumulative insistence, or for an abrupt change of mood. But formal rhymed verse will certainly not lose its place. We only need the coming of a Satirist – no man of genius is rarer – to prove that the heroic couplet has lost none of its edge since Dryden and Pope laid it down. As for the sonnet I am not so sure. But the decay of intricate formal patterns has nothing to do with the advent of vers libre. It had set in long before. Only in a closely-knit and homogeneous society, where many men are at work on the same problems, such a society as those which produced the Greek chorus, the Elizabethan lyric, and the Troubadour canzone, will the development of such forms ever be carried to perfection. And as for vers libre, we conclude that it is not defined by absence of pattern or absence of rhyme, for other verse is without these; that it is not defined by non-existence of metre, since even the worst verse can be scanned; and we conclude that the division between Conservative Verse and Vers Libre does not exist, for there is only good verse, bad verse, and chaos.

 

 

 

 

Erstdruck und Druckvorlage

The New Statesman. A Weekly Review of Politics and Literature.
Bd. 8, Nr. 204, 1917, 3. März, S. 518-519.

Gezeichnet: T. S. Eliot.

Unser Auszug: S. 519.

Die Textwiedergabe erfolgt nach dem ersten Druck (Editionsrichtlinien).

 

Zeitschriften-Repertorium

 

 

 

Literatur

Andrews, Richard: A Prosody of Free Verse. Explorations in Rhythm. New York 2017.

Binckes, Faith: Modernism, Magazines, and the British avant-garde. Reading Rhythm, 1910-1914. Oxford 2010.

Brandmeyer, Rudolf: Poetiken der Lyrik: Von der Normpoetik zur Autorenpoetik. In: Handbuch Lyrik. Theorie, Analyse, Geschichte. Hrsg. von Dieter Lamping. 2. Aufl. Stuttgart 2016, S. 2-15.

Callison, Jamie: Transmuting F. H. Bradley. T. S. Eliot's Notes Towards a Theory of Poetry. In: T. S. Eliot Studies Annual 1 (2017), S. 99-113.

Carr, Helen: The Verse Revolutionaries: Ezra Pound, H.D. and The Imagists. London 2009.

Cianci, Giovanni u.a. (Hrsg.): T. S. Eliot and the Concept of Tradition. Cambridge u.a. 2007.

Danzer, Ina D.: T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound und der französische Symbolismus. Heidelberg 1992 (= Heidelberger Forschungen, 29).

Egri, Peter: Reflections on T. S. Eliot's Vers Libre. In: T. S. Eliot. A Voice Descanting. Centenary Essays. Hrsg. von Shyamal Bagchee. London 1990, S. 164-176.

Ferreira, Carla S.: Seeing through French Eyes: Vers Libre in Whitman, Laforgue, and Eliot. In: Cambridge Quarterly 45.1 (2016), S. 20-41.

Harding, Jason (Hrsg.): The New Cambridge Companion to T. S. Eliot. Cambridge 2017.

Hurley, Michael D.: Verse Style as a Mode of Religious Belief. London u. New York 2018.

Kirby-Smith, H. T.: The Origins of Free Verse. Ann Arbor 1998.

Lipking, Lawrence: Poet-critics. In: The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism. Bd. 7: Modernism and the New Criticism. Hrsg. von A. Walton Litz. Cambridge u.a. 2000, S. 439-467.

Murat, Michel: Le vers libre. Paris 2008 (= Littérature de notre siècle, 36).

Plasa, Stefan: Knots und Vortices. T. S. Eliots und Ezra Pounds Dichtungstheorie zwischen Tradition und Innovation. Paderborn u.a. 2010.

Pondrom, Cyrena N.: The Road from Paris. French Influence on English Poetry, 1900 – 1920. Cambridge 2010.   –   Zuerst 1974.

Scott, Clive: Vers libre. The Emergence of Free Verse in France, 1886 – 1914. Oxford 1990.

Steele, Timothy: Missing Measures. Modern Poetry and the Revolt Against Meter. Fayetteville u.a. 1990.

Vericat, Fabio L.: From Physics to Metaphysics. Philosophy and Allegory in the Critical Writings of T. S. Eliot. Valencia 2004.
S. 32-40: Vers libre and the Problem with Philosophy.

 

 

Edition
Lyriktheorie » R. Brandmeyer