Blank verse

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Blank verse is poetry written with regular metrical but unrhymed lines, almost always in iambic pentameter.wikipedia
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Iambic pentameter

iambicpentameterpentameters
Blank verse is poetry written with regular metrical but unrhymed lines, almost always in iambic pentameter.
Iambic pentameter is the most common meter in English poetry; it is used in the major English poetic forms, including blank verse, the heroic couplet, and some of the traditionally rhymed stanza forms.

Metre (poetry)

metremeterprosody
Blank verse is poetry written with regular metrical but unrhymed lines, almost always in iambic pentameter.
Lines of unrhymed iambic pentameter are commonly known as blank verse.

Christopher Marlowe

MarloweChristopher MarlowKit Marlowe
Christopher Marlowe was the first English author to achieve critical notoriety for his use of blank verse.
Marlowe's plays are known for the use of blank verse and their overreaching protagonists.

John Milton

MiltonMiltonicMiltonian
The major achievements in English blank verse were made by William Shakespeare, who wrote much of the content of his plays in unrhymed iambic pentameter, and John Milton, whose Paradise Lost is written in blank verse.
He wrote at a time of religious flux and political upheaval, and is best known for his epic poem Paradise Lost (1667), written in blank verse.

Paradise Lost

epic poemsame nameAwake, arise, or be forever fall'n.
The major achievements in English blank verse were made by William Shakespeare, who wrote much of the content of his plays in unrhymed iambic pentameter, and John Milton, whose Paradise Lost is written in blank verse.
Paradise Lost is an epic poem in blank verse by the 17th-century English poet John Milton (1608–1674).

Verso sciolto

versi sciolti
He may have been inspired by the Latin original as classical Latin verse did not use rhyme; or possibly he was inspired by Ancient Greek verse or the Italian verse form of versi sciolti, both of which also did not use rhyme.
It is very similar to blank verse in English poetry, and the two terms are often used interchangeably.

Ulysses (poem)

UlyssespoemTo seek, to strive, to find, and not to yield
Shortly afterwards, Alfred, Lord Tennyson became particularly devoted to blank verse, using it for example in his long narrative poem "The Princess", as well as for one of his most famous poems: "Ulysses".
"Ulysses" is a poem in blank verse by the Victorian poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809–1892), written in 1833 and published in 1842 in his well-received second volume of poetry.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson

TennysonAlfred TennysonAlfred Lord Tennyson
Shortly afterwards, Alfred, Lord Tennyson became particularly devoted to blank verse, using it for example in his long narrative poem "The Princess", as well as for one of his most famous poems: "Ulysses".
Tennyson also wrote some notable blank verse including Idylls of the King, "Ulysses", and "Tithonus".

Gorboduc (play)

GorboducGorbuduc
The 1561 play Gorboduc by Thomas Norton and Thomas Sackville was the first English play to use blank verse.
The play is notable for several reasons: as the first verse drama in English to employ blank verse; for its political subject matter (the realm of Gorboduc is disputed by his sons Ferrex and Porrex), which was still a touchy area in the early years of Elizabeth's reign, while the succession to the throne was unclear; for its manner, progressing from the models of the morality play and Senecan tragedy in the direction which would be followed by later playwrights.

The Seasons (Thomson)

The SeasonsSummerThomson's poem "The Seasons
Miltonic blank verse was widely imitated in the 18th century by such poets as James Thomson (in The Seasons) and William Cowper (in The Task).
Blank verse had been considered more of an interesting toy than anything useful to poetry, despite John Milton's epic-scale Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained half a century earlier.

Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey

Earl of SurreyHenry HowardSurrey
The first documented use of blank verse in the English language was by Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey in his translation of the Æneid (composed c. 1540; published posthumously, 1554–1557 ).
He and his friend Sir Thomas Wyatt were the first English poets to write in the sonnet form that Shakespeare later used, and Surrey was the first English poet to publish blank verse (unrhymed iambic pentameter) in his translation of the second and fourth books of Virgil's Aeneid.

Thomas Sackville, 1st Earl of Dorset

Thomas SackvilleLord BuckhurstSackville
The 1561 play Gorboduc by Thomas Norton and Thomas Sackville was the first English play to use blank verse.
With Thomas Norton, he was an author in 1561 of the first English play to be written in blank verse, Gorboduc, which deals with the consequences of political rivalry.

William Shakespeare

ShakespeareShakespeareanShakespearian
The major achievements in English blank verse were made by William Shakespeare, who wrote much of the content of his plays in unrhymed iambic pentameter, and John Milton, whose Paradise Lost is written in blank verse.
Shakespeare's standard poetic form was blank verse, composed in iambic pentameter.

All for Love (play)

All for LoveAll for Love or The World Well LostAll for Love'' (play)
The best examples of blank verse from this time are probably John Dryden's tragedy All for Love and James Thomson's The Seasons.
It is a tragedy written in blank verse and is an attempt on Dryden's part to reinvigorate serious drama.

The Prelude

PreludeThe Prelude: or, Growth of a Poet's Mind in 13 BooksThe Prelude; or, Growth of a Poet's Mind: An Autobiographical Poem
Wordsworth used the form for many of the Lyrical Ballads (1798 and 1800), and for his longest efforts, The Prelude and The Excursion.
(May include graphic scenes)The Prelude or, Growth of a Poet's Mind; An Autobiographical Poem (not) is an autobiographical poem in blank verse by the English poet William Wordsworth.

William Cowper

CowperCowper, WilliamCowper Road
Miltonic blank verse was widely imitated in the 18th century by such poets as James Thomson (in The Seasons) and William Cowper (in The Task).
During this period he started his translations of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey into blank verse.

Paradise Regained

Paradise Regain'd
Milton also wrote Paradise Regained and parts of Samson Agonistes in blank verse.
Paradise Regained is connected by name to his earlier and more famous epic poem Paradise Lost, with which it shares similar theological themes; indeed, its title, its use of blank verse, and its progression through Christian history recall the earlier work.

Princess Ida

King Gama
Gilbert and Sullivan's 1884 opera, Princess Ida, is based on Tennyson's "The Princess".
It is the only Gilbert and Sullivan opera in three acts and the only one with dialogue in blank verse.

Summoned by Bells

verse autobiography
Most of Robert Frost's narrative and conversational poems are in blank verse; so are other important poems like Wallace Stevens's "The Idea of Order at Key West" and "The Comedian as the Letter C", W. B. Yeats's "The Second Coming", W. H. Auden's "The Watershed" and John Betjeman's Summoned by Bells.
Summoned by Bells, the blank verse autobiography by John Betjeman, describes his life from his early memories of a middle-class home in Edwardian Hampstead, London, to his premature departure from Magdalen College, Oxford.

John Betjeman

Sir John BetjemanBetjemanBetjeman, John
Most of Robert Frost's narrative and conversational poems are in blank verse; so are other important poems like Wallace Stevens's "The Idea of Order at Key West" and "The Comedian as the Letter C", W. B. Yeats's "The Second Coming", W. H. Auden's "The Watershed" and John Betjeman's Summoned by Bells.
Much of this period of his life is recorded in his blank verse autobiography Summoned by Bells published in 1960 and made into a television film in 1976.

Enjambment

enjambedenjambementrun-on lines
Shakespeare also used enjambment increasingly often in his verse, and in his last plays was given to using feminine endings (in which the last syllable of the line is unstressed, for instance lines 3 and 6 of the following example); all of this made his later blank verse extremely rich and varied.

Free verse

vers librefree verse poetryfree-verse
Among American poets, Hart Crane and Wallace Stevens are notable for using blank verse in extended compositions at a time when many other poets were turning to free verse.
Kenneth Allott, the poet and critic, said the adoption by some poets of vers libre arose from "mere desire for novelty, the imitation of Whitman, the study of Jacobean dramatic blank verse, and the awareness of what French poets had already done to the alexandrine in France."

Gilbert and Sullivan

Gilbert & SullivancollaborationGilbert and Sullivan Society
Gilbert and Sullivan's 1884 opera, Princess Ida, is based on Tennyson's "The Princess".
Gilbert had written a blank verse farce based on the same material in 1870, called The Princess, and he reused a good deal of the dialogue from his earlier play in the libretto of Princess Ida.

King John (play)

King JohnThe Life and Death of King JohnKing John'' (play)
For example, in this exchange from King John, one blank verse line is broken between two characters:

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

ColeridgeSamuel ColeridgeS. T. Coleridge
These were the Lake Poets William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
Harper himself considered that the eight poems represented a form of blank verse that is "...more fluent and easy than Milton's, or any that had been written since Milton".