Curated Collections of the Most Useful Facts.

For two Actions equally labour'd and driven on by the Writer, would destroy the unity of the Poem; it would be no longer one Play, but two: not but that there may be many actions in a Play, as Ben. Johnson has observ'd in his discoveries; but they must be all subservient to the great one, which our language happily expresses in the name of under-plots: such as in Terences Eunuch is the difference and reconcilement of Thais and Phædria, which is not the chief business of the Play, but promotes; the marriage of Chærea and Chreme's Sister, principally intended by the Poet. There ought to be one action, sayes Corneile, that is one compleat action which leaves the mind of the Audience in a full repose: But this cannot be brought to pas but by many other imperfect ones which conduce to it, and hold the Audience in a delightful suspence of what will be.

A night of poetry and other literary goodies appreciation

Pars, indocili melior grege; mollis & expes Inominataperprimat cubila.

Call-out for proposals for the NPL's Special Edition series in 2018.

For instance, take these line from "Don't Fence Me In" written by Cole Porter:

"Just turn me loose let me straddle my old saddle,
Underneath the western skies,
On my cayuse let me wander over yonder,
'Til I see the mountains rise."
Once you know the scheme a poet has chosen to use, you'll be able to analyze and comprehend why he has used the scheme he has.

Literature's stories and texts survive the fires of time.

Rhythm is basically the pattern in which a poet chooses to sequence the stressed and unstressed syllables in every line of a poem, for the creation of oral patterns.

Experience the stirring life and poetry of a great radical Romantic poet.
SOAS World Languages Institute is extending our endangered poetry call-out globally!

Help people find out where that line in their head comes from.

RUNE: In a writing system designed to be scratched or carved on a flat surface such as wood or stone, the individual letters are known as runes. Typically, these markings have few or no curves, circles, or dots, but instead, each mark consists of a number of straight cuts or strokes. (The strokes may, however, involve complex combinations of vertical, horizontal, and diagonal lines.) Runic writing systems tend to appear in areas where paper or parchment are scarce or unknown or where ink is commonly unavailable. Typical runic marks might indicate ownership of a house or object, they may be magic spells designed to be cut or scratched on a shield as a pagan protective charm, and they may mark boundary stones. It is accordinly rare to find lengthy literary writings done in runes--which naturally tend to force brevity upon the communicant given the effort involved in cutting or carving them. Runes were common among ancient and medieval inhabitants of Scandinavia, the continental Germanic tribes, and among the Anglo-Saxons who invaded Britain. By the High Middle Ages, parchment, pen, and ink had largely displaced the runic writing systems. Contrast with markings among the Celts.

It is not necessary that all the elements are always employed in every poem that is penned.

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RECEPTION THEORY: A variant of reader response theory that emphasizes how each individual reader has a part in receiving (i.e, interpetting) the text. German scholar Hans-Robert Jauss in the late 1960s was the primary advocate. The central concern in this theory is called a "horizon of expectation," i.e., that a reader's experience of textual meaning will dramatically alter depending on the time and place of the reader. This idea contrasts radically with the New Historicists or biographical critics who argue that textual meaning will dramatically alter depending on the time and place the author wrote the work.) is available here.

However, the presence of at least two of these elements is noted in most poems.

Your Lordships most obedient humble Servant,

First, give me leave, Sir, to remember you that the Argument against which you rais'd this objection, was onely secondary: it was built upon this Hypothesis, that to write in verse was proper for serious Playes. Which supposition being granted (as it was briefly made out in that discourse, by showing how verse might be made natural) it asserted, that this way of writing was an help to the Poets judgment, by putting bounds to a wilde overflowing Fancy. I think therefore it will not be hard for me to make good what it was to prove: But you add, that were this let pass, yet he who wants judgment in the liberty of his fancy, may as well show the defect of it when he is confin'd to verse: for he who has judgment will avoid errours, and he who has it not, will commit them in all kinds of writing.