Line (poetry)

A line is a unit of writing into which a poem or play is divided: literally, a single row of text. The use of a line operates on principles which are distinct from and not necessarily coincident with grammatical structures, such as the sentence or single clauses in sentences. Although the word for a single poetic line is verse, that term now tends to be used to signify poetic form more generally.[1] A line break is the termination of the line of a poem and the beginning of a new line.

The process of arranging words using lines and line breaks is known as lineation, and is one of the defining features of poetry.[2] A distinct numbered group of lines in verse is normally called a stanza. A title, in certain poems, is considered a line.

  1. ^ "Line - Glossary".
  2. ^ Hazelton, Rebecca (September 8, 2014). "Learning the Poetic Line". Poetry Foundation. Retrieved 5 June 2019. Some critics go so far as to say that lineation is the defining characteristic of poetry, and many would say it's certainly one major difference between most poetry and prose.

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