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Essay by Gerber published in ‘Free Verse Rhythms' special issue of Style
Friday, April 03, 2015

Essay by Gerber published in ‘Free Verse Rhythms' special issue of Style

Dr. Natalie Gerber

Dr. Natalie Gerber of the Department of English has an essay included in a special issue, “Free Verse Rhythms,” in Style, a quarterly journal of literary criticism, stylistics, poetics and aesthetics.

Her essay, "Intonation and the Conventions of Free Verse," argues that the role of intonation in free-verse prosody has been under theorized, in part because the nature of intonation itself has been poorly understood.

The essay draws upon a rich but undervalued critical tradition in literature and linguistics to argue not only that intonation is available as a prosodic measure but also that it possesses structure and that this structure, which differs in important ways from syntactic structure, informs and enriches the understanding of the movement of the free-verse line.


Whereas the usual conversations about free verse focus on the unfolding relationship of line and syntax, Dr. Gerber’s essay argues that readers must instead consider a three-way unfolding relationship between line, syntax, and intonation, with the goal of noting how it is often the divergence of these variables that leads to free verse's most memorable lines and effects.

Other contributors to the volume include Richard Cureton, Clive Scott and Reuven Tsur, as well as the guest editor, Roi Tartakovsky.

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