Spenserian stanza

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Edmund Spenser, English Renaissance poet and author of The Fairie Queene

The Spenserian stanza is a fixed verse form invented by Edmund Spenser for his epic poem The Faerie Queene.[1] Each stanza contains nine lines in total. The first eight lines are in iambic pentameter, that is consist of ten syllables, followed by a single alexandrine line in iambic hexameter, that is are made up of twelve syllables.[2] The rhyme scheme of these lines is "a-b-a-b-b-c-b-c-c."[3]

Many poets used the stanza after Spenser, for example Lord Byron (Chlide Harold's Pilgrimage), Percy Bysshe Shelley (Adonais), John Keats (The Eve of St. Agnes)[4] and Alfred Tennyson (The Lotos-Eaters). Spenserian stanza remained a typical English form and it was never much popular outside England. Only few poets employed it in Central Europe, for example Juliusz Słowacki,[5] Jan Kasprowicz and Jaroslav Vrchlický.

References[change | change source]

  1. "Spenserian stanza". The Free Dictionary/Farlex. Retrieved 8 March 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. Joseph Berg Esenwein, Mary Eleanor Roberts, The Art of Versification. Revised Edition, Springfield 1921, p. 113.
  3. Cara Batema. "How to Write a Spenserian Poem". Hearst Seattle Media, LLC. Retrieved 8 March 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. Spenserian Stanza at Encyclopaedia Britannica.
  5. Wiktor Jarosław Darasz, Mały przewodnik po wierszu polskim, Kraków 2003, p. 152.