from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In poetics, verse ( Latin versus , from vertere , ' turn around') describes a series of metrically structured rhythms. Printed verses are usually in rows set and therefore also as lines of verse called.

The rhythmic structure to which rhyme , assonance, or alliteration may come, is therefore the main condition of the verse; the periodicity ( Responsion ) of a same rhythm in the verse is, the meter (also meter ), the single repeated part constituting the meter, the metrical foot (approximately corresponds to the timing in the music theory ) out of or into the ancient Verslehre the a meter or two feet long . Rhythmic structure, meter measures and, in general, the investigation of the structure and regularities in verse are the subject of verse theory (also metrics ) and prosody .

The abstract form of the sequence of (repeating) verse elements is called verse form , whereby a distinction must be made between verse form as a designation for a certain rhythmic structure and verse form as a designation for the result of the versification , the rhythmic and phonetic design of a text, taking into account the for verse , Verse, and the poem as a whole apply to respective guidelines. Larger groups of related verse forms or meters are sometimes also referred to as verses , for example the free verse or in ancient metrics the group of Aeolian meters .

The schematic representation of the verse form with the help of a suitable metric notation is called the verse scheme .

Verse vs. poem

The fact that a literary work is written in verse or more generally in bound speech does not make it a poem. Rather, verses are used in all genres and forms, in particular the epic forms of verse epic , verse novella and verse novel .

"You should really conceptualize everything that has to rise above the common, at least initially in verse, because nowhere does the plate come into the light than when it is pronounced in bound writing."

- Friedrich Schiller : Letter to Goethe dated November 24, 1797

Conversely, metrical bondage is no longer a condition of the poem today. Since Klopstock abandoned rhyme and metrical schemes in his free rhythms in the 18th century , their importance in verse has declined until free verse became the dominant genre in modern times. But the role of the verse form has also become smaller and is now practically limited to lyric poetry , whereas verse has almost completely disappeared in epic and drama .


The open line case , in which each verse appears in one line, remains the visual indicator of printed verses . The listener of verses is able to recognize their borders through a noticeable pause. There was always agreement in this regard. Goethe thinks : “If one has to declaim iambi, it should be noted that each beginning of a verse is indicated by a small, barely perceptible pause; but the course of the declamation does not have to be disturbed by it. ”And Brecht states:“ The end of the line of verse always means a caesura . ”This acoustic structure and the rhythmic design are created by the natural accentuation and the clearly perceptible for the listener Phrasing deviating rendering means that words formed into verses can usually be clearly distinguished from prose . In the case of prose, which in this respect approximates bound speech, one speaks of rhythmic prose , prose poem and art prose .


A distinction is made between abstract meters and concrete verses according to:

  • Verse length (measured in meters, feet, lifts or bars or syllables)
  • Completeness of the closure
  • Type of closure

Differentiation according to verse length

By number of meters included

When differentiating according to the number of meters contained, there are:

Since, as mentioned, a meter can contain one or two syllables depending on the foot of the verse, the number of meters does not always correspond to the number of feet. An iambic trimeter consists of six iambi , since the iambic meter has two feet.

Number of feet included

If verses are differentiated according to the number of feet they contain, there are separate names for them, especially in Greek metrics:

The terms that end in "-podie" and are derived from the Greek correspond to the following terms in the Latin metric:

By number of lifts

In the accenting metric of modern languages, the elevations are decisive, to which the number of verse feet corresponds. It is therefore according to the number of elevations in:

etc. differentiated. Analogously one speaks of three-stroke, four-stroke, etc.

By number of syllables

If a distinction is made according to the number of syllables, there are also some special terms here, namely

Differentiation according to the completeness of the closure

Furthermore, verses are differentiated according to the completeness with regard to the meter:

Differentiation according to the type of closure

And finally, a distinction is made in the accentuating metric according to the cadence , according to the type of closure:

  • masculine or blunt cadence (ending with a stressed syllable)
  • feminine or sounding cadence (ending with an unstressed syllable)
  • rich or sliding cadence (ending with several unstressed syllables)

See also


Web links

Wiktionary: Verse  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Goethe: Rules for Actors § 33. In: Berlin edition. Vol. 17: Writings on literature 1. Berlin 1970, p. 92, online .
  2. Bert Brecht: Collected works in 20 volumes. Frankfurt a. Main 1967, Volume 19, pp. 401 f.