Structure and versification in Regeneration

A unique structure

The ten eight-line stanzas (octave)s have a unique structure. The iambic lines are, in sequence, tetrameter, dimeter, tetrameter, trimeter, trimeter, dimeter, tetrameter and trimeter (42433243). The rhyming scheme, abab cdcd tends to divide the octave into two parts. In most stanzas the punctuation re-enforces this, but not in stanzas 6, 7 or 10. In other words, the structure is very flexible, and rhythmic variations are possible. The large amount of enjambement means that the poem can almost be read as free verse, a far cry from Herbert's tight musical structures.

Investigating Regeneration
  • Look at the structure of Regeneration
    • What does Vaughan achieve with his very short lines?
  • Compare this poem with Herbert's Affliction I.
    • What are the major differences and similarities?
  • What do you find most appealing about the poem?
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