Alexandrine Notes

About the Jez of It

A traditional French style poem, the Alexandrine is considered to be the French equivalent to the Japanese Haiku. It was also the first type of poetry written in France. There is much disagreement to the specifics of the Alexandrine. The French do not consider their language to be stressed so their poetry is syllabic rather than metered and as is common in French poetry the Alexandrine consists of lines of eight syllables . Some authorities say the poem/stanza should be twelve lines in length but many poets have written verse of much longer length. Personally I would say make if the poet’s choice

Example

To some birds flown away by Victor Hugo

Children, come back—come back, I say—
You whom my folly chased away
A moment since, from this my room,
With bristling wrath and words of doom!
What had you done, you bandits small,
With lips as red as…

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