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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > June 2016 > Poetry in practice

Poetry in practice

Understand the stanza with elementary advice from Doris Corti

Stanzas in a poem make a visual shape on the page, but what are they actually used for? They were originally used by poets who were following the rules of traditional patterns. You can see this when reading defined stanza breaks in sonnets, villanelles, ballads, pantoums and various other forms.

Stanzas can make a poem look more inviting to read as well as the white spaces between them offering readers some breathing time.

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Handling heroes: Learn from the Bard New series: An insider's view of publishing Written your book? We'll help you sell it! How to: • Write better features • Sell and re-sell your writing overseas • Create a screenplay from your novel Pen pushers: Ideas and exercises to inspire your writing Star interview: Scandalous historian Halle Rubenhold WIN! A 6-day Arvon writer's retreat worth £600

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