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Regular version of the site

Article

Verse structure and literary tradition: Correlating rhyme and stress in the Onegin stanza

Style. 2015. Vol. 49. No. 4. P. 439-469.
Nikitina T., Rodin (Maslov) B.

This essay discusses rhyme and rhythm in syllabo-accentual verse, in which the term “rhythm” refers to stress patterning within the line. Rhyme and rhythm have been investigated in isolation, yet no studies exist that provide a rigorous framework for correlating their effects. This essay shows, based on a thorough statistical analysis of Pushkin's Eugene Onegin, that rhythm of individual lines can mimic rhyming structures within the stanza. In addition, we trace the evolution of the Onegin stanza in the Russian literary tradition, uncovering the ways in which covert transformations of poetic form reflect shifts in literary history from late Romanticism to Modernism.