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Working paper

Defective or Expressive? Forms with Deviations in Brodsky’s Poetry

Panarina M. A.
Previous research in the stanzaic repertoire of Russian poetry has shown that Russian verse from the 1950s onwards is less standardized with looser patterns, compared to Russian classical verse. This article applies a new approach to statistical description which is more suitable for Russian contemporary verse. It also studies forms with minor deviations and their functions on the margins of regular verse, using statistical data from a full stanzaic description of Joseph Brodsky’s poetic texts. Existing studies of Brodsky’s poetics revealed examples of innovative versification and unique patterns, although his experiments in those areas have not yet been studied with a specific focus on forms with deviations.  The practical implications of this research not only suggest new interpretations of Brodsky’s poetry, but also enrich the traditional view of the stanzaic forms with deviations in meter, rhyme, graphics and syntax. The findings show how such forms reflect Brodsky’s ‘poetics of conflict’ and illustrate major changes in the development of Russian verse since the 1950s