poetic license

poetic license
license or liberty taken by a poet, prose writer, or other artist in deviating from rule, conventional form, logic, or fact, in order to produce a desired effect.
[1780-90]

* * *

      the right assumed by poets to alter or invert standard syntax or depart from common diction or pronunciation to comply with the metrical or tonal requirements of their writing.

      As a general rule, poetry has a carefully controlled verbal structure. The metre of the poem, the pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables, and the sounds and modulations of the words themselves all affect the subtle meanings and feelings that the poet may be trying to convey or evoke. Poets may distort normal prose patterns for the sake of form and therefore assume poetic license; it is solely a matter of aesthetic judgment and sensibility as to whether the alterations enhance or detract from the total effect of the poem.

      The term poetic license is also sometimes used in a humorous or pejorative sense to provide an excuse for careless or superficial writing.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Poetic license — Poetic Po*et ic, Poetical Po*et ic*al, a. [L. po[ e]ticus, Gr. ?: cf. F. po[ e]tiquee.] 1. Of or pertaining to poetry; suitable for poetry, or for writing poetry; as, poetic talent, theme, work, sentiments. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. Expressed in… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • poetic license — n. 1. deviation from strict fact or from conventional rules of form, style, etc., as by a poet for artistic effect 2. freedom to do this …   English World dictionary

  • Poetic License — The Poetic License is both a poem and a permissive BSD styled license, originally based on the text of the MIT and ISC licenses. The two clauses follow the disclaimer, both rendered as five line limericks. Variations of the license notice, since… …   Wikipedia

  • poetic license — noun license used by a writer or artist to heighten the effect of their work • Hypernyms: ↑license, ↑licence * * * poˌetic ˈlicence [poetic licence] (NAmE poˌe …   Useful english dictionary

  • poetic license — the way in which writers and other artists are allowed to ignore rules or change facts in their work. It s obvious the writer was using a certain amount of poetic licence because the route she mentions has been closed for 50 years …   New idioms dictionary

  • poetic license — noun Date: 1819 license 4 …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • poetic license — po,etic license noun uncount the freedom to change facts or events, or to ignore rules when you are writing something in order to communicate your meaning more clearly …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • poetic license — poet′ic li′cense n. pro license or liberty, esp. as taken by a poet or other writer, in deviating from conventional form, logic, fact, etc., to produce a desired effect • Etymology: 1780–90 …   From formal English to slang

  • Poetic — Po*et ic, Poetical Po*et ic*al, a. [L. po[ e]ticus, Gr. ?: cf. F. po[ e]tiquee.] 1. Of or pertaining to poetry; suitable for poetry, or for writing poetry; as, poetic talent, theme, work, sentiments. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. Expressed in metrical… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • License — Li cense (l[imac] sens), n. [Written also {licence}.] [F. licence, L. licentia, fr. licere to be permitted, prob. orig., to be left free to one; akin to linquere to leave. See {Loan}, and cf. {Illicit}, {Leisure}.] 1. Authority or liberty given… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”