Outward Indications In addition, there are a number of outward signs that indicate a poem: Most obviously, the individual text lines in poetry do not fill the entire width of the page. Thus, before they have actually started reading, readers of poetry are given an instant indication that what they are going to read is probably a poem. In consequence, a reader’s attention is likely to focus on ‘poetic features’ of the text. Poetry is often associated not only with specialized language but with a very dense use of such specialized language. Poems usually try to express their meaning in much less space than, say, a novel or even a short story. Alexander Pope once explained that he preferred to write poetry even when he wrote about philosophy because it enabled him to express himself more briefly (Pope, Preface to An Essay on Man, 1734). As a result of its relative brevity, poetry tends to make more concentrated use of formal elements, it displays a tendency for structural, phonological, morphological and syntactic overstraining, a concept which originated in formalist and structuralism criticism. It means that poetry uses elements such as sound patterns, verse and meter, rhetorical devices, style, stanza […]