A superversive line is that line in a given poem which most eminently exploits the play between syntactic and metrical segmentation, between an ordinary and a special phonology; which peculiarizes verse as verse. A superversive poetics places composition and technique, not theme and representation, at the center of the historically material practices of poetry. For superversive poetics, poems are not only representations but also quite singular machines, devices for body modification. Here the verse repertoire of Robert Browning’s Fifine at the Fair, in particular its exploitation of bimetricality, is explored from the point of view of such a poetics.

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