Auden believed that if words moved in a repeated pattern they created an expectancy, almost as if the ‘motion’ of a poem could be compared to a dance as evidenced by poems such as "Refugee Blues" (which holds a blues song form) and "O what is that sound" whose thumping, falling trochaics resemble a ballad. He described meter in terms of accents which he believed were like the light and heavy steps of a dance and traditional rules of poetry could be followed like the traditional steps of a dance, nonetheless there was always room for variation and different interpretation.

Auden held the belief that there was some degree of rhythm in all language and the degree depended on the power of feeling (e.g. in scientific prose, what words do is controlled by only by the sense of what is being said.) He felt that alliteration was an ‘ornament’ of language as was rhyme - "through the likeness, thoughts and feelings hitherto distinct in the mind are joined together" thus for him an idea is enhanced and enriched in meaning. He experimented with form a very great deal, there even exists variation within single poems ("Musee Des Beaux Arts"). Auden was also fully aware of the fact that in free verse the interest lies in the syntax, word positioning, line length and patterning such as enjambment which could undermine a sense of regularity - obvious in poems such as "In Praise of Limestone" and "Consider this…".

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