Offering close readings of Philip Larkin’s “The Explosion” and Lon Otto’s “A Very Short Story,” Stephen Dobyns argues that structure is both the means by which information is released and the information itself. He states that structure, whether in poetry or prose, represents the means by which formal elements (language, texture, pacing, and tone) may be imposed upon informal elements (action, emotion, setting and idea). In conclusion, Dobyns cautions that a work’s structure can only be determined when the writer has fully understood its purpose.
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